Honor 9 Lite vs Xiaomi Mi A1


Huawei’s online brand Honor has been in headlines quite consistently past few month for launching an array of smartphones in quick successions. Anyone who follows Honor’s progress will know that the company has gone for aggressive pricing towards its devices be it mid-range (Honor 7X) or high-end (Honor View 10).

Exactly 13 days after the launch of its AI-equipped Honor View 10 smartphone, Huawei’s online brand launched the successor of Honor 8 Lite under mid-range segment. Billed as Honor 9 Lite it comes with quad cameras and gorgeous design language, which is far better than most of the smartphones with metal unibody design at this price segment. The Honor 9 Lite comes in Black, Blue, Grey and Black colors, is priced at Rs. 10,999 for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage version and the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version costs Rs. 14999.

On the other hand, Xiaomi launched its Mi A1  smartphone in collaboration with Google, as a part of Android One program in India at a price tag of Rs. 14,999, which now costs around Rs. 13,999. Since both the smartphones fall under the same segment, we set both the smartphones against each other in various departments including Design, Display, Performance, Software, Camera, and Battery. Let’s which smartphone gets ahead and passes with flying colors.

Design

One of the most important factors to consider a smartphone apart from Camera and Processor is its ‘Design’. And in this department, Honor 9 Lite just aces it. The Honor 9 Lite smartphone comes with an all-glass body with a metal frame on sides, which is a rare sight for the mid-range these days. It feels compact yet solid, premium and lightweight in hand. I don’t shy away from saying Honor 9 Lite has set a new benchmark for build and design at this price point. Measuring just 149 grams, it goes easy on your wrist too.

The Xiaomi Mi A1, on the other hand, is exactly opposite and comes with an old-school design. It has a metal unibody design with a good build quality. This device has nothing special in terms of design language to brag about. The Mi A1 measures 7.3mm thick and a bit heavier at 165 grams. Both the smartphones feature Hybrid SIM slot and an “always active” fingerprint sensor that lets you add up to 5 different fingerprints.

Winner – Honor 9 Lite

Display

Talking about the display, the Honor 9 Lite sports a 5.65-inch Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display featuring a pixel density of 428ppi. The bezels on the sides, top and bottom have been trimmed down to give room for display. The display is brighter, text looks sharp, has good color reproduction and viewing angles too. Due to its high brightness level, the sunlight legibility is good than other smartphones in this segment. However, there is no information about the Corning Gorilla Glass protection.

The Xiaomi Mi A1 on the other hand sports a 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080 pixels) Full HD 2.5D curved glass LTPS display featuring a pixel density of 403 ppi with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The display is bright enough but not as bright as 9 Lite. It has a good color reproduction and viewing angles. The Mi A1 takes a hit when it comes to sunlight legibility. The bigger bezels on top and bottom is another drawback here.

Winner – Honor 9 Lite

Storage

The Honor 9 Lite comes in two variants — 3GB RAM with 32GB onboard storage, 4GB RAM with 32GB/64GB storage, with an expandable memory up to 256GB via microSD. The Xiaomi Mi A1 comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which can be further expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD card slot. As you can see, the Honor 9 Lite offers several choices to choose from according to the pricing.

Winner – Honor 9 Lite

Hardware

Just like other Honor mid-range smartphones, the Honor 9 Lite is powered by Octa-Core Kirin 659 processor (4 xA53 at 2.36GHz + 4 x A53 at 1.7GHz) with MaliT830-MP2 GPU under the hood. The Xiaomi Mi A1, on the other hand, comes powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 14nm processor clocked at 2GHz along with 650MHz Adreno 506 as GPU. In our real-time usage, both the smartphones offered a very good performance without any lag or hang. Since both the smartphone had optimized hardware and software, the multi-tasking and graphic demanding gaming worked flawlessly.

Result – Draw

Camera

Honor has been launching smartphones with dual camera setup for quite some time. This time, the company has launched a smartphone with a quad camera setup and it is not the first time either. The Honor 9 Lite joins the list of smartphones with quad-camera setup next to Honor 9i in India. The Honor 9 Lite comes with a 13-megapixel primary along with a secondary 2-megapixel on front and rear to capture depth information for portrait shots. Just like other Honor smartphones, the 9 Lite also comes with a wave of features including Pro photos, Pro videos, Night shot, light painting, Time Lapse, Filter and much more, which can be experimented to users delight.

The front camera also supports portrait and moving picture mode. Since the Honor 9, Lite supports portrait mode on both front and back, you can get professional bokeh style effects when clicked properly. The Honor 9 Lite provides some great shots under daylight conditions with the good amount of details.

The Xiomi Mi A1 has a dual camera setup on the rear consisting of the 12MP rear camera with wide-angle lens f/2.2 aperture and a secondary 12MP camera with a telephoto lens with f/2.6 aperture. On the front, it is taken care of 5MP selfie shooter. This smartphone produces satisfactory output with finer details and good colors.

Winner – Honor 9 Lite

Software

The Honor 9 Lite is shipped with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo update on top of EMUI 8.0 out of the box. It comes with a lot of tweaking and customization options. On the other hand, the Xioami was shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat and got the Android 8.0 Oreo update later. Unlike other Xiaomi devices, it comes with stock Android UI in addition with two to three native apps from Xiaomi. However, this topic is purely subjective.

Result: Subjective

Battery

The Honor 9 Lite is powered by 3000mAh battery, whereas the Mi A1 comes with a bit bigger 3080mAh battery. Both of them lacks fast charging technology and will take around 2 and half hours to charge from 0 to 100%. Both the smartphones got us throughout a day perfectly, even with some intensive usage including gaming.

Result – Draw

Conclusion

Overall, both the smartphone have got their basics right, but the Honor 9 Lite stands tall with extra additional factors like quad camera, Android 8.0 Oreo, lightweight and of course the pricing.Having said that, the Honor 9 Lite is one of the few phones that do well in all the department. This very fact makes it a compelling device than Xiaomi Mi A1.

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