Honor is a company which is known for its budget and mid-range devices, as their smartphones bring good performance with even better cameras at very affordable prices. I always recommend Honor phones to anyone who keep the camera performance of a smartphone above everything else. That’s why, I was so happy to test out the latest Honor budget smartphone; the Honor 9N (Starting at ₹11,999). Seeing Honor’s past, I especially wanted to test out the Honor 9N’s cameras and well, that’s what we will be doing here. In this article we will be testing Honor 9N’s cameras in different conditions to see if it keeps Honor’s tradition of bringing good cameras at affordable prices alive or not:
Honor 9N Camera Review: Specifications
Before we look at the real-life performance of the Honor 9N’s cameras, let us first check out what the phone is bringing on paper. Well, the Honor 9N packs a dual-lens 13 MP + 2 MP camera sensor at the back with a 16 MP camera at the front. Sadly, there is no electronic or optical image stabilization on either of the cameras, but it does support HDR. Now that you know what kind of camera hardware the smartphone is packing, let us check out how the cameras perform in real-life testing:
Primary (Rear) Camera Performance
Performance in Good Lighting Conditions
In good lighting conditions, the phone was able to capture some good pictures. I mean the results were nothing exceptional, however, the photos turned out to be good with ample details, low noise, and good dynamic range. There is a problem that you encounter while using the cameras, and that is keeping the subject in focus, as the phone doesn’t seem to support PDAF. That said, if you have got steady hands, you can take some great pictures out of these cameras.
Performance in Low Lighting Conditions
In low light conditions, as expected the photo quality deteriorated a lot. I mean, if you have got steady hands and you can know how to capture good photographs with a smartphone, you might be able to take good pictures. But, most of the users will find it difficult to capture good photos in low-light conditions. I am saying this as the focusing problem that we encountered in bright-light conditions became even worse in low-lighting. Even when you are able to focus properly, there is a lot of noise in the photos. Overall, the low light performance of these cameras are just average and Honor will not be winning any prizes here.
Portrait Mode Performance
When it comes to portrait mode performance, the phone captures good portrait shots, when the lighting conditions are good. The subject is highlighted just enough and the background blur doesn’t feel artificial at all. However, all that changes in low-light conditions with the phone failing to apply bokeh effect when lighting became too bad.
Also, one thing to note here is that, even if the lighting conditions are good, if the subject is standing in front of a brightly lit background, the phone might not be able to get the blurring right. In the picture attached below, you can see that the top-left portion of the hair was completely removed when trying to take a portrait mode photo. That said, other than that, the phone was able to take good portrait shots.
Selfie Camera Performance
While the primary cameras performed relatively well, the selfie camera on Honor 9N just bombed. As you can see in the pictures attached below, the performance of the selfie camera is well below par. The selfie camera takes really soft images with lots of noise and grain. The portrait selfies are outrageously bad and most of the time they don’t even work. If you take a lot of selfies, this is clearly not a phone for you.
Video Recording Performance
After testing the device for a couple of days, I can surely say that video recording is not Honor 9N’s strength. I mean the phone only supports video recording up to 1080p, that too only at 30 FPS. There’s also no EIS or OIS here which means that there is no stabilization to counter your shaky hands. So, if you don’t have the steadiest hands known to mankind, be ready to record some really shaky footage.
Honor 9N Camera Review: Doesn’t Justify Honor’s Past
While I really wanted to love Honor 9N’s camera performance and was looking forward to test the device, at the end of the day, the Honor 9N’s cameras failed to impress me like its predecessors. Honor seems to have cut corners in the cameras department for bringing flagship-level design and build quality at Honor 9N’s affordable price range. That might be okay for some users, however, if you are a smartphone camera enthusiasts, you are going to hate Honor’s strategic decision here.
Buy Honor 9N: Starting at ₹11,999