Honor 9X Pro: Subtle changes to hardware and software

Would you have liked to see a refresh to the phone's design?

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In the new Phantom Purple colour finish, the Honor 9X Pro remains fairly similar to the 9X. However, it brings revamps to both processing power and software. Does that do enough for it to carry the ‘Pro’ moniker though?

Kirin 810 octa-core processor

An upgrade over the Kirin 710F processor found on the Honor 9X, the Kirin 810 is based on a 7nm manufacturing process. It consists of eight cores, with a maximum clock speed of 2.27GHz. This results in smoother performance on the 6.59-inch 2,340 x 1,080 IPS LCD 60Hz display in conjunction with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The latter can also be expanded via micro-SD.

A familiar EMUI 9.1 on top of Android 9

More on the screen, it retains the impressive FullView experience, unobstructed by a notch or punch-hole which is more than enough for regular multimedia consumption. Furthermore, the processor is more power efficient than its predecessor. This means you should see better battery backup from the phone’s 4,000mAh cell, which comes with 10W charging capabilities. We would have liked to see an upgrade on this front, even if that meant just faster charging speeds.

Huawei Mobile Services

The Honor 9X Pro runs an Android 9 build draped in EMUI 9.1. However, it does not ship with Google services out of the box. Instead, you will have to rely on Huawei’s constantly developing AppGallery. While this offers a good suite of applications, you will still not be able to find the extensive collection you get on Google’s Play Store.

It is fairly simple to install Google Play services on the Honor 9X Pro

A workaround to this is you having to download separate APK files online. While this works, it is not the best solution for updates. However, an easier and more robust method is to manually download Google Play services and not have to worry about updating your applications. We have an easy to follow tutorial on this which you can check out.

The side mounted fingerprint scanner is a good solution

This aside, the software package is as expected. It is not packed with any unnecessary bloatware and if you are familiar with EMUI, you will have not have trouble adjusting. We just wish the phone running the more recent EMUI 10 although an update might be on its way.

Unchanged camera hardware

Usually, ‘Pro’ variants of smartphones differentiate themselves with upgraded camera hardware. However, this is not the case with the 9X Pro. You still find a triple-camera setup with a 48MP AI unit, 8MP telephoto lens and a 2MP depth sensor. There is also support for up to 1080p video at 30fps. On the front, you find a pop-up style 16MP sensor.

Optics on the phone are unchanged compared to the Honor 9X

One area that does see a welcome change is bio-metrics. This time, Honor has opted for a side-mounted hardware fingerprint scanner over the rear one on the 9X. It is placed in a comfortable position and is fairly responsive to use.

How much you like the pop-up selfie shooter is a matter of personal preference

More so, it is nice to see Honor sticking to hardware scanners until we see better in-screen scanners on affordable smartphones or a solution is developed for a scanner inside an IPS LCD display.

Availability

The Honor 9X Pro is expected to hit UAE shores soon. We will keep you updated with local pricing and availability once we know more.