Huawei Honor 9 or Honor 8 – what the difference? Comparison

Chinese manufacturer Huawei updates its smartphone series each year: Honor, P, Mate, Y. Mate and P – flagship series, Honor refers to the average price range. The last phones in these lines – Honor 8 and 9. Let’s try to figure out what is the difference between them, and what improvements got the 9th model.

Huawei Honor 8 or honor 9 - whats better


In the table we indicate the main characteristics of phones – it’s easier to see the difference between them. Both models have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of memory.

Honor 8 Honor 9
Price $350 $490
Display 5.2 inches, resolution: 1920 × 1080 (424 dpi) 5.1 inches, 1920 × 1080
CPU HiSilicon Kirin 950 HiSilicon Kirin 960
GPU 4 Gb 4 Gb
RAM Mali-T880 MP4 Mali-G71 MP8
Main camera sensor 2 modules of 12 Mp, f/2.2, FullHD recording at 60 fps 2 modules: 12 and 20 Mp, f / 2.2, shooting 4K-video at 30 FPS.
Battery 3000 mAh 3200 mAh
Features Protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3 Protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 5

The differences in displays are minimal – both phones with IPS screens with almost equal diagonals and resolutions, so we will not pay attention to them. An important difference is the CPU and cameras.

Processors comparison: Kirin 950 vs Kirin 960

Both chips were designed for flagships. Kirin 950 was created at the end of 2015 – then it was developed for the Huawei Mate 8. Honor 8 also got it and became one of the most successful models in line. The processor equipped with 8 cores made by Mali and ARM-graphics:

  • 4 weak cores Cortex-A53 for work in the mode of energy conservation.
  • 4 powerful Cortex-A72 units – involved when high performance is required.

The Mali-T880 graphics chip with 4 video processors will play 4K content, but at 60 FPS you can record only FullHD. At the time, such a result can be considered as high.

The performance of Huawei Honor 8 in the Antutu benchmark is almost 88,000 points.

huawei honor 8 antutu result

Taking into account the result, it can be stated that the Kirin 950 is the competitor of the Snapdragon 820 CPU, which is used in most TOP Mobile smartphones of 2016-2017. However, it does not compete with Kirin 960. On the beginning of 2018, it cannot be called a new one, since Kirin 970 was created, and on the way – the 980-th model.

Chip Hisilicon Kirin 960 is presented in the composition of Huawei Mate 9 in 2016. Later this successful solution was implemented in the Honor 9, and, very successfully. Here, the classical ARMv8-A architecture and 8 cores are used:

  • 4xCortex-A53.
  • 4xCortex-A73 Artemis frequency of 8 GHz.

Instead of the Mali-T880 graphics chip, the Kirin 960 uses an 8-core Mali-G71 graphics processor. In comparison with the Mali-T880 it is 40% more powerful and 20% more energy efficient. So there cannot be two opinions – Huawei Honor 9 is more powerful than its predecessor Honor 8, and the results of testing in the Antutu benchmark proves it.

Honor 9 picks up 130000 points, which is much more than Honor 8 based on the Kirin 950 processor.

antutu result huawei honor 9

Comparison of cameras and photo sample

Two-module cameras are used it these phones. The Honor 8 got a 12 megapixel Sony IMX286 sensor. In Huawei cameras with 2 modules are used in such a way: one of them shoots in black and white and collects information about lighting, the other – about color. Then special software combines the results – in such a way high-quality picture with exact colors is created.

Honor 8 received lenses with equal focal length – 27 mm and aperture f/2.2. There are two types of focusing and LED flash. The characteristics are standard, but the photos are quite good.

Sample photos on Honor 8

Photos at the click open in full resolution.

 photo made on Honor 8

photo sample camera shot Honor 8

shots on huawei Honor 8

There are 3 results: in good light, with low light, night landscape. When switching from the first image to the last one, the quality deteriorates noticeably, the noises are became visible on the photo. In general, with daylight, the camera copes well with the transfer of colors, even when shooting at night it shows good results. The only weak point is the detailing of small objects in the night scenery, but the units of the flagships can boast with high results in this domain.

As for Honor 9, there are no obvious improvements in the camera. Thanks to the new video processor, the phone “learned” to record in 4K-resolution. There is also a disadvantage in view of the price and flagship habits of the smartphone – it is optics with f / 2.2 diaphragm and the absence of optical stabilization. The fans also expected to see lenses developed by Leica specialists (as it was with P9, P10, Mate 10), but there is no mention of Leica about Honor 9, unfortunately.

Photo-samples on Honor 9

Images are opened in full resolution when clicked.

 Honor 9 camera test photo sample on camera of Huawei Honor 9 noises on the photo on camera Huawei Honor 9

In low light (especially in the dark) Honor 9 makes a lot of noise. In the light, shots are more or less normal, but questions remain. In general, Honor 9 demonstrates a wide dynamic range and accurate color reproduction, including white color, strongly losing ground when shooting in the dark. Honor 8 is also about. Differences in the quality of the frames made on these phones are not visible, despite the fact that the more recent model is equipped with one of the modules with a resolution of 20 megapixels.


You do not need to be a genius to understand: Honor 9 with hardware with less energy consumption and more battery capacity will last longer without necessarily recharging. In the phone mode, the device lives for about 27-28 hours: calls, several hours of LTE operation, active wi-fi, glow of the screen for 3 hours.

Honor 8 with the same use can stretch for 1.5 days, maximum – two days without recharging, but you will have to save battery power. So, in terms of autonomy, Honor 9 is better.

Disadvantages of phones

We conclude this comparison with clippings from customer reviews – they always mention the main drawbacks of smartphones.


Honor 8

Honor 9

Slippery casing

Weak battery.

Scratches on the screen appear, despite the glass Gorilla Glass.

The prints on the case are visible.

When charging and in games it is noticeably warming up.

Headphone jack on the bottom.

Sometimes auto screen rotation hangs.

The Chinese version does not support the 4G-frequencies used in Europe and USA. When buying, be sure to check the phone version.

There is heating in the upper part under loads.

A slippery body is a property of glass. If the phone falls, it is likely that the glass will break.

The proximity sensor does not work correctly.

Glass collects scratches.

The choice is yours. Our opinion: taking into account the difference in price it is better to buy a new Honor 9, as its functionality is much broader.

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