Honor 90 Review: Nostalgic Midrange Smartphone

Some smartphone brands leave good impressions on me with their smooth performance at affordable prices. Unfortunately, most of them could not sustain the quality for more than a couple of generations. It seems like a tech-curse. I loved the ASUS Zenfone series (running on Intel chipset) between 2014 and 2016. I also enjoyed using Honor 8 Pro and even bought for myself after I reviewed one (it still works albeit no software updates). The performance and image quality convinced me to switch to Huawei P20 and P30 series before they fell out with the US sanctions resulting in the removal of Google products. Honor, being the sub-brand of Huawei, was also affected by the market restrictions.


I am generally very pleased with the review experience of Honor 90, partly because it inherits a lot of Huawei’s features. While the overall performance is not as snappy as flagship models, I believe less impatient users will find it a non-issue. Camera features are good enough to deliver impressive shots of every day life, with enough modes to allow the user to easily tweak and achieve the desired result. The lack of external microSD card slot is addressed with a built-in 512GB storage, and the dual 5G nanoSIM slot with eSIM covers all mobile network scenarios.

Honor 90 5G (12/512GB) retails in Singapore at S$619 and comes with a free Honor Earbuds X5 worth S$70. It is at the top of my buy list once my Dad’s Huawei Mate 10 Pro shows any sign of retirement. For warranty service support, visit 54 Genting Lane Unit 04-01 Block II, Ruby Land Complex, Singapore 349562. For detailed product information, visit the official Honor 90 product site.


Honor Magic5 Pro Review: Flagship Smartphone at Value Price

The HONOR Magic5 Pro 5G is the brand’s premium flagship series model for 2023. After a sell-off by Huawei, Honor no longer bears the burden of the parent company’s trade restrictions and is able to license Google apps in its smartphones. It retails in Singapore at S$1249 with 512GB storage and 12GB RAM powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Here’s a list of the other specs that are truly flagship grade:

  • Triple 50MP rear cameras – Ultra-Wide f/2/0, Wide f/1.6, Telephoto f/3.0 up to 100x zoom
  • 12MP front camera and 2MP 3D depth camera
  • 5100 mAh battery supporting 66W Wired SuperCharge, 50W Wireless SuperCharge
  • 6.8-inch LTPO OLED 120 Hz refresh with 2160 Hz PWM Dimming and peak 1800 nits brightness
  • Dual nano SIM with eSIM, supports 5G NR
  • Infrared Sensor (old school but useful!)
  • IP68 Water Resistant
  • Bluetooth 5.2, supports SBC, AAC, AptX, AptX HD, LDAC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be, 2×2 MIMO
  • NFC (works with Singapore contactless payment systems)
  • 219 grams
Camera Quality
Shot at 1x zoom.

With 3.5x telephoto mode, even without digital zoom, I find the images appearing somewhat digital. The “High-Res” 50MP version appears less processed but still exhibits digital edges. Shooting with digital zoom offers slightly better sharpening and contrast, but if you prefer to capture the full resolution, the 50MP definitely delivers the raw pixel output. The file save is much faster than Honor 90.

Shot at 3.5x zoom

When shooting in aperture or portrait mode, the camera will artificially process the bokeh to create depth of field. It seems that the final result is different from the live preview, and unlike the Honor 90, I was unable to achieve the narrow depth-of-field of f/0.95. And like the Honor 90, I am unable to adjust the bokeh post-processing.

Audio Quality

Perhaps the one feature that I don’t quite like is the headphone audio. There is the DTS:X Ultra audio processor that without a doubt improves the audio amplification and delivery. But as an audiophile enthusiast myself, I prefer my audio to be unprocessed so that I can listen to the original source. With the Magic5 Pro, after disabling the effect, the audio quality is less precise. Putting that aside, the various effects are rather useful for casual listeners to make the music sound more immersive.

Battery Life and Background Notifications

With a 5100 mAh battery capacity, the Magic5 Pro delivers a full solid day usage, far better than what I have experienced with my Google Pixel 7 Pro. However, I also noticed that I did not get the usual notifications from some of my background apps, despite enabling background permissions.


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