Honor 9 Lite review: a phone that takes terrific photos and won’t break the bank


All honours to the Honor

By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

Huawei’s cheaper sub-brand comes up with a phone that takes terrific photos and won’t break the bank

An affordable and sleek smart phone that captures beautiful photos with bokeh effects, the Honor 9 Lite has just been released on the Thai market and is selling for slightly less than Bt7,000.

The Honor brand is probably unfamiliar to most Thais but it’s in fact a sub-division of Huawei and specifically designed for new generation users who might not be able to afford a Huawei.

The leading Chinese brand mastered double-camera settings by collaborating with Leica for its P9 smartphone and has passed on the technology to Honor for incorporation in the 9 Lite model.


The main camera of both front and rear cameras has 13-megapixel resolution while the secondary camera for both setups has 2-megapixel resolution. The secondary cameras provides the data and resolution needed for the main camera to generate the bokeh effect.

 The rear camera comes with PDAF fast autofocusing, making it ideal for those wanting to capture a shot in the moment. To get photos with outstanding subjects and blurred background, you must use Wide Aperture mode and adjust the value accordingly. Remember: the lower the number, the wider the aperture, and the more the background will be blurred.

The Wide Aperture mode is part of the auto exposure mode, which is called “Photo” on the phone. There are other shooting modes too, including Pro photo, HDR, Panorama, and Light painting.

During the test, I was able to capture beautiful photos with outstanding subjects and blurred background using the Wide Aperture mode.

In this mode, you will see an aperture icon that looks like a camera shutter. Touch it to bring up a slider then swipe left or right on the slider to adjust the aperture value.

And if the shot isn’t perfect, it can later be edited in the Gallery app to change the focal point and aperture value. You simply start the Gallery and touch a photo that carries the icon of the Wide Aperture mode or shutter icon and touch it to change the focal point and aperture value.

The Pro mode allows you to adjust exposure, shutter speed, select metering mode, adjust ISO, select white balance and select focus to get the results you’re after.

The Light Painting Mode is really fun if you want to capture the beautiful lights of the night. It has four sub-modes: Tail light trails for capturing light trails created by cars at night; Light graffiti for capturing trails created by a moving light source in low-light conditions; Silky water, which as the names implies, is for taking smooth photos of waterfalls and flowing water; while Star track lets you capture stunning photos of star trails in the night sky.

The dual-camera setup also allows for selfies with blurred background using the front camera, which also has a panorama selfie options and supports gesture control.

The front camera comes with Portrait Mode 2.0 to ensure your portraits are natural and smooth using the upgraded beauty algorithm. It can also recognise facial contours and features and then customise beauty effects by gender. A handy button enables the bokeh effect for selfie shots.

The Honor 9 Lite has a slim metal body and is just 7.39 mm thick, weighing in at 149 grams. Both the back and front of the smartphone are protected by 2.5d glass, resulting in a mirrorlike effect for the Sapphire Blue and Glacier Grey colour options. The phone is also available in Midnight Black.

Although Honor 9 Lite is low-cost, its performance is not. Its powered by the Huawei Kirin 659 octacore processor with four cores running at 2.36 GHz and four others at 1.7 GHz. It has four gigabytes of working memory or RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which is expandable with a microSD card by up to 256 GB.

The smartphone runs on Android 8.0 with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 user-interface. It supports LTE 4G connection. I tested it on TrueMove H’s LTE network and it downloaded applications fast and backed up my snapshots to my Google Photos cloud storage in no time.

I used Ookla Speedtest app to measure the connection speed and found that it achieved download speed of 65.1 Mbps and upload speed of 31.9 Mbps.

During the test, the touch screen and menus of Honor 9 Lite were responsive. And the smartphone could also play High-Resolution Audio of FLAC 24bit/192 kHz format. Listening with Sony’s MDR1ABT headphones, the music quality was good, with clear details and powerful bass.

The 9 Lite also comes with a fingerprint reader on the back that allowed me to unlock the phone in a blink.

The display is way above the price too, with a 5.65-inch Full-View FHD+ screen with 2,160×1080 pixel resolution.

Honor 9 Lite also comes with a large battery of 3,000 mAh capacity with six power-saving features to ensure that you will survive the whole day on one single charge.

Honor 9 Lite has a suggested retail price of Bt6,490 and is available through Shopee online shopping mall at www.Shopee.co.th.

Honor 9 Key Specs

– Network: LTE FDD: B1/3/7/8/20; WCDMA, GSM

– OS: Google Android 8 with EMUI 8.0

– CPU: Hi-Silicon Kirin 659 Octacore (4×2.36 GHz CortexA53 & 4×1.7 GHz CortexA53)

– Memory: 3GB

– Storage: 32 GB, expandable with microSD card by up to 256GB

– Display: 5.65-inch IPS display with 2160×1080 pixels

– Cameras: Front Dual 13 MP + 2 MP, Rear; Dual 13 MP+2 MP

– Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.2


– Battery: LiPo 3,000 mAh

– Dimension: 157.2 x 75.3 x 7.89 mm

– Weight: 149g



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