At a launch event in Berlin, Germany, today, Huawei's Honor brand took the wraps off a phone we've been eyeing since it launched in China a few weeks back — the Honor 9.
Like its predecessor, the Honor 9 is clad in aluminum and glass, only this time with a subtly curved back panel, and cleaner joins between the metal and glass. The phone now boasts 15 layers of glass in its curved back panel, which has a uniquely lustrous finish. The fingerprint sensor has also been relocated to the front, where it's joined on either side by two (swappable) capacitive buttons, similar to OnePlus's recent designs.
The latest Huawei hardware, packed into a gorgeous glass-backed chassis.
There's a 5.15-inch screen diagonal, making the Honor 9 one of the smaller Android flagships available, and the display itself is a 1080p IPS LCD panel with DCI-P3 color space support. Like most high-end Huawei phones, the Honor 9 is powered by an octa-core Kirin 960 chip (four ARM Cortex-A73 cores at 2.4GHz, plus four Cortex-A53s at 1.8GHz), and that's backed up by 4GB or 6GB of RAM depending on where you buy. There's also 64GB of internal storage, plus microSD expansion via the second SIM slot.
And there's a relatively large 3,200mAh battery inside, which can be refilled extra-quick via Huawei's own 9V/2A quick charging standard.
The Honor 9 also packs a familiar dual camera setup around the back, which is essentially the Huawei P10 or Mate 9 camera without OIS or any of the Leica software processing. Instead, Honor has built out its own image processing software, which includes a new low-light mode using pixel binning to capture clearer pics in night shots.
There's also a new focus on audio quality in Honor's latest phone, with new 3D sound system from Huawei, dubbed Huawei Histen. And thanks to a partnership with Monster, the Honor 9's audio will be tuned to emulate the style of the headphone giant.
The Honor 9 will go on sale in the UK and mainland Europe in early July in sapphire blue, midnight black and glacier grey color options. In the UK, it'll cost £379.99 SIM-free and come with 4GB of RAM. In Europe, the price starts at €449.99, and France and Italy will get a slightly upgraded Honor 9 with 6GB of RAM.
In the UK, Three is the exclusive carrier partner for the phone, with on-contract deals expected to be announced soon ahead of an early July launch.