The display is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Honor 90. The phone is rocking a pretty parge 6.7-inch curved AMOLED panel. It has a high resolution of 1200 x 2664 pixels, which Honor calls 1.5K. On a 6.7-inch diagonal, the math works out the right around 435 ppi of pixel density. That is incredibly sharp, and the Honor 90 looks the part in person.
Speaking of display resolution, it is interesting to mention that the Honor 90 has a rather unique option to manage its resolution automatically. Not only can you manually set your desired display resolution, choosing between a few predefined options, but the phone also promises to do so automatically, depending on the content you are viewing.
Out of the box, the phone is set to 2442 x 1100 pixels, and that's what we've been using for all of our testing and benchmarking, accordingly.
In terms of brightness, the Honor 90 promises a whopping 1600 nits. That is the advertised peak figure on a pretty small portion of the display. In our standardized testing, engaging 75% of the display area, we measured a max of 511 nits of brightness on the slider and a very impressive 1176 nits of auto brightness. The Honor 90's screen is ideally suited for outdoor use out in the sun. There is also plenty of brightness to deliver an excellent HDR experience.
Speaking of HDR, the Honor 90 HDR10+ hardware support on its display. In terms of software, it has decoding capabilities for HLG, HDR10 and HDR10+, just no Dolby Vision. We are also happy to report that the phone has the highest possible Widevine L1 DRM certification, allowing streaming services like Netflix to offer up FullHD streams and saturate the phone's display resolution.
In terms of colors, the Honor 90 has two color modes. The default "vivid" one targets the DCI-P3 color space and manages to do so rather well. It is not great in terms of color accuracy, though, with a clear tendency to oversaturate colors, particularly blues and reds, likely in order to achieve that coveted OLED "pop". Then, there is the "natural" mode, which can do either DCI-P3 or sRGB, depending on what is being displayed. We tested it against sRGB and got nearly perfect coverage and deltaE values low enough for the mode to be considered color-accurate and theoretically good enough even for color-critical work.
Before we move on, it is worth mentioning that the Honor 90 has a dedicated Video enhancer feature in display settings. You can enable or disable it for each supported app (YouTube, Netflix, TikTok and Facebook).
The Video enhancer renders non-HDR videos into HDR ones by increasing the color and contrast, but as you might expect, the results aren't amazing. Nothing beats the real thing.
The Frame Rate Booster feature, found on some other Honor phones, is notably absent from the Honor 90.
The Honor 90 supports a total of three refresh rate modes - 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz. In terms of modes available in settings for the display, there are standard (60Hz), medium (90Hz), high (120Hz) and dynamic (120Hz).
The Honor 90 lacks a refresh rate visualization through its developer options, so we are left with our rather imperfect in-house refresh rate measuring app. What we managed to ascertain from our observations is that all of the modes, well, of course, except for the 60Hz one, act like a refresh rate cap, and the phone will always exhibit some form of dynamic refresh rate switching, lowering the value based on what app is being used.
So what is the difference between the "high" 120Hz mode and the "dynamic" one, which can also reach up to 120Hz? Well, dynamic, which is the default mode, is much more conservative and will tend to stick to 90Hz and even 60Hz way more often and for more apps than high mode.
What about high refresh rate gaming? In "high" (120Hz) refresh rate mode, almost all of the games we tried, except for Alto's Adventure, managed to run in 120Hz mode and at over 60fps.
The "dynamic" mode was less consistent still, also running Death Trigger 2 in 60Hz mode instead of 120Hz. That means that if you plan on doing some high refresh rate gaming, you should manually switch to the "high" refresh rate profile.
All things considered, the Honor 90 has a solid base for managing its automatic refresh rate switching, but the current system is far from perfect. We would love to see some more monitoring and dynamic switching based on motion on the display, more consistent detection of video playback to drop down to 60Hz and gaming detection to up to 120Hz. In its current state, the system is usable but flawed.
The Honor 90 has a pretty hefty 5,000 mAh battery on board. Unfortunately, despite being manufactured on a modern 4nm process, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset does not have a good track record when it comes to battery endurance.
Compared to potential rivals, the Honor is a bit lagging in longevity in the gaming portion of our Active Use test, but is more or less on par in video playback and web browsing.
Expand to reveal our legacy battery test (Endurance rating). How we test now.
The Honor 90 is not an outlier in this respect. It managed a decent but largely unimpressive 95 hours of total endurance in our testing. Frankly, we expected more out of a 5,000 mAh battery. Still, the phone should dependably be able to deliver full-day battery life on a single charge.
As a reminder, the web browsing portion of our testing was conducted at the phone's top 120 Hz refresh rate mode, while the video test part was done at 60 Hz.
Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating denotes how long the battery charge will last you if you use the device for an hour of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. More details can be found here.
Video test carried out in 60Hz refresh rate mode. Web browsing test done at the display's highest refresh rate whenever possible. Refer to the respective reviews for specifics. To adjust the endurance rating formula to match your own usage patterns check out our all-time battery test results chart where you can also find all phones we've tested.
The Honor 90 charges pretty fast with its included 66W charger.
It isn't industry or class-leading or anything, but the charging speeds on the onboard 5,000 mAh battery are still impressive enough.
The Honor 90 only has a single bottom-firing speaker. There is no stereo setup, not even a hybrid one with the earpiece. That is quite unfortunate, given that many of its competitors do offer very nice stereo setups in this price range.
The singular speaker that is available is not particularly impressive either. It is not overly loud, only managing an AVERAGE score in our testing. Its frequency response is nothing to phone home about, either. Highs come out sounding well enough without much distortion, even at high volume settings, and there is even some semblance of lows. Mids, however, are rather muddy, which is very unfortunate and hurts the multimedia experience even more, with voices sounding a bit muffled.
No equalizer is available for the speaker to remedy the situation. Just Honor's Hister sound effects menu, which is meant for headphones.
Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.