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HONOR X9a 5G Review: Ultra-tough AMOLED Curved Display

HONOR X9a 5G

The newest member of HONOR's X Series family, the HONOR X9a 5G, features a sleek design, an Ultra-tough AMOLED Curved Display, a long battery life, and a streamlined user experience, at an affordable price.

HONOR X9a 5G

The new HONOR X9a 5G is the first device that the brand launched with the promise that they will only GO BEYOND this 2023. It's a good option for everyone looking for a reasonably priced smartphone this year with top-notch features and a solid performance in its category.

HONOR X9a 5G Specs

Android 12, MagicUI 6.1
6.67-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Curved display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 394ppi
120Hz refresh rate, 300Hz touch sampling
2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 octa-core processor
Adreno 619 GPU
8GB  RAM + 5GB (HONOR RAM Turbo) 
256GB internal storage, non-expandable
64MP f/1.8 + 5MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro rear cameras, LED flash
16MP f2.45 selfie camera
Under-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
Loudspeaker, Hi-Res Audio, Hi-Res wireless
Dual SIM, Dual standby
4G LTE, 5G
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Bluetooth 5.1
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
NFC
USB Type-C
5,100mAh battery, 40W HONOR SuperCharge
Colors: Emerald Green, Titanium Silver, Midnight Black
175g

HONOR Design
The HONOR X9a 5G boasts a slim and stylish look, measuring only 7.9mm in thickness, 161.6mm in height, and 73.9mm in width. It's also lightweight at only 175g making it comfortable to hold and use.

HONOR X9a 5G

Thanks to its semi-matte finish which makes it resistant to fingerprints, ergonomic design, and 45°Golden Curvature design, that is both visually stunning and practical for keeping the phone securely in the hand.

HONOR X9a 5G

The back of the phone features a symmetrical circular camera layout for what HONOR refers to as the Matrix AI Vision camera. The lens is positioned at all cardinal points. However, the huge circular size which nearly occupies the upper portion seems to detract from an otherwise sleek and clean design.

The right side has the typical power button and volume rocker, both of which have a pleasant tactile feel when pressed and function properly, whereas the left side has a clean design.

HONOR X9a 5G

The type-C port, speaker, and microphone, as well as the SIM slot that allows two 5G nano-SIM but no microSD card slot, can all be found at the bottom.

HONOR X9a 5G

Overall, the HONOR X9a 5G is a stylish-looking smartphone with a slim profile. The camera layout is something distinctive, which makes it stand out from the rest of today's smartphone camera design and gives this phone its unique identity.


AMOLED Curved Display
The HONOR X9a 5G features a 6.67 inch AMOLED Curved display, with 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 800 nits brightness.

HONOR X9a 5G

The screen refresh rate can be set to a maximum of 120Hz and has three different modes,  including Dynamic, which provides a balance between smoothness and battery life with a maximum of 120Hz. 

HONOR X9a 5G

While the High mode keeps the screen smooth at 120Hz but uses more power, and the Standard mode limits the screen refresh to 60Hz, which is utilized by the majority of apps and games. Since not all apps and games can utilize the 120Hz refresh rate, it's best to keep it in Dynamic mode.    

HONOR X9a 5G

The anti-drop curved screen of the HONOR X9a 5G uses 0.65 millimeters of super-reinforced glass with enhanced stress of over 900 megapascals, which allows you to feel greater ease in your day-to-day use of the device.

According to the results of exhaustive laboratory tests, it is able to withstand the majority of life's bumps without suffering any damage, including being dropped.


We tested the durability of the screen by repeatedly dropping the phone from a table and smashing nuts with it; in both cases, the display held up admirably, showing no signs of damage or scratches.

It also sports a 16-megapixel selfie camera placed in the punch-hole and a fingerprint reader found in the lower display quadrant. Oddly, HONOR has pre-applied a screen protector to the display despite its stated durability; It's a small gesture, but one that is nonetheless appreciated.

Performance
The Honor X9a is a 5G-capable smartphone equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 Octacore chipset, and comes with 256GB of non-expandable storage, with 8GB RAM + 5GB of virtual RAM for a total of 13GB RAM. 

HONOR X9a 5G

In the case of MagicUI, the available vRAM (HONOR RAM Turbo) is permanently allocated from the phone's internal storage.

The Snapdragon 695 5G mobile platform is an upgrade over its predecessor, with a Kryo 660 processor, Adreno 619 GPU, and 6nm process. The device's Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ Technology and other performance enhancements make it ideal for any kind of use, from playing games, browsing the web, and using social media, to doing work stuff.

HONOR X9a 5G

Several benchmarking apps show that the Honor X9a is just as fast as other smartphones on the market with a Snapdragon 695 chipset:

HONOR X9


The Honor X9a is really not going to break any records for performance, but it's capable of remaining snappy thanks to its solid midrange chipset and generous amounts of RAM. 

HONOR X9a 5G

The phone has no trouble keeping up with common tasks for everyday use, like opening multiple tabs on the browser, sending and receiving texts, watching movies, listening to streaming music, browsing social media, using the camera, and more. 

Even games like Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact, Moden Combat, and other graphics-intensive titles can be played with ease and smooth gameplay at their default settings. Gaming is more immersive and engaging thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch sampling rate.

Cameras
The Honor X9a sports a capable camera system with its 64-megapixel F/1.8 main sensor with autofocus, a 5-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While at the front has a 16-megapixel camera for taking selfies.

HONOR X9a 5G

The camera supports up to 8x digital zoom and can record 1080p @30fps video, and the primary 64-megapixel camera is used by the super macro camera mode in the camera app. The front-facing camera can record video at 1080p/30 frames per second, although it lacks digital zoom.

Even with good illumination, images captured with the ultra-wide-angle camera are softer and have a somewhat different, more muted color reproduction than those captured with the main 64-megapixel camera. The primary and ultrawide-angle cameras struggle to capture acceptable images in low light, however, a Night mode is available to retain some image detail.

Sample Photos:

HONOR X9a 5G-sanple name

HONOR X9a 5G

HONOR X9a 5G
Wide angle

HONOR X9a 5G

HONOR X9a 5G

HONOR X9a-sample5

Compared to the previous X9 series, the 64-megapixel primary camera sensor has improved details and color reproduction of photos shot in daytime conditions, resulting in an overall improvement in camera performance.

Battery Life and Charging
The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 5100mAh battery, which is now the industry standard for smartphones. With 5G mobile data or WiFi enabled and some gaming in between, the battery could easily last two days of typical use, but it needed to be recharged by the end of the second day.

HONOR X9a 5G

In the PCMark benchmark app battery test, it managed to last an impressive 17 hours and 15 minutes. 

HONOR X9a 5G

Using the 40W SuperCharge charger, which is slower compared to the 66W charger for the HONOR X9, but still managed to charge the battery to 82% in roughly 1 hour and 11 minutes.

PROS
Sleek and stylish design
Good built quality
Insanely tough display
Excellent battery life

CONS
Huge camera array
No water and dust resistance
Camera performance could be improved

Verdict
The durability of the HONOR X9a build is impressive. The AMOLED curved display performs exceptionally well despite taking a beating. In most scenarios, other flagship smartphone displays would not survive similar drop tests, yet the HONOR X9a remains the most durable smartphone available today.

The HONOR X9a is a slim and stylish smartphone, with above-average performance for its category, and a battery life that lasts for two days. It's the ideal choice for people who want to get the most value for their money, particularly if they use their phone daily for work, study, multimedia, social media updates, and productivity. The HONOR X9a excels at all of these tasks, making it at the top of our list as one of the best smartphones in its category that we've tested and used so far in 2023.

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