Now with its Mi 9, Xiaomi is once again a lot of noise in the smartphone market, including a quality / price ratio unbeatable while it embarks the latest SoC Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855. Far from being the only manufacturer to be in this process of broken prices, we also find Honor who is a regular in the high-end segment affordable. Released shortly thereafter, the View 20 incorporates HiSilicon's latest chip, the Kirin 980, while being approximately on the same price band as its competitor. Using our detailed comparison, find out which of the two is the best smartphone.
Once again, the war is declared between Xiaomi and Honor. On one side, we have the Mi 9, the first smartphone available in France to equip the Snapdragon 855, and on the other side, we have the View 20, the first smartphone in France to have a hole in its screen. If the two solutions seem very different on paper, there is a criterion that does not deceive: the price. Indeed, the two manufacturers are used to stepping on their feet and offer their new flagship respective almost the same price, namely for people who have a budget of 500 euros.
A question then arises
what is the best smartphone between a Xiaomi Mi 9 and a Honor View 20? Design, performance, photo, autonomy. Discover our detailed comparison between the two smartphones!
|Xiaomi Mi 9||Honor View 20|
|469 €||499 €|
Design: we want originality in 2019
Xiaomi is not extravagant with its Mi 9. Its design is sober and elegant, taking much of the aesthetic codes of smartphones in the batch of 2018. Therefore, it embeds a small notch on the upper part of its screen, but it takes the form of a small discreet drop of water, a little in the same vein as the OnePlus 6T. It is also part of these smartphones that add an additional customizable button on the slice, which by default calls Google Assistant. A practical feature that we will find more and more in 2019. On the back, we note especially the presence of the triple sensor module on the upper left corner, and its beautiful glass surface.
The View 20 stands out with a design much more flashy than its competitor. First, its borderless screen is not cut by a notch, but by a small bubble on the upper left corner. A slightly more discreet solution that other manufacturers have taken over, including Samsung with its new Galaxy S10. Whether upright to browse the Internet or horizontally to play or watch videos, this little punch does not interfere with the use of the smartphone and is rather a good point. Turning the smartphone, you can admire beautiful "V" (for View), although some of you may find it a little too flashy for the eyes.
Although the design of the Xiaomi Mi 9 is not bad, it is content to perfect the more traditional lines of current smartphones. In 2019, we want originality and the Honor View 20, in this context, responds much better to our expectations.
Screen: OLED, we love you!
Most flagship Xiaomi incorporates an OLED panel and this Mi 9 will not depart from the rule. Its 6.39-inch diagonal screen and 2340 x 1080-pixel Full HD + definition offers good contrast, good brightness, and a good color display, even if it tends to shoot to the blue color by default. Rather rare on this price range, it is important to specify that it supports the HDR10 and covers the color space DCI-P3 according to Xiaomi.
As for Honor, he chose to integrate a 6.4-inch IPS LCD panel with a Full HD + definition of 2310 x 1080 pixels for his View 20. We would obviously prefer to take advantage of the OLED technology as its challenger, but that does not mean that the screen is bad. We appreciate its high brightness to easily adapt to all situations (even in full sun), but we regret nevertheless its lack of flagrant contrast on some content.
The screen of the Honor View 20 is of good quality, but difficult to compete against the contrasts and colors that can offer an OLED panel, as is the case with the Xiaomi Mi 9.
Software: MIUI or Magic UI?
Out of box, the Xiaomi Mi 9 offers Android 9.0 Pie with MIUI 10.2, an interface strongly inspired by iOS, the home operating system of the brand to the apple. While this may represent a good transition for iPhone owners, it is primarily a complete interface with many customization choices (even if Android aficionados will be disappointed not to find the application drawer). By offering the fingerprint sensor under the screen with the sixth generation of optical technology, the Mi 9 is more responsive to unlocking than the OnePlus 6T for example. Interesting point: Xiaomi has added shortcuts in three directions to easily access a QR Code scanner, the calendar or to perform a quick search.
The Honor View 20 natively embeds the new version of the Google OS (Android 9.0 Pie) with the overlay Magic UI, a variant of EMUI to differentiate Huawei devices stamped. For now, the regulars will be far from lost because it is finally only a copy of the famous interface, with the same architecture, the same customization options and almost the same icons. However, Honor has announced his firm willingness to follow a different path of Emotion UI in future updates. Aside from that, this interface is closer to Android than its competitor and offers the ability to display the well-liked application drawer.
Whether MIUI or Magic UI, these two interfaces are based on Android 9.0 Pie and offer quite extensive customization, including many options available. It remains to know if you prefer an interface that is closer to the spirit of Apple than that of Android.
Performance: S855 that has been waiting for good reason
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the first French representative of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. Accompanied by 6 GB of RAM, this chip simply provides the best performance in the market by far. It provides its user with exemplary fluidity on simple tasks, while showing his full potential on the most complex tasks. For example, this configuration allows Fortnite Mobile to run in high graphical mode at 60 fps and epic mode at 30 fps, a technical feat that was previously reserved for the Honor View 20 at its release.
With its Kirin 980 and 6 GB of RAM, the flagship of Honor also offers top performance at the beginning of 2019, but this configuration is now no longer the most powerful of the Android sphere, even with the performance mode enabled. However, this is more than enough to enjoy a perfectly fluid experience in everyday life, and of course, to run all the games gourmet Play Store.
If the gap between the Snapdragon 845 and the Kirin 970 was only slightly noticeable, we must admit that the power gap has widened between the Snapdragon 855 and Kirin 980, where even the performance mode of the latter does not not enough to surpass his competitor. It should be noted however that both smartphones offer very high performance.
Photo: The affordable and powerful triple sensor
Initiated by the P20 Pro last year, the triple photo sensor module is adopted for the first time by Xiaomi on its Mi 9. There is then at the back of the phone a first 48 megapixel sensor, a telephoto lens of 12 megapixels and an ultra-wide 16-megapixel lens. Naturally, a wide range of tools can be used to enjoy, for example, a macro mode, an ultra wide-angle mode or a lossless x2 zoom. For this price range, it is undoubtedly the best performance in the photo, even if we regret the noises too present during the night shots and a front sensor struggling on wide dynamic ranges.
On the video side, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is capable of shooting in 4K at 60 fps, in 1080p at 30 fps or in slow motion at 960 fps, with a very good quality of the image and a rather practical autofocus, although this is not necessarily the case of the stabilization which is limited to 1080p @ 30.
On the side of Honor, we find simply a 48-megapixel mono sensor, which nevertheless has the distinction of offering a 1/2 inch format. The size of the sensor makes it possible, among other things, to capture more light for a convincing result. The details are fine, the colors are close to reality and the entire dynamic range is pretty well restored. Nevertheless, the smartphone is struggling with strong light sources, and that's a shame. Finally, a TOF 3D sensor completes the whole, but its usefulness has not really been shown yet.
The Honor View 20 is also capable of shooting 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 30 fps or slow motion at 960 fps, for picture quality almost identical to that of the Xiaomi Mi 9.
With its Mi 9, Xiaomi brings to the market an affordable and truly effective triple sensor solution on a daily basis. It is closer to this premium quality than the Honor View 20, although we could not expect a real magic trick for this price range.
Battery: 4000 mAh, the base
Below 4,000 mAh, this may seem insufficient for a smartphone of this size. However, the capacity of 3,300 mAh gets away with the honors on the Xiaomi Mi 9. With intensive use of social networks or video games, it can still hold all day long without running out of steam. Fast charge compatible, the charger Quick Charge 3 to 18 W provided with it allows to completely recover its autonomy in one hour and ten minutes, an excellent score even if the device is basic compatible with technology Quick Charge 4+ (and could therefore improve his score). Finally, wireless charging is also available, however the charger provided for this purpose is not included in the box.
In comparison, Honor understood that autonomy was becoming an increasingly popular argument among smartphone users. The View 20 therefore has a 4000 mAh battery that easily places it at the top of the smartphone basket to recommend for their endurance. In fact, it can easily withstand two days of use, or a little more if your use is moderate. Honor's flagship does not offer wireless charging as its challenger, but its fast charge is particularly effective, allowing it to go from 0 to 100% in 1 hour and 23 minutes.
On paper, the View 20 is more enduring than the Mi 9. Afterwards, it should be known that fast charging is more efficient on the side of Xiaomi and the wireless charge up to 20W is the game. Once again, the Mi 9 is closer to this premium side than its challenger.
Conclusion: which is the best smartphone?
Whether it's the Honor View 20 or the Xiaomi Mi 9, the two smartphones fit perfectly into the lineage of affordable high-end smartphones, with great efforts made on the quality of the final delivery. However, one of them rises more than the other towards this sought-after and coveted premium aspect. If you have not guessed which smartphone I speak, you will be surprised to learn that it is the least expensive of the two that prevails.
For its price, the Mi 9 is simply impressive. Unlike the View 20, Xiaomi's smartphone is able to integrate all these small elements that allow it to merge with the biggest on the market (OLED screen, triple sensor, performance beyond expectations), while offering a complete experience that will respond to all uses (fingerprint sensor under the screen, fast charge, wireless charge, etc.). In short, Honor and the other manufacturers are clearly worried to be done.
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Mi 9 is displayed at 469 euros for the 6/64 GB version and at 499 euros for the 6/128 GB model.