HONOR X9a 5G – The phone that is built to last

The HONOR X9a 5G, HONOR’s newest smartphone, has been making the rounds online for being dropped on the ground, used to smash nuts, and even run over by a car – all while seemingly escaping unscathed. While the phone’s construction appears to be strong, we’re interested to see if the HONOR X9a 5G as a smartphone is as excellent as its durable display.


Design & Features

HONOR deserves tremendous credit for design. With its frosted glass design, aluminum frame, and curved screen edges, the X9a 5G looks and feels ultra-premium. We wouldn’t blame you if you mistakenly believed the X9a 5G was a flagship handset. The curved display on the HONOR X9a is its standout feature. HONOR claims that the X9a 5G’s display is the toughest smartphone screen yet, with highly reinforced glass that can endure over 900 megapascals of pressure.

I appreciated not having to worry about scratching the X9a 5G when I placed it on a table. The X9a 5G was the first phone I could picture myself using without a case. The Emerald Green variant we have here has a wonderful gradient and frosted glass look that certainly contributes to the luxury vibe of the X9a 5G. Aside from Emerald Green, the X9a 5G also comes in Titanium Silver and Midnight Black. 

It has an under-display fingerprint sensor for biometrics and can house two sim slots at the same time and features 5G, LTE, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port.


Display & Audio

The X9a 5G has a 6.67-inch FHD+ curved OLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of 300 Hz. It has a very crisp screen that creates beautiful colors and has decent brightness with good outdoor visibility. While some may object to the curved screen edges of the X9a 5G, we can appreciate HONOR having them, especially given the X9a’s mid-range pricing. We’re also pleased to note that the X9a 5G’s curved screen edges do a fantastic job of rejecting inadvertent touches. 

The X9a 5G’s 120 Hz refresh rate is snappy and smooth, making app navigation and scrolling a really fluid experience. We also enjoy how the X9a 5G’s high refresh rate screen can dynamically flip between 120 and 60 Hz, which is likely a factor in the X9a 5G’s battery performance, which we’ll go into in more depth later.

For audio, the X9a has a single downward-firing speaker at the bottom that provides clean music with good clarity and without distortion. However, the X9a 5G lacks a top-firing earpiece speaker which is a shame especially because the bottom-firing speaker grill can be simply muffled with your finger or palm. It’s likely one of the compromises HONOR made to achieve the X9a 5G’s pricing, so we can’t really fault them for it. Otherwise, viewing movies, YouTube, and TikTok on the HONOR X9a 5G is a joy.


The camera is housed in what HONOR refers to as their Matrix Star Ring camera system, which holds the phone’s triple-camera arrangement. And it’s unquestionably the phone’s most notable feature. The HONOR X9a 5G features a 64 MP primary camera, a 5MP ultra-wide unit, and a 2MP macro shooter. The ultra-wide camera is OK but zooming closer reveals that it lacks detail. 

Night images have a good amount of detail, however some could need a little more clarity. Portrait photos also have strong edge detection.

The X9a can generate respectable to good photos in favorable illumination. Unfortunately, we noticed that the X9a 5G’s camera overexposes and boosts the saturation a little too much for our tastes.  

The same can be said for the X9a’s video quality, which is adequate providing there is enough light. 

The selfie camera is also rather competent, generating nice shots with adequate lighting.

Testing out Night Mode of the HONOR X9a 5G

Photo Mode of the HONOR X9a 5G

Performance & UI

For the UI, The X9a 5G runs HONOR’s Magic UI 6.1, which is based on Android 12. Magic UI’s style is evocative to iOS, with boxy and larger-than-usual icons and a bright color palette. HONOR does include some bloatware on the X9a 5G, such as its HONOR Store, HONOR health app, and Game Center. These programs, on the other hand, are readily uninstallable, which is a bonus. 

Magic UI is quick and snappy, with a wide range of customization choices, including the ability to modify your home screen transitions and several extremely amazing looking Always-On-Displays.

For the performance aspect, the HONOR X9a 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 processor and an Adreno 619 GPU for performance. It is available with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, or 8GB of RAM and either 128 or 256GBs of internal storage. 

Even if the Snapdragon 695 isn’t Qualcomm’s top-tier processor, it’s still a capable performer. For the most part, using the X9a 5G seemed fluid and fast. There were a few hitches here and there, but the 120 Hz display on the X9a 5G really helps.

The X9a performed admirably in terms of gaming. It handled titles like Call of Duty Mobile, Mobile Legends, and Wild Rift with ease.


In terms of battery life, the HONOR X9a 5G is unrivaled. It includes a 5100 mAh battery that can be charged with the accompanying 40-watt fast charger.

I was able to get around 7 hours of screen time on the HONOR X9a 5G in a single charge with a combination of being connected to Wi-Fi and for a significant amount of time, on mobile data, which is pretty good considering I put in several hours of Wild Rift, almost on Spotify most of the time and connected to a pair of TWS Earbuds, some YouTube in there, took photos and videos, and a lot of social media. 

The X9a 5G is an excellent alternative for individuals who want to eliminate battery anxiety and want a device that can last a whole day of intensive activity.



Overall, the HONOR X9a 5G’s long-lasting display, stunning design, and 5100 mAh battery make it an undoubtedly good phone. We consider that the finest feature of the HONOR X9a 5G is its affordability. The HONOR X9a 5G is simply in a class of its own, costing only Php 16,990 for the 8GB and 256GB models.

 While it may not have the finest camera quality or speaker experience, you simply cannot find a better package than the HONOR X9a 5G, especially at this pricing.” – Geoffrey D. ( Techg3 tech reviewer )







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