One of our key predictions for 2018 was the move to a higher gear and performance from the Honor range in India. Not only has this brand from the Huawei stable been building up quietly, since the last quarter of 2017, the results have been amply visible.
So if we had the Honor View 10 in the premium category, with serious flagship level firepower, the Honor 9 Lite, launched last week in India, is a remarkable pitch for the mid-market segment.
Continuing on the parent firm, and Honor brands strong association with dual cameras, the Honor 9 Lite manages to pack in two at both the front and back, making it one of the most competitive quad camera phone out there by quality, reputation and network strength in India.
The phone launch in India, following as it does the China launch in December, is also a clear marker of the focus on India this year.
Moving to the specifics here, both the dual cameras area combination of 13 megapixel primary, and a 2 megapixel secondary camera. The rear camera packs in the usual LED flash and PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus)too. PDAF, in case you wonder, is quite simply an enhancement that allows a camera to focus faster, a handy advantage in a mobile camera anyday.
At the price point of Rs 10,999 and Rs 14,999 the Honor 9 Lite cameras ensure that quad camera phones make a seamless move to a lower price point. Using the same technology or software as the Rs 29,000 priced Honor View 10, the Honor 9 Lite will give you remarkable portrait shots, if you make the effort. The effort? Holding your pose and the camera steady just that fraction longer, to help the cameras do their job, and capture more depth of field and remarkably sharp foreground. Standard pictures taken with these cameras will frequently look better than the ‘enhanced’ versions we were snapping with post click work, as recently as six months back.
With a lighter version of the company’s ‘Emotion UI’ or EMUI 8.0 running this phone, that automatically means that besides the Android 8 or Oreo version, you will also benefit from the EMUI 8.0 features like smart split screen and dynamic fonts. You will miss the AI based features though, as that is available only on the Honor View 10 right now. While the split screen option will help you spot notifications on a split screen, without affecting your primary task, including photography, the dynamic fonts allow the system to change the colors and styling on its own. Somewhat like the stylized options Google Photos throws up every now and then.
Finally, this is a quad phone that takes the quad out of core and outs it into cameras finally for good. It’s a safe bet to predict that when someone refers to a quad phone in the future, she will be referring to four cameras, and not the number of cores in the chipset. The Honor 9 Lite fills a major gap in the mid-range segment, and if close up shots on a tight is your thing, this could be your phone for all of 2018.