Honor Pad 9 Review: a new standard for mid-range tablets


Looking for a tablet that won’t break the bank but still lets you kick back with some casual games, stream your favorite shows, and browse the web in style? The Honor Pad 9 might be your perfect match. It’s a bit different than the usual Galaxy Tab series we recommend, but Honor’s new Android tablet may be a good alternative if you’re looking for something new. Let’s break down what this tablet does well, keeping in mind those who are watching their wallets.

Design & Performance

The Honor Pad 9 doesn’t just look good, it feels good too. It has a sleek design with a metal frame and a glass front, giving it a surprisingly premium feel for a budget tablet.

t’s surprisingly lightweight at 1.22 lbs (555g) and comfortable to hold, even for extended periods. This is a big deal, especially if you plan on using your tablet for reading ebooks, watching long videos, or catching up on work.

Performance-wise, it packs the mid-range Qualcomm SM6450 Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor, which while not the fastest on the market, should handle everyday tasks like browsing, watching videos, and even some casual gaming without any issues. It’s paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, giving you options depending on your needs.

It also goes well for casual gaming. It’ll play all the usual titles, including Call of Duty Mobile and Genshin Impact, but don’t expect to get any high frame rates. For that, you’ll need to shell out and extra $150 or more for a tablet with a much faster chipset. Still, I had a lot of fun using the tablet on a few trips and didn’t have any issues with the usual games I have installed.


While the performance is good, the star of the show here is the display. It’s a big, beautiful 12.1-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. It’s not the most cutting-edge OLED display you’ll find on the market, its impressive brightness of 500 nits and wide 16:10 aspect ratio, make it fantastic for watching movies, scrolling through endless social media feeds, or even getting work done. This display packs in 249 pixels per inch (ppi), ensuring sharp details and crisp text.

I do also need to praise its TÜV Rheinland Flicker-free and Low Blue Light tech, two features that noticeably help reduce eye strain during extended viewing sessions. Honor has been pushing both of those features in its high-end smartphones for the past few years, so it’s nice to see it make its way into its tablet lineup as well.

Software Experience

The Honor Pad 9 runs on MagicOS 7.2, a custom user interface based on Android 13. As we have pointed out on Honor’s phones, the UI feels a little dated and still sports quite a few features that are nearly a carbon copy of what Huawei offers on its tablets. The differences are becoming more apparent, but I’m truly hoping that Honor will soon be able to forge its own path and give us a software experience that’s truly unique.

Since this is a tablet with a large screen, MagicOS offers some multitasking features, allowing you to split the screen and run two apps side-by-side. It’s not quite as advanced as what you get on a Samsung tablet, but it gets the job done. For those unfamiliar with Honor’s multi-tasking system, the software will walk you through the different options the first time you want to use two apps at once – a nice tough for those who are picking up an Honor tablet for the first time.

If multitasking and a robust software experience are top priorities, you might be happier with a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which offers a more refined multitasking experience with features like Samsung DeX.

Battery Life

If you’re like me and spend most of your free time playing mobile games, or simply browsing the web for hours on end, a long battery life is key. The Honor Pad 9 delivers decent results in this department, with a large 8300mAh battery. You can expect to stream shows, browse the web, and play some games for 8-10 hours on a single charge. This is a bit shorter than the 14.5 hours of local video playback that Honor claims, but it’s still fairly good. 

Since I typically only used the tablet a few hours a day, I usually only had to charge it twice per week. The tablet doesn’t charge quite a s fast as Honor’s smartphones, but the 35W charger manages to top off the battery in about 3 hours.

Looking for Alternatives?

  • Similar Price: If you’re looking for a similar-priced Android tablet, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro offers a faster processor and a slightly bigger display, but with a less sleek design. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 boasts a bigger battery and expandable storage, but with a lower resolution display.
  • More Expensive, More Power: If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE offers a powerful processor and S Pen support, making it a great choice for productivity tasks. The Apple iPad Air 5 boasts a superior display, a faster processor, and a more mature app ecosystem, but it comes at a significantly higher price tag.

A Few Other Things to Consider

  • Mid-Range Performance: It’s important to remember that this is a mid-range tablet. If you’re a hardcore gamer who needs the latest and greatest processing power, or require a tablet for demanding tasks like video editing, you might want to look elsewhere for more processing muscle.
  • No Fancy Extras: Don’t expect to find features like fingerprint scanners or IP raging at this price point. But let’s be honest, those features are nice to have, but not necessarily dealbreakers for everyone.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a casual user on a budget, the €349 ($380) Honor Pad 9 offers a whole lot of tablet for the money. It’s got a gorgeous 12.1-inch 2.5K display, a sleek metal design, and enough power with the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM to handle everyday tasks and some light gaming.

It might not be the ultimate powerhouse, but it delivers a smooth and enjoyable user experience, making it a great choice for those who prioritize a big, beautiful display, a premium look and feel, and long battery life, all at an affordable price point.

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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