The Honor 9X is a rather good mid-ranger with balanced features for its asking price of €300. It has a large and notch-free screen, consistent performance, and capable enough camera. The excellent battery life is a nice bonus, too.
But we are not sure that rebranding an old model and upgrading its camera is the way forward for Huawei and Honor. Sure, it might work for a couple of months more, but it can't go forever. The workaround Honor has used to get Google certification for the Honor 9X may backfire. Imagine Google or any of the national certification authorities decide to sanction this move in some way; then the repercussions might affect not only the 9X owners but also everyone who's got the Huawei P Smart Z.
We believe the US debacle will come to an end sooner rather than later. And we really hope Honor 9X is not hurt by the US ban. The Honor 8X sold over 15 million units worldwide, and it deserves a worthy successor. One like the Honor 9X, but playing by the rules, no matter how fair they are.
The Honor 9X arrives in a saturated price segment, and it won't be easy to battle some popular devices.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T costs the same as the Honor 9X, and yet it offers a better OLED screen, a faster chipset, and much better camera quality and experience with a native zoom camera lens on the third snapper.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro is another excellent deal by Xiaomi, and it beats the Honor 9X in everything - comes with an HDR screen, a faster chipset, a far better camera, a larger battery, and oh, it's a bit cheaper. The only thing the 9X can offer over the Note 8 Pro is the notchless design.
The Realme X2 may have a notch, but it offers so much more - there is an OLED screen at the front, a blazing-fast Snapdragon 730G chip for gaming, a quad-camera with a 64MP primary on the back, and faster battery charging - all of these goodies on the same price as the Honor 9X.
The Huawei P30 Lite is already cheaper, and it is the same device but with a smaller 6.15" screen with a notch for the selfie snapper.
The Honor 9X does offer enough upgrades over the 8X, which makes it a good sequel. But the fishy tactics that brought it on the market aren't something anybody should be taking lightly.
So, the 9X is a decent smartphone but not the best you can buy for its asking price. And unless it's discounted, we won't recommend it over the phones we mentioned above. But even then - until it gets an all-clear from Google in some way - we'd still have our doubts about its future.