EXCLUSIVE: Honor 9X Lite picks up Google Play certification, could be a re-branded Honor 8X

Ever since Huawei was banned from launching new smartphones running Google Play Store and Services, the company has resolved to smart ways of going around the ban.

Since the ban only affects new devices, Huawei has been re-launching older devices with a few tweaks here and there but running the Google-certified version of Android.

We’ve seen it with the Huawei P30 series and now the company’s brainchild, Honor, is borrowing a leaf from above, apparently plotting to re-launch the Honor 8X as the Honor 9X Lite.


A device codenamed JSN-L21, JSN-L22, and JSN-L23 has been cleared by Google as the Honor 9X Lite. By virtue of appearing on the Google-certified list, it means the device will come preinstalled with the Play Store and other Google services that Huawei has been denied access to for its new phones.

Honor 9X Lite picks up Google Play certification (Source)

In case you didn’t know, the Honor 8X has multiple model numbers sold in various markets across the globe and among them are JSN-L21, JSN-L22, JSN-L23, and even JSN-L42. As you may have noticed, the model numbers are the same as the Honor 9X Lite.

Not long ago, the Honor 8X picked up its stable EMUI 10 update. So, does this mean the Honor 9X Lite comes pre-installed with the new Android 10 out of the box, but with Play Store and Services pre-installed? Probably a big YES.

Honor 8X

This was indeed the case when the Huawei P30 Pro got a refresh at the IFA 2019, coming in pre-installed with a Google-certified version of Android 10. The P30 Lite New Edition also follows a similar path in order to escape the U.S. ban.

Not long ago, the Redmi 8A Pro and Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G also picked up Google Play certification, confirming their imminent global availability.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.