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Huawei P9 Review




OS, UI, and Apps

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The P9 is running on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is overlayed by Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.1. It has a more updated version than what the Huawei GR5 has.

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The pull-down tray shows two tabs namely the notifications tab and another for the easy-access functions. The UI itself also has its own offerings and below are some of them:

  • Phone Manager – RAM optimizer, storage cleaner, text and call blocker, network traffic manager, power manager, and app locking.
  • “Simple” home screen style
  • Motion control – flip to mute, share to rearrange icons, double tap screen to turn on, draw letter to open apps
  • Different navigation bar designs
  • Shake to change home screen wallpaper
  • Smart unlock – lets you unlock your phone with a Bluetooth-enabled device like a smartwatch

Camera

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As we’ve mentioned earlier, what makes the Huawei P9 unique from the other smartphones today lies in its imaging department which has been co-engineered with Leica. The handset features dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, but with different BSI CMOS sensors — one with RGB while the other a monochrome sensor.

What the monochrome sensor supposedly does is achieve better detail and depth out of the images and combine those to the colored photo. Additionally, users could also use this same sensor to capture black and white stills with better dynamic range than, say, using a standard B&W filter.

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Apart from colored or monochrome, the P9 has different shooting modes depending on what the situation calls for. There’s HDR, Light Painting, Slow Motion, and even Beauty Video. It shoots a maximum of 12MP photos and Full HD 1080p videos (no 4K capturing here).

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Since it concentrates on imaging, the P9 has full manual control over its ISO, shutter speed, exposure value, focus, and white balance. It also has three film modes but for us, it’s more of a gimmick than an actual tool for mobile photography. Nevertheless, we’re glad that they joined in with other flagships in having full manual access to the camera’s settings.

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We’ve recently published an article showcasing the shots we took back in London during its launch. You may check them out below:

Additionally, here are more sample shots taken at night or with very little light source:

You can also watch the sample video:

From those shots, we could definitely agree that Huawei stepped up its imaging capabilities with the help of Leica. With the German brand’s experience in developing lenses (and cameras in general), they were able to give the Chinese manufacturer an edge against the flagship phones we currently have today.

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Adjustable depth of field

Truly, the images produced were sharp, have good detail in them, and the colors were lively and most importantly, very natural. Its ability to deliver professional-level depth of field is also what the company is boasting about with the P9. This is another feature the dual lens could offer — by measuring the depth of the subject from its background and sending it to the phone’s dedicated image signal processor (ISP). The result, as you can see, is pretty impressive for a cameraphone.

Next Page: Performance and Benchmarks / Battery Life / Connectivity and Call Quality / Conclusion

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Kevin Bruce Francisco is the Senior Editor and Video Producer for YugaTech. He's a Digital Filmmaking graduate who's always either daydreaming of traveling or actually going places on his bike. Follow him on Twitter for more tech updates @kevincofrancis.

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35 Responses

  1. Easy E says:

    Performance is between a midrange and a highend? Price is highend. For 34k+, its a NO.

  2. Freeje says:

    Cheaper to buy it in China.Only about 28k for the 64GB Pro Plus.

  3. Nyko says:

    34k? For a Chinese phone?! Nah, I’ll stick to Sony, Apple, LG or Samsung. Brands that have been here longer and has a more established after sales support system.

    • Mark Lamangan says:

      Nakagamit ka na ba ng Huawei device? Honestly mas premium ang datingan nila kesa sa mga Samsung eh. Imba din ang warranty nila and after sales.

      May nabasa ako 1 week lang ayos agad or if not palit agad lalo na kung high-end phone mo dahil sa warranty. Kung di mo alam even mga analyst sa US is calling Huawei the Samsung killer. Just take a look at Nexus 6P and Mate 8.

      Thank me later.

    • Larsen Simon says:

      Dude, Huawei is BIGGER than LG… So yeah… Do some research first before posting up biased comments… Your ignorance is showing…

    • Pulpolnasony says:

      Nakakatawa tong joke na to.wahahaha!

    • Dummy_001 says:

      It is the 3rd when it comes to sales all over the world, and also a very good alternative to Samsung and Apple

    • Velle says:

      For Lg samsung and Huawei I go with huawei..they gave me gift before and it is huawei G610 i dropped it more than 100 times but its screen havent change even its performance even up to now my nephew still using it..after getting my first salary i bought samsung I doesnt even dropped it..I accidentally stepped on it then the screen now is static there is a lines everytime I try to open the phone..when it comes to durability I go for Huawei..? but now I am using iphone..for a change and I love it..just sharing my experience..

  4. reasonable says:

    Expensive, yes. But Leica is no joke.

  5. Nakakainlove ung shot sa dulo, great review! :)

  6. Nyko says:

    @Mark Lamangan

    No I haven’t and I have no intention, even if Leica co-brands this Huawei phone. I own a Leica cam so yun na lang gagamitin ko for taking photos.

    The Nexus 6P barely made a dent in the smartphone market. The Mate 8? I don’t know even a single person who uses it. So no, based on that alone, I’m not willing to part ways with my 34k for a brand that’s basically an unknown and untested brand in the PH market.

    Lastly, no, I won’t be thanking you later. I’m very happy with my Sony and LG.

    • Wired_boy says:

      Sony phones has a lot of issues, LG is good but G5 is ugly. If they are ‘unknown’ how can they have penetrated US and Europe market? And also supported by Google to take the Nexus 6P, touted as the best ever Nexus phone? Before you comment such ignorance, get your facts straight first. I am allergic with close minded pricks. I don’t support China but quality wise they make one of the best.

  7. Mr. Grey says:

    In your dream Mark Lamangan this phone is nothing compare to samsung high end phone like my s6 Edge Plus..I’ve tried this china phone in Huawei store and very china quality means low quality waste of money..

  8. I agree with Mark Lamangan. Mas premium tlga datingan ng Huawei . and china phone? I think you guys forgot where your iPhones and Samsungs are made (maybe not all, but halos lahat ng releases nila made in China)

    Yey for Huawei! I’m so looking forward to it’s PH release.

  9. Boom says:

    And they just got busted! The lens are not made by Leica, it’s from another Chinese OEM. Hahaha! So we’re paying premium money just because it’s co-branded? Total BS. Inyo na.

    @Wired Boy
    Penetrated the US market? Oo andun sila, but are they selling enough to make money? I don’t think so. The Nexus 6P is undoubtedly a great phone, pero bumenta ba? Nakita ko nga nakasale na sa Google Play Store and locally on sale na din sa MemoExpress. Siguro di din bumenta.

    Sony user ako, pero I don’t have issues with it. So I guess, di totoo yang sinasabi mo.

    Kung maka Huawei ka, e di good for you. Pero tanong ko, ano ba phone mo now?

    • Wired_boy says:

      http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-market-share.jsp

      Pakitingnan kung nasaan silang spot. THANK YOU. Ang sinasabi ko lang why bust brand if you haven’t experienced their phones and they are fairly new sa market. I don’t own a Huawei phone but two of my friends has the Nexus 6P and they’re very satisfied. I said a bad thing about sa sony kasi i have a friend with a z4, na nagkaroon ng moisture or water sa loob nung camera lens, pinaayos niya pa. I own a Note 4 btw. And Huawei phones are good contenders for replacement because of the camera, if only they have replaceable batts but still. Cheers!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Makikisali lang sa gulo. Pareng wired_boy, nabasa mo ba pinost mo? Parang hindi e. Pangatlo sila sa listahan. Samsung at Apple pa din top 2. Kung baga sa elementary graduation, unang honorable mention. Di kinaya maging salutatorian at valedictorian. At ang bumenta sa kanila yung low cost devices. Tsaka, kasama ang mga benta sa China sa bilangan. Kaya malamang mabenta, China phone sold in China. Sus naman.

    Ang pinag uusapan dito, e kung worth it bang bilin yang P9 na yan sa presyong S7 o 6s Plus. Ang sagot ko, hinde rin. Tapos may issue pa ngayon sa Leica lens kuno. Sinungaling daw sabi nila. Kung di pa nahuli, di pa magsasabi. Naka naman…

    Dead on arrival yang telepono na yan pag labas. Unless ibenta nila ng mas mababa. Pag ginawa nila yan na mas mura, siguro presyong P8 ngayon na nasa 21k, sige papatulan ko. Gusto ko din naman sya e. Pero pag mas mataas pa dun, kanila na! Ipon na lang ako konti pa, bili na lang ako ng S7.

    • wired_boy says:

      i am just making a point ANON that they are not an ‘unknown’ brand. Ever wondered why they outsold Xiaomi or Lenovo phones that sells also cheap mid-range phones? I don’t care if you think that they are selling overpriced phones, since they are ‘china’ phones and if you have issues with such chinese brands. It’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. Ok eh di bumili ka ng S7 di nmn kita pipigilan lol and you have a point there. What I am trying to say is why bad mouthed a brand if you haven’t experienced using them. I rest my case. Cheers!

  11. Mnemo says:

    It’s not made by Leica. They just certified the lens and helped with the software of the camera. The camera module was made by another company in China.

  12. benmoran01 says:

    Leica only helped with the software part of the camera. But despite this, the Huawei P9 takes great photos and the phones performance is comparable to the flagship phones that are being released in our country’s market.

    Though pricier than it should be, it’s still worthy to be part of the top phones for the year.

    https://versus.com/en/huawei-p9-vs-samsung-galaxy-s7

    Also do take note, that almost all of the phones we have are made or sourced from China. :P

    • Joel Buen Ramos says:

      well said. My first time to use a Huawei, the GR5 last January and it was awesome for a mid range phone. Upgraded later on to a P10 when I got my Globe line. It was amazing. Am a former Apple fan which later on shifted to Samsung. My eyes were opened that there are better brands as advised by a friend who’s a former Country Manager of a well known cellphone brand. Just last week, Huawei achieved another milestone surpassing sales of Apple and occupying the 2nd spot. Cheers to this brand who fearlessly reinvents.

  13. Rench says:

    I am using a Huawei Honor 4c for more than a year now and I am very happy with it. Now, I want to upgrade to P9. Sayang, na-miss ko yung preselling promo sa MOA.

  14. Zeek says:

    The P9 is only 23,990 on stores while the P9 Plus is priced at 29990. These prices are already good enough, and considering how polished EMUI 4.1 and battery life on these phones are so great, these devices are worth your second look

  15. Z says:

    Dual Sim ba yung offered sa Plan ng Globe?:))

  16. Mon Magsi says:

    P9 free at globe plan 1,499. Worth more than what I was expecting.

  17. Nattie says:

    Im using huawei P9 Ok sana pero nakakaStress ang bagal mag charge ng standard charger sobra nakakainis hays sana ginwa man lang nilang fast charger 2hrs charging time kahit naka off cp.

  18. Bobit says:

    Shocks, Leica?!!!!!!!wow.Leica is a medical grade lense used for microsurgeries of the eye!!so meaning, maganda talaga quality ng image

  19. Justin says:

    All your phones even if its samsung and iphone are also manufactured in china. Yes when it comes to low quality kilala ang china pero may mga totoo din naman na naglalabas at company na premium quality pinoproduce nila and hindi kasama ang huawei dun since international brand sila.. Oo pangatlo sila sa sales revenue globally syempre mas kilala sa pangalan ang samsung at iphone madami kasi Social climber kaya mas prefer nila yung kilala diba? And mas nauna nagexpand sa market kesa sa huawei pero when it comes sa technology at specs di nagpapatalo ang huawei.. Sila lang ang may processor na pinakamabilis ngayon na KIRIN processor na kaya imanage ang battery consumption ng phone kahit di nyo gamitin hindi siya nababawasan may sarili ding EMUI at sa camera panalo din.basta huawei is the best for me after all, i dont need a popular name in the market, i need a good specs and quality and that is for huawei. I am a brand promoter ng huawei madalang nag sasauli samen ng unit unlike sa samsung at iphone lol..

  20. Dre says:

    Pretty fun to reread the comments to this

  1. February 16, 2017

    […] offering is the 2016 flagship announced in August – the Honor 8. Like it’s distant cousin, the Huawei P9, it sports a dual rear camera setup which is one of the most popular features in a smartphone as of […]

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