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Huawei P9 review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The Huawei P9 currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 40 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Lag and stutter free performance
  • Ergonomic design
  • Sharp and color accurate display

What's bad

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Inconsistent picture quality
  • No quick or wireless charging

Huawei has slowly evolved from simple Chinese smartphone copycat to a company capable of churning out high quality products. In fact, Google used them to build the Nexus 6P. With the P9, Huawei hopes to finally become a household name.

Despite being cheaper than the Galaxy S7 and LG G5, the P9 doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s slim at only 0.27 inches. The all metal body gives it a nice heft, though it remains a manageable weight of 5.1 ounces. In terms of the design, reviewers were surprised with how comfortable it is. The straight sides seem sharp, but the chamfered edges and rounded corners made it easy to hold and the “tacky” texture thanks to the ceramic coating on the back gave them a good grip. While this design is not uncommon, The Verge states, “I look at the P9’s design, ask myself how it could be improved, and I find no easy answer.”

In order to keep the costs low, Huawei did have to make compromises, the most noticeable of which is the screen. At 5.2 inches, the display offers an HD 1080p IPS LCD, the same display found on the P8. For the most part, the display performed admirably offering vivid colors, deep blacks and accurate whites. Its pixel density of 423ppi is sharp enough that experts didn’t see any pixelation. It is also bright enough that they were able to view it in direct sunlight though they add glare wasn’t completely eliminated. It also comes with an auto-brightness setting, which they generally found to be accurate except on particularly bright days.

Instead of using Snapdragon, Huawei uses their own processor - the Kirin. This octo-core processor is paired with 3GB of RAM for an exceptionally powerful machine. Experts did not notice any lag or slow downs even when multi-tasking or playing processor intensive games. When compared against the Samsung Galaxy S7, the benchmarks are slightly slower, but in real life they did not really see a big difference performance-wise. All of this is backed up by a 3000mAh battery. For the most part, critics were barely able to eke out a full day of battery life with moderate usage. Still many hoped for more options to counterbalance the mediocre battery life like quick or wireless charging, both of which are not included.

The P9’s biggest selling point is its camera. Huawei partnered with Leica to create include a dual-sensor camera. The idea of a dual-sensor is that two cameras are better than one. On this phone, the two 12MP cameras work together to create more detailed images. One camera has an RGB sensor for more color while the other is monochrome (black and white) for better quality. Together, they create images that critics describe as “pretty great” and noise-free even in closeups. Of course, there are some manual settings and modes available on the camera app to add some filters, change exposure and even adjust aperture settings. While most pictures come out accurate, critics did notice some inconsistency especially in lower light situations where noise reduction post-processing tends to soften the images too much. Still, while they wouldn’t describe it as on par with the iPhone 6S, it performed well enough they consider it better than most smartphone cameras out there.

While reviewers consider the P9 to be Huawei’s best phone to date, they still have a hard time recommending it to everyone. Tech Radar states, “The Huawei P9 is a good, solid phone but it’s just not hit the right level of greatness yet.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.5 GHz
Screen Size
5.2"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


LaptopMedia

Even though it was announced in the first half of this year, Huawei P9 has all it takes to be among the best offers on the market. The Chinese manufacturer is right behind Apple and Samsung, and each new smartphone they come up with is bound to trigger our interest. Huawei P9 has a 5.2-inch Full HD...

- LaptopMedia Team, LaptopMedia
Good Gear Guide

The P9 is a decent mid-range phone with best-on-the-market fingerprint reader and potentially the best camera of any phone (including many compact cameras).

- Nick Ross, Good Gear Guide
tech2

Huawei had us impressed with the Nexus 6P last year and now with its official flagship – the Huawei P9 – it has done it again. The Huawei P9 offers a complete package in terms of excellent looks, slim form factor, great camera, good battery life, fast finger print scanner, fast performan...

- Nimish Sawant, tech2
Fone Arena

The Huawei P9 is a perfect example of a smartphone that suggests its not just about the specifications but its how you use what you have. The P9 has possibly the best camera on the market right now and its most definitely the most interesting one since it allows you to be quite creative. The f2.2 ap...

- Sandeep Sarma, Fone Arena
The Indian Express

Huawei P9 is an epitome to the fact that Chinese smartphone makers can innovate. Huawei P9 offers great design, decent performance and Battery life and an extremely capable camera. Huawei P9 is definitely not in the league of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 range or Apple’s latest iPhone lineup, but...

- Karthekayan Iyer, The Indian Express


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.2"

The Huawei P9's screen size is 5.2 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.5 GHz

There is a Huawei Kirin 955 Octa core 2.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 1980 minutes, 555 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Huawei P9 Specs

Overview
Release date April 7, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Huawei Kirin 955 Octa core 2.5 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.4 W/kg
Body: 0.27 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 3 Years
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 526 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 555 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1980 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 23.6 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Mystic Silver, Titanium Grey
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.5 x 7.1 x 0.7 cm (5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 144 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 424 pixels
Size 5.2 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization No
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Dual camera feature (12 MP 2nd camera), HDR, Time lapse, Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, XviD, RealVideo
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Selfie Panorama
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, OGG, Real Audio, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, RealVideo, WMV, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
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