Honor 9 Lite Review: Another one for the budget phone lovers

It’s an honor, your honour


Following up last year’s Honor 8 series, we now see the Honor 9 series. This is the baby of the family. Let’s dive right into why you should pick up the Honor 9 Lite and why you should not.

Firstly, there is a Honor 9 (not lite) as well. That device retails for close to Dh1,600 but we’re here about the 9 Lite, which costs almost half of what you would pay for the 9 and a fraction of what you would pay for Samsung’s S9.

It’s priced at Dh849 – and while its price might seem ‘budget’, the device is not. While stat-geeks, can head below to crunch the numbers, the rest of you can read on below about the main features everyday users care about in a device: how attractive it is, the cameras and its battery.

honor 9 Lite: Specifications

SIM Compatibility Nano
Weight 149
Battery 3,000mAh
Size 151 W× 71.9 H× 7.6 D
Display TFT-LCD, screen resolution: 2,160×1,080, Screen size: 5.65 inches
Cameras 13MP + 2MP and 13MP + 2MP
Memory 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM

Expandable memory: Up to 256GB (the slot is combined with the second SIM card)

OS Android 8.0 Oreo
Processor Kirin 659, 8-core, 4 × Cortex-A53 2.36 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A53 1.7 GHz


honor 9 Lite: Body

Honor has always made gorgeous devices. Remember the honor 7? Heck the honor 5X was modelled after the Guggenheim Museum. The honor 8 got smooth and slick with the 9 further refining that gorgeous reflective body we’ve all come to expect from honor.

The rear of the device features a reflective mirror effect that looks rather sophisticated. Your non-tech-geek-judgmental-friends would never guess that this device costs Dh849. The phone is surrounded by 2.5D dual glass. If you thought the finish on the rear was impressive, the front is as surprising.

If you’re more of a screen guy than a rear glass guy, you’ll love that honor didn’t skimp on display. Usually budget devices in this lower price range don’t care very much about your eyes, but honor does.

The screen is a massive 5.65-inch full HD+ display with incredibly thin bezels. This fits a larger display in a smaller body. So your judgmental friends are rocking an iPhone 7 Plus or 8 Plus – you’ll be pleased to know that you’re bigger. The screen on the honor 9 Lite is larger (in length) that the two iPhones mentioned.

Since we’re on the topic of looks and feel – I would suggest opting for the Blue version instead of the black. The mirror-like effect can be truly seen on the sapphire blue finish. And it looks gorgeous.

One disappointing factor is that the phone comes with a microUSB charging port and fast charging. Seeing an updated type-C connector would’ve been amazing.

honor 9 Lite: Cameras

This thing’s got four cameras. Unlike the normal rule of one in the front and two in the back – honor opted for two in the front and two at the back. The more the merrier.

Honor 9 lite - Dual rear camera
Honor 9 lite – Dual rear camera

The device features a 13MP+2MP dual-lens system on both sides of the phone. The cameras record video in 1,920×1,080p and while the rear has a decent strong flash – the front relies on a screen flash.

Honor 9 lite - Dual front camera
Honor 9 lite – Dual front camera

Honor should have stopped with the impressive tech, however it tried to go further with additional software-based functionalities such as Gender Beauty Mode and an advanced Portrait Mode. I’m not going to dwell on these pointless features that much, but if you need to know – the former mode recognises facial contours as per gender, while the latter has an upgraded beauty algorithm.

honor 9 Lite: Other cool stuff

There are so many ways that honor could have cut corners with this budget device  – however they did not. If you have used previous honors or Huawei devices you must love the fingerprint sensors on these phones. This one has a similar sensor. The fourth-gen fingerprint ID technology now lets you unlock your device in 0.25 seconds. Similar to the 9 Lite’s more expensive cousins, you can also interact with the sensor to pull down the notification menu, answer calls, take selfies etc.


I’ve always been partial to honor right from its very inception. The brand does make amazing devices and its sales records prove that. If this phone is an option, I would highly recommend you consider it as long as you buy it in Sapphire Blue. On the other hand, there’s only one reason you shouldn’t buy this device – and that’s only if you have the money to throw around on a Pixel 2 or one of the new iPhones.