You have to be careful not to confuse them, even though they belong to two different brands. The new Honor 50 and Huawei nova 9 smartphones are almost perfect copies of each other, at least at first glance. But are they really the same smartphones, just with different software? We decided to compare it in detail.
Not so long ago, Honor was a direct subsidiary of Huawei. Until 2016, Huawei used the brand to compete in the mid-range category with smartphones that were often able to offer almost top-of-the-line equipment, at least in terms of computing hardware and screens.
However, when the US blacklisted Huawei, which US companies were not allowed to do business with, things got complicated. Huawei has not been allowed to place new US hardware and software on itself or its affiliates, including Google services built into the Android operating system.
Huawei has taken two main steps. First of all, it has fully embarked on the development of its HarmonyOS operating system and the associated Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem. Second, its subsidiary Honor sold to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology at the end of last year.
The first step allowed Huawei to break away from Google and offer its own App Store, custom search engine, custom maps, and cloud storage on its devices. The second step, this time, has already allowed independent Honor to put whole US technologies back on its devices, including hardware and software led by Android.
A year later, we have two separate, but at first glance the same smartphones – Honor 50 and Huawei nova 9. So how are they different and how are they similar?
Let’s start with the obvious, namely the design. Both smartphones, so to speak, are molded from the same shape, which corresponds to their practically identical dimensions. Both are about 160mm high, 73.7mm wide and 7.7mm thick and both weigh 175g.
On the front, both smartphones are identical, but on the back, each company has adapted them to their liking. You can buy the Honor 50 in conservative black, an interesting emerald green, or a shimmering white version. The Huawei nova 9 is only available in two colors, the classic black color is complemented by a blue-violet version that changes its appearance according to the effect of light.
Huawei has also added an interesting logo to the back of this model. On the contrary, they have the same camera modules with an annular frame, in which a different sensor is hidden. But we’ll get to that later.
The distinctive Frost Crystal and Emerald Green colors available on the Honor 50 model are really elegant, but the Starry Blue version available on the Huawei nova 9 model also worked. So, for us, it’s a 1:1 equivalent for us in this category.
We won’t get around in a hot mess, both screens have the same smartphones. Whichever model you choose, you’ll get a 6.57-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, an image refresh rate of 120 Hz, and a touch screen sampling frequency of 300 Hz.
Both smartphones are capable of rendering 1.07 billion colors, and although Honor hasn’t mentioned it on their website, both smartphones also support the HDR10 standard. Both screens are curved on both sides and are both protected by pre-compound paper.
The quality of the panel used in both the smartphones is really nothing to complain about. Smartphones excel in colour, brightness and contrast. Personally, I’m not a fan of curved displays, but that’s just a matter of preference. In this category too, the tie is still 2:2.
performance and connectivity
At this point, the differences begin, although you may not notice them at first glance. Yes, Qualcomm’s 6nm Snapdragon 778G chipset, equipped with an octa-core processor and Adreno642L graphics core, runs under the surface of both smartphones, but in two different versions.
Honor 50, due to immunity from US sanctions, received the Snapdragon 778G chipset in the 5G version, which is used by the vast majority of other smartphones in this category. As you already know, Huawei nova 9 is equipped with the 4G version of this chipset, so it lacks support for 5G networks.
You will also find differences in the availability of memory versions in some markets. The Honor 50 is available in 6/128, 8/128, 8/256 and 12/256 GB memory combinations, while the Huawei nova 9 is only available in 8/128 and 8/256 GB versions.
Thus, although the two smartphones in the most popular 8/128 GB range are equal in performance and identical in terms of other connectivity (Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, etc.), thanks to the support of 5G networks, Honor 50 certainly has a score : 2 for honor.
As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, the Honor 50 and Huawei nova 9 have different main cameras in the ring module which looks identical to the cameras on the back. In the case of the first named smartphone, it is a 108 MP sensor, in the case of the second 50 MP sensor with an identical f / 1.9 aperture.
The rest of the report is already identical. Under the main camera, you’ll find an 8-megapixel wide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth-of-field sensor. With both smartphones, the main camera can record 4K video at 30 frames per second along with electronic image stabilization.
The front camera provides a resolution of 32 MP for both smartphones, but the difference lies in the aperture number – f / 2.2 vs. f / 2.0 and the ability of Huawei nova 9 to record 4K video on the front camera at 30 frames per second, while Honor 50 offers Full HD + video only on this page.
Unfortunately, we lost most of the photos from Honor 50 after testing it and factory reset due to the backup system file system corruption. Therefore, you will usually only find footage from the second half of the night test below, and this time we will provide you with word of mouth the remaining areas of mobile photography.
The fact that Huawei nova 9 is more daring in image processing not only Honor 50 but also other smartphones in this class, we noticed during its initial test in the center of Vienna.
Thanks to this approach to image processing, Huawei Nova 9 can do better with backlights and shadows. On the other hand, too aggressive post-processing leads to a loss of detail, as can be seen in the clip below. Honor is always on the left, Huawei is on the right.
Honor 50 also shows sharper details when taking photos in poor lighting conditions, as we have already switched to night mode. This is no different in the case of photos taken at night on the street with artificial lighting.
These differences are likely to be reflected in the higher resolution of the Honor 50’s main camera, which is naturally better at digital zoom. However, when the card suddenly turns, there are selfies that the Honor 50 apparently applies beauty filters to even if you turn them off. Huawei nova 9 also looked better in macro photography, achieving better clarity and color. Unfortunately we have lost all the photos mentioned in this paragraph.
In this category, you will find probably the most differences between the smartphones, each excels in a different shooting style and each has weaknesses elsewhere. In general, we were able to create more beautiful photos with Honor 50. Photos from Huawei nova 9 are often spoiled by unnecessary active processing, but it must be said that Huawei can improve it at any time with software updates. But for now, Honor has got the point, 4:2.
Battery and charging
Did you already think that these twins are somewhat different? Do not worry, in this category we return to the level of identical parameters. Both smartphones are powered by a 4,300mAh battery and both come with a 66W fast charger in the package, which you can charge to 50% in 15 minutes, respectively. to 100% in about 40 minutes.
When it comes to battery life, it’s pretty hard to find the differences here as well. During testing, Honor once discharged faster, sometimes Huawei. It all depends not only on how you use your smartphone, but also on what the smartphone is doing in the background. All-day battery life is normal for both smartphones. Since there are no major differences between them, they both get one point in this category. , 5: 3.
Finally, we get to the main point of the program, which is the software. As we indicated in the introduction, the Honor 50 is very different from the Huawei nova 9 in the Android 11 operating system with the Magic UI 4.2 extension, which also includes important Google services in our region.
We have already shown you how to live with a smartphone without Google services In our recent article on Huawei Nova 9. You can forget about all the obstacles that you have to get used to with modern Huawei smartphones. You can easily download apps from the Google Play Store here, back up your photos to the Google Photos app, and rely on the old and familiar Google Maps for navigation. So did Huawei calculate it?
Not right. The strength of modern Huawei devices is the ecosystem. Like Apple and Samsung, Huawei has built its own ecosystem on a large scale in recent years, which in practice means that computers, tablets, smartphones, and even headphones are largely interconnected.
If you own other Huawei devices, then suddenly buying the new nova 9 will make more sense. Transferring files, audio or video between your devices will be a “one touch” issue for you. If this device cooperation is more important to you than the availability of Google services, your score will change to 5: 4. But for us, the opposite is true, so we give this point to Honor, 6: 3.
Price and conclusion
The last thing that can override the outcome in this fight is the price. However, if you already know this news and have also read our articles since it was launched on the market, then you know that this is not the case. In Slovakia, both of these smartphones are currently available at the same price – 499.00 euros.
A small plus for the Huawei nova 9 is its availability with only one amount of RAM. While Honor 50 at this price comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, Huawei Nova 9 starts with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. However, in practice, this difference does not affect the normal use of the smartphone much.
In view of all the above facts, as well as the resultant result, we would be more inclined to choose the Honor 50 smartphone in our newsroom. However, the competitive Huawei Nova 9 remains an excellent smartphone to buy if you are building an ecosystem. You will not regret HMS.
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