We delve into the impressive features and capabilities of the now-launched HONOR 90 5G, which is making its way to the Philippines with a PHP 24,990 price tag for a surprising smartphone configuration. Is it the phone you’re truly looking for? Here’s our review of this cutting-edge smartphone.
We’ve already taken a first look at the device a few days back and we’re surprised to see it seemingly look like something you’d get from their flagship line. We are able to test the phone for weeks and here’s what we think.
HONOR 90 5G Philippines specs:
|HONOR 90 5G
|6.7″ FHD+ OLED
1200 x 2664 pixels
120Hz refresh rate, 1B colors
3840Hz PWM Dimming
|Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
+ 8GB RAM Turbo
|200MP f/1.9 Samsung ISOCELL
12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
|50MP f/2.4 wide
|SIM and Connectivity
|Dual SIM (nano+nano/eSIM)
GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, BDS, QZSS
|Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
|HONOR MagicUI 7.1
Google Mobile Services
|Midnight Black, Emerald Green, Diamond Silver, Peacock Blue
Design: Worthy of your adoration
The HONOR 90 boasts a captivating design that seamlessly combines aesthetics with functionality. The slim profile, curved edges, and premium materials not only make it comfortable to hold but also visually striking. It’s too good to look, feel, and hold, it makes you wonder if this is a flagship device from the brand.
The colorway we got, Emerald Green, is one of HONOR’s standard colors for its smartphones since it relaunched as an independent brand from HUAWEI. This is also, by coincidence, the only colorway in the lineup that offers a matte finish which makes the device not that visible with fingerprints and smudges.
The chromatic sides and even the back are mostly made of polycarbonate, a stark difference from last year’s HONOR 70 5G with a glass back. In turn, the device is now devoid of antenna lines since the material allows for better signal reception.
Holding the HONOR 90 5G should not be a hurdle for those who want to use it for a long time as it’s light enough for hours of use. It’s not that slippery even when your hands are kind of sweaty, though we still recommend using the clear TPU case included in the package for added protection.
See more of the design and construction in our previously published hands-on.
WalasTech’s Top Feature Pick:
A Display Prowess
HONOR chose to stick to its usual OLED display, but this time it’s in a quad-curved screen that is prominently highlighted with their Magic flagship line of phones. The smoothness of the display feels natural especially when doing gesture-based navigations from the edges, making it comfortable to use.
The display also features vivid colors and great brightness, with the highest toggle visible when used in shaded areas on high noon. Contrast is really great as viewing angles do, and good great sharpness at around 450 pixels per inch.
The HONOR 90 5G also is the first mid-range phone to sport 3840Hz PWM Dimming, which should provide a better viewing experience as it makes the device virtually flicker-free (with corresponding certifications from TUV Rheinland),. Combine this with the software-assisted Eye Care mode, and expect it to be easier on the eyes especially when using it at night.
Audio: As decent as it is
The device, in contrast to last year’s HONOR 90 5G, sports a single, bottom-firing loudspeaker capable of producing music just enough to fill a regular twin-bed hotel room. Nothing much to note on the audio quality of the loudspeaker as it’s the same as we’ve heard with other HONOR phones, particularly with the HONOR X9a 5G.
It also features Hi-Res audio so you can hear all the tones you want in the right places. It still doesn’t have an audio jack, but HONOR was kind enough to include a USB-C to 3.5mm converter in the box so you can easily listen with your wired head headphones. Bluetooth also works fine both as a sharing tool and a way to listen to your tunes wireless, and it works well with any brand of audio gear we have in our arsenal.
Camera: All that 200MP goodness
HONOR bumped the rear camera of the HONOR 90 5G to a whopping 200 megapixels, using a Samsung sensor to join its usual 12MP ultrawide and 2MP depth cameras, while you get a 50-megapixel selfie shooter great enough to use both for photos with you and your friends or to shoot videos for your TikTok dances.
The built-in camera offers Panorama, Timelapse, 200MP high-res, Document Scanner, Slow-mo, HDR video, Super Macro, Story, Pro, HDR Photo, Stickers, and Solo Cut as available modes alongside Portrait, Night, and Normal modes.
Photos are great with well-saturated colors, decent dynamic range and contrast, and the right amount of brightness. See sample photos here:
Likewise, videos also produce great detail with up to 6x digital zoom, but can easily switch from ultrawide to the normal lens in just a tap. Here’s a sample clip:
There’s also an option for you to do multi-video mode, where some instances can use both front and back cameras at the same time while doing a video to provide a more holistic recording. Here’s a sample clip:
Performance: A surprising encounter
This phone performs really well, thanks to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chip inside, plus a whopping 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage – a configuration you would never expect to see in a phone at this price point.
Multitasking is a breeze with the phone, same as connectivity with WiFi, Mobile Data, and GPS. We’ve played games such as Genshin Impact in Medium settings without many issues, as well as Mobile Legends in High graphics settings, with only a little heat at the upper back part of the phone. Here are some benchmarks we have taken with the device:
- GeekBench CPU – 1,347 (Single Core), 3,441 (Multi Core)
- GeekBench GPU – 2,730 (OpenCL)
- 3DMark – 3,130 @ 18.75 average fps (Wild Fire)
- PCMark – 12,144 (Work 3.0)
MagicUI 7.1 is still the star of the show. It’s based on Android 13 and offers Google Mobile services just as much as other recently-launched HONOR devices do. You’ll find most Google services here pre-installed as well as HONOR’s apps including MyHONOR and the HONOR App Market. To be really honest, the UI just looks a lot like Huawei’s but with Google — isn’t this like a dream for many to behold?
A hidden feature in this phone? You can actually use an eSIM. The HONOR 90 5G is the most affordable device, as of this writing, to offer an eSIM at its SIM2 slot. You have a choice of using a physical SIM or an eSIM by toggling it at the SIM management section in the settings.
The HONOR 90 5G sports in-display fingerprint scanning, which works really fast with all registered fingerprints. The face unlock works really well, too, and unlocks the device in just a split second from the moment the phone starts to look for your facial profile.
Battery Life: A superb feature
The 5,000mah battery capacity on the HONOR 90 5G is enough to power you through the whole day with medium use of calls, SMS, and online browser and app usage via mobile data and WiFi. Recharging takes around an hour to complete with the provided 66-watt HONOR SuperCharge brick and its accompanying USB-C cable.