Huawei P9 Review – a photographic surprise

Huawei became the 3rd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and their chase to the top isn’t over. Their ambition is to have greater products than giants like Apple and Samsung. Huawei has some sort of a trademark move, which is to have insane specifications for their devices.

Huawei P9 is such a smartphone. In addition, the P series always focused on camera performance and quality. P9 has a huge advantage since the partnership with photography legend Leica to create a two main camera beast.


Since it’s the highlight of this phone, let’s talk in detail about it. The first thing that we’ll notice are the dual cameras. The two main cameras have each 12 Megapixels and were made in collaboration with Leica, a world-renowned company in the photography industry. One camera deals with the color pictures and the other deals in monochrome. Therefore by using the software the end result is a mix of the two pictures.

If we explore the camera settings, we will find a wide range of possibilities regarding customization. Besides using a RAW format we can do Photo, Monochrome, HDR, Panorama, Beauty and Light Painting. Most of these options help at night, but still doesn’t compare with Samsung Galaxy S7.

In addition, increasing the speed of picture taking. Thus, when there is a moving object we can capture the image without a blurry detail. Not perfect but extremely good for a phone.

Huawei tried to have solutions for multiple photographic scenarios. Although, some of the solutions provided may not be that great. In bright daylight spotting a difference in a picture between a DSLR and Huawei P9 is an impossible task.

Another interesting fact is the opportunity to take photos regardless of the device’s position or button shooter or even focus. After we take the picture, let’s say with the volume buttons, we can go back and edit the focus afterwards.

The combination of dual cameras provides a brighter picture than any single lens could. Leica created three color sensors – Standard, Vivid Colors and Smooth Color. We liked the Vivid Color mode, with high saturation but a good feel and look to it.

For some users this may present as a problem, the format of 12 Megapixels pictures are 4:3. While 9 Megapixels is for 16:9 scales. Also, doesn’t have 4k recording.

Selfie camera is 8 Megapixels and it does a great job.


Huawei P9 kept the same size as its predecessor. Rocking 145 x 71 x 7 mm with a small weight of 144 grams. In addition to a unibody body of aluminum its comfortable, very light while still providing a steady solid feel. Besides the feel, it does look like an iPhone 6S and combined with the almost bezel-free display resulting in a beautiful device. The two cameras don’t have any outside bezels and the Leica logo is visible on the top side.

On the sides we have the volume and unlock button. Sometimes when we tried to make a photo, we accidentally pressed the locking key instead of the volume ones. On the other side there is a tiny doorway where the nano-SIM resides. This tray has the option of taking 2 SIM cards or a SIM and a microSD.


Nothing to turn heads around in this department. Huawei P9 has a 5.2 inch LCD display with a 1080 x 1920 resolution despite most of the competition rolling with a 2560 x 1440 QHD displays. Although it has good pixel density of 423 ppi. Everything looks very sharp and the resolution difference between P9 and some QHD displays isn’t really noticeable.


Huawei has its own processors, HiSilicon Kirin 955. In benchmarks it does a good job and is on par with the powerful handsets of 2016. Also paired with 3GB of RAM and Mali-T880MP4 GPU, gaming and multitasking present no issues. There are models with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory while the previous mentioned variant has only 32GB of memory. A finger print scanner on the back, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack the usually complete the phone wonderfully.


A lonely speaker in the bottom side near the USB port does an incredible job. It is so loud, high amplitude and good sound quality. Still has the headphone jack which is also on the bottom and the headphones from the box are excellent.


Max brightness, YouTube browsing, gaming, Wi-Fi, 4G, always on display the 3000 mAh battery held around 5 hours for this stress test. It is decent, but not really enough for a flagship phone. On normal use it gets through the day easily.


The P9 is among the best Huawei ever made. Leica camera is good, still falls short in comparison with Samsung Galaxy S7. However the price tag is £100 lower than some of its rivals. Priced at £449 currently makes it a good deal for sure.


Clearly the best phone the Chinese company ever made but still does have a few drawbacks. Consider buying this phone if you are on a lower budget and want good picture quality with flagship specifications.

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