Among the bunch of smartphone makers at present, a very few of them cater phones in all ranges, be it budget, mid-range or high-end. Amid that line-up, Samsung and Huawei have a good foothold in the mid-range market, be it in India or global. Having said that, both the companies have their fair share of loyal fans across the world.
In what seems to be a bid to reclaim space in the mid-range category, a few months back, Samsung launched Galaxy J7 Max, with Samsung Pay. On the other hand, Huawei’s online brand Honor recently launched Honor 9i with 18:9 aspect ratio display and dual rear camera setup on both front and back.
The Honor 9i comes in Aurora Blue, Graphite Black and Prestige Gold colors, is priced at Rs. 17,999 and is available exclusively on Flipkart. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max comes in Black and Gold colors and priced Rs. 17,900. As both the smartphones have the same price point, we decided to compare both the smartphones to find out which one excels. Let’s see how the two phones stack up against one another.
Unlike other Chinese handsets which follow the same pattern, the Honor 9i comes with a refreshing metal unibody design for its new series. The device is sleek, lightweight and offers good grip when held. However, it is tad bit tall due to its aspect ratio, which makes it a bit tough for single-handed usage. The Honor 9i measures 156.2 × 75.2 × 7.5mm and weighs 164 grams.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max also comes with unibody metal design measuring 152.4×74.7×8.1mm and weighs 179 grams. Compared to Honor 9i, the J7 Max feels big, bit on the heavier side and is difficult for single-hand usage. The Honor 9i comes with a hybrid dual SIM slot that lets you use the second SIM as an expansion slot, while the Galaxy J7 Max comes with dedicated slots for Dual SIMs and microSD. Both the smartphones feature an “always active” fingerprint sensor and lets you add up to 5 different fingerprints. When we tried fingerprint scanner speed comparison test between Honor 9i and Galaxy J7 Max, we found Honor 9i is significantly faster than the J7 Max
Win: Honor 9i
In trend with the market, Honor launched its 9i smartphone with 5.9-inch Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. On the other hand, the Galaxy J7 Max sports a 5.7-inch IPS 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. When it comes to the display, the Honor 9i takes the cake over J7 Max, due to its 18:9 aspect ratio. The display of Honor 9i is bright with good color reproduction, blacks are deep and the sunlight legibility is good too. Also, it carries a minimum bezel with a screen-to-body ratio of 83%. On the other hand, J7 Max display is equally good with adequate brightness and good viewing angles as well. But, the J7 Max looks outdated with huge bezels with 72% screen-to-body ratio, considering the trend now.
Win: Honor 9i
The Honor 9i is powered by Octa-Core Kirin 659 16nm processor with Mali T830-MP2 as GPU under the hood. Talking about the real world experience, the performance is smooth and snappy as we experienced no lag or hang. Surprisingly, the graphics demanding game also ran fluidly without a single frame drop. On the other hand, the Galaxy J7 Max is powered by an Octa-Core MediaTek Helio P20 16nm processor with ARM Mali T880 GPU on board. The overall performance is satisfactory without any lags, however, the gaming performance could have been better. With long usage, the device gets a bit hot, especially on 4G usage and gaming. Overall, both the smartphones offer lag-free experience and handle everything that you throw at it with ease.
When it comes to storage, the Honor 9i stands tall with 4GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage with an expandable option of up 256GB via MicroSD card slot. The Galaxy J7 Max comes with 4GB RAM, 32GB inbuilt storage with expansion option up to 128GB with microSD.
Win: Honor 9i
This is where the Honor 9i wins hands down. To be precise, the Honor 9i comes with dual camera set-up on both front and back. As per the spec sheet, the Honor 9i sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with a 2-megapixel secondary camera to capture depth information and a 13-megapixel front camera with a secondary 2-megapixel camera. This smartphone also comes with various modes that make use of the camera to its full potential. The 9i comes with moving picture mode, portrait mode, wide aperture mode, light painting, Pro photo, Night shots, Slow-mo, time-lapse and more. The front camera also brings us a slew of modes including portrait and moving picture mode. With portrait mode, you can get professional bokeh style effects from both fronts as well as rear cameras. Talking about the real world usage, the output under the daylight condition turns out to be good with fine details and natural color reproductions. When it comes to low light, the picture quality turns out to be average. The front camera performs well and makes use of portrait mode very well. Also, the border stitching is up to the mark and neat.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max sports a 13MP camera on both rear and front with LED flash, f/1.7 aperture, and f/1.9 aperture respectively. The J7 Max comes with a feature called Social Camera mode that lets you add different filters and effects to your images. Once you are satisfied with the images, you can also share these on WhatsApp and Facebook using Instant Share option. Talking about the image quality, the output is pretty good in daylight conditions. With the help of wider aperture, the J7 Max gives a satisfactory output under low-light, but it could have been better. The front-facing camera is good for selfies and the details are crisp too.
Talking about the image quality, both the smartphones are par with each other. But, when it comes to experimentation with the camera, Honor 9i has an edge over the other, as it is equipped with a range of modes for various scenarios. In addition, the Honor 9i also takes portrait mode, which is lacking in Galaxy J7 Max.
Win: Honor 9i
The Honor 9i is shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 on top. It comes with lots of customization options to make the User Interface easy to use. First off, you can choose to have any one of the home screen styles — Standard (shows all apps on the home screen) and Drawer (shows all app on drawer screen). It also comes with Eye Comfort” option, which filters out the blue light to prevent your eyes from strain. Moreover, you also get a Smart Assistance app, where you can access Back, Home, Recent tasks, Screen lock and One-touch optimization on floating dock to access. You also get to schedule power on and off the option to turn off the phone during the night and turn it on in the morning to save battery.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max also runs on Android 7.0 (Nougat) with Samsung Experience version 8.1 on top. The customization options in Samsung is any day lesser than other Chinese UI. The J7 Max has Multi Window mode that was first introduced by Samsung several years back. It also has Dual Messenger that lets you use two separate accounts for the same app such as Facebook, WhatsApp and more. It also comes with usual Ultra Data Saving, S bike mode and S power planning features. Having said that, the UI preference really comes down to personal choice. Personally, I think EMUI has lots of scope for customizations under the sleeve when compared to Samsung Experience 8.1 UI.
The Honor 9i is powered by 3340mAh battery, whereas the Galaxy J7 Max is powered by 3300mAh battery. It’s worth mentioning that both the smartphones lack quick charging technology officially. Both the smartphones last for more than a day with average use and for a day with heavy usage. However, in our One Charge rating, the Honor 9i scored 15 hours 49 minutes, whereas the Galaxy J7 Max achieved a One Charge Rating of 13 hours and 15 minutes.
Win: Honor 9i
To conclude, the Honor 9i comes with great display in-line with the modern trend, smooth performance and the dual camera setup on front and back. Packed with the latest technology, the Honor 9i triumphs over the Galaxy J7 Max in most of the areas.