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Honor 9 vs Honor 9 Lite: What’s the difference?

Honor has just launched a Lite version of its Honor 9 flagship phone, offering slightly trimmed-down specs for a more affordable asking price. Here’s how the Honor 9 and Honor 9 Lite compare, for specs, camera tech and beyond.

Honor 9 vs Honor 9 Lite: Design

Both of these phones sport a funky glass finish, although the Honor 9 is definitely the looker of this pair. Those rounded edges make for a more premium finish, plus a more comfortable grip. The Honor 9 Lite’s simple, flat finish isn’t quite as inspiring. That said, the Honor 9’s glass surfacing does crack all too easily, so you’ll need to treat it with serious respect.

The flagship device is a relatively compact 5.15-inch smartphone, while the Lite version is actually significantly larger at 5.65-inches. That means it’s trickier to use one-handed.

You’ll find a fingerprint sensor on either mobile, for quickly and securely unlocking to your desktops. However, the original Honor 9 positions this scanner beneath the screen, while the Lite model moves it to the back.

You can pick up the standard Honor 9 and the Lite version in blue, black or grey.

Honor 9 vs Honor 9 Lite: Screen and media

The standard Honor 9 rocks a 5.15-inch display with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio. In comparison, the Honor 9 Lite expands this to a 5.65-inch panel, with a ‘stretched’ 18:9 aspect ratio. This matches most other recent mid-range mobiles, including the Honor V10 and Huawei P Smart.

In other words, the Lite model is better suited to watching shows and flicks on the go. You get a more spacious viewing area, as well as reduced letterboxing when enjoying a movie on the likes of Netflix. In both cases you get a Full HD resolution, although the Honor 9 Lite’s screen is 2160×1080 (compared with 1920×1080) to accommodate the altered aspect ratio.

If storage is your bag, the original Honor 9 is best. The Lite model packs in just 32GB of space, while the flagship phone offers a choice of 64GB or 128GB. Still, either phone can be expanded via microSD, up to 256GB.

Honor 9 vs Honor 9 Lite: Performance and features

Android Oreo is now available on the Honor 9 via an over the air update. Likewise, this latest version of Google’s OS comes as standard on the Lite model.

However, the more expensive Honor 9 unsurprisingly packs the better specs. You get a Kirin 960 chipset providing power, backed by a generous 6GB of RAM. In comparison, the Honor 9 Lite serves up the more modest Kirin 659 and 3GB of memory. This still proves fine for everyday use, although the Honor 9 will stand the test of time with a lot less slowdown.

As for battery tech, the Lite model has a 3000mAh cell stuffed inside. That’s not quite as impressive as the Honor 9’s 3200mAh battery however.

Honor 9 vs Honor 9 Lite: Cameras

The Honor 9 mostly impressed us with its dual lens camera; a 12-megapixel RGB lens backed by a 20-megapixel monochrome snapper. Photo quality is solid in most cases, although the Honor 9 does struggle a little in low light. Likewise, despite supporting up to 4K resolution video as well as 60 frames-per-second and slow motion recording, it’s not quite a perfect home movie shooter. Image stabilisation could really use some improvement, as moving and shooting is a no-no.

Around the front is an 8-megapixel snapper, which is perfectly good for those selfie shots.

Check out our Honor 9 camera review for full samples and our in-depth thoughts.

On the back of the new Honor 9 Lite, you’ll also find a dual lens camera. This time however it’s a 13-megapixel primary lens, backed up by a 2-megapixel secondary lens. Likewise, the front-facing camera is also dual lens, with those same specs. You can shoot up to Full HD 1080p video using the front and back snappers. No 60 frames-per-second or 4K support here.

Stay tuned for our Honor 9 Lite camera review, as well as our full phone review.