Honor 9N first impressions: turning heads like a boss

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Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has clearly made the most beautiful phones this year. From the Honor 10 to the Honor 9 Lite, the brand has persevered to create a unique look that stands out. The latest addition to this list is the newly launched Honor 9N. While this phone is not a big upgrade technically to the 9 Lite, it does change a few things around.

Also read: Honor 9 Lite review: looks good and makes you look good

And, I quite like the changes. Here are my first impressions of the Honor 9N.

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Honor 9N: colour, colour, which colour do you want?

If you’ve seen the Honor 9 Lite from the back, you have seen the Honor 9N. It has a glass back and plastic sides, just like the 9 Lite. To set it apart from the 9 Lite, Honor has introduced two new colour variants for the 9N. And honestly, they look absolutely gorgeous. One looks like Sea Green and the other is a Purplish shade. Just take a look at the photos of the new colours below.

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Unfortunately, these colours are only coming later this year. For now, we will have to stick to the Black and Blue variants. But if you ask me, if you do end up buying the Honor 9N, you must get one of the new colours. You will at least have a phone that stands out from the sea of blacks. Regardless, the Blue variant still looks pretty damn stunning. 

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On the rear, you also get dual cameras on the top and a fingerprint scanner that is placed at an easy-to-reach location. By the way, apart from a fingerprint scanner, you also get an option to use your face to unlock the phone.

Also read: Honor 9 Lite review: looks good and makes you look good

Turn the phone around, and that’s where you see the major design change. You now have a notched display panel. It is a 5.84-inch FHD+ IPS LCD panel, similar to what we saw on the Huawei P20 Lite. From the get-go, I can tell you that this IPS LCD panel is better than the one on the Honor 9 Lite. I shall talk more about the display quality in my full review. Just FYI, you can also switch off the notch and there is a fairly big chin at the bottom. 

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The notch holds the front camera and the round earpiece. The bottom edge has the same old Micro-USB port flanked on either side by the single downward firing speaker and the 3.5mm jack. The power button and volume rocker sit on the right edge. Whereas, the hybrid SIM card tray is on the left side. 

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Honor 9N: made for selfies

The other upgrade comes in the form of a single 16MP selfie camera on the front. Honor claims it takes better pictures now. Take a look at some camera samples to judge for yourself. I will do the quality analysis in my actual review.

 

 

On the rear, you get a 13MP main sensor with a 2MP sensor for depth effect. The setup is the same as the one on the Honor 9 Lite. Here are some more samples for you to see. 

 

Honor 9N: same old Kirin 659, same old EMUI

The Honor 9N doesn’t come a Kirin 710 yet. You are stuck with the same old Kirin 659 SoC. The phone also comes in two variants: 3GB of RAM/32GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM/64GB of internal storage. A 4GB/128GB variant will be launched later. You will have to wait for that one. In my limited time with the phone, I didn’t face any performance issues as such. But, I am yet to try PUBG or any other graphically intensive games on the phone. Wait for a full verdict soon. 

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You also get Honor’s very own EMUI skin on top of Android 8.1. EMUI has been refined really well over the years. It is a clean experience with a tonne of new features. More in my full review. 

Closing thoughts

The Honor 9N is evidently a side-grade to the 9 Lite. It’s calling card is the notch and the improved selfie cameras. The notch is definitely unique in the sub-15k price category and that sets the 9N apart. If you care for more screen estate, the 9N is probably one of the very few options available right now. You can get the base variant of the Honor 9N for Rs 11,999 and the 4GB/64GB variant is priced at Rs 13,999.

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Wait for my full review to know for sure if the phone is good enough to take on the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro or the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1. 

Ershad Kaleebullah

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?