Affordable smartphones are everywhere. Even within the same generation and range, there are different models to choose from. Case in point being the Honor 9X series mid-range smartphones. There is the top of the line Pro model, then there is the standard Honor 9X and cheaper Honor 9X Lite. So how are they different from one another?
When choosing between the Honor 9X and Honor 9X Lite, it is not as straightforward as going for the highest and fastest model. We take a look at specifications that matter and the all important access to Google Mobile Services (GMS).
Honor 9X Lite
Let’s start with the cheapest of the three handsets, the entry level Honor 9X Lite. Launched much later than the Honor 9X and Honor 9X Pro, the Lite comes with a slightly smaller 6.5-inch Full HD display (85% NTSC colour gamut). But the bigger difference is, it has a giant iPhone-like notch, so no pop-up / retractable front facing camera here. This also makes it slightly shorter, narrower and slimmer.
The other differences are in the material used for the case, this is polycarbonate instead of glass back and aluminium frame. Then there is the capacity of the battery. The Honor 9X Lite has a slightly lower capacity battery at 3750mAh compared to the 4000mAh capacity batteries found in the higher models. The handset is also stuck with the old micro USB 2.0 port.
Finally, the cameras. The front shooter in the notch uses an 8MP sensor with wide-angle lens while those on the pop-up camera use 16MP sensor with wide-angle lens. As for the main rear shooter, this is a dual camera setup with 48MP wide and 2MP depth sensors. The Honor 9X and Honor 9X Pro have a triple shooter setup.
Now for similarities. The Honor 9X Lite is closer to the Honor 9X in that they both share the same chip, the Kirin 710 and memory and storage option; 4GB RAM memory and 128GB ROM storage. For connectivity, it gets dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and dual nano SIM support with a third dedicated slot for microSDXC expansion card but no NFC. A back mounted fingerprint sensor makes unlocking the phone a breeze and Google Mobile Services support means you can access Google Play Store.
Next up is the Honor 9X. We already covered the similarities with the Honor 9X Lite above, which means this handset also enjoys Google Mobile Services. The differences are, it now comes with a bigger memory option 6GB on top of the 4GB RAM memory and two storage options, 64GB and 128GB. Although, a look on the Honor’s website only shows the 4GB RAM and 128GB ROM option.
The Honor 9X has a triple main shooter; 48MP sensor with wide-angle lens, 8MP sensor with ultra-wide angle lens and 2MP depth sensor. The main camera also supports AI video stabilisation, but nowhere near the pro-level offered by the gyro-EIS on the Honor 9X Pro. As for the 16MP wide selfie camera, this is housed in the mechanical tracks allowing the camera to pop-up under a second when needed.
This allows a slightly bigger full view display to be used up front. The 6.59-inch Full HD 1080 x 2340 pixel display is devoid of a pinhole, pill cut-out or notch for a full uninterrupted view. This same display is also featured on the Honor 9X Pro. Given that the Honor 9X shares the same chip as the Honor 9X lite, the bigger 4000mAh battery will give it some extra playtime and Type-C USB port makes it easier to top up with a reversible connector.
The Honor 9X also uses a conventional rear mounted fingerprint scanner and not side mounted like the 9X Pro. A slight disadvantage with this handset is that there are only two card slots for a nano-SIM and nano-SIM or microSD card (512MB max). Finally, size wise, the handset is slightly bigger than Honor 9X Lite at 163.5 x 77.3 x 8.8 mm (6.44 x 3.04 x 0.35 in) and weigh a little more at 196.8 grams with glass on both front and back sandwiching a metal frame.
Honor 9X Pro
The fastest of the three phones, Honor maxes out its memory (6GB or 8GB), storage (128GB or 256GB) and uses the stronger 7nm Kirin 810 Octa-core processor, but there is a compromise. The Honor 9X Pro does not support Google Play Store. This can be a non-starter for some, but if you can live with that, the main camera comes with gyro-EIS for more stable video capture and it has a side mounted fingerprint sensor on the power button. Apart from that, it shares the other features with Honor 9X.
We have not talked about colour options. While Midnight black is common across all three models, the second colour option is exclusive to each handset. The Honor 9X Lite is also available in Emerald Green while the Honor 9X is available in Sapphire Blue. Lastly, the Honor 9X Pro is available in Phantom Purple, see image above.
Table of Comparison between Honor 9X vs Honor 9X Lite
|Honor 9X||Honor 9X Lite|
|Launch Date||2019, October 28||2020, April 17|
|Display Type||LTPS IPS LCD||IPS LCD|
|Display Size||6.59 inches, 106.6 cm2 (~84.3% screen-to-body ratio)||6.5 inches, 103.2 cm2 (~84.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~391 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~397 ppi density)|
|Chip||Kirin 710F (12nm) Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)||Kirin 710F Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|GPU||Mali-G51 MP4||Mali-G51 MP4|
|Memory||4GB or 6GB||4GB|
|Storage||64GB or 128GB||128GB|
|Main Camera||48MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth with LED flash and AI video stabilisation||48MP wide, 2MP depth with LED flash|
|Front Camera||Pop-up 16MP wide||8MP wide|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||4.2 A2DP LE||4.2 A2DP LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|Battery||Li-Po 4000 mAh, non-removable 10W charging||Li-Po 3750 mAh, non-removable 10W charging|
|SIM||Hybrid dual SIM (nano-SIM)||Dual SIM (nano-SIM)|
|Dimensions||163.5 x 77.3 x 8.8 mm (6.44 x 3.04 x 0.35 in)||160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm (6.31 x 3.02 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||196.8 g (6.95 oz)||188 g (6.63 oz)|
|Build||Glass front and back, aluminium frame||Glass front and polycarbonate back|
|Fingerprint||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), EMUI 9.1, Google Play Services||Android 9.0 (Pie), EMUI 9.1, Google Play Services|
|Port||USB Type-C 2.0, 3.5mm jack||microUSB2.0, 3.5mm jack|
|Colours||Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue||Emerald Green, Midnight Black|