Honor Pad 9 Review: The affordable beauty

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Honor Pad 9 Intro

Affordable tablets have come a long way, and the Honor Pad 9 is a prime example of that. This big, 12.1-inch tablet offers a great package even before we take its price into consideration. From the sleek design to the 120Hz display, this slate punches way above its asking price of 299 pounds (around $380).Can the Honor Pad 9 challenge other more popular tablets on the market, such as the Google Pixel Tablet, slates from the Galaxy Tab family, or even the non-Pro iPads? Today, we’re going to find out!

What’s new about the Honor Pad 9

  • 12.1″ LCD with 500 nits of typical brightness and a 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset
  • 13 MP, f/2.0 wide camera on the back
  • Bigger 8,300mAh battery with faster 35W charging
  • Upgraded selfie camera

Table of Contents:

Honor Pad 9 Specs

Midrange with a flair

The Honor Pad 9 boasts a few upgrades compared to its predecessor, but nothing too drastic. The screen uses an LCD panel just like the previous model, albeit with better resolution and brightness. The chipset is also a tad better than the previous model, and the cameras are new as well. You can check out the specs table below for more details.

Honor Pad 9 Design & Colors

Classy!

 

Here’s where the Honor Pad 9 shines. The design of the device is very attractive and sleek, with an aluminum unibody, uniform bezels around the display, and overall a very clean and premium look/. The centrally positioned main camera looks futuristic and premium, and the speaker grills, buttons, and ports are all solid, both in look and feel.Of course, being 12+ inches, the Honor Pad 9 is a pretty hefty beast at 555 grams, and the aluminum chassis doesn’t help much with the weight. The thickness of the tablet is just 6.96 mm, making it thinner than most smartphones out there. The aspect ratio is 16:10, pretty standard for most tablets out there, so nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to size and proportions.

Both the selfie and the main camera are positioned on the longer sides of the tablet, suggesting the device will be used mainly in landscape mode.

In terms of colors, the Honor Pad 9 is available in Space Gray and Cyan Lake, both classy and attractive, but the gray version gives an extra premium look to the tablet.

The retail box of the Honor Pad 9 contains the tablet itself, a fast charger, and a USB-A to USB-C cable. It’s not the most lavish one, but it’s also not the worst case scenario either. At least we have the 35W fast charger, and it will come in handy, as there’s a huge 8,300mAh battery inside this guy//.

Honor Pad 9 Display

The 12.1-inch display uses LCD technology, and while some of you might lament the lack of AMOLED tech onboard, the consequence of slapping a 12-inch AMOLED panel on the Honor Pad 9 would’ve been measured in hundreds of dollars.

The resolution of 1600 x 2560 pixels equals around 250 PPI at this 12.1-inch diagonal, which is below the “Retina” display threshold that Apple set a couple of years ago but still pretty crisp. If we take a look at a bunch of competitors, such as the Galaxy Tab S9 (FE or not) or the regular iPad (2022), we’ll find the same resolution and very similar pixel density.

In terms of brightness, Honor advertises 500 nits of typical brightness, and we were able to measure a slightly bigger number even. There should be an anti-glare coating over the screen, but we found it not that effective.

The 120 Hz display refresh rate is very nice and makes things really smooth, and there’s also some advanced eye protection tech onboard. Honor calls it Circadian Night Display technology, and it basically filters blue light dynamically throughout the day, reaching the warmest setting around 23:00.

Display Measurements:


Overall, the display of the Honor Pad 9 is pretty color accurate, and it also boasts good brightness levels, especially considering its size. One thing to bear in mind is that there’s no fingerprint sensor under the display or anywhere on the sides.

Honor Pad 9 Camera

When it comes to tablets, the camera system has never been a major feature or a deciding factor. Not many people buy a tablet for its main camera to go out with a 500 gram device and start shooting pictures and videos.That being said, an ample main and front camera on a tablet makes a lot of sense in some scenarios. For all kinds of video calls and meetings, the selfie camera is essential, and if you want to scan documents or snap a cooking recipe, a good back camera can help you with that.

The Honor Pad 9 features a 13MP, f/2.0 wide camera on its back, and as you may guess, it won’t challenge any high-end or even midrange smartphone. The front camera is an 8MP sensor with a f/2.2 aperture. We won’t delve too much into the camera capabilities; just check out the samples, and you’ll have a notion of what to expect.

Honor Pad 9 Performance & Benchmarks

When it comes to raw power, the Honor Pad 9 won’t win any synthetic benchmark battles. The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is on duty inside this slate, and as you can see from the table below, it lags behind the big guys. To be fair, this tablet is not meant to be a flagship, but it does many things extremely well, so we decided to pit it against much more expensive models.

Here, the important thing is: What will you do with this tablet? We still think that tablets are somewhat at a disadvantage, not as compact as smartphones and not as powerful and capable as full-fledged laptops, but at the end of the day, it really depends on your use cases.

Browsing the internet on the Honor Pad 9 is great; watching movies is also top-notch; and with the added Bluetooth keyboard, you can do a fair amount of work as well (more on that later).

The Honor Pad 9 is not a pro workhorse, and if you want to use it to replace your laptop, it will probably fall short. But for browsing the net, streaming movies, and casual gaming, it will get the job done.

The RAM and memory configurations start at 8 GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage and go all the way up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB.

Performance Benchmarks:

Honor Pad 9 Accessories

Here’s the time and place to say a few words about the Bluetooth keyboard and cover you can buy separately for the Honor Pad 9. It’s a nice accessory that will set you back around $100, and it doubles as a cover and a stand.The keyboard itself is very comfortable, with nice key travel and good spacing between the keys. You charge it via a USB-C slot, and it will last days on a single charge. There’s a magnetic portion, allowing the tablet to stand at an angle firmly and transforming it into a mini-laptop of sorts.

There are some drawbacks, however. There’s no touchpad on this keyboard, and you will need a separate Bluetooth mouse to be extra productive. Another thing is that you can’t flip the tablet on the keyboard and use it that way. It moves and touches keys, resulting in abhorrent behavior.

All in all, this keyboard case is a nice accessory that can speed up your chats and even help you do some work writing emails or dealing with documents, but it won’t turn the Pad 9 into a laptop.

Honor Pad 9 Software version

The Honor Pad 9 comes with Android 13 out of the box, overlayed with Honor’s proprietary MagicOS 7.2 UI. For the most part, the experience is good, and it resembles a strange mix between iPadOS and Android.

There’s a bunch of AI features that are coming to the tablet in the future, but at the moment, you can use Magic Text to extract text from images, scanned documents, etc.

You can, of course, use multi-window for productivity, and it works similar to what you have on a foldable, say Magic V2. You can open up to three apps, you can use split-view, floating window, or send the active apps in a bar at the corner of the device. You also see the last opened apps in a desktop-like strip at the bottom of the interface.

There are some nice ecosystem-centered options under the Honor Connect feature. You can connect your Honor Magic phone or laptop to the Pad 9 and switch seemlessly between devices, get notifications, and continue where you left off from one device to another. You know, Apple-style.

Honor Pad 9 Battery

Solid

There’s a hefty 8,300 mAh battery inside the Honor Pad 9, and despite the 12.1-inch bright LCD screen, the tablet manages to do quite well in our battery test. Almost 10 hours of browsing at 120 Hz, 8 hours of gaming, and 6 hours of YouTube streaming are on par with other high-end tablets, so you don’t have to worry about the battery dying on you after just a couple of hours.
PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

In day-to-day scenarios, the Honor Pad 9 is more than capable of doing the 24-hour run. I watched a whole season of Tokyo Vice without charging the battery and played extensively Hearthstone on the weekend without killing the battery.

Honor Pad 9 Charging Speeds

Charging is a bit slow, though, even with the provided 35W fast charger. This 8,300 mAh cell takes a lot of time and energy to fill to its maximum. Wireless charging is not onboard, but it’s for the better, as it’d take ages to charge this thing wirelessly.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

Honor Pad 9 Audio Quality and Haptics

When it comes to audio quality and haptics, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Honor Pad 9 has eight speakers, and they sound pretty good. The tablet supports HiRes audio, too. The bad news is that there’s no 3.5 mm audio jack, which is a waste, given that lack of space can’t be used as an excuse in this case.

But even without the ability to jack in your favorite headphones and enjoy the latest episode of Shogun, the Pad 9 delivers good audio quality and volume. The vibration motors inside are quite good as well—not something that will rock your world (pun intended), but nice, tight feedback nonetheless.

Honor Pad 9 Competitors

There aren’t many tablets at this price point to challenge the huge 12.1-inch 120Hz display of the Honor Pad 9. Granted, you can turn your gaze toward the Galaxy Tab S9 FE or the Apple iPad 10th generation, or even a Pixel Tablet, but they are more expensive, and still hover around the 11-inch size. At this price point and screen size, the Honor Pad 9 is a very good option, we must say.

Honor Pad 9 Summary and Final Verdict

The Honor Pad 9 is a solid tablet at a very good price. The major strengths of this slate are the 12.1-inch 120Hz display, which is bright and on par with more expensive models. Then we have the design: the all aluminum frame and back look gorgeous and project the impression of a much more expensive device. The speakers are also pretty nice, and you have the option to get a 12GB or 512GB model for not that much extra.

On the flip side, the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is not the most powerful chipset out there. If you plan to swap your laptop and use the Honor Pad 9 for heavy and intensive productivity tasks, you might feel the slate struggle a bit. Then there’s the charging, which is rather slow, and finally, no goodies such as a stylus or a cover/Bluetooth keyboard are included.

But overall, the Honor Pad 9 is an impressive device for the price and could be the perfect home entertainment tablet for many people.


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