Huawei is trying its best to conquer the world of smartphones. In order to beat the likes of Apple and Samsung, it is pursuing an aggressive strategy and in doing so, is making some excellent phones. After the slightly positive response for P8, the Chinese smartphone maker’s latest addition to their lineup is none other than Huawei P9. The flagship P9 is probably best seen as a superb digital camera with a good smartphone attached.
Design and Build
At the first glance, Huawei P9 is no doubt a premium smartphone. This boasts of an industrial design familiar to the company’s line and although it doesn’t have the most inspired look, P9 remains to be an extremely modern, elegant and amazingly constructed smartphone. For a device of 5.2 inches, this seems exceptionally slim and light, although its dimensions are somewhat ordinary. It packs 2 quad-core processors and beats most of the android phones out there, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, in speed. Only the Xiaomi Mi 5 and LG G5 are currently faster then the Huawei P9, making this the 3rd fastest android out there.
As majority of flagships push Quad HD or 4K, the full HD resolution is not necessarily the spectrum’s top end. However, on the display of P9, this leads to a density of 223 ppi and this is more than sufficient for amazingly sharp image. This device comes with IPS-NEO LCD display, characterized with obviously better contrast sustainability as compared to a any regular IPS. All in all, there is an exceptional brightness, cutting through the overhead glare like any smartphone.
Huawei P9 has a solid 3000mAh battery. The device offers more than average autonomy for a smartphone of this size, specifically when on standby when significantly low power is required. When you play HD videos with brightness put on maximum, it will give you 7 hours and 30 minutes of continuous playback. The phone ships with a quick 2A USB-C charger that can recharge the battery to as much as 40% in a matter of 30 minutes. The battery life can be easily extended through switching to Ultra Power Saving mode or ROG mode.
The Emotion UI 4.1 and Android OS 6.0 (Marshmallow) combine the Google software platform with a bit of iOS impersonation. The primary difference between Huawei’s UI and pure Android lies in the absence of an app drawer. All the apps have been arranged across home screens that range to a total of 18, in the same way as that of iOS. There is a bit of Huawei bloatware that we detest, and you can’t get rid of it unless you root the phone. This is one place where Huawei could have done better.
The front camera is an 8MP, but probably the most interesting feature of P9 is not one, but two rear cameras that carry the brand title ‘Leica’, one of the most well-respected names in the photography business. These two come with identical 12MP Sony sensors, but one lens shoots solely in black and white –as there is no Bayer filter–whereas the two together provide a DSLR-style shallow depth of field. The benefit is that this will receive three times the light, taking excellent photos even when under dark settings. These are black and white yet they don’t have any ‘noise’ at all.
The P9 can take some nice pictures, and those of you who love taking these moody photographs of your evening tea will enjoy playing around with the black-and-white mode.
Huawei is trying to shed its reputation for mid-range and low end handsets and this time around P9 is representing a step in the proper direction with all its technological features, innovations and an above average realization. Without a doubt, the draw is the amazingly high quality and creative rear camera and the solid battery, intuitive user interface and premium face only adds to its appeal. Even though this has its own set of downsides, at less than $500 (for the 32GB), Huawei P9 surely holds some good appeal to those who are looking forward to having a different smartphone at an affordable price.
Best Places To Buy The Huawei P9
We were able to find the 32GB version, international unlocked model of Huawei P9 on Amazon.com for $499 in titanium grey, being sold by Huawei themselves. Other colors were a bit expensive. The cheapest 64GB version on Amazon.com is for $779
On Aliexpress.com, you can find the Huawei P9, 32GB version for $449 and the 64GB version for $609 with free shipping.
- Excellent Camera & Camera App
- Slim, feels solid to hold
- A nice display
- A bit pricey
- Huawei's Android skin will take time getting used to
- Added bloatware