HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Powerful But Needs Polishing

HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Powerful But Needs Polishing

Review Verdict: While the HONOR Pad 9 is a capable tablet with its internals and specs, it falls short with the lack of optimization with some apps and how the tablet interacts with its optional smart keyboard.


-Good processor of choice for its price

-Large and bright display for its price

-Great speaker system


-Smart keyboard lacks several functions

-Poor software implementation on some apps

After the Pad X9 last October, HONOR brings over the Pad 9 to the Philippines as its biggest tablet to date. This tablet is meant to be a mid-range offering, having a better set of internals and a bigger and brighter display. Are its upgrades over the Pad X9 make the Pad 9 a compelling mid-range tablet option.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Design

The Pad 9 is slightly larger than the Pad X9 we reviewed last year with its 12.1-inch display. However, the Pad 9 uses a 16:10 aspect that is unconventional on tablets. As a result, this makes the Pad 9 shorter and longer in landscape mode compared to the Pad X9’s more familiar 5:3 aspect ratio. This unusual aspect ratio makes the Pad 9 more suitable for watching movies.

The Pad 9 also joins the recent trend of tablets placing the rear camera right smack at the middle of the back panel, which can be a polarizing design decision. However, this approach is sensible especially since tablets are generally used in landscape orientation–and placing the camera module at the corner would mean users would tend to smudge the camera lens all the time.

The button and port layout of the Pad 9 is the same as the Pad X9, which means you get a USB-C port, power and volume controls on top, and no card trays for a SIM card or MicroSD card. The Pad 9 is thin at under 7mm, and HONOR managed to keep its weight at 555 grams despite having a large display.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines:  Display and Speakers

Aside from having a bigger display at 12.1 inches, the Pad 9 has a significantly better display than the Pad 9. It has a 4.1K resolution (or 1600×2560) that’s arguably the highest resolution for a tablet in its price range, along with a display that’s brighter than what we experienced on the Pad X9.

The Pad 9’s 16:9 aspect ratio makes it more optimal for watching videos, minimizing the black bars when watching in full screen. The display is also bright enough to be used outdoors, and its support for 1.07 billion colors makes videos very detailed especially when you are watching HDR content.

The Pad X9 impressed us with its 6-speaker system, and the Pad 9 makes it better with an 8-speaker system. This makes up for the lack of a headphone jack, as the speaker system gives you a detailed soundstage that’s hard to match for a mid-range tablet.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Cameras

The Pad 9 has the usual 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front camera you’d find on a mid-range tablet. The main difference in the Pad 9’s case is that the rear camera can shoot 4K video thanks to the processor upgrade. However, the rear camera’s placement and the Pad 9’s aspect ratio make it not practical to use the tablet for taking photos or videos.

Despite that, you do get decent output from the Pad 9’s cameras, making it good for taking photos and videos in case it’s the only device you have on hand.

Speaking of the Pad 9’s 4K video recording, it does produce a decent output–though there are traces of noise when taking videos in low-light conditions.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Internals and Battery Life

The Pad 9 uses a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor that’s paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. This is the first time we reviewed a tablet using a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1, which is a better choice compared to the majority of the competition that opts for either a Helio G99 or a Snapdragon 695.

We first saw this processor on the X9b, and the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 can handle games like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail at high graphics with 60FPS enabled without any noticeable lag. It’s a very capable processor over the Pad X9’s Snapdragon 685, also allowing the Pad 9 to use the rear camera to shoot 4K video.

The Pad 9 packs an 8300mAh battery, and it lasted us 10 hours and 27 minutes in PCMark’s battery benchmark test with dynamic refresh rate enabled. That translates to around a day’s worth of use, which is not bad if you plan to use the Pad 9 as a productivity device. Unlike the Pad X9, you are getting a much faster 35w charging solution on the Pad 9, which managed to top up the battery to 100% in less than 2 hours.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: User Interface

The Pad 9 comes with Android 13-based MagicOS 7.2, and our complaint with it is that the OS is not properly optimized for some apps. The biggest offender is Facebook, where the Pad 9 refuses to render the social media app in landscape mode even if we were using the optional Smart Keyboard. We think that this can be remedied through future software updates, as other Android tablets have made the necessary fixes already.

The Pad 9’s Smart Keyboard has the same issues as the one for the Pad X9: you need to manually close the display of the Pad 9 because the Smart Keyboard does not have a smart display off function, and it’s annoying that the on-display keyboard keeps on popping up even if the Pad 9 is already paired to the Smart Keyboard. Despite those quirks, the Pad 9’s Smart Keyboard has the same key travel as the one used on the Pad X9, and its bigger size makes it less cramped and more comfortable to use.


HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Wrap-up and Conclusions

While the upgrades on the Pad 9 justify its higher asking price over the Pad X9, HONOR still needs to catch up with how it implements its software on tablets.

HONOR Pad 9 Review Philippines: Price

Pad 9 is priced at Php 15,999 for the tablet only and Php 17,999 with the smart keyboard.



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