Honor 9X vs Redmi Note 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy M30s: Battle of the affordable beasts

The highly competitive affordable smartphones segment has a contender for the position of segment-leader, the HONOR 9X. A contender for the throne from the get go, the HONOR 9X is a highly affordable handset that comes equipped with a truly full-screen display, a pop-up selfie camera, and a triple rear camera setup. It will, of course, face stiff competition in its price range from the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M30s. While the former prides itself on its quad-camera setup, the latter boasts of stellar battery life. Will the HONOR 9X be able to snatch the crown away from these But we’re here to give these three phones a thorough comparison to see which one comes out with flying colours.

Design and display

The Honor 9X is the most striking among these three devices, with its full-screen front surface that’s not blemished by any notch or punch-hole. It achieves this with the pop-up mechanism to the front camera. The Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy M30s feature dewdrop notches on their front surfaces, which takes away the immersive experience you get on the HONOR smartphone.

Coming to their rear surface, the highlight of the HONOR 9X is the ‘X’ logo that’s shimmers beautifully under light thanks. Complemented by the gradient blue hues, this pattern is covered by a 3D plastic layer that gives the appearance of glass. It’s got curved edges as well, resulting in excellent grip. The Redmi handset, on the other hand, has glass rear surface with gradient colours, while the Samsung Galaxy M30s features a pretty bland plastic rear surface.

All three phones ship with rear-mounted fingerprint readers, 3.5mm headphone jacks, and USB Type-C connectors. The display onboard the Honor 9X is a 6.59-inch LCD, while the one on the Redmi Note 9 Pro is a 6.53-inch LCD. As for the Samsung device, it holds onto a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED panel. Not surprisingly, all three panels sport FHD+ resolutions.

Hardware and software

Redmi Note 8 Pro

Fueling the Honor 9X’s operations is the new Kirin 710F chipset with its 2.2GHz octa-core processor and its Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. This powerful chipset is aided by the GPU Turbo 3.0 technology, which is meant to provide a faster, lag-free gaming experience for your PUBG battles. The Redmi Note 8 Pro ships with a 2GHz octa-core Helio G90T processor that’s paired with the Mali-G76 MC4 GPU, while the Samsung Galaxy M30s grabs the 2.3GHz Exynos 9611 CPU, along with the Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. The superlative performance of the Kirin 710F processor ensures the HONOR 9X performs all tasks at blazing speed, so say goodbye to laggy experience.

The Honor 9X comes with two RAM options (4GB and 6GB), both with 128GB inbuilt storage. This is quite in contrast with the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Galaxy M30s, which offer just 64GB of storage on their base models.

EMUI 9.1 is the software onboard the HONOR 9X. Apart from an updated user interface, this version also offers several AR features, AI-powered implementations to improve performance, the updated Huawei VLOG app, a new Phone Clone feature, and much more. The Redmi Note 8 Pro, on the other hand, runs on MIUI 10, with its updated Recents menu, nature-inspired notification sounds, and other new additions. The Galaxy M30s has Samsung’s One UI layer on its Android base. It features Google’s Digital Wellbeing and Wind Down features, but it does have more than a few bloatware apps that can’t be totally uninstalled.

Camera and battery

A 48MP main camera headlines the triple camera setup of the Honor 9X. This snapper makes for some excellent high-resolution shots that won’t show their pixels even when you fully zoom into them. Backing the 48MP primary sensor are the 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and the 2MP depth camera for portrait shots. Plenty of AI features also make their way into the 9X. These include 22 different categories across 500 different scenarios. Artificial Image Stabilization (AIS) has also found itself on this device for delivering blur-free images and videos.

Coming to the Redmi Note 8 Pro, it houses a 64MP main camera that’s complemented by an 8MP ultra wide-angle snapper, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. As for the Galaxy M30s, it also features a 48MP main camera, while its other two cameras include an 8MP ultra wide-angle snapper and a 5MP depth sensor.

Like we said, the Honor 9X is the only device among the three to feature a pop-up front camera. This is a 16MP unit that’s protected by traits like Intelligent Fall Detection, Downward Pressure Protection, and Dust and Splash Protection. The front cameras of the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Galaxy M30s sit inside their teardrop notches with 20MP and 16MP sensors, respectively.

The Samsung handset is the clear winner in the battery department, with its 6,000mAh power pack and its 15W fast charging. But that doesn’t mean that the Honor 9X and the Redmi Note 8 Pro have mediocre battery capacities either. The HONOR 9X sports a 4,000mAh cell, while the Xiaomi device goes for a 4,500mAh battery. Both these cells are good for full one-day battery life with medium-to-heavy usage.

Bottom line

There’s no doubt that the Honor 9X is the most beautiful among these three devices. Its full-screen front surface and its pop-up front camera make for a gorgeous appearance. The phone also offers 128GB of storage in its base model, which is again something the other two are not doing. It costs the same as the Samsung Galaxy M30s, which has a rather drab appearance and is more affordable than the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which runs on a MediaTek processor. Clearly the HONOR 9X takes the crown in both style and substance in the affordable segment and will be the choice of the youth!