Huawei P9: Pure Photographic Prowess

Huawei Consumer Business Group recently unveiled Huawei P9, the latest model in its P series smartphones. P9, Huawei‘s 2016 flagship, was much anticipated by smartphone enthusiasts, primarily for its dual camera module, first ever seen on a smartphone. Here is our review of the phone, including the camera, hardware, design, performance and specifications.

Design

The P9‘s design is without a doubt a crowd pleaser. It comes with an impressive all-metal unibody design. Only 6.9 mm thin, the handset feels really slim. It features a FHD 5.2 inch display with very thin bezels, making it attractive and giving it a real premium feel. The smooth metal-finish back and the diamond-cut edges add to the elegance of the handset. The back has a dual camera setup with LED flash and a fingerprint sensor. On the left, there is a hybrid dual-SIM tray that supports either two SIM cards or the combination of a SIM card and a micro SD card. The phone employs USB type C charging point. Though the design is quite similar to its predecessor P8, P9 feels a bit more refined and premium.

p9

Display

Huawei P9 has a 5.2 inch Full HD display with 2.5 D glass. The phone‘s display is crisp and vivid, thanks to its 1920 by 1080 resolution providing 423 ppi. According to the specifications, the colour saturation of the phone is at 96 percent. The brightness is more than adequate for both indoor and outdoor use and the viewing angles are satisfactory too. Watching videos and playing games is pure joy on Huawei P9‘s screen owing to its sharpness and saturation. The display is overall great, and one of the best features of the phone.

Camera

The camera is the highlight of the device, and also the point on which Huawei is trying to sell this device. The primary camera of the device is one-of-its‘s-kind dual 12 MP sensor with Leica lens. The first sensor is an RGB one and the other is a monochromatic sensor. Huawei claims that this dual configuration captures more light, adds more detail and captures professional quality photographs. The camera uses ‘Hybrid Focus‘ technology that uses laser focus, depth measurement and contrast along with a dedicated depth measurement chip to capture the best pictures. The camera app has different modes like Monochrome, HDR, Panorama, Nightshot, Watermark and Document Scan among others. The primary camera can shoot 1080p videos at 60 frames per second, and also supports time-lapse and slow-motion videos.
The secondary camera is an 8 MP shooter that does a fair job of taking selfies, and it can shoot 720p videos. The camera interface has numerous effects and filters that will keep you busy taking pictures and editing them.

Hardware and Performance

The P9 is powered by Kirin 955 octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Cortex-A72 and 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) processor. The processor is coupled with 3 GB RAM and ARM-Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. The internal storage of the device is 32 GB, out of which around 25 GB is available to the user. The phone is exceptionally fast and snappy. Multitasking is smooth with no lag whatsoever. Regardless of how many apps you open in the background, the phone performs flawlessly as there is plenty of RAM left to back you up. With the Mali-T880 GPU, high-end 3D games run without a glitch. This makes P9 a good option for high end gamers too.

The handset comes with a single speaker that sits right to the charging port. The speaker is one of the loudest you‘ll ever come across, but it would have been even better if the phone came with dual speakers. The fingerprint sensor on the back is fast and responsive, and you can wake and unlock the phone just by placing your index finger on the sensor. The fingerprint sensor can also be used to take pictures, swipe gallery items and to answer calls.

Software and Battery

Huawei P9 runs on android 6.0 Marshmallow, and has Emotion UI layer on top. This could be a problem for Android purists who prefer the stock Android feel. However, EMUI has its own unique touches and nuances that will not disappoint. It comes with features like WiFi+, floating dock, motion gestures, voice wakeup, one hand UI, and themes for customization among others. The device is powered by a non-removable LI-ion 3,000 mAh battery. The battery will easily last a day with moderate to heavy use. Also, you can reduce the resolution to 720p to increase the battery life. In addition, there is an ultra-battery mode that turns the display monochromatic and extends the battery life by at least a few hours.

*Huawei P9 is priced at Rs 59,999, and comes with a free leather bag and a 32 GB SD card.

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