huawei p9 The price of the smartphone is Rs 39,999. This phone has been made keeping in mind the camera performance. It has two rear cameras of 12 megapixels. These have been made in collaboration with Germany’s optics company Laika. With this camera setup, the P9 boasts of great performance in the photography department. Apart from this, the rest of the specifications of the handset are same as those of the flagship device. Let us try to know whether the Huawei P9 will be able to challenge other popular flagship phones.
look and design
Like other top end smartphones, the Huawei P9 comes with a full metal body. It is thinner and lighter than other flagship handsets. Due to its compact design, it is very easy to hold in hands. The front panel houses a 5.2-inch display and the edges give a slightly curved feel.
The power and volume buttons are on the right. SIM and microSD card tray on the right. The 3.5mm socket, speaker grille and USB Type-C port are at the bottom. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone and the camera is on the strip top. It looks like the Nexus 6S made by Huawei itself. Overall, the P9 is a great looking smartphone. It gives the feeling of being a flagship in every way. The fingerprint sensor is present at the back of the phone. Its presence in the rear part means that you have to use the index finger for this. You will be able to use it to unlock the handset. If the phone is also in standby mode then it will work. It is accurate in finger recognition and works fast. However, it is so much better than the sensor of the OnePlus 3.
There are two camera lenses on the rear side. It also gets dual-tone LED flash and laser autofocus window. On the right side of the strip is the branding of Laika.
Huawei P9 has a full-HD IPS LCD screen. It has Gorilla Glass protection on top. The pixel density of the screen is 423 ppi. The company has not used Quad-HD resolution in the handset, but it is very sharp. You will not realize things like lack of detail or quality. The screen is quite bright and its black level is also decent according to the IPS panel.
Color reproduction is also good, but not great. You can change the color temperature through the settings. This is a fine screen. If display quality is very important to you, then you can get better options.
Specifications and software
Like Samsung, Huawei makes its own chipset. Its responsibility lies with Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon. Most of the Huawei and Honor phones use HiSilicon Kirin chipsets and the Huawei P9 has not tried to do anything different. It is powered by the octa-core Kirin 955 chipset with 2.5 GHz clock speed. It has 3000 mAh battery, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB inbuilt storage. You will be able to use microSD card up to 256 GB.
Its single SIM variant has been made available in India, it is also equipped with NFC chip. There is also support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. You will get basic in-ear headset, power adapter, USB-S to USB-C converter cable along with the handset.
The Huawei P9 smartphone will run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. In this, Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.1 has been used. It is a one layer user interface. There is support for Android Marshmallow’s important feature Now on Tap, Doze Mode and Apps Permission System. Magazine Lock Screen is as interesting as ever.
The best phone manager app is back. You will get system optimization, data usage, battery consumption and permission to secure apps through fingerprint sensor. At times, Huawei’s Emotion UI seems a bit slow and simple.
Camera is the most important feature of Huawei P9. With the dual rear cameras and the Leica branding, the expectations go up further. Even though the company has heavily marketed the branding of Leica, but let us tell you that the sensor and lens are not made by Leica. This German company has given inputs in the development of the camera system, hence ‘co-engineered with Leica’ has been used.
There are two sensors of 12 megapixels in the P9, which are next to each other. One of these is an RGB sensor and the other is monochrome. The color sensor collects color information in any scene.
The monochrome sensor is capable of capturing more light and detail. Its job is to focus only on the light and it has nothing to do with the color. The software takes the information gathered by these two sensors and creates a single color image for you. Sadly, none of these lenses have optical image stabilization.
The camera features a hybrid autofocus system that combines laser and phase detection autofocus features. By using both these sensors, you will get a chance to choose a better depth of field. Even after taking a picture, you will be able to focus on different parts of it. Apart from this, the sensor has support for Raw format photos, high exposure night shots and Pro shooting mode.
The camera app and software make it feel very complicated at first glance. But once you get used to it, it is very easy to use. It is responsive, well laid out and comes with a slew of features and settings. With the help of its settings, you get enhanced control over the camera and pictures. There is a pro-mode with an easily accessible and multiple controls.
Swiping from left to right brings up several modes, including monochrome, HDR, high-exposure night shot, time-lapse, slow motion, and more. Swiping from right to left brings up the settings. Here you will find features like GPS tagging, resolution, timer, and many more. The funny thing is that the user has been given a toggle to add a Leica watermark to the photos taken with the rear camera, but we decided to keep it off.
We found that there was no dearth of detail in the pictures taken with the camera. The camera takes great pictures and they look better in monochrome mode. However, the pixels start to disintegrate when you zoom in. But, at normal scale, photos look clean and sharp with no lack of detail.
It is also certain that you will not use monochrome mode all the time. In such a situation, it is also important to know how the camera performs in common color shots. The P9’s camera uses the information provided by both the sensors to present a picture to the user, confirming the presence of the detail. While it’s not quite as great as monochrome photos, it’s commendable. These pictures also pixelate when zoomed in.
You will get three different color modes – Standard, Vivid and Smooth. In the first mode, you will get the most natural pictures, in the other two modes, the pictures are slightly over-saturated to make them appear more vibrant.
Taking photography with this camera in low light is even more fun. The credit for this goes to the ability to capture detail in any light. If you take pictures by composing and focusing, then the P9 has the ability to beat any phone camera. It is not that there is no grain in the pictures, but it takes pictures in more detail and accurate colors than other smartphone cameras.
The use of two cameras provides excellent depth of field perception. By keeping this mode switched on, you will be able to take great shallow pictures. Refocused photos look good too. It is necessary to mention the Night Shot mode. In this you will be able to modify the ISO and the exposure time can be increased to 32 seconds to capture more light. It would not be wrong to say that all these modes work well and you get the best output. But a bit of graininess suggests that the Huawei P9 smartphone isn’t the best camera phone ever.
Video quality is good, but it is difficult to shoot 4K quality videos. Overall, we can confidently say that the Huawei P9 is one of the best camera phones we have used.
Huawei’s Kirin range of chipsets is not as popular as Qualcomm and MediaTek processors. Kirin 900 series has been the flagship line. This year Kirin 955 has been made a part of Huawei P9. With the help of 3 GB RAM, the phone runs very smoothly. But in this year, we have come across many such flagship devices which run faster than this handset.
By the way, its effect will never be visible in the general performance. We did not have any complaints while using the phone. Games with heavy graphics ran well, most apps loaded fast. We never felt it slow down while using the phone. The camera performance in particular is much faster and snappy. With its help, you are able to take photos faster and not much of your time is wasted. Benchmark scores were good.
Satisfactory sound came from the phone’s single speaker. The audio performance of the headphones was good. There is no complaint with 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity either. We also have no complaints with the call quality. In the video loop test, the phone’s battery lasted for 10 hours and 24 minutes. It would be called satisfactory, not the best at all. In normal use, the phone’s battery will last for a whole day, not more than that.
The Huawei P9 is a good phone that looks great and the camera performance is great. But it is not an all-rounder like other flagship phones in the market. The display and software can’t be praised too much, in our opinion, the price of Rs 39,999 is high. The cameras are great, but lack key features like optical image stabilization and 4K video.
If you are looking for the best camera, then it would not be wrong to consider the Huawei P9. The fun application of the two sensors and the Leica branding make it a great choice for photography enthusiasts. If you want a phone that is an all-rounder and has a low cost, we suggest that you consider buying the OnePlus 3.