Huawei P9 Review: Perfect Flagship Smartphone With Dual Leica Lens

Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, the Huawei P9 has been making a buzz in the global markets lately for its remarkable camera, which has been developed in collaboration with Leica. Now, the phone has finally landed in India and we’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with the phone. With Leica based camera, metal body and powerful specs, it has everything you would expect from a flagship smartphone. Let’s find out what does it have in store for us. Read on to find out Huawei P9 review entailing details on its design, camera, hardware specs, benchmarks, gaming and more.

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Design

Huawei has built the P9 with great precision. The phone flaunts its premium metallic design with chamfered edges. It has a great grip and feels very nice to touch and hold. Thanks to Huawei’s attention to details in the design department that has resulted in an attractive design.

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On the front, you get a 5.2-inch display. Above the display, there is front facing camera along with sensor, LED notification and earpiece. There are three touch capacitive buttons onboard which are a part of the display. You also get Huawei branding below the display. If you look closely, you will find thin lines above and below the display which make this phone look even more elegant.

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On the left edge there is SIM card and microSD card tray.

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Bottom edge houses 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C charging port and speaker grill.

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Volume rockers are located on the right edge along with a power button which has a grainy pattern over it.

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Top edge houses secondary microphone.

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On the rear, there are two antenna bands that extend to the edges. One of the antenna bands is covered by a glossy ceramic band on the top. This ceramic band adds to the beauty of the phone and houses dual rear cameras, dual LED flash, laser auto focus and Leica branding. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the back along with Huawei branding.

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The P9 measures 7mm in thickness, weighs around 144 grams and feels very light to hold. It is a compact device which can be comfortably used with a single hand. Despite its light weight and premium design, it feels very solid and sturdy to hold. It is one of the best looking smartphones that we have come across till date.

Display

It features a 5.2-inch full HD AMOLED display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution and 2.5D curved glass. The display looks bright and sharp even in bright sunlight.

The screen impresses us with its vibrant colors and it is perfect for watching videos. Video watching experience on this phone is a delight and thanks to the compact design that it does not create any issues while watching movies or videos even for longer time.

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Camera               

On camera front, it flaunts its dual camera set up on the rear which has been co-engineered with Leica.  Leica is known for its expertise in the field of optics and photography and it shows in the Huawei P9. It sports 12 mega pixel dual rear cameras with dual-tone LED flash Laser Auto Focus, 1.25-micron pixels and Leica SUMMARIT lenses. One of the lenses captures light in color while the other captures in monochrome.  There is also an 8 mega pixel front facing camera onboard.

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The camera app offers plenty of modes such as monochrome, beauty, light painting, HDR and more. These modes can be accessed by swiping on the screen from the left.  There is a Pro-mode as well that gives numerous controls to the users for adjusting shutter speed, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and the autofocus area. On swiping on the screen from right in the camera app, you get some more settings option including the object tracking feature.

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The quality of the images taken with this phone is superb. The pictures taken in both outdoors and indoors come out to be great. The dual lens set up produces fairly good images even in low lighting conditions. However, we cannot call them exceptionally good. Focusing is very fast and users can change the focus of an image after capturing it. The front camera also does an impressive job in capturing selfies. The images produced by secondary camera are crisp and sharp. Overall camera quality is great and Huawei P9 certainly has one of the best camera combination. Here are some camera samples taken with the Huawei P9:

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Hardware Specs & Performance

The smartphone is powered by an Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 955 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. Also onboard is 32GB of internal memory which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. On testing the phone on AnTuTu benchmarks, we got score of around 9300 points.

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We played a few games like Nova 3 and Asphalt 8 and it handled all of them seamlessly. There were no signs of lags or stutters during our time with the phone. There were no heating issues as well. Just like gaming, the multitasking performance of P9 is also impressive. All in all, this phone is a beast when it comes to rear world performance. Loaded with powerful specs, this phone can handle anything you throw at it.

Software

The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1. The interface is smooth and clean and is quite different from stock Android. There is no app tray and instead all the apps are located on the home screen.

There is a Wi-Fi+ feature that automatically switches between Wi-Fi and mobile data networks for smooth internet experience. It also turns on Wi-Fi automatically when you are in range of a known Wi-Fi network and switches the Wi-Fi toggle off and won’t auto connect to networks without internet connection.

You also get features like floating dock and one hand UI. The floating dock feature provides easy access to various functions like Back, Home, Recent Tasks and more. One hand UI feature minimizes the screen view and can be enabled by sliding finger across the navigation bar.

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Battery & Connectivity

Backed up by a 3000mAh battery, the phone supports fast charging. The battery of this phone easily survives for a day. Thanks to the full HD resolution display which doesn’t consume much battery power.

Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and USB Type-C.

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Fingerprint Sensor & Speaker

The fingerprint sensor is quite fast and accurate in unlocking the phone. It allows you to add up to 5 fingerprints. Besides main screen, fingerprint lock can also be used for securing different apps.

The speakers are located on the bottom edge and are loud and clear.  You may however, find yourself blocking the sound while holding the phone in your hand especially while playing games.

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Verdict

While the camera remains the best thing about the P9, it does not fail to impress us in other departments. It is a high-end smartphone packed in a stunning body. Huawei P9 is one of the best smartphone we have come across till date. It is a great smartphone that offers premium design, good battery life, excellent camera combination, sturdy build, fast and accurate fingerprint sensor and more.

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