A very good mid-range smartphone at an excellent worth

Key Takeaways

  • The Honor 90 is a stable mid-range telephone that provides a shocking display screen, sturdy efficiency, and spectacular battery life.
  • Nevertheless, it has some drawbacks comparable to the shortage of an IP ranking, no optical picture stabilization, and a weak single speaker.
  • The restricted software program help with solely two years of updates can also be a draw back, however at its worth level, the Honor 90 continues to be possibility to contemplate.

It looks like Honor is absolutely entering into its stride proper now. With a number of good releases beneath its belt previously few years, and a few really promising-looking ones too, it looks like now – greater than ever – is a time to be watching the Chinese language producer carefully.

The Honor 90 is the corporate’s newest stab on the mid-range market, a market is getting more and more busy – and increasingly talented.

Honor is trying so as to add to that, with the Honor 90 – its newest mid-range, sub-flagship mannequin. It brings with it some spectacular on-paper specs, providing appreciable upgrades on the Honor 70, the final mannequin at this degree to be placed on sale outdoors of China.

However how does that maintain up in the actual world? This is my full evaluation.



The Honor 90 is an efficient mid-range telephone, that appears nice and performs very effectively certainly. Its display screen, particularly, is a stunner, with a battery life that ought to final you thru the day, after which some. There are some niggles within the particulars that depart its competitors open to swoop in – notably with its restricted software program help – however for the value, it is a stable possibility to contemplate.


  • Very good display screen
  • Stable efficiency
  • Sturdy battery life
  • Respectable major digital camera efficiency

  • No IP ranking
  • No OIS
  • Single speaker may be very weak
  • Solely two years of software program updates

Specs, pricing and availability

As with all Honor telephones, the Honor 90 is not formally accessible within the US. You may discover it on Amazon, all the identical, however remember that this would be the imported model, costing $499 for the 12GB RAM and 512GB storage possibility – the identical as my evaluation pattern.

The imported Honor 90 will solely help GSM networks, so it may possibly’t be really helpful for Verizon or another CDMA community, and is a reasonably restricted in the case of the required 5G bands too. Purchase with care, and make sure that your service will help it earlier than you add it to your cart.



Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Version 5G

6.7 inches AMOLED, 2664×1200, 120Hz




Working System
Android 13 + MagicOS 7.1

Entrance digital camera
50MP wide-angle

Rear digital camera
200MP major (f/1.9), 12MP ultra-wide/macro (f/2.2), 2MP depth (f/2.4)

161.9 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm (hwd), 183g

Cost velocity
66W wired

IP Score

RAM and Storage
8GB/256GB, 12GB/512GB

Within the UK and Europe, it is a way more easy story – although you possibly can solely choose up the 8GB RAM/256GB storage possibility within the UK, with an RRP of £450. That possibility makes little sense anyway when you think about the 12GB RAM/512GB model prices £500/€500 – nevertheless, on the time of writing, the Honor retailer direct was promoting the telephone for £399, making the Honor 90 an excellent higher deal.

By way of colors, there’s the selection of Emerald Inexperienced, Diamond Silver or Midnight Black, plus Peacock Blue accessible direct from Honor’s web site. It is value noting that the Midnight Black model is simply accessible within the decrease spec.Design and construct


There is no doubt that in the case of design, Honor picks a theme and runs with it. We have seen that throughout its ranges in recent times, so when it finds one thing that works – it sticks with it. That is actually the case with the Honor 90, which presents a slim and tall construct harking back to its predecessors – sitting slightly greater within the hand than you may discover in one thing just like the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G because of its bigger 6.7-inch display screen.

IMG_1894 2

The again panel of our evaluation mannequin is the Diamond Silver end, which might not be to everybody’s style – it has a little bit of a chintzy sample etched into the underside half of it, whereas the opposite colors – a extra pearlescent end in Emerald Inexperienced, Peacock Blue or Midnight Black – do not. It is plastic, too – one thing Samsung ditched for the A54, in change for glass. That might be good right here, but it surely would not take an excessive amount of away from the texture of it within the hand – it feels stable with no creaking.

As is Honor’s method, the Honor 90 makes its rear digital camera design an enormous focus of its total look, with two massive digital camera “islands” to accommodate the three cameras and flash. When positioned within the included clear protecting case, this envelops the surrounds to make it look slightly like a determine 8, and is as daring a design assertion because the diamond sample beneath it.

Honor 90

Such a digital camera bump could make the telephone slightly unstable when utilizing on a desk but it surely’s not a giant deal.

There’s solely a single speaker right here, on the backside of the telephone, which can’t solely be even be simply coated by your hand, however can also be fairly hole and brash sounding, with little or no sense of bass. It does have an effect on the enjoyment to watching something besides very quick movies on the telephone – if you happen to’re a giant video-on-the-go watcher, you will wish to use headphones.

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Other than this, the design and construct feels about proper for its worth level, even when a few of its opponents are beginning to overtake it. Nevertheless, the shortage of any IP ranking is beginning to really feel slightly unforgiveable, and to some extent, wi-fi charging too. They’re simply changing into issues I would count on to see – even at this mid-range worth level.


Honor has put numerous work into its show credentials, packing a big 6.7-inch AMOLED show with a full HD+ decision (2664 x 1200) and a whopping 1600 nits peak brightness.

It is a gorgeous display screen, that would not look misplaced on a flagship telephone. It is crisp, punchy and extremely shiny, with that brightness additionally in a position to get behind HDR10+ video, because of Netflix HDR and Amazon Prime Video HDR certification.

Colors are effectively balanced within the Regular display screen mode, and that appears greatest to my eye, however there’s additionally Vivid if you happen to desire your colors with extra – barely unrealistic – vibrancy.

IMG_1891 2

Honor continues to be pushing its Quad-Curved Floating show, with curves at every edge, back and front. It isn’t a design you see producers use as typically as of late, because of the occasional points with responsiveness on the sides. Nevertheless, I have not skilled any points throughout testing, and there is not any doubt it helps the make such a big telephone simpler to carry within the hand.

A 120Hz refresh charge helps to maintain your content material clean, with the flexibility to have this adapting dynamically to what you are doing on the telephone, or setting it at 60, 90 or 120Hz – the latter will clearly supply the most effective in efficiency however will drain your battery faster.

Like I noticed within the Honor Magic 5 Pro, the Honor 90 is on the receiving finish of a number of eye consolation options, together with 3840Hz PWM dimming, a circadian evening show and a TÜV Rheinland Flicker Free Certification – which means it needs to be kinder and fewer fatiguing in your eyes always. I am undecided how a lot profit I discovered, as that’s exhausting to meaure, but it surely’s actually a cushty display screen to make use of all day, an it is nice to see such consideration given at this worth level.

Beneath the show there’s a fingerprint sensor which has labored fairly effectively. Every so often I discovered myself having to the touch my finger down once more, however typically the built-in face detection digital camera jumps in earlier than I have to anyway.

{Hardware} and efficiency

The Honor 90 makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Version 5G chip – a becoming chip for its place out there, with the Accelerated model in a position to push peak CPU speeds to 2.5GHz.

The Adreno 644 GPU has additionally elevated by 20 per cent in comparison with the Honor 70, whereas the AI efficiency has elevated by 30 per cent for clean graphics and faster responses.

IMG_1925 2

I’ve discovered the efficiency right here to be stable – not fairly with the velocity and immediacy of a flagship chipset, of cpurse – however that’s to be anticipated. It has nonetheless dealt with mild gaming and streaming with out getting even barely heat, and I’ve seen little or no by the use of stuttering beneath stress. Contemplating I moved into this telephone from an iPhone 13 Professional, to seek out only a few efficiency problems with word is fairly spectacular.

There is a 5000mAh battery right here – a small improve on the Honor 70, and matching the battery of the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. The battery right here can simply get you thru the day, even beneath fairly heavy use – one thing that is not at all times assured on my iPhone. A battery check streaming a 1.5 video from Netflix at half brightness noticed the Honor 90 drain round 11 per cent of whole battery.

There is no wi-fi charging right here, however there may be Honor’s 66W charger within the field for super-fast charging. From empty, I used to be in a position to cost the telephone as much as 51 per cent in 20 minutes, with the promise of 20 per cent of cost in simply 5 minutes. This additionally goes a protracted approach to easing any battery anxieties, realizing you will get sufficient battery into it fairly shortly if you happen to’re caught quick.

Software program

The Honor 90 runs Honor’s personal MagicOS 7.1 over Android 13, which nonetheless stays behind the curve in contrast with different producers that stick nearer to inventory Android. It’s bettering, no doubt, but it surely lacks the general shine of its {hardware}, with a design language that feels only a little dated.

All the pieces works easily sufficient although, and it’s straightforward sufficient to navigate too with loads of customisation choices to make it your individual. It additionally has some good touches, like fast entry to widespread apps with a swipe and maintain from the left edge, versatile folders which you could select to have smaller or larger, and a few useful gestures too. From a usability perspective there at the moment are fewer issues to grouse about than there was once.

Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless an nearly unacceptable quantity of bloat from varied firms and app duplications when Google’s personal would have greater than sufficed.

There’s additionally the difficulty that Honor has solely a promised two years of software program updates. That falls massively wanting the 4 years that Samsung Galaxy A54 5G presents and the 5 years promised by the Google Pixel 7a, and whereas it ought to cowl the favored 24-month improve cycle, it nonetheless forces an proprietor’s hand moderately than giving them flexibility.


Honor has as soon as once more gone massive on its digital camera guarantees within the Honor 90, with a triple digital camera setup comprising a large 200MP major digital camera with a 1/1.4-inch sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide and macro digital camera (f/2.2), with a 2MP depth digital camera (f/2.4). There’s additionally a 50MP wide-angle front-facing digital camera for selfies, too.

Honor 90

As its 200MP bragging rights may counsel, the principle digital camera is the star of the present right here. The 1/1.4-inch sensor has elevated by 25 per cent from the sensor within the Honor 70, and together with 16-in-1 pixel binning, permits for extra mild in for higher, brighter photos.

As is usually the case for mid-rangers, good situations are the place the Honor 90’s digital camera does its greatest work, producing shiny, detailed and vibrant photographs – with only a contact of edge softness that’s maybe anticipated at this degree.

Including any zoom (a digital 2x shortcut is obtainable inside the principle digital camera’s software program) tends to extend this softness pretty considerably, so needs to be used with warning, from my expertise

Honor 90 test shot

Primary digital camera, 2x zoom

Total image high quality just isn’t helped by the shortage of OIS right here, although – so photos of fidgety kids can battle to retain the sharpness you’d need, and low-light photos are additionally simply prone to blur except you have got a really regular hand. It makes spontaneous point-and-click photos all of the extra tough, and the chance of blurring out that good snap rather more attainable.

I nonetheless managed to seize some comparatively good evening time photographs outdoors – although darker areas could be undoubtedly noisy. Nonetheless, so long as there may be some mild in a shot for the Honor to work with, you will get some fairly good outcomes for this degree – although the shortage of OIS would not make it straightforward, with blur creeping in at any given alternative.

The photographs that undergo probably the most, although, are inside photographs with variable and/or synthetic lighting. The outcomes can lack element and definition, and change into fairly smudgy pretty shortly. Including the flash will lighten issues up, in fact, however moderately unnaturally so – giving any human topics one thing of a “deer in headlights” look about them.

As for the 12MP ultra-wide and macro digital camera, it presents a 112-degree discipline of view with a minimal focusing distance of two.5cm. It is a step backwards from the 50MP effort on the Honor 70, however as we effectively know by now, megapixels don’t digital camera make.

There may be an anticipated drop intimately and crispness utilizing this lens, notably once you zoom in. There’s additionally a moderately completely different color tone between the principle lens and this one, with the ultrawide taking over a way more blue hue. It isn’t a lens I would discover myself reaching for occasionally, except I am seeking to seize broad scenic photographs outdoors.

Lastly, that 2MP depth sensor is a little bit of a ‘meh’ addition – one thing we famous when Honor included it on the Honor 70 too. There may be an enhanced Portrait mode right here, which goals to reap the benefits of it, with guarantees of improved bokeh results and a extra pure transition between the blur impact and the topic.

Nevertheless, whereas the bokeh seems to be good in very outlined topics, it may possibly nonetheless be caught out, and would not supply any enormous step up from these photos that depend on software program solely. Hopefully in future, this lens area may very well be given to a devoted macro lens or a telephoto lens as an alternative.


The Honor 90 is a compelling mid-ranger for the cash – notably with its more moderen worth drop taking it to beneath £400. It delivers a surprisingly highly effective efficiency with a shocking display screen that would not look misplaced on many flagships, to not point out an honest digital camera arrange that may do good work with good mild and a gradual hand.

Battery life can also be excellent, and I cherished the peace of thoughts that the 66W wired charging provided me too.

Nevertheless, there are some niggles. The shortage of an official IP ranking looks like a miss at this stage, as does the shortage of OIS on the digital camera. The only speaker setup additionally makes listening to music or watching video with out headphones a reasonably poor expertise.

Principally, although, I would prefer to see an extended dedication to software program updates from Honor, to maintain shopper confidence excessive. The Honor 90 presents so much to love, and at a fantastic worth, but it surely lacks only a contact of polish within the particulars.

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