Design & Build8.0
The design is probably the only aspect where Honor 9 Lite manages to stand out, as far as competition is concerned. The design is impressive! Thanks to the design, I would have honestly guessed the price wrong had I not been bothered about how much it’ll cost me at the end of the day. That’s worthy of my praise. So, I was pretty impressed by the way it looked in my hands out of the box. Honor seems to have got this one right.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that Honor has also stamped 2.5D curved glass on the back. So, there’s a plastic frame that ends up sandwiched between the layer of two glasses, offering premium looks. But it also ends up making the surface a lot more reflective, which is OK. But another glass at the back means more chances of smudges and fingerprints. That was a problem. I ended up frequently cleaning the back just to keep smudges and fingerprints off the rear panel.
Network antenna bands run through the frames. However, the frame unnaturally dissolves into the rear panel, resulting in sharp edges. That was my only complaint as far as ergonomics are concerned. So, in spite of rounded corners that aren’t sharp enough, frames feel a bit sharp around the edges when it comes to holding the handset in palms.
Port and button placement aren’t much to talk about. Just the usual ones: volume controller and power button on the right and SIM tray on the left. The bottom houses a 3.5mm audio jack in addition to the primary microphone, microUSB 2.0 port and a speaker grill. There’s nothing much to complain here. However, it took some time for me to settle with the button placement since previously using the Google Pixel 2. A button placement over there was exactly the opposite.
Since Honor 9 Lite is made up of plastic, the durability seems doubtful. Given the fact that there’s no Gorilla Glass protection on both front as well as the rear, it may not survive accidental drops. Additionally, the plastic is too glossy and slippery. So, I’d recommend you to handset this phone with extra care. It weighs only 149g and measures 7.6mm.
Overall, I’m highly impressed with Honor 9 Lite’s design. However, there some minor tidbits here and there. What I liked the most was the implementation of glass and sandwiched plastic. But since there’s a rear glass, it’s pretty glossy to handle and easily attracts fingerprints and smudges. It’s only slim and lightweight. So, portability shouldn’t be much of a problem here.