Honor 90 review

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Honor 90 aims to capture your attention with its impressive screen, rapid battery charging, and an attention-commanding 200-megapixel camera.

Priced at £500, the Honor 90 finds itself within the same price bracket as the Google Pixel 7a and the Samsung Galaxy A54. Upon initial interaction, the device exudes a sense of luxury with its quad-curved display and elegantly textured back panel, available in diamond silver, emerald green, peacock blue, or midnight black.

Honor 90
Honor 90

Honor 90 Specifications

Processor:8-core (2.5GHz/2.36GHz/1.8GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 7Gen 1 SoC
Graphics:Adreno 644
Screen:6.7in 120Hz AMOLED, 1,200 x 2,664 resolution
Rear Cameras:Triple 200MP/12MP/2MP
Front Camera:50MP
Connectivity:Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC
Port:USB-C 2 connector
Operating System:Android 13 with MagicOS 7.1
Dimensions:74 x 7.8 x 162mm (WDH)
Warranty:2 years

The screen size exceeds expectations for its cost. The Honor 90 boasts a substantial 6.7-inch display, notably larger than the Galaxy A54’s 6.4-inch and significantly bigger than the Pixel 7a’s modest 6.1-inch screen. Beyond size, the Honor 90’s display offers a remarkable 120Hz refresh rate and an impressive maximum brightness of 1,600cd/m2 for HDR content. While its native resolution of 1,200 x 2,664 pixels outperforms the Full HD screens on the Galaxy A54 and Pixel 7a, it falls slightly short of the razor-sharp clarity found in flagship phones’ quad-HD displays.

Honor 90

Under the hood, Honor has opted for the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition to power the device. This choice allowed the Honor 90 to outperform the Samsung Galaxy A54 in nearly all our benchmarks, scoring 3,254 in Geekbench 6’s multicore test compared to the A54’s 2,731. It narrowly trailed the Tensor G2-equipped Google Pixel 7a, which scored 3,367.

The device draws power from a 5,000mAh battery, surpassing the 4,385mAh unit in the Pixel 7a. When playing videos at 50% brightness, the Honor 90’s battery drained at a nearly identical rate to Google’s phone. Notably, the Honor 90’s screen is both larger and significantly brighter at the halfway setting. Recharging is facilitated by the included 66W wired charger, capable of reaching 50% charge in approximately 15 minutes or achieving a full charge in just 45 minutes. However, it’s worth noting that wireless charging is not supported.

Regarding the camera hardware, I find the Honor 90’s aspect that garners mixed feelings. The standout feature is undoubtedly the 200MP primary camera, which defaults to capturing images at a downscaled 12.5MP resolution. Nonetheless, you have the option to disable this and capture images at the full native resolution. Additional camera components include a 12MP ultrawide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and an unusually high-resolution 50MP front-facing camera.

Honor 90 Lite Review: Getting the basics right

The test shots from both the main and ultrawide cameras yielded vibrant colors and a strong presence. However, these images appeared oversaturated when compared to the more natural-looking shots captured by the Pixel 7a. Portrait mode on the Honor 90 produced softer outcomes than the Pixel, featuring a shallower depth of field and more pronounced background blurring.

The selfie camera also utilizes downsampling to generate 12MP images. In contrast to the rear cameras, I noticed that these images exhibited a slightly cooler tone. Once again, the Pixel 7a excelled in portrait photography, achieving clearer and more precise separation between the subject and the background. It’s important to be fair, though; the Pixel stands as one of the leading camera phones, and the Honor 90 should be acknowledged for being part of such a conversation.

Honor’s MagicOS 7.1 system software, built upon Android 13, incorporates familiar custom features, including spacious folders, the ability to temporarily summon widgets through app swiping, and seamless collaboration with Honor’s tablets and laptops. The device offers ample storage and downloading capacity, with even the lowest-priced version of the Honor 90 (£450) providing 256GB of storage, which is twice as generous as its competitors. However, it’s worth noting that Honor guarantees only two years of full OS updates and three years of security updates, which falls short of the three-year commitment from Google and the four-year commitment from Samsung for operating system updates.

If photography holds significant importance for you, it is advisable to opt for the Google Pixel 7a due to its notably superior results in this aspect. If not, considering the Honor 90 is certainly worthwhile. It presents decent performance, a spacious and bright display, and ample storage capacity for a very reasonable cost. Furthermore, if you’re willing to exercise some patience, the cost could be considerably lower than £500, as Honor often reduces its phone prices significantly during flash sales.

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