Saturday 22 October 2016

Huawei P9 review

Mark O'Beirne

Published 14/04/2016 | 10:51


Huawei recently unveiled its new P9 flagship, a handset that emphasises smartphone photography. How does it fare after our hands-on time with it?

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Huawei made quite the splash with the P8 last year, a beautiful device with an impressive camera. That’s quite the foundation, so how does Huawei build upon this with the launch of the P9?

Once again, the Huawei P9 is a beautiful device; like the P8 before it, the P9 has a metal unibody design, a slim profile, and camera sensors that are flush to the body. One touch we particularly like is what Huawei calls “Invisible Edge.” This means that the screen goes right out to the edge of the device, cutting down on the amount of space taken up by bezels.

The Huawei P9 has a sizeable screen at 5.2-inches, yet it’s still handy to use even one-handed. It’s Full HD and offers a pixel density of 423ppi, so everything looks bright, crisp, and sharp. Internally, the Huawei P9 features Huawei’s own Kirin 955 processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage.

It’s an exceptionally quick device, proving to be responsive and capable of handling any task you can throw at it. It doesn’t even lag when you fire up the camera, something that many devices can struggle with.

Speaking of the camera, the Huawei P9 packs a dual-camera setup with two separate 12MP sensors. One’s an RGB sensor that focuses on capturing colour, while the monochrome sensor prioritises image details. This camera system was co-engineered by Leica, who you could say know a thing or two about photography.

Huawei put the camera to the fore with last year’s P8, but this year’s offering goes one step further. At the announcement event, Huawei said that it wants to enable users to embrace their artistic side and this certainly holds true. The P9’s dual-camera setup ensures that images are incredibly detailed and packed with colour, though you can also snap some beautiful grey-scale photos.

Best of all, for those who take photography somewhat seriously, the P9 offers full manual control. This means that you can tweak settings quickly and easily so that you can snap the shot you have in mind. It’s a great way to learn about more advanced photography techniques without investing in a DSLR camera and lenses.

On the front of the device, you’ll find an 8MP camera with some nifty features too, but the rear-facing setup is the real star of the show.

There’s plenty you can do with the Huawei P9, but how long can you use it for? Well, the Huawei P9 packs a large 3,000mAh battery, which will get you through a day of heavy use. Like many handsets, it offers a low-power mode, so you can squeeze out a little more life out of a dying battery. And it even offers dual-IC Rapid Charge, so you can charge your handset for a few minutes to get a few extra hours of talktime out of it.

The Huawei P9 is a stunning device and impressive to boot. The camera is one area that smartphone manufacturers are trying to distinguish themselves, and the P9 ticks all the right boxes with top-of-the-range specs and camera technology.

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