Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor 9N : Comparison on Performance vs Design
Updated on 2018-08-15 by Tejas Upmanyu
Even if you’ve been on Mars with big plugs in your ears, you’ve definitely heard of the very popular Xiaomi Mi A2 being around the corner. Xiaomi Mi A1 has been no short of ‘successful’ in every aspect of the word for Xiaomi in the upper budget range, well one of the great things about Xiaomi is that they don’t sit back and keep the wheel moving, so here we are with the second iteration of one of the most popular upper budget smartphones ever. Upright next is Honor star in the budget segment - Honor 9N which promises everything 2018 at an amazing price, so which one is the better choice? Let’s dig that out in this point by point comparison of the Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor 9N.
1. Design & Build
Let’s start with design and build, Xiaomi Mi A2 is a bold statement in sturdiness with aluminium body, trimmed plastic bands on top and bottom for antennas, much like the Xiaomi Redmi Y2. If you’ve seen Redmi Y2, you are gonna find Mi A2 quite strikingly similar with no fancy glass, or polished metal. Call it boring or traditional but Xiaomi has decided to stick with the same design language - curved corners and metal. The device though having a tall display with toned bezels looks kinda big in hands and can be an inconvenient experience for some, in the other words It's not compact and too comfortable to use if you have small hands. On the back, we get a familiar looking camera housing with dual sensors and flash in between. The fingerprint scanner sits at the centre.
Talking on Honor 9N - It is a great smartphone revolutionised to 2018 standards with notch-complete design and an all display front with a small bottom bezel with Honor branding. On the back, we find glass all over with horizontal camera housing containing dual shooters and LED flash and circular fingerprint sensor at the centre. Presence of glass all over makes the device breakable and of course a big time fingerprint magnet. Honor 9N no doubt looks more premium but also has Its downsides with sacrifices in durability.
Our pick when comparing the design quality of Mi A2 vs Honor 9N? well, It is a struggling one but we’d go with Honor 9N here as the Mi A2’s design looks a bit stale for 2018.
What you see is what you get, right? both the smartphones despite being budget offerings keep their display standards with Xiaomi Mi A2 featuring a 6-inch LTPS IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels at 18:9 aspect ratio (as widely known as the bezel-less display). The pixel density turns out to be ~403 PPI. The display is a decent one, on par with the Mi A1 but not a big leap ahead. Fairly, we can’t expect much more than this in the budget range - the display is well enough bright, with sharp colours and good contrast levels, viewing angles are great as well.
Honor 9N sports an almost all-front display which is 5.84 inches diagonally with a 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution and pixel density of ~432 PPI. The display is a notch display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and looks amazing. Honor 9N has a bright display with an abundance of colours, crisp and immersive views, and legit sunlight readability.
There is no protection on either of the displays and frankly, both the Mi A2 and the Honor 9N are great, which one should you choose? either.
3. Internals & Performance
This part of comparison stands tall in any smartphone comparison. So let’s talk about the real deal, performance and internals of Mi A2 vs Honor 9N.
Xiaomi devices have always been known for their excellent performance statistics and Mi A2 extends that with Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 onboard. Snapdragon 660 is a highly capable SoC from late 2017 which is usually found in quality mid-range devices. For a quick reminder of Snapdragon 660’s prowess - It has an octa-core CPU with 4x2.2 GHz Kryo 260 cores and 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 cores. This is serious power here, Kryo cores are Qualcomm’s magic sauce directly tricking down from flagship SoCs. On the graphics side, It is powered by Adreno 512 which is no short of amazing when it comes to games and graphics workloads, It is ready for everything you throw at it.
Honor 9N is modest at best in this regard with Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 659 at Its core, which is a budget grade SoC with octa-core SoC comprised of 4x2.36 GHz Cortex-A53 for performance-intensive tasks and 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53s for battery efficient tasks. Kirin 659 is great for everyday tasks and does good until you load immense pressure on It, then the SoC can be seen struggling, which is almost unheard with Snapdragon 660. Mali-T830 MP2 is the GPU alongside which again is good enough for gaming but playing heavy games can take a toll at times. In multitasking comparison of the A2 vs Honor 9N, up to a few apps, there are no issues but as soon as we got a bit intense, the inconspicuous difference between the two smartphones is out there.
There is a 4 GB RAM variant of Mi A2 with 64 GB of internal memory, while the Honor 9N has 3 GB and 4GB variants with 32GB and 64 GB/128GB varaints available. You can choose them on basis of your budget and performance needs. The pricing comparison of the two phone is covered in the following points.
If numbers are considered, Snapdragon 660 clocks about 135k points on AnTuTu Benchmark while Kirin 659 is able to get just past 72k points.
For the shutterbug in you, Xiaomi has improved an already great budget camera to even better one. Xiaomi Mi A2 gets a vertical dual sensor setup at the back with primary 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.9", 1.25µm sensor and a secondary 20 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.8", 1.0µm, PDAF. The smartphone takes delectable daylight photos with great colour accuracy and balanced hues, sharpness. In low-light situations, the performance definitely takes a dip but it still manages to get okay-ish shots. The camera does sit on a bump though, so be aware of that. On the front, we see a 20 MP, f/2.2, 1/2.8", 1.0µm sensor which again captures a lot of details with the right amount of sharpness and exposure, low-light scenarios are quite miserable for the sensor but then we get a soft LED flash, which takes away most of the pain. There is also an Auto HDR on the front sensor, which automatically engages HDR to get some great shots.
Honor 9N also gets a dual rear sensor set-up comprising of 13 MP, PDAF sensor and a secondary 2 MP, depth sensor. The daylight performance is kind of on par with average budget devices but low-light conditions puts this camera under some noise. On the front is a 16MP sensor which sort of works the same and captures decent selfies but again, don’t expect much in low-lighting situations.
Considering both of these phones are budget segment smartphones, the overall camera performance is decent enough considering the drop seen in the low light conditions. Comparing the camera of Mi A2 vs Honor 9N, the final verdict will be the Mi A2 gets a slight edge over the Honor 9N. The bokeh shots are considerably better on the Mi A2 than Honor 9N, with better edge detection and gradual blurring.
Coming to software: Xiaomi Mi A2 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, that too under Google’s Android One program which means that it is essentially stock Android with some nifty additions by Xiaomi. What you get with Android One is simplicity and peace of mind in terms of latest updates directly shipped to your device by Google.
Honor 9N is powered by Android 8.0 Oreo with its custom skin EMUI 8 on top, though it is one of the oldest custom skins with lot of maturity and refinements, It still feels cluttered and overwhelming, when stacked against Android One. Without any iota of doubt, Xiaomi Mi A2 is the winner in the software experience over the Honor 9N.
6. Battery, Charging & More
We all want bigger batteries and it is not cheering to see both the smartphones running on 3000mAh batteries, which in Honor 9N’s case doesn’t last that too long, even if you use it moderately and will just get you through the day.
Mi A2 has slightly longer battery life but again we are not very impressed here, we expect Xiaomi to put at least 3500mAh battery. The downside continues with Honor 9N as there is no fast charging option while for Indian customers Xiaomi has brought QuickCharge 4.0 to Mi A2, which is really cool. You’d have to buy the fast charger from a third party vendor though.
Sadly, Xiaomi has left 3.5mm headphone jack out of Mi A2, we are still seeking an answer to why? we doubt Xiaomi has a solid one. There is USB-C and you do get the dongle for 3.5mm to USB-C. With fast charging support, Mi A2 is the better choice.
There is no IP rating on either of the smartphones, so It would be better to keep them far away from liquids and dust.
7. Pricing & Availability
Coming to the final point of this comparison which is pricing.
|Variant||Honor 9N Price||Mi A2 Price|
|3 GB - 32 GB||11999||Not Available|
|4 GB - 64 GB||13999||16999|
|4GB - 128 GB||17999||Not Available|
Honor 9N is a Flipkart exclusive smartphone while the Mi A2 is an Amazon exclusive and both are available only in flash sale.
Mi A2 Features
- 4 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM
- 6" Full HD+ Display 1080p
- Rear Camera: 20MP+12MP Dual Camera
- Front Camera: 20MP
- 3010 mAh Battery
- Best Price Rs. 13999
Honor 9N Features
- 4 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM
- 5.8" Full HD Plus Display 1080p
- Rear Camera: 13MP + 2MP Dual Camera
- Front Camera: 16MP
- 3000 mAh Battery
- Best Price Rs. 10499