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HONOR 90 Hero review

HONOR 90 Review – This smartphone is “Girlfriend Approved”

Updated by Timo Altmeyer on February 20, 2024

Chic design meets powerful camera features: The HONOR 90 promises to be a new insider tip for all lifestyle fans and content creators who don't want to leave a moment unforgotten.

There was no better test candidate for the HONOR 90 test than my friend, who tried out the smartphone in everyday life for three months.

The result is a tough practical test that reveals some of the HONOR 90's weaknesses, but also many of its strengths.

8.3
Our rating
379 € amazon
Price Comparison

Update 20. February 2024

Price drop for the HONOR 90! MediaMarkt and Saturn currently have the smartphone on offer for just 369 euros instead of 599 euros (RRP). It is available in the colors Emerald Green and Midnight Black.

The two special colors Diamond Silver and Peacock Blue are available in the official version  HONOR Store  for 449,90 euros.

To the HONOR 90 offer

 HONOR 90: A real eye-catcher 

»I'm usually not the person who jumps at every new smartphone model«, Lena begins as we talk about her experiences with the HONOR 90. »But when I got the opportunity to test the HONOR 90, I just had to grab it. My trusty Galaxy A54? It got a well-deserved break.”

From the start, Lena was impressed by the design of the HONOR 90, which comes in four unusual colors. »It is the variety of colors that immediately sets it apart from the crowd«, she explains. »Among all the uniform designs out there, the HONOR 90 really stands out. 'Emerald Green' is a color that radiates vibrancy without being intrusive. There's something elegant yet fresh about it that you rarely find on smartphones.«

HONOR 90 back in Emerald Green

Here the color "Emerald Green". Also available in “Diamond Silver”, “Peacock Blue” and “Midnight Black”.

She was particularly impressed by the “Moon Phase Rings” around the camera. »They are not just a visual highlight that rounds off the design. They draw attention to the central element of the smartphone – the camera. A clever design that impresses both functionally and aesthetically.«

But Lena attaches importance to the fact that a smartphone has to do more in everyday life than just look good. »A smartphone is a daily companion for me, so handling and comfort are extremely important.« The HONOR 90 with its slim design of just 7,8 mm and a weight of 183 g  »Not only does it fit comfortably in the hand, it is also light enough to use for hours without your arms becoming heavy. This makes it the perfect companion for long evenings on the couch scrolling through social media or reading e-books.«

The power and volume buttons are located inside the right side of the case. »I can easily operate the buttons with one finger without having to grip the smartphone. It's these small but subtle details that make a big difference in everyday use and significantly improve the user experience.«

HONOR 90 Lena making a phone call with the HONOR 90

The Moon Phase Rings stand out like two eyes.

Lena is positively surprised by the workmanship quality of the HONOR 90. »Despite a few small mishaps on my part - my smartphone has to withstand a lot - the HONOR 90 still looks like new even after months of use.« The only drawback for them is the lack of water protection. »Although I don't normally use my phone near water, additional protection would be a plus for me. It just gives you a reassuring feeling knowing that the device is protected from splashes of water.«

 HONOR 90: My highlight? The display! 

»The absolute highlight for me about the HONOR 90? The display!" says Lena enthusiastically. "Since I often travel by train, my smartphone quickly becomes the center of my entertainment - watching videos, surfing the Internet or reading books, I usually do all of this on the go."

The HONOR 90 is equipped with a 6,7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2664 x 1200 pixels. A dynamic refresh rate of up to 120 Hz and a maximum brightness of 1.600 nits are supported. »The colors are strong, the resolution is incredibly sharp and the display is ultra-smooth. Even if the sun shines directly on it, I can see everything on the display perfectly.«

HONOR 90 display

The HONOR 90 uses a curved display with an eye-friendly 3840Hz PWM dimming rate.

At first, Lena was skeptical about the curved display edges of the HONOR 90. »I was only used to the flat screen of my Galaxy A54 and was worried about possible incorrect entries. To my surprise, I got used to the curved display very quickly. The feared incorrect entries? None. It actually feels more natural and intuitive than expected.«

But no highlight is without small downsides. "The only thing that bothers me is the display's susceptibility to fingerprints." Lena points out. »Especially after applying cream, my fingers leave unsightly streaks on the protective film that are not always easy to remove. My Galaxy A54 is less sensitive.«

HONOR 90: Ideal for mobile games

Hardware

»So far, mobile games haven't really been my thing« Lena admits. »My old Galaxy A54 simply couldn't cope with the demands of modern games. But with the HONOR 90 that has changed. My favorite is Genshin Impact, which I already enjoy playing on the PC and can now play smoothly on the go with my smartphone.«

From a performance perspective, the HONOR 90 is placed in the mid-range segment. Equipped with a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition processor, 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of data storage, it offers more than enough power and storage space for demanding applications and games.

The necessary energy is provided by a 5.000 mAh battery that can be quickly charged with up to 66 watts. »I am satisfied with the battery life. I can get through the day easily if I fully charge the smartphone overnight. A clear advantage over my Galaxy A54 is the faster charging speed of the HONOR 90. A real lifesaver when I need to charge spontaneously and don't have much time for it.«

When it comes to connectivity, it also leaves nothing to be desired: Wi-Fi 6, 5G, Bluetooth 5.2 LE and NFC are on board. A USB-C port and a dual SIM card slot (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G) complete the package. »What bothered me was the weak and muffled sounding speaker. The stereo speaker on my Galaxy A54 delivers significantly better sound.« says Lena about the mono speaker of the HONOR 90.

HONOR 90 case edge at the bottom

The SIM tray on the left, USB-C in the middle and the mono speaker on the right.

Software

On the software side, the HONOR 90 runs with the in-house MagicOS 7.1 interface, which is based on Android 13. »Switching from my Galaxy A54 to the HONOR 90 was child's play thanks to the problem-free data transfer and I got used to the user interface very quickly.« she says about the move to HONOR's MagicOS.

While the HONOR 90 shines in many areas, there is a downside when it comes to software updates. Compared to flagship models, Honor only offers two major Android updates and three years of security patches - a significant disadvantage compared to what Samsung and Google support in this price range.

Lena has used the so-called HONOR Connect a lot, with which the smartphone can be easily connected to the Windows PC, allowing direct access to smartphone data from the PC. »A real added value in everyday life« she thinks, although she notes that »Notifications sometimes arrive with a slight delay.«

HONOR 90: The 200 MP camera

On paper, the camera of the HONOR 90 presents itself with solid hardware: a 200 MP main camera with a 1/1.4-inch sensor and an aperture of f/1.9, complemented by a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle and a depth sensor. HONOR does not use optical image stabilization, which means that the stabilization is only done electronically (EIS).

By default, images are captured with a resolution of 12 MP, although a special 200 MP mode is available for high-resolution images. Up to 10x magnification is possible thanks to the integrated digital zoom.

»Under good lighting conditions, the camera takes great pictures and in some situations outperforms my Galaxy A54.« explains Lena. »But as soon as the conditions are less than ideal, the weaknesses quickly become apparent in the form of muddy details, so that you can only really take snapshots in the dark. This is particularly clear with the ultra-wide-angle camera, which is hardly usable in the dark.«

There are both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to color reproduction. »I really like the color reproduction of the main camera. The colors are strong, but not quite as exaggerated as they are on my Galaxy A54. However, the camera sometimes tends to overexpose in bright, cloudy conditions, which often causes clouds to appear as a gray mass. There are inconsistencies when switching between the main camera and the ultra-wide-angle camera, which presents less saturated colors.

A 90 MP front camera with f/50 aperture is responsible for selfies on the HONOR 2.4, which saves images with 12,5 MP and videos up to 4K. There is no autofocus. »The front camera convinced me that it takes sharp, detailed and natural images. In portrait mode, the foreground is beautifully isolated.«

HONOR 90 Hero review
8.3
Rating
Positive

Elegant design with great colors
Bright AMOLED display with good color reproduction and PWM dimming
Good performance in everyday life
Stable and efficient software
Main and front camera with good recording quality
eSIM is supported
Good battery life

Negative

Mono speaker
Cameras weaken in low light
Update guarantee
No wireless charging

Conclusion

Lena summarizes her experience with the HONOR 90: »The HONOR 90 is definitely an eye-catcher, with its outstanding design and the 'Moon Phase Rings' that make it stand out from the crowd. I particularly liked 'Emerald Green' - a balance of liveliness and elegance that you rarely find.«

The display, with its high resolution and smooth display, is the clear highlight for Lena. »High resolution and brightness, great colors and a smooth display« she enthuses. She is also impressed by the handling and build quality of the smartphone, even if she would like better water protection.

When it comes to performance, Lena is impressed by the HONOR 90's ability to handle demanding games like Genshin Impact with ease. The fast charging capability and good connectivity round off the positive picture, although she finds the sound of the speaker to be in need of improvement.

On the software side, Lena likes the MagicOS user interface, even if she criticizes the limited number of software updates. »The simple connection to the PC via HONOR Connect is a real advantage in everyday life« she adds.

The camera offers both light and shadow: »Under good conditions, the camera takes impressive images« says Lena. "But there are weaknesses in less than ideal lighting conditions and in the color consistency between the different cameras." Nevertheless, she appreciates the attention to detail and naturalness of the selfies.

»The HONOR 90 convinced me in many areas, even if there is room for improvement« Lena concludes. »It's a smartphone that has a lot to offer, especially for those who value design, display quality and mobile entertainment capability. Anyone who can overlook the small flaws will find the HONOR 90 a loyal and capable companion.«

Price Comparison
379,00€
409,90€
Timo Altmeyer avatar
author

Timo is the founder of techreviewer.de and a real technology expert. From smartphones to e-bikes, from home cinema to smart homes, he always has his finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

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