HUAWEI P9 PLUS HANDS ON REVIEW

Huawei P9 Plus

The metal frame looks and feels premium on Huawei P9 Plus, while a splash of glass on the rear is home to the phone’s dual 12MP cameras, laser autofocus, flash and Leica logo.

Dimensions 152.3×75.3×6.98mm
Weight 162g
Processor Huawei Kirin 955 64-bit octa-core (4x 2.5GHz A72 + 4x 1.8GHz A53)
Operating system Android Marshmallow 6.0.1
Emotion UI EMUI 4.1
Memory 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM
Rear camera Dual 12Mp (Mono + RGB)
Front camera 8Mp AF
Battery 3400mAh

 

You also get Huawei’s new fingerprint scanner, which is faster than the already excellent offering found on the Mate 8. This should result in super quick recognition and unlock, and it’s able to cope with moisture too.

DISPLAY

The P9 Plus brings a Super Amoled 5.5-inch screen with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. This yields a pixel density of 401 ppi. As on the P8, this is a spectacular, bright display, with vivid colors. The brightness, viewing angles, and color representation all seem fantastic on first impression.

With the P9, we have the first fingerprint scanner with four levels of security. So far, we have only seen scanners go up to three. This means it includes four different variables when taking an impression of a print, with the newest level being 3D ridge depth perception. The sensor can unlock the device, answer calls, take pictures or videos, stop the alarm or access the notification panel.

Huawei has included 3D or Force Touch technology, rebranded here as Touch Press. In this case there are two types of sensitivity to touch, and 18 native applications with shortcuts utilizing this new capability.

The Huawei P9 Plus comes with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. The power is provided by the Kirin 955 processor, which is a 4-core, 1.8 GHz chip backed by the Mali-T880 GPU. In addition, the P9 Plus has a co-processor, the i5, that helps improve the performance of the first. But how and to what extent this works will require a more thorough test.

Huawei P9 Plus audio

The Huawei P9 Plus comes with two speakers. The speaker at the top of the device serves both to make calls and to play sound, in what they called during the presentation “surround sound”. The speaker at the bottom produces lower frequencies, accentuating the bass. During our brief hands-on, we could not test the sound, especially amidst the fuss in the press room. Once we have the P9 Plus in office I will tell you if these stereo speakers meet our expectations.

Huawei P9 Plus camera

The camera is certainly where the P9 provides the surprises. It brings two 12 MP sensors manufactured in collaboration with Leica. Both with f / 2.2 apertures.

It’s those dual 12MP cameras which are the main talking point though, with a color sensor joined by a black and white snapper, sitting happily side by side on the rear of the P9 Plus.

The two cameras work in unison to improve your shots, and Huawei claims that with the addition of the data collect from the B&W camera, photo brightness can be boosted by 200%, and contrast by 50%, over a standard, single RGB snapper.

They’re joined by a laser autofocus, one of the reasons Huawei droped OIS (optical image stabilization) on the P9 Plus, with the phone’s fast shutter helping keep things smooth.

The B&W lens can also be used independently by selecting the monochrome mode within the camera app – but you can’t use the color snapper on its own.

Another nice feature with the cameras is refocus – something we first saw with the dual cameras on the HTC One M8. This allows you to focus on an object and blur everything around it.

It’s easy to do on the P9 Plus, and you can even adjust the focus after taking the photo, as well as applying filters (such as black and white) to the blurred area of the shot.

The Huawei P9 Plus takes some strong photos, Huawei brings a full manual control mode, using a Leica interface, providing ample possibilities and a professional interface.

Ultimately, the P9’s camera could find itself ranked among the best smartphone cameras.

Huawei P9 Plus battery

The Huawei P9 Plus comes with a 3,400-mAh battery, which together with Android Marshmallow and a Super AMOLED, Full HD screen could yield good, long-life results. The presentation Huawei made promised two days of normal use off one charge and 1.5 days of intensive use. We’ll see how realistic these claims are come our final review.

In terms of charging times, the P9 Plus gets to 70% in 60 minutes, and 100% in 110 minutes.

EARLD VEDICT

The Huawei P9 Plus is an accomplished smartphone. It’s got a great feature set, impressive performance and a premium design.

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