Huawei Honor 9 Review: Display


Huawei Honor 9 is equipped with Hisilicon Kirin 960 SoC, supporting dual-standby. It is also the first Hi-Fi Huawei smartphone, with AK4376 DAC and supporting 24bit/192kHz audio. We believe lots users are interested in the display performance of Honor 9.

Huawei Honor 9 uses a 5.15-inch FHD IPS display panel, which is produced by Tianma. More and more Chinese display panels are adopting in smartphones with market size growing and technology progress. However, Tianma is just a brand, what defines the display performance is the display panel itself and smartphone vendor adjustment. Honor 9 is able to adjust display color temperature, just like the Mate series that we reviewed.

Display Mode Manual Warm Default
Max Brightness 488 502 513
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.37 2.36 2.27
Average Color Temperature K 7089 7229 8133
Average Luminance Error, Delta E 3.35 4.42 6.29
Comparision One Plus 5 Nubia Z17 HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8+ Huawei Mate9 Pro iPhone 7 Plus
Brightness cd/m2 409 453 434 358 399 365 525
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.15 2.22 2.17 2.22 2.29 2.05 2.21
Average Color Temperature K 6120 6503 6600 6669 6324 6702 6794
Average Luminance Error 3.04 1.72 2.15 2.91 2.58 2.36 1.95
Display Mode Manual Warm Default
Color Gamut (sRGB) 133.70%
Average Color Error 3.44 3.9 5.23
Max Color Error 5.74 7.06 8.63
Comparision One Plus 5 Nubia Z17 HTC U11 XZP sRGB Mode Galaxy S8+ Huawei Mate9 Pro iPhone 7 Plus
Color Gamut(sRGB) 95.97% 134.71% 131.77% 95.55% 98.99% 130.41% 101.45%
Average Color Error 2.56 2.66 3 2.14 3.01 4.58 1.69
Largest Color Error 5.24 4.91 4.95 3.69 5.05 7.37 3.08
  • Max Screen Brightness (cd/m2 or nits): The maximum brightness one screen could reach, without considering glass quality, algorithm or dynamic adjusting. Over 500 cd/m2 can be used under strong light, below 400 cd/m2 will be to use.
    Gamma 2.2: Gamma value is the key factor in contrast display. Our eyes do not perceive light the way cameras do. Under sRGB, if the gamma value is 2.2, the tonal range is just what human eyes receive. Lower than 2.2, the contrast will go down, otherwise, it will go up. Except the gamma value, we have to see form the picture if the red, green and blue curve overlap, if not, different color contrast will be different. The value between 2.1 to 2.3 is qualified for display, while if the value is below 2 or over 2.4, the contrast will be lower or higher than standard.
    Average Color of White: The average color temperature in degrees, D65 with 6500 K is the standard color of White for most Consumer Content and needed for accurate color reproduction of all images. Higher than 6500K will tend to be cold, otherwise will be warm.
    Color difference: A measurement used to indicate how much a color deviates from standard. The higher the E, the more inaccurate the color. This is because the human eye is only capable of detecting color difference at certain thresholds. It is hard to detect if average E is below 5, less than average 3 E and less than 5 E is excellent, the smaller the E is, the better the color is. Between 5 to 10 E is detectable, over 10E is significantly detectable.
    Color Gamut(sRGB): The specific range of colors that one device is able to display. Our test is based on sRGB. If wide-gamut device is tested, Adobe RGB or NTSC gamut will be noted for reference. Display with over 90% will be enough for everyday use, higher than a certain percentage will not affect using experience significantly. However, photo playback requires precisely range, 10bit video requires wider gamut.
    Restricted by our devices, we will not test the viewing angle. On average, more than 30 would bring over 50% brightness loss.

The default color temperature of Huawei Honor 9 is 8100K, higher than the 6500K standard. We can adjust the color temperature manually to improve color accuracy and luminance error performance, however, Huaweis color temperature setting would affect gray scale performance, resulting Gamma to a value higher than 2.3, so the colors transition is harder than the default setting. This Tianma display panel almost covers the DCI-P3 color gamut, but the over-statured warm colors looks a little dazzling when viewing webpages or apps designed in sRGB.

For the luminance performance, if we just use the default Huawei display setting, Honor 9 is able to reach the excellent ones. However, as our equipment is using a RGB sensor, higher display temperature would lead to a higher brightness result, so when we lower it to below 7000K, the maximum brightness will be drop to less than 500cd/m2. Huawei Honor 9 is not as good as Mate 9 in outdoor using and viewing angles, for its grayish. Chinese manufacturers are able to provide better display panels.

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