Huawei is taking the affordable smartphone segment by a storm, launching one after another competent product. The latest to join its arsenal is Honor 9 Lite that offers a total of four cameras and a beautiful glass and metal body with a full-view display for an astonishingly competent price.
Xiaomi’s Mi A1 is perhaps a worthy challenger even when it was launched a while back. Is the Mi A1 still competent or has it been outshined by its new adversary? Let’s stack the two against one another to help you decide which one is a better option.
Key Specifications of Xiaomi Mi A1 vs Honor 9 Lite:
|Xiaomi Mi A1||Huawei Honor 9 Lite|
|Display||5.5 inch full HD 2.5D curved glass display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection||5.65 inch full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display|
|Processor||2.0 GHz Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 14nm processor||2.3GHz Octa Core Kirin 659 processor|
|Camera||12 MP dual rear camera and 5 MP front camera||13 + 2 MP rear and 13MP + 2MP front cameras|
|Internal Memory||64GB||32GB / 64GB|
|Dimensions and Weight||155.4×75.8×7.3mm and 165 grams||156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm and 165 grams|
|Software||Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS||Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 OS|
|Dual SIM||Yes, Hybrid dual SIM slot||Yes (hybrid dual SIM)|
|Price||13,999 INR||10,999 INR / 14,999 INR|
Design and Build
The Honor 9 Lite has a 5.65-inch Full HD+ display. The staggering 75.5 percent screen to body ratio further ensures that the phone looks pure stunning and is exceptionally compact compared to other phones in this budget. Huawei has used premium glass on front and rear and a metal side frame for Honor 9 Lite. The premium looks are further accentuated by the availability of three attractive color options – Glacial Grey, Midnight Black, and Sapphire Blue.
Xiaomi’s Mi A1 isn’t a poorly designed phone, but it can’t hold a candle to Honor 9 Lite. The beefy bezel on top and bottom look archaic, especially since there is no front fingerprint sensor or dual-selfie camera to justify these trimmings.
When comparing the two, Honor 9 Lite definitely look and feel more premium.
The Honor 9 Lite occupies lesser footprint than Mi A1 and yet manages to include a bigger size display (5.65-inch vs 5.5-inch). The display quality is also comparatively better than the Mi A1. Both phones have full HD panels, but the Honor 9 Lite shows more agreeable white balance, wider dynamic range and comes out as more vibrant one of the two.
You will get a more immersive experience while watching videos/movies or while playing games on Honor 9 Lite due to the 18:9 display.
This is one area where the two phones come close. The Mi A1 has two 12MP cameras on the rear. The second 12MP sensor is used only when you need to shoot zoom shots. Together the two sensors are also used for portrait mode.
The Honor 9 lite has a 13MP rear camera paired with a 2MP depth sensor. Honor focuses entirely on portrait mode, which is also the best use case for dual cameras in our opinion and gets this single feature right. The rear camera performance is very close on the two phones, but the Honor 9 lite benefits from better portrait mode.
As for the selfie camera, Honor 9 Lite is the clear winner. It has a 13MP sensor and a 2MP depth sensor up front compared to the single 5MP selfie sensor on Xiaomi Mi A1. The Honor 9 Lite has an excellent portrait mode for the selfie camera and also benefits from some really smart camera beautification algorithms.
A capable selfie camera is something that most consumers need and something that just can’t be ignored or compromised. The Honor 9 Lite addresses this requirement and thus emerges as a clear winner as far as camera performance goes.
Performance and Software
Once again, the two devices are very close in terms of performance. The Honor 9 Lite is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 659 chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. If you are a light user, you can save some money and opt for the base 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant which is an equally capable performer.
The Mi A1, on the other hand, is powered by Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Both phones are very capable performers and can handle even demanding loads without any apparent lag of stuttering.
The software, however, is where Honor 9 Lite has an advantage. While the Mi A1 runs stock Android ROM (upgradeable to Android Oreo), the Honor 9 Lite benefits from EMUI 8.0 software (based on Android Oreo) that’s feature rich and yet well optimized. The software on Mi A1 pales in comparison.
Battery, Price, and Verdict
Both phones have 3000mAh battery and deliver similar battery backup. Both phones can last for one day of comfortable usage. The Honor 9 Lite, however, can last a little longer thanks to the battery optimizations incorporated in EMUI 8.0.
The base honor 9 Lite variant costs just 10,999 INR and the 4GB RAM variant costs 14,999 INR. The Mi A1, on the other hand, costs 13,999 INR. The Honor 9 Lite beats Mi A1 in almost all regards and emerges as a clear winner. It looks a lot better, has a gorgeous full view display, can offer better camera experience and has a more engaging software. Besides, if you are going for the base variant, Honor 9 Lite will be significantly cheaper too.