The Honor 90 is a mid-range smartphone vying for a spot in the competitive sub-600 euro market segment. Honor, gaining momentum since 2021, aims to leverage the exit of Huawei and Oppo from the French market to establish itself as a significant player. Following the success of the high-end Magic 5 Pro, Honor returns with the Honor 90, which we had the opportunity to test during the summer.
Priced between 500 and 600 euros, depending on the retailer, the Honor 90 competes with devices like the Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, and Xiaomi 12T Pro. How does Honor’s mid-range smartphone differentiate itself from its competitors? Let’s delve into this review to find out.
Honor 90 Price and Release Date The Honor 90 is available on the manufacturer’s website at the recommended price of €599.90 but can be found at around €500 from various online retailers. It’s offered in a single configuration with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, and it comes in three colors: black, green, and silver, with the silver variant exclusively available on the Honor website.
Design The Honor 90 follows the design language of its predecessor, the Honor 70, with curved edges and an attention-grabbing camera module. The camera modules are integrated into glass circles on the back, which means they come in direct contact with surfaces when the phone is placed down, potentially leading to micro-scratches. The camera module’s size also makes the phone wobbly when not held.
Despite these considerations, the overall design remains sleek and ergonomic. The curved edges and rounded corners make it comfortable to hold, and it weighs in at 182 grams, just 5 grams more than the Honor 70.
With nearly 91% of the front surface occupied by the display, the Honor 90 provides an immersive experience. It features a curved screen that adds to this immersive feel.
On the bottom edge, you’ll find a speaker grille, microphone, dual nano-SIM tray, and a USB-C connector. The physical buttons are on the right side, while the top edge houses another microphone.
However, the Honor 90 lacks a headphone jack, and the under-display fingerprint reader is placed a bit low, leading to occasional responsiveness issues. It also doesn’t offer Gorilla Glass protection or water resistance, unlike the Samsung Galaxy A54.
Display The Honor 90 boasts a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1200 x 2664 pixels and a 120 Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is variable, switching between 60 Hz, 90 Hz, and 120 Hz depending on the content displayed. Users can lock it in their preferred mode.
The display offers vibrant colors, with a Delta E of 4 in the default “Vivid” color mode, making it the second-best in this comparison, behind the Google Pixel 7. Switching to the “Normal” color mode further improves color accuracy, lowering the Delta E to 3.07, rendering color shifts imperceptible to the naked eye.
The Honor 90’s display is also impressive in terms of brightness, measuring 1020 cd/m² on average. This ranks it second among its competitors under 600 euros, providing excellent outdoor visibility.
Performance Honor has equipped the Honor 90 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip, specifically the “Accelerated Edition,” coupled with 12 GB of RAM (with an additional 7 GB available through virtual RAM). This chipset outperforms the Snapdragon 778G+ found in the Honor 70 and even surpasses the Exynos 1380 in the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. However, it falls short of the Google Tensor G2 and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
In terms of graphics performance, the Honor 90 performs exceptionally well. It maintains 99.6% of its performance even under heavy loads, thanks to efficient heat dissipation. The device remains cool, with a thermal amplitude (difference between the coolest and hottest points) of only 14.9°C. This translates to a pleasant gaming experience, capable of running 3D titles from the Play Store at an average graphics level of 30 frames per second.
Battery Life and Charging The Honor 90 offers similar battery life to its predecessor, despite a slightly larger battery. It lasts 15 minutes less in video playback but adds an extra hour in mixed usage, totaling about a day and a half in real-world use. Actual battery life will vary based on individual usage patterns.
The device supports 66W wired charging, but Honor no longer includes a charger in the box. Users will need to acquire a charger that offers this charging speed and is compatible with Honor/Huawei technology. However, our test with a 66W charger did not seem compatible, taking 2 hours and 14 minutes to fully charge. A compatible charger should take around an hour, similar to the Honor 70.
Interface The Honor 90 runs on Android 13 with the Magic OS 7.1 interface. Out of the box, the device comes with several pre-installed apps, including third-party ones like Trip.com, WPS Office.