Huawei has been hard at work after the success of its previous P-range handsets, including last year’s stunning Huawei P8 (which you can read about in Daniel’s review here). We know the Huawei P9 is coming, when it launched in London last month, but it isn’t just the already-announced Huawei P9 and P9 Plus coming; there’s a P9 Lite variant as well, and we’re going to see these three phones launch in our region in the next six to eight weeks (around end of June / early July).
Announced at their South Pacific conference in Bali this week, we don’t have the details on carrier availability or pricing, but (in typical fashion) Huawei are rather upbeat on their value proposition with the P9 range, and so we expect to see some real competition on price and wide availability when it comes to our shores.
It’s something Huawei can be rather proud of, because the engineering feat behind the P9 is rather impressive; it’s razor thin (measurably thinner than Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Apple’s iPhone 6s), features no camera bump (it’ll easy lay flush against a table), and it feels pretty incredible in the hand, too.
Like other manufacturers this year, Huawei have made a bit of fuss about their camera features, and like LG, they’ve even gone with two lenses, but unlike LG’s G5, the Huawei P9 doesn’t use its dual lenses independently; they work in harmony to capture the RGB image on one, and the monochrome image on the other, blending these using a process developed by Leica and Huawei to create a sharper, more rich and realistic photograph.
As Huawei says, this is no longer about taking a picture, but proper photography. This could just be marketing talk, but it looks as if Huawei P9’s camera actually has some chutzpah.
It isn’t just a mobile camera, with a range of powerful modes that actually do useful things, but for the purists, there’s an equally powerful professional mode to rival the incumbents, and to (hopefully) allow you to leave the bigger, bulkier cameras behind when you’re out and about. After all, the best camera is the one you’ve got with you, and if that’s in your pocket and not around your neck, so much the better.
With a camera offering professional features like ISO adjustment, manual focus, exposure adjustment, manual shutter speed, adjusting white balance, and the ability to capture in RAW, there’s not much missing.
Huawei’s P9 features a 5.2-inch, Full HD display, twin 12MP rear mounted cameras and an 8MP camera on the front, powered by a Kirin 955 64-bit processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage which is expandable with MicroSD.
|Key Specifications:||Huawei P9|
|Release date||March 2016|
|Screen technology||Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,080|
|Core config||2.5 GHz x 4 + 1.8 GHz x 4|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 128GB|
|Android OS||Android 6.0|
|Vendor skin||EMUI 4.1|
|Dimensions||145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm|
Battery power is delivered via a 3,000 mAh battery which Huawei contends should last up to THREE DAYS of moderate use. My favourite feature, though, is the lightning-fast fingerprint reader which instantly unlocks the device; it makes LG and Samsung’s sensors look positively slow.
We look forward to getting hands on with a review device in the coming days, and we’ll see if our initial impressions — rather positive — are echoed after having spent a week or two with the phone in hand as our daily driver.
Disclosure: Chris travelled to Bali as guest of Huawei to attend their South Pacific regional conference, attended by press, partners and other guests.