Honor 9X Pro vs Honor 20 Pro. Who is who?

Hello! Is the new Honor 9X Pro really so good that it can compete with the flagship Honor 20 Pro? Let’s find out. 

Appearance 

Honor 9X Pro is trying to follow the modern fashion trend – to make the screen cover the entire front of the screen. And it came out pretty well! The frames are small, and the front camera is placed in a separate retractable unit. So there are no notches in the 6.59-inch big screen. There is a narrow chin at the bottom of the phone. 

The speaker is located above the screen. In addition to a retractable camera, there is also a microphone and a combination tray. There, you can install either two SIM cards, or one SIM card and an SD card. At the bottom there is a USB Type-C port, a speaker, a microphone, and a mini-jack for headphones. 

On the right side is the volume rocker, the power button, and a fingerprint scanner built into the button. Many users like this sensor position. The finger naturally rests on the button, and does not fumble on the rear panel. But here is where the fun begins. I just described the Chinese version of the smartphone, the global version’s release is delayed. There were persistent rumors that the finger scanner in the European release will move to the backside of the phone. Why? Unclear. Let’s not guess and just wait for the global version. 

What will be on the backside is a triple-camera unit mounted vertically in the corner. Underneath that is a flash. The panel itself is made of purple glass and, traditionally for Honor, shimmers at different angles with all the colors of the rainbow forming a stylized letter “X”. It looks impressive. For users who do not like flashy colors, there is a strictly black version of the phone. 

The Honor 9X Pro turned out to be quite large and heavy. It weighs 206 grams. The Honor 20 Pro is slightly smaller and lighter. It weighs 182 grams. The front camera isn’t retractable, so there is a cutout. This is a small hole, like the Samsung S10, only it is located in the opposite top corner. The screen bezels are quite narrow, and the chin is much smaller than the 9X Pro. 

The tray for two SIM cards is traditionally located on the left and does not support memory expansion, which is a minus compared to the Honor 9X Pro. The right side is the same as the Chinese version of the 9X Pro – volume buttons and a fingerprint scanner combined with the power button. In addition to the microphone, there is also an infrared port. And this is a plus model 20 Pro. Below there is also a Type-C port, speaker, and a microphone. But the headphone jack, unlike the 9X Pro, is nowhere to be found. 

The main camera unit of the Honor 20 Pro is located in the same place as the 9X Pro. But since there is one more camera and a laser was added, they did not fit in one row. Macro camera and flash are separated in a small parallel row. The camera unit protrudes more than the 9X Pro. Apparently this is due to the presence of optical stabilization in the flagship model. We’ll compare the cameras in more detail later. 

Honor 20 Pro is available in two colors: blue and black. This phone’s colors also aren’t so simple. The glass surface in black casts a lilac hue, and the blue color smoothly turns into green. 

The company’s designers did a good job on these two models, and they look equally interesting. The Honor 20 Pro has a small cutout on the screen, but this phone is devoid of the disadvantages commonly associated with smartphones with a moving camera. The color of the Honor 9X Pro looks brighter, and the Honor 20 Pro seems more stylish. 

Screen 

Both models use IPS matrices with the same resolution of 2340 by 1080 pixels. And the screen size is almost the same – about 6 and a half inches. The diagonal of the Honor 9X Pro is only 6 hundredths of an inch more. 

The displays are of good quality, with a high margin of brightness, large viewing angles and a good oleophobic coating. As stated before, the advantage of the Honor 9X Pro is the lack of a notch. Other than that, the screens are very similar. 

  Honor 9X Pro Honor 20 Pro 
Diagonal 6,59 6,53 
Resolution 2340х1080 2340х1080 
Matrix IPS IPS 

Software 

Both phones come installed with Android 9 with branded shells. Honor 9X Pro has the familiar EMUI 9.1, while the 20 Pro has an operating system specially invented for the Honor brand called Magic 2.1. In fact, this is the same EMUI with cosmetic changes. It’s unclear why it was renamed. The themes and wallpapers are slightly different. There is also an Honor store where you can but Huawei branded devices. 

Developers have done a lot of work recently to improve the software. The interface has become more convenient and enjoyable to work with. It has optimized the speed and energy efficiency of smartphones. It’s worth noting the artificial intelligence system, which allowed the manufacturer to enter a leading position in the camera phone market. I’ll talk about performance and energy efficiency later, but now is the time to move on to cameras. 

Cameras 

There is a significant difference in both in quantity and in quality of cameras between these models. The Honor 9X Pro has a triple rear camera. The main module is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX582 sensor with an f / 1.8 aperture. The second module is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and the third is a 2-megapixel depth sensor. 

The camera allows you to take decent pictures. With good lighting, the photos are just great – clear, contrasting, and with accurate color reproduction. If the lighting is poor, then noise will appear. The wide-angle camera is so-so. Acceptable shots are only taken during the day. Blurring the background in portrait mode works quite well. 

The camera unit of the flagship Honor 20 Pro received an additional 8 megapixel macro sensor. Despite the low aperture, the module shows good results even in low light. Sometimes, however, going into the blue. If there is enough light, then photographs with a triple optical zoom, as well as with a five-fold hybrid zoom, are very good. 

Onto the main module of the Honor 20 Pro; although it has the same 48 megapixels as the 9X Pro, it is much better in terms of characteristics and real quality. It uses the well-proven Sony IMX586 sensor with fast aperture optics f / 1.4 and hardware stabilization. All this, along with hybrid autofocus using a laser sensor, allows you to bring the quality of photography closer to the quality of the older flagship Huawei P30 Pro, only slightly inferior to it. If we compare the Honor 20 Pro camera with the Honor 9X Pro camera, then we can safely say that if in the daytime under ideal lighting the quality difference is not so great, then in poor lighting, it is huge. 

The wide-angle and front-facing cameras of the Honor 20 Pro also produce significantly better results than the Honor 9X Pro. The older model has a 32 megapixel front camera, compared to 16 for the younger. In addition, the Honor 20 Pro has faster aperture optics. But Honor 9X Pro also allows you to take very decent selfies. 

  Honor 9X Pro Honor 20 Pro 
Main Camera 48 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP 1/2″, f/1,8  48 MP + 16 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP 1/2″, f/1,4  
Front Camera 16 MP, f/2,2  32 MP, f/2,0 

Performance 

The next point where the differences between the models is significant is performance. 

The Honor 9X Pro features an 8-core 7-nanometer Kirin 810 processor manufactured by Huawei, and a Mali-G52 video accelerator. The processor is very good. In terms of power it can compete with the popular Snapdragon 730. Though,Snapdragon is still better optimized for games. Nevertheless, the games go fast, the screens transition quickly, and everything runs smoothly and without delays. Meanwhile, the phone doesn’t get very hot. 

The Honor 20 Pro uses the top-end Huawei processor. This is a Kirin 980 with a Mali-G76 video accelerator. Of course, it is inferior to Snapdragon, but noticeably outperforms the Kirin 810 of the Honor 9X Pro. 

Both models come with 8GB of RAM. For the Honor 20 Pro, I can understand this because it’s a flagship. But why doesn’t the mid-budget Honor 9X Pro model have a 6GB option? Moreover, in real use it is difficult to feel the difference between 6 and 8 GB of RAM. Honor 20 Pro has 256 GB of non-expandable memory, and the Honor 9X Pro has 256 or 128 GB with the option of installing an SD card in a hybrid slot. This is a plus of the younger model. 

 Honor 9X Pro Honor 20 Pro 
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 810 HiSilicon Kirin 980 
Video Accelerator Mali-G52 Mali-G76 
RAM 8 GB 8 GB 
Storage Capacity 128, 256 GB 256 GB 
Memory Card Slot MicroSD – 
AnTuTu Test 219807 281463 

Network 

The communication capabilities of the two models are similar and up to modern. Both phones support 4G SIM cards, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0. 

Now, let’s move onto the NFC module. In one of the previous comparisons, I said that there is an NFC module in the Honor 9X Pro. The user “Wolf Gray” objected in the comments that there is no module. Sp, who’s right? The answer is that both Wolf and I are right. There really is no NFC in the Chinese version, and the global one has not yet been released. But, since this model is the successor to the good old Honor 8X, then the same story will most likely repeat with the 9X. In China, the phone doesn’t have an NFC module, but the global version likely will. So in this regard, the 9X and the 20 Pro are equals. Both the Honor 9X Pro and the Honor 20 Pro will have an NFC module. 

An advantage of the Honor 20 Pro is the presence of an infrared port, which the Honor 9X Pro does not have. 

 Honor 9X Pro Honor 20 Pro 
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 
NFC Present (Global) Есть (Global) 

Battery 

Thanks to a 4000 mAh battery and an energy-efficient chipset, both models have good autonomy. In economy mode, one charge is enough for two days. 

Both smartphones do not support wireless charging, but support fast charging. The Honor 20 Pro comes with a more powerful charger, which allows you to restore battery life from zero to 50% in just half an hour. 

 Honor 9X Pro Honor 20 Pro 
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh 4000 mAh 
Talk Time  -  29 h 18 min 
Web Surfing  -  15 h 13 min 
Video Watching  -  15 h 00 min 

Reviews 

To understand how these phones have proven themselves, I looked at the reviews for both the Honor 9X Pro and Honor 20 Pro. I’ll start with the negative. 

Negatives 

Honor 9X Pro 

  1. Heavy and big; inconvenient to use with one hand
  2. Slippery; should be worn in a case 
  3. Slow retractable camera 

Honor 20 Pro 

  1. Marking on the back cover 
  2. Protruding camera 
  3. There is no dust and moisture protection 
  4. No headphone jack 
  5. There are no stereo speakers

Positives 

Honor 9X Pro 

  1. Large, bright screen without a cutout 
  2. Good 48MP camera
  3. Powerful processor and lots of memory; all applications run well 
  4. The capacious battery lasts for a couple of days

Honor 20 Pro 

  1. A good screen with protective glass 
  2. Large, built-in RAM 
  3. Great camera with optical stabilization 
  4. There is an NFC module and an infrared port

To summarize both competing models are worthy of your attention. The Honor 20 Pro smartphone won in two ways, but wasn’t inferior in the rest. It has better cameras and higher performance. If these factors aren’t so important for you and there is a desire to save, then the Honor 9X Pro will also be a good option for purchase. 

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