HONOR X9b 5G REVIEW: Durable Display, Long-lasting Battery, Good Performance
HONOR X9b 5G Review Summary
4.7 stars out of 5
- Durable screen with curved sides
- Sharp and bright display
- Capable 108MP main camera
- Smooth performance
- Fast 5G connectivity
- Long-lasting battery
- Low-quality ultra-wide camera
- No stereo loudspeakers
The HONOR X9b 5G is a viral hit in the Philippines with its durability proven in several tests – dropping, smashing, and running over the device!
However, it’s important to take a holistic approach and check the other aspects of this smartphone before making the purchase. That’s what we tried to do in this review with an examination of its design, display, performance, cameras, battery, software, and connectivity.
What’s in the HONOR X9b 5G box?
The HONOR X9b 5G comes in a white box showing the Sunrise Orange version for all color variants. You might want to check the actual color of the device printed at the bottom of the box.
Inside the box is the smartphone, a FREE transparent phone case, quick start guide, 35W fast charger, and USB type-C cable.
Many stores offer FREEBIES including TWS earphones and a gift box.
Design and Durability
Durability is one of the key features of the HONOR X9b 5G. As many demonstrations on social media show, it can survive accidental drops whether screen first or at an angle.
I also tested this claim by dropping the phone from about chest height to a hard tiled floor, twice. See TikTok video here. There were no scratches nor bumps on the display even around the curved edges.
However, you shouldn’t do this to your own unit. Its display and outer shell may be durable enough to survive but the internal electronic components might be affected.
In terms of design, the back of the HONOR X9b 5G has a circular camera arrangement with engraved metal ring. It’s a striking design reminiscent of an expensive wristwatch.
There are three color variants of the device – Midnight Black, Emerald Green, and Sunrise Orange. The last one comes with Vegan Leather back and seems to be the best-selling color.
The phone feels large but the curved sides make it comfortable to hold. It’s sturdy and has a bit of heft ensuring that it’s durable and well-built. It also has ingress protection rated at IP53 which means dust and water spray resistant but not total water resistance.
Display and Sound Quality
The HONOR X9b 5G has a large display measuring 6.78 inches with 1.5K resolution, 1,200 nits of peak brightness, and curved sides.
It’s sharp, vibrant, and bright even outdoors under the noontime sun. I enjoyed watching some K-Drama episodes on Netflix and simply browsing Facebook on the go.
It also supports up to 120Hz of screen refresh rate making animations look and feel extra smooth. There are also eye-care features that make the screen less straining when used in the dark.
However, it doesn’t support HDR playback nor Dolby Vision. The sound quality of its loudspeaker is decent and can get loud but it’s only a single bottom-firing speaker, not a stereo pair.
Camera Quality (Sample Pictures)
The HONOR X9b 5G is equipped with triple rear cameras – a 108MP main camera, 5MP ultra-wide camera, and 2MP macro camera.
Its main camera can capture good-looking pictures in daytime and low-light scenes. The 3x zoom produces usable pictures albeit less detailed. Meanwhile, Portrait mode results in pleasing pictures of people although edge separation can be iffy.
If you find the colors a bit muted, try turning on the AI button at the top of the camera app. It automatically enhances the pictures based on its perceived scene type.
There’s a trend of using .5x in taking pictures among Gen-Zs but that’s not a great option for the HONOR X9b 5G. Its 5MP ultra-wide camera is considerably less sharp and less bright than the main camera.
On the other hand, the 16MP selfie camera captures sharp and bright selfies in different scenarios. It also has a tendency to render muted colors but using Portrait mode makes the colors livelier.
It’s also capable of up to 4K video recording using the 108MP main camera which looks good. It would have been better if there was some form of video stabilization though.
Performance and UI
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor powers the HONOR X9b 5G with 12GB of RAM. It also runs on Android 13 OS with the Magic UI software.
Its performance in basic tasks is smooth – scrolling across social media, switching between different apps, and browsing websites. I’ve used the device for several weeks and noticed no slow down yet.
It has several pre-installed apps like Facebook, Netflix, WPS Office, and the entire Google suite. Most of these are useful but TikTok, Booking.com, and Township are also present and need to be uninstalled.
In terms of gaming performance, the HONOR X9b 5G can run Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile at high graphics quality with minor frame drops during team fights only.
Hard-core gamers who want the best performance might be left wanting more though.
Connectivity and Security
The HONOR X9b 5G is a dual-SIM smartphone with 5G connectivity. During testing, I often use its hotspot function because it has fast 5G internet speeds and reliable 4G fallback when traveling.
If you’ve availed of the promo where the HONOR Choice X5 TWS earbuds are bundled for free with the device, then you’re all set for music listening. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide whether a USB type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adaptor is necessary.
For security, the device has an under-display fingerprint scanner which works well. It’s placed a bit too low on the screen though.
Battery Life and Charging Time
HONOR says the massive 5,800mAh battery of the HONOR X9b 5G can last up to 3 days. However, that’s with minimal use and in my experience, the device can last up to 2 days of my normal use.
Of course, playing games continuously or shooting a lot of videos can still drain the battery in about 7 hours.
Thankfully, recharging the phone only takes 1 hour and 35 minutes using the bundled 35W fast charger.
In conclusion, the HONOR X9b 5G is a durable smartphone with good features including a bright display, capable main camera, smooth performance, fast mobile internet connectivity, and long-lasting battery.
However, it doesn’t have stereo loudspeakers and the ultra-wide camera has low quality.
With an official price of ₱16,999 in the Philippines, I highly recommend the HONOR 9b 5G. Make sure you get the Sunrise Orange color variant for the full experience.
HONOR X9b 5G Review Summary
The HONOR X9b 5G smartphone has impressive durability and battery.
- 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED Display (1200 x 2652 Pixels), 431 ppi
- Android 13 Operating System
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 Chipset
- 12GB of RAM
- 108 Megapixel Rear Camera with LED Flash
- 16 Megapixel Front Camera
- Dual SIM
- 256GB Internal Storage
- 5G, 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+, 2G EDGE & GPRS Networks
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (dual band)
- Bluetooth 5.1
- USB Type-C
- USB Type-C
- Fingerprint Sensor
- 5800mAh Battery
- 35W Fast Charging
- ₱16,999.00 Official Price in the Philippines