To kick off 2023, HONOR launched the X9a 5G in the Philippines, a new mid-range smartphone with an impressive screen and promising specs.
While it’s still early into the year, HONOR is not stopping its momentum which it gained in 2022 when it made a successful comeback in the Philippines. Over the past months, HONOR has launched a wide range of devices, and this latest one is eye-catching in many ways.
The new X9a 5G is a mid-range smartphone, but it has luxe looks that make it look more like a premium device. On top of this, the phone promises to be durable against bumps, all without sacrificing features and performance.
On paper, the X9a 5G is a great phone, but does it deliver in actual use? Here’s our review!
To start, let’s take a look at the X9a’s design. For this mid-range, HONOR went with an interesting finish as it feels matte to the touch while still being reflective. This gives you the best of both worlds as it’s not only a stand-out design wise, but it also feels great in the hand. Plus, the camera module for its multi-cam setup looks flagship-like.
What also makes it impressive for a mid-range device design-wise is that it has curved edges. This is typically reserved for flagship-grade phones, so it’s nice that HONOR went with this stylish design for its latest mid-ranger.
Moving to the front, we have the phone’s large 6.67-inch OLED display. Thanks to the curved edges and slim top and bottom bezels, the phone no doubt can be mistaken for a flagship device. After all, most other phones that are not top-of-the-line models tend to have slightly thicker bezels.
The only thing we would’ve liked is for the front camera cutout to be moved to the left side to make it look more “all-screen.” But the middle placement is far from a dealbreaker as it prove to be that distracting while we were using it.
As mentioned above, the phone packs a 6.67-inch OLED display. It also packs an FHD+ resolution. Thanks to this, the phone won’t disappoint if you love watching movies and shows on your phone.
During our time with it, the X9a proved to be a great partner for binge-watching thanks to the display’s vibrant colors and deep blacks. The screen can also get plenty bright, not to mention that it’s large enough to give you an immersive viewing experience (for a smartphone screen at least).
One thing to note with the phone is that it only has one bottom-firing speaker. While it gets the job done the sound quality isn’t anything to write home about. Because of this, headphones are a must for the best experience. Though you’ll need wireless headphones as the phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Powering the HONOR X9a is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Processor that’s paired with 8GB of RAM. While the Snapdragon 6 series might not have the grunt of the 7 or flagship 8 series, it still has enough power to run today’s popular titles with ease.
For instance, games with low hardware requirements such as Mobile Legends, Nikke, and other titles have no issues running on the phone, even at higher settings. Shooters such as Call of Duty Mobile as well as racing games like Asphalt 9 also similarly run well.
As for demanding titles like Genshin Impact, you can play them on the HONOR X9a. Though you might have to play at lower graphics settings so that the phone can output a consistent framerate.
What’s also worth noting is that the phone has a 120Hz display. This is great news if you play games that can take advantage of high refresh rate screens as you’ll get a buttery smooth gameplay experience on the X9a.
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
Now, let’s move on to the cameras. The HONOR X9a packs a 64MP f/1.8 main + 5MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP f/2.4 macro triple rear camera setup. Meanwhile, the front camera is a 16MP f/2.5 shooter.
As you may have expected, the phone’s 64MP main camera is able to take pretty good photos in daytime and indoors. Photos have a nice amount of detail, with colors that are not overly vibrant like you would get in other phones.
At night, photos with the main camera also turn out great when using the phone’s night mode. Again, it’s nice to see that the colors using the night mode are still fairly natural. This is in contrast to other mid-range phones which tend to bump up the saturation to unnatural levels with their night modes.
Meanwhile, the ultrawide camera performs well enough for daytime outdoor shots. Though its nighttime photography capabilities aren’t the best. When we tested the phone, the ultrawide cannot be used with the night mode, so here’s hoping a future update allows this so that low light photos can turn out better.
As for macro photos, the 2MP macro camera can take decent close-up shots, but you’ll need a lot of light to get a good photo.
Finally, the phone’s 16MP selfie camera is capable of taking good selfies that are social media-ready, though the beautification feature is a bit on the aggressive side. You’ll want to play around with the beautification settings so you can get selfies that are to your liking.
For everyday use, we did not have any issues with the X9a as it was fast and snappy in our time with it. Whether we tried it for social media browsing, web browsing, or office apps, the phone did not slow down at any point.
Another cool thing about the phone is that it is incredibly durable. Specifically, its screen can take a beating as we drop-tested it multiple times with the phone falling display side down. Even with no screen protector, it did not have any scratches, nor did it crack. This is great news for users who are concerned about dropping a phone. Though of course, we still recommend using the included clear case for extra protection.
As for battery life, the HONOR X9a 5G did not disappoint. Thanks to its 5100mAh battery, the phone was able to last for a day with ease on a single charge, even in medium to heavy use. Your mileage may vary of course, but most users should be satisfied with the phone’s battery life.
If you do need to charge, the phone has a 40W fast charge feature, meaning you can reach 100% battery without having to wait too long. And if you do a quick top-up, you can already get hours of use thanks to the fast charger.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
With its flagship-like design, impressive (and incredibly durable) curved display, good performance, and long battery life, the HONOR X9a 5G is a compelling mid-range smartphone, especially at its PHP 16,990 price tag.
While it would’ve been nice to get a better ultrawide camera and internal speakers, users who prioritize a phone’s display (be it for everyday use or for binge-watching movies and shows) will definitely be happy with what the X9a 5G offers.
HONOR X9a Specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Processor
- Adreno 619 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 6.67-inch OLED FHD+ display, 120Hz refresh rate
- 256GB storage
- 64MP f/1.8 main + 5MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP f/2.4 macro triple rear camera setup
- 16MP f/2.5 wide front camera
- 3G, LTE, 5G Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner (side), USB Type-C
- 5100mAh battery with 40W fast charge support
- Android 12 with Magic UI 6.1
- Titanium Silver, Emerald Green, Midnight Black
- Price: PHP 16,990
Get HONOR X9a 5G for only PHP 16,990 and get a Free HONOR Earbuds X3 Lite worth PHP 3,999 when you pre-order from January 20 to February 3, 2023.
Visit any HONOR Kiosk and Partner Stores near you or check out HONOR’s official stores below: