Honor Magic5 Lite/Honor x9a review

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Introduction and specifications

The mid-ranger in Honor’s flagship Magic series is coming back for another round in 2023 and offers quite a few upgrades over its predecessor. While last year’s Magic4 Lite was somewhat underwhelming, we have higher hopes for the Magic5 Lite, mostly because it fixes some mistakes from the past.

Notably, the Honor Magic5 Lite is a rebranded Honor x9a that was released back in January in some Asian markets, so you can use this review to help you decide if the x9a is worth it. The two handsets are identical.

Honor Magic5 Lite
Honor X9a

Honor Magic5 Lite • Honor X9a

The updated Lite comes with a superior OLED panel instead of IPS, while still running at 120Hz, it has a better main camera, adds an ultrawide on the back, increases battery capacity and offers a fresh new back design.

Honor Magic5 Lite review

The phone still uses Honor’s established design language, but we like the minimalist ring on the back better than before. Also, it’s a distinctive look that no other midranger has.

The device also comes with an updated Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12, which promises more features and improvements under the hood. Of course, Google’s mobile services are on board as the company is now a separate entity from Huawei.

Honor Magic5 Lite / Honor x9a specifications at a glance:

  • Body: 161.6 x 73.9 x 7.9mm, 175g; glass front, plastic back and side frame.
  • Screen: 6.67″ AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, 800 nits (HBM), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G (6 nm): Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver); Adreno 619.
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, Magic UI 6.1.
  • Rear camera: wide (main): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 5MP, f/2.2; Macro: 2MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2.5, (wide).
  • Video recording: Rear camera: [email protected]; Front camera: 1080p at 30 fps.
  • Battery: 5100mAh; 40W cable.
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; Infrared port.

One thing has remained unchanged and that is the chipset. The new model shares the Snapdragon 695 SoC from its predecessor, which is a capable mid-range silicon, but lacks 4K video recording capabilities. And that’s our only beef with Qualcomm’s offering. We’ll be sure to check how well that chipset fares against this year’s mid-rangers in the following pages, so keep reading to find out more.

Unboxing the Honor Magic5 Lite

To our surprise, the Magic5 Lite arrived without a charger in the box. There is only one USB-A to USB-C cable used for charging and data transfer.

Honor Magic5 Lite review

There was no case inside the box either. Now, we can’t be sure if all markets will get the same retail package, but our device didn’t get a charger. And yes, last year’s Magic4 Lite had the appropriate 66W charger.

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