Reviews

Huawei P9 Review : Smartphone with a great camera but fails on battery front

p9-display angle 2

Huawei P9

Huawei P9
8.5

Design

9/10

    Display

    9/10

      Hardware

      9/10

        UI

        9/10

          Rear Camera

          9/10

            Front Cam

            9/10

              Battery

              7/10

                Price

                9/10

                  Pros

                  • - Design $ Finish
                  • - Display
                  • - Low Light Images
                  • - Selfie
                  • - UI
                  • - Sound
                  • - Price

                  Cons

                  • - Battery
                  • - Bloatware
                  • - Video Capture

                  Huawei P9 was announced in April this year, and luckily one of my Co-writers in US got a chance to play with the Device. Having shared some of the in-depth details and images, I decided to go ahead with the review based on the pictures and remarks.

                  The Smartphone comes in two versions : 3GB RAM / 32GB Memory priced at 599 Euros and 4GB RAM / 64GB Internal Memory at 649 Euro.

                  Let’s have a quick look at the key specs :

                  • 5.2″ FHD Display ( 1080 * 1920 ) ~ 423 ppi
                  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4, 72.9 % Screen to Body Ratio
                  • Quad-core 2.5 GHz Kirin 955  ( Cortex-A72 & quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 ) , Mali-T880
                  • 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM / 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM, Expandable up to 128GB
                  • Dual 12 MP, f/2.2, 27 mm, Leica optics, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
                  • 1.25 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama, HDR
                  • 8 MP, f/2.4, 1080p
                  • Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, NFC (EVA-L09 only)
                  • Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
                  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
                  • Ceramic White, Haze Gold, Rose Gold, Titanium Grey, Mystic Silver, Prestige Gold
                  • 7mm / 140 g

                  Design

                  This is one of key USP’s of Huawei P9. Elegant , Light weight and Slim. P9 got a good grip, with an aluminum uni-body design with a 2.5D glass panel upfront. The Smartphone measures only 7 mm in thickness and weighs just 140 gms. The beauty is Ceramic White model with actual ceramic.

                  What you will love most is the placement of cameras on back, with no bulge. Elegantly crafted into the Uni-body. Fingerprint scanner is also placed on the upper back panel with a silver outline, that perfectly gels with the Body color.

                  Bottom of the smartphone, you will find USB. 3.5 mm jack and Speaker grill. The Smartphone comes with a Hybrid Sim slot, which can accommodate either two sims, or , one sim and SDcard.

                  I can simply say, placement and design of keys is fantastic, and perfectly designed for Single hand usage.

                  Display

                  5.2″ FHD Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Color saturation seems to be good, with a wide viewing angle. In most of the smartphones, specially withour Corning Gorilla Glass, you will always find the Touch very hard and not so smooth. Even Display will be silky smooth.

                  Here, I would like to mention the difference between Lenovo K3 Note, and LG G2. Though LG2 is very old model, but even today it’s display is great. Smooth touch and finish, while in Lenovo K3 Note you may not feel same.

                  For me FHD Display with Corning Gorilla Glass have an upper edge always. The only issue you may find is ” Not so narrow bezels “.

                  Hardware

                  Huawei P9 is powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 955 chipset here, clocked at 2.5 GHz.  The Smartphone comes in two variants, 3GB and 4GB RAM. We got our hands on with 3GB RAM device, coupled with 32GB ROM.

                  Right now, we may not be in a position to comment on 4GB Variant, but seeing the speed of lower variant, we can definitely vouch for performance of 4GB.

                  Never faced any lag or heating up issues, Starting from Buffering a movie on wi-fi, to playing games – Riptide GP2 to MK X, Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5.

                  Surprisingly, P9 beat Galaxy S6 Edge+ in Geekbench, while got beaten by Mate 8 on Antutu. But, in 3D bench marking Kirin could not beat Snapdragon 810, though the rating was above Snapdragon 808.

                  Sound is another part, which I would to take as another Key USP of Huawei P9. In my opinion, one of the most clear and loud sound , even on decibel meter, P9 performed well, with a rating of 84 db, but in real you can feel the depth of sound.

                  The mistake done is in ” Ear Phones “, same like the old ones, not very comfortable to use, but good in quality. Unfortunately could not check the call quality / call drop.

                  UI

                  Huawei P9 runs Android 6.0 with EMUI 4.1 on top, which is quite similar to the Emotion UI 3.1 version.Multitasking is now a horizontal carouse, no longer 4 big thumbnails like before. Pinching the homescreen triggers the widgets, transitions and layout area, all of them with tweaks.

                  There’s no app drawer here and all the apps are placed on the homescreens. The dropdown bit features the notifications shown as a timeline and Quick Settings, so nothing has changed here.

                  P9’s lockscreen displays steps courtesy of a pedometer, 4 shorcuts and media player options, once you swipe up. Swiping down in the homescreen triggers an iOS Spotlight-style search area. We also tested the fingerprint scanner, that unlocks the screens, lets you access a “safe” and app lock area. There’s a 6 step setup involved and using the scanner, which by the way is very accurate an fast you can also take a picture, answer a call or browse pictures in the gallery, with swipes.

                  There’s also the Smart Assistant area in the settings, with Nav Bar options, Floating Dock options, Motion Control, Knuckle Gestures, One Hand UI and Voice Control, too.

                  You may get bugged with Bloatware which comes pre-installed with P9, around 50 of them

                  p9-UI

                  Camera

                  When it comes to Camera, my judgement is always biased. Reason being, I always try to compare picture quality with DSLR, Specially Nikon D90. But this time, i took some pictures and compared with other pictures over net and my other Smartphones, like, K3 Note, LG G5, Note 5, Note 4, iPhone 5S / 6S and Gionee E Life E8.

                  What you get in P9 is a Dual Real Camera, 12 MP each, engineered by Leica. The lens got f/2.2, Dual Tone LED Flash, BSI & CMOS, Laser Focus, Sony IMX286, but the only missing point is OIS. Selfie shooter is 8 MP and comes with f/2.4.

                  The Camera UI is very impressive, and different from P8. You get filters on the left and a special depth of filed option, which allows you to  increase or decrease the blur around a subject. On the Other side, you will get Camera Pro features, where in you get options of White Balance, Focus, Exposure, Shutter (from 1/4000 to 30 seconds), ISO and Metering.

                  Camera UI gives you some Unique features :

                  • Beauty Video
                  • Light Painting
                  • Watermark
                  • Slow-Mo
                  • Time Lapse

                   

                  Good point in Video recording is 60 fps and beautification mode with Digital Stabilization. Overall, for Rear and Selfie shooter, Results were amazing, whether in Auto Mode or in Pro mode.

                  Especially, Selfies were way too impressive :  light, crisp and both the hair and skin had great texture. Focus was fantastic and there was no sun burn, in spite of being a very sunny day and way too bright outside.

                  Another key feature to mention is Monochrome Images : not like average black and white capture, as camera actually captures the images in black and white ( instead of using a software, which other Smartphones do ).

                  p9-rear cam

                  Battery

                  When it comes to Battery life, Huawei P9 kills all the dreams. It drains battery like any thing. You get hardly 6 hours of Video playback, and as per the reports send to me, battery drains very fast on 4g. In PCMark scored arouund 4 hours and 31 minutes, even less than the Huawei P8’s 5 hours and 31 minutes and also below the Huawei P8 Lite and Mstar S700. Charging requires little over 2 hours.

                  Though In settings, you can activate Power Plan features, like Performance, Smart and Ultra Power Saving.

                   

                   

                   

                   

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