Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.


Honor continues its course of impressive smartphones that, while not exactly enough to topple the competition completely, are still great in their own right. For its gorgeous display and long-lasting battery, the Honor 90 will definitely appeal to some users, but against the likes of the Pixel 7a and Galaxy A54, it won’t sway everyone.


  • One of the best screens at this price
  • Solid main camera
  • Reliable battery life


  • MagicOS is clunky
  • No wireless charging
  • Mono audio

Key Features

  • 6.67-inch AMOLED display:With 3840Hz PWM Dimming
  • New 200MP main camera sensor:Flanked by a 2MP depth sensor and 12MP ultra-wide
  • Upgraded 5000 mAh battery:With 66W wired fast charging


Honor looks to further stretch the boundaries of the mid-range smartphone market with its latest device, the Honor 90.

Going against the grain and, in some instances, outdoing phones twice their price, the onslaught of midrange handsets continues to amaze. Honor is no newcomer in this space, but it is looking to cause quite a stir with its latest smartphone.

I’ve spent the last few weeks using the Honor 90 as my main handset, and that time has thrown quite a few surprises my way, as well as a few let-downs. The question is, does the Honor 90 do just enough to stand out against its competitors? Here’s my verdict.

Design and screen

  • 6.7-inch AMOLED display
  • 3840Hz PWM dimming that’s easier on the eyes
  • Very bright and easy to read outdoors

It’s hard to talk about anything on the Honor 90 before addressing its most obvious feature, and that’s the drop-dead gorgeous 6.7-inch 2664×1200 AMOLED display.

It’s clear from the moment you switch on the Honor 90 that this is where the majority of the phone’s budget has been invested, and it’s easily one of the best screens you’ll find on a phone in this price range.

The homescreen on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

With the ability to reach 1600 nits of peak brightness, not only is the Honor 90’s display easy to look at outdoors, but it also packs intense colours that make it well-suited for viewing content on the go. I’ve been watching episodes of Andor on this thing and I’ve never found myself squinting to see the full scope of what’s onscreen.

The display curves more sharply at the corners than it did on the Honor 70, which can be an issue with some apps as it sometimes cuts off the odd icon or bit of information (although this was a rare occurrence, admittedly). What is impressive, though, is the screen-to-body ratio which sits at a massive 93.3% thanks to the incredibly minimal bezels that make the display feel almost completely end to end, particularly as it curves ever so slightly over the edges.

Honor has also made quite a few waves about the dimming and refresh capabilities of the Honor 90. On its specs sheet, the Honor 90 packs 3840Hz PWM dimming, which sounds fancy enough, but it actually translates to the ability to refresh at a rate that’s far less harmful to the eyes than most phones.

I found this tricky to wrap my head around until I saw it placed next to my iPhone 14 under a high-speed camera lens. This works in hand with the phone’s eye-comfort mode that gradually reduces the levels of blue light as the day goes on to minimise its effect on your circadian rhythm, which is definitely a welcome feature.

Given that this thing has roughly the same sized screen as what you’ll find on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, I anticipated a fair amount of weight to be behind it, but the Honor 90 manages to combat that somehow, weighing just 183g. This has made using the phone one-handed an absolute breeze, which is rare for a handset of this size, and it made me feel like I wasn’t being punished for enjoying all the benefits of the larger-than-normal display.

The rear-facing portion of the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The one thing that belittles the viewing experience on the Honor 90 is the fact that there’s only one set of speakers at the bottom of the phone, and while they do sound better than other phones I’ve used that follow a similar design choice, they pale in comparison to any handsets with dual-firing speakers. Your best bet is to bring some headphones into the mix.

As great as the Honor 90 looks head-on, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of its rear design. I don’t know why Honor thinks that two large unseemly circles make for a stylish set of camera modules, but to my eyes, it just looks like a strange use of the available space. Even the oblong module on the Honor Magic Vs felt more coherent than this.

There’s also the issue of the colour schemes available. The Emerald Green version is the one you’re currently seeing in this review, but there’s also Midnight Black and Diamond Silver up for grabs. If I had to choose one, Midnight Black would probably be the least offensive option, although another journalist pointed out that the Diamond Silver variant looks eerily similar to a napkin and now I can’t unsee it.


  • 200MP main wide sensor
  • 12MP ultra-wide and 2MP depth sensor
  • 40MP selfie camera

In addition to the display, the camera setup on the Honor 90 has also seen a noticeable upgrade.

The new 200MP main sensor is a big upgrade on the 58MP counterpart found on the Honor 70, although the ultra-wide camera has been demoted to a 12MP sensor, while the 2MP depth camera remains unchanged from last year.

The dual camera modules on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Of course while the main sensor and the ultra-wide have seen a megapixel increase and decrease respectively, it’s widely known now that megapixels do not automatically translate to the end result of a photograph. Google’s computational processing is exactly why the Pixel 7a is one of the best smartphone cameras you can buy in the mid-range category, and that’s working with a 64MP main sensor.

When put to the test however, I found the Honor 90’s main camera to be more than up to the task in almost all scenarios, pumping out plenty of social media-worthy shots with very little effort.

Part of what helps the Honor 90 is its use of pixel binning which combines the pixels from the 200MP sensor to create a vibrant shot packed with colour. That also allows the digital 2x zoom to still dish out shots that don’t feel like they’ve lost a noticeable amount of quality in the process.

The Honor 90's main 200MP main sensor can pick up tons of colour
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Even against overcast skies, the Honor 90 can recreate the clouds fairly well
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Digital 2x zoom used on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s a similar story with the ultra-wide camera, which came in handy during a visit to Paris for the Honor 90’s launch event as there was a neverending amount of city scenes that I wanted to capture to their fullest.

I only noticed the ultra-wide struggling with low-light indoor scenes as a fair amount of noise would start to creep in.

In broad daylight, the ultra-wide camera can produce some great shots on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Using the ultra-wide camera in a low-light scene
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

When it comes to portrait mode and the phone’s natural bokeh set by the 2MP depth camera, the results depend on the subject at hand.

For instance, the camera did a fantastic job with highlighting the edges of a statue outdoors, but the results weren’t quite as refined when it came to separating a friend’s hairline from the background with a shot taken inside a restaurant.

A quick snap of Morph in portrait mode on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Because it has 40MP to draw from, the selfie camera can also produce a decent amount of detail, just like the main sensor, so it’s handy in a pinch.

Turning to video, there are quite a few built-in features that content creators may appreciate, including the ability for AI to automatically edit your footage into a short, shareable clip (similar to what’s available on the Insta360 and GoPro apps).

Video footage looks great in outdoor and indoor environments, and while the stabilisation is serviceable, I think it’s far from being the best out there, so you’d be better suited to pairing a smartphone gimbal with the Honor 90 than shooting content freehand.


  • Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 ‘Accelerated Edition’ chipset
  • MagicOS holds the Honor 90 back
  • Solid gaming performance

As with any smartphone in the mid-range category, there’s always one component that’s been cut short in order to meet the affordable price point that the sector demands, and in the case of the Honor 90, it’s in the performance where the experience starts to trip up.

The app drawer isn't selected by default on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Under the hood, the Honor 90 packs the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition, which is supposed to be an overclocked version of the year-old chipset, but I’ve struggled to notice any major uptick.

Performance inside major apps is fine enough, but the phone is a bit slower than the Pixel 7a when it comes scrolling through the app tray and jumping between multiple apps open in the background. Then again, it’s difficult to tell how much of that is down to the chipset or Honor’s in-house take on Android: MagicOS.

Despite the lofty expectations set by its name, MagicOS pales in comparison to the variants of Android you’ll find on the likes of Pixel or Samsung. When you boot it up, there’s a considerable amount of bloatware, not just from Honor itself but a bunch of different companies. To make matters worse, there’s just an obtuse design language that sits behind the operating system as a whole.

For example, the app tray isn’t activated as standard, you need to dive into the settings and toggle it manually. I’ve also found that when it comes to getting rid of apps in the background, you have to be quite specific in your swipe, otherwise they’ll drop right back down into your multitasking menu. It’s just a lot of small nuisances like this that add up to a greater sense of ick – it’s not unusable, but it does hold back all the good work set by the hardware.

One area where I will give Honor some credit is its offering of in-house widgets. Having used iOS for so long, I’m a sucker for a good widget and Honor’s got an eye for design in this regard – the company’s weather widget, for instance, is right up there with Apple’s own. You also get a sizeable amount of storage for your money.

Playing Mario Kart Tour on the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The base model of the Honor 90 comes with 256GB as standard, but there is a 512GB option available for not that much more. So, if you like to keep your files stored locally as opposed to in the cloud, or even enjoy having a lot of games to hand at one time, then you’ll appreciate what the Honor 90 brings to the table here.

Speaking of gaming, the Honor 90 handles itself very well in this regard. Diving into a few online matches in both Mario Kart Tour and Call of Duty Mobile, I encountered zero slowdowns, and the Honor 90 didn’t run hot during my playtime. Couple that with the screen’s vibrancy, which in Mario Kart Tour really makes the levels pop, and the Honor 90 is an easy one to recommend for gamers on the go.


  • Upgraded 5000mAh cell
  • 65W wired fast charging
  • No wireless charging

Whenever you have a display as large as the one found on the Honor 90, there’s always going to be the concern that it’ll come at the detriment of battery life, but luckily, Honor has anticipated this by packing the phone with a massive 5000mAh cell. This has led to some outstanding battery performance that’s sure to please anyone who picks the phone up for themselves.

Under the right circumstances, I’ve been able to get just shy of two days of use on the Honor 90, which is a lot more than I can for certain flagship phones I’ve used recently (I’m looking at you Pixel 7).

The Honor 90 features a USB-C port
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Drilling down into that a bit further, I raced out the door one morning with about 98% battery in the tank and I was able to go through 14 hours of use – 2 hours and 51 minutes of which featured screen-on time with a bit of YouTube, reading on Libby and even some NFC payments, and there was still 52% battery left to use. At no point, unless you’re absolutely hell-bent on draining the battery, will you find yourself in a tricky position at the end of the day with the Honor 90.

There’s more good news on the charging front as the Honor 90 is capable of 65W wired fast charging. In my testing, I’ve been able to get from 11% to a full battery in just 39 minutes, whilst also verifying Honor’s claim that you can get 20% back in just five minutes. If you’re ever in a hurry then this is a huge help, particularly when paired with the longevity of that 5000mAh cell.

The only downside here is that wireless charging is nowhere to be seen. Usually this wouldn’t have been an issue in the mid-range market but the feature is starting to creep in as it’s now available with both the Pixel 7a and the Nothing Phone (2).

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

You use your phone for entertainment: the Honor 90’s gorgeous display and long battery life make it perfect for streaming content and gaming.

You want the best Android experience: the Honor 90 is held back by MagicOS’s clunky UI and the fact that its ‘Accelerated’ chipset pales in comparison against the likes of the Tensor G2.

Final Thoughts

After spending several weeks with the phone, I’m pleased to say that I’m genuinely impressed with what Honor has been able to achieve here. Not only is the base model slightly cheaper than the starting price of its predecessor, but it now offers one of the best viewing experiences you can find at this end of the market.

Whether it’s used for scrolling through social media, reading an e-book or catching up on the latest TV shows, the screen can handle it all brilliantly, so if that’s what you’re most interested in, you’ll get on very well with the Honor 90.

The phone’s main issue is that it’s available at the same price as the Galaxy A54 and the Pixel 7a, both of which have far superior operating systems and in the case of the latter, far better overall performance courtesy of the Tensor G2 chip. They’re all great phones in their own right; it just depends on which features you value the most.

Trusted Score
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Sign up for the Trusted Reviews Newsletter

How we test

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as a main phone for the review period

Thorough camera testing in a variety of conditions

Tested and benchmarked using respected industry tests and real-world data


Does the Honor 90 use Android 13?

Yes, the Honor 90 uses Android 13 with Honor’s own MagicOS layered on top.

How long will the Honor 90 be supported?

The Honor 90 will receive two mainline Android updates and three years of security updates.

Trusted Reviews test data

Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Car Chase

Full specs

IP rating
Release Date
First Reviewed Date

Jargon buster


An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a way to express the capacity of batteries, especially smaller ones in phones. In most cases the higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last but this isn’t always the case.

IP rating

An abbreviation for ‘Ingress Protection Code’, which lets you know to what extent a device might be waterproof or dustproof.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words