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Huawei P9 | Review

Overview
Pricing & Where to buy

Bill Pay

Vodafone
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Worldwide Minutes Worldwide Texts Extras
Red Extra Essentials €149.99 €40 100 Unlimited 3GB Optional Extra Optional Extra Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium), unlimited Vodafone calls and texts
Red Extra Free €60 Unlimited Unlimited 7GB 100 100 Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)
Red Extra Super Free €80 Unlimited Unlimited 17GB 500 500 new phone every year, Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)
Also available in Carphone Warehouse
Carphone Warehouse - differences
Red Extra Super  Free €80 Unlimited Unlimited 15 GB 500 500 new phone every year, Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)

 

 

Meteor
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract Extras Out of bundle cost
 Smartphone Lite   €149 €30  100 Unlimited 1 GB  24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts  Calls: 30c/min, Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Regular  €49 €45  400 Unlimited 4 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts  Calls: 30c/min, Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Super  Free €55  Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 24 mths  Free Meteor calls & texts Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Super Deluxe  Free €65  Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB 24 mths  50 International mins & texts  Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
 .
Also available in Carphone Warehouse
 .
Carphone Warehouse - differences
Smartphone Lite €249 €30 100 Unlimited 1 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts
Smartphone Regular €149 €45 400 Unlimited 4 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts
Smartphone Super €99 €55 Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 24 mths n/a
Smartphone Super Deluxe €99 €65 Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB 24 mths 50 EU roaming SMS & minutes, 50 International SMS & minutes

 

 

Three
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract Extras
Mini FlexMax 100 €249 €25.41 100 flexi units 100 flexi units Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
FlexiFix 200 €379 €25.41 200 flexi units Unlimited 200 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
Mini Flex 300 €379 €25.41 300 flexi units 300 flexi units 300 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex 500 €329 €40.66 500 flexi units 500 flexi units 500 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex Max 350 €199 €40.66 350 flexi units 350 flexi units Unlimited 18 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex Max 350 €99 €40.66 350 flexi units 350 flexi units Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
FlexiFix 45 €329 €45.74 400 flexi units Unlimited 400 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
Unlimited Flex Max Free €55 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts

 

Eir
Plan Name Phone Price 64 GB Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract
Eir Mobile 100 €249 €10 100 100 100 MB 24 mths
Eir Mobile 400 €149 €20 300 300 500 MB 24 mths
Eir Mobile Unlimited 10 GB €49 €30 500 500 15 GB 24 mths
Eir Mobile Unlimited 30 GB €49 €50 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 24 mths

 

Exclusively  available in Carphone Warehouse

Pay As You Go
Vodafone
Phone Price Memory
€529.99 32 GB
Also available in Carphone Warehouse.
Phone Price 32 GB Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
€549.99 €20 0 0 5 GB

 

Meteor
Phone Price 32 GB Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
€580 €30 Unlimited Unlimited 7.5 GB

 

Exclusively available in Carphone Warehouse

 

Three
Memory Phone Price Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
32 GB €469.99 €20 Unlimited - weekend Unlimited Unlimited
32 GB €469.99 €10 50 - Three to Three 50 200 MB

 

Reviewed

7 July 2016

Launched

April 2016

Design

Aerospace-class uni-body aluminum
Superior-grade 2.5 D glass
Premium, stylish, elegant design
Diamond-cut edges

Camera

Reinventing smartphone photography
Huawei and Leica dual-lens camera
Two 12 MP main camera. F2.2 lens
BSI CMOS, Dual-tone flash, 4k video
8 MP front camera, F2.4 lens

Memory

32 GB internal memory
microSD, up to 128GB

Ecosystem

HiSilicon Kirin 955, 64 bit
Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz A72+
4 x 1.8 GHz A53), 3 GB RAM

Display

5.2" IPS-NEO LC FHD screen , 16M colors
1920 x 1080 resolution, 423 ppi
capacitive touchscreen

Ease of use

Android™ 6.0, Emotion UI 4.1
Multi-touch screen
Fingerprint scanner

Connectivity

3G, 4G, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, hotspot, GPS, GPRS, USB Type C

Battery

Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
18 hrs 3G talk time
564 hrs 3G standby time

Portability

145 x 70.9 x 7 mm
144 g

Other Features

Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, 3.5 mm jack, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Hall effect sensor, active noise cancellation with dedicated mic; XviD/MP4/H.265 player; MP3/eAAC+/WAV/Flac player; document viewer; photo/video editor

Positives

Impressive dual-lens camera
Strong performance
Sleek, slender design

Negatives

Huawei's UI skin is heavy and bloated
Below par display
Average battery

Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
-Design
9.0
-Camera
9.7
-Memory
9.3
-Ecosystem
9.0
-Display
8.8
-Ease of use
8.1
-Connectivity
9.0
-Battery
8.0
-Portability
8.8
The Last Word

Huawei has stepped up it's game with the release of the P9, a slim, elegant, beautiful design packed with some interesting features. Huawei claims it has re-invented the smartphone camera and it can stand by this claim, is it perfect? not yet but it has certainly raised the bar for other premium smartphones , the crowning jewel in the P9 crown. This accompanied with strong performance and a decent, if not average battery means the P9 has a lot to offer and should entice a lot of new users, maybe even convert some from other premium brands. Unfortunately Huawei's choice of UI skin may be the one thing that holds it back, the bloated interface takes some customisation to clear out unwanted apps and make it your own, but if you don't mind the work it may not be an issue. The P9 could be the flagship phone that raises Huawei's status in your eyes, it has certainly impressed us.

8.9
Our Rating
User Rating
You have rated this

The Review

What two camera lens, why? A look at Huawei’s P9 who says it has re-invented the smartphone camera…..

read the full review ...

Design

Huawei has gradually become a household name in Europe, though it hasn’t been easy. Aiming to provide customers with a top class smartphone at a reasonable price meant Huawei hasn’t quite crippled Apple or Samsung’s market, it sits comfortably among the likes of HTC and Sony, which is a pretty good place to be. However, it’s now clear Huawei wants a piece of the premium pie and it believes the P9 is just the phone to raise the bar. Though the camera is Huawei’s main selling point for the P9, claiming it has reinvented smartphone photography, the P9 is also a very smart, slender and elegant device. Yes it has that ‘Apple-esque’ feel, but these days we see a lot of that and it’s not surprising as it is a good look and one we compare most phones to. That said, taking a closer look you will see there are plenty of differences, for one it is a little more rectangular in shape and stands a tad taller than the iPhone 6s. The P9 has a Aerospace-class aluminum uni-body, so it’s strong and sturdy but extremely light, just what you want in a premium level device. The large display is covered in superior-grade 2.5 D glass which reinforces the phones stability and thanks to the diamond-cut edges the P9 is completely smooth with no visible seams or joints. And it’s not just the edges that are smooth, Huawei and Lecia have managed to keep both camera lens flush with the back of the phone, something a lot of smartphone providers have not managed to do. Overall Huawei has made a beautiful looking smartphone that will fit well amongst premium brands like Apple and Samsung.

Camera

P9 review

With a very bold claim that it has reinvented smartphone photography, Huawei has released the P9 that sports a dual-lens camera designed to produce spectacular images…. or so they say, have they managed it? In one word…. Yes! A bold claim it may be but thanks to the partnership with Leica, Huawei has managed to provide arguably the best smartphone camera on the market. The partnership with Leica is more a stamp of approval than an actual partnership, as Lecia did not actually build the P9 camara but approved the design and materials used. Don’t be too disappointed by this as if Leica is happy to put their name on the P9 approving their camera quality you can be assured it is up to their standard. The P9 sports two 12 MP main camera with F2.2 lens, BSI CMOS and dual-tone flash. One sensor takes full colour images while the second takes black and white images, the reason for this according to Huawei, is to produce more detailed images with a better grasp on contrast and it actually works. The P9 takes images from both sensors and combines them to produce detailed, colourful images that portray dark and bright areas well. With 12 different shooting modes there are plenty of options to play around with and find the best that suits your style, some are just for fun like beauty mode where you can make yourself look like a Bratz doll and others are to enhance your artistic side like Bokeh that focuses on one point and blurs the rest of the image, though it can take a bit of practice to get the hang of it. The one mode Huawei has mastered well is black and white, shooting monochrome images are a joy, the best on any smartphone I’ve seen and you’ll find yourself taking more monochrome images than colour, especially in the beginning. You can also shoot 4k video with the P9, quality is extremely good. Thought the front camera has more megapixels than most other smartphones at 8 MP, at that level the images are really only good for social media or web calls. Is it perfect? No, when you start to loose the light image quality reduces, low light images are better than those produced by the competition, good detail and colour but if you zoom in, you will notice the images are a bit grainy, more noise creeps in. However, images in daylight are full of fine detail, no noise, with rich warm colours and plenty of contrast, overall the P9 camera beats the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s camera, Huawei has lived up to it’s claim. 

Memory

The P9 comes with 32 GB internal memory, which is slightly small for a premium level device though not uncommon, however Huawei has built the P9 with a microSD slot that can take up to 128 GB additional external memory which is more than enough for the albums of photos you will want to take and shoot 4K video.

Ecosystem

Huawei has packed the P9 with HiSilicon Kirin 955, 64 bit processor, Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) with 3 GB RAM. Huawei tends to use its own processors, shying away from Snapdragon that you may be more familiar with and in the past it has not quite reached the same performance levels. However the P9 is the first to hold the Kirin 955 and Huawei has made some impressive changes resulting in a strong, smooth performance that rivals Samsung and Apple. Daily activities are quick and easy, multitasking is smooth and with the backing of 3 GB RAM the P9 can handle most games with no noticeable lag, as well as the competition does anyway. With an An-Tu-Tu score of 87783 it scores below the Galaxy S7 at 134074 but above the iPhone 6s at 58664.

Display

The P9 comes with a 5.2″ IPS-NEO LC FHD screen , 16M colors, 1920 x 1080 resolution and 423 ppi resulting in a crisp, clear display with plenty of detail. Application icons are sharp with no fuzzy edges and web browsing is easily legible. Images are rich and full of colour, bringing your homepage and games to life, though the colours may be too vibrant for some. Viewing angles are impressive and outdoor use is good except in direct sunlight, the screen is quite bright and thanks to the ambient light sensor you will find browsing on your phone well into the evening a little too easy. Overall the screen is quite impressive however, its not on the same level as the Galaxy S7 who’s pixel count is much higher, even though the P9 is at a similar price level. This is disappointing as the P9 is competing at this level, you feel almost cheated that Huawei has not provided a similar screen, that said can the naked eye really tell the difference? I don’t think so, but paying this price you want the best.

Ease of Use

Huawei has loaded the P9 with Android™ 6.0, Marshmallow, it is yet to be advised when Android 7.0 will be available to the P9. As usual Huawei places it’s own UI on top of the Android operating system, the latest version Emotion UI 4.1, which is an improvement on its predecessors but still a very unique style. Huawei is adamant that Emotion UI works, but it has not received the most welcome reception in Europe, it’s very different from standard Android layout which most users love. The latest version is a little snappier but fundamentally it is the same, strong colours, boxy icons and the biggest problem of all is it is extremely bloated with a lot of unnecessary apps and games pre-loaded that you may never use. That said the UI is not unusable, it just takes some getting used to, the first thing to do is to un-install any unwanted pre-loaded apps, any that cannot be deleted place in one folder that you never have to access, then the rest is yours. Organise your apps into folders, download the usual apps you use like Google mas etc and choose from the number of these available to Emotion UI. The customisation may take a little time at the start but once done you will be back in your comfort zone, if you don’t mind the little bit of effort to begin with Emotion UI could become your new favourite UI skin, maybe. Huawei’s multi-touch screen is very responsive and easy to use, they have added a fingerprint scanner to improve security on your P9. The scanner is placed, unusually, on the back of the phone…. yes that’s what the little square on the back is, and though it may seem a bit weird it’s actually a good location as it’s exactly where your finger sits when holding your phone, though it does mean with your phone on the table you need to unlock the standard way…. or pick up your phone. 

Connectivity

The P9 supports 3G and 4G, Bluetooth v4.2 and Wi-Fi 802.11, connectivity is good and call quality is strong and clear.

Battery Life

Huawei packed the P9 with a non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery, which it boasts up to 18 hrs 3G talk time or 564 hrs 3G standby time. This translates into just over a day standard use which is actually a little generous, in real life you should get a day from the P9 with average use but not much more, you will need to charge every night. The P9 is better than Huawei’s previous flagship phones and pretty standard in a premium level device, much to my disappointment. This is an area I wish all manufacturers would improve on, I would rather a slightly heavier phone for a better battery life any day. Though the battery life is pretty standard Huawei has not offered any extras that we see in other flagships like fast charging or wireless charging, which again is disappointing.

Portability

Even though the P9 is a little taller than other flagships, it still only weighs a mere 144 g, extremely light and comfortable to hold in your hand. One handed use is easy thanks to the slender build and due to the aluminum chassis it feels sturdy, though you will probably invest in a case, like I did and do with any premium level device to keep that impressive phone safe from any accidental drops. Unfortunately the P9 is not water resistant, not even a slight rating so I would not recommend catching up on social media while in the bath.

Pricing & Where to Buy

Pay As You Go
Vodafone
Phone Price Memory
€529.99 32 GB
Also available in Carphone Warehouse.
Phone Price 32 GB Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
€549.99 €20 0 0 5 GB

 

Meteor
Phone Price 32 GB Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
€580 €30 Unlimited Unlimited 7.5 GB

 

Exclusively available in Carphone Warehouse

 

Three
Memory Phone Price Required Top-Up per month Minutes Texts Data
32 GB €469.99 €20 Unlimited – weekend Unlimited Unlimited
32 GB €469.99 €10 50 – Three to Three 50 200 MB
Bill Pay |
Vodafone
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Worldwide Minutes Worldwide Texts Extras
Red Extra Essentials €149.99 €40 100 Unlimited 3GB Optional Extra Optional Extra Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium), unlimited Vodafone calls and texts
Red Extra Free €60 Unlimited Unlimited 7GB 100 100 Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)
Red Extra Super Free €80 Unlimited Unlimited 17GB 500 500 new phone every year, Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)
Also available in Carphone Warehouse
Carphone Warehouse – differences
Red Extra Super  Free €80 Unlimited Unlimited 15 GB 500 500 new phone every year, Red Extra Entertainment pack (Free Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium)

 

 

Meteor
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract Extras Out of bundle cost
 Smartphone Lite   €149 €30  100 Unlimited 1 GB  24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts  Calls: 30c/min, Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Regular  €49 €45  400 Unlimited 4 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts  Calls: 30c/min, Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Super  Free €55  Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 24 mths  Free Meteor calls & texts Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
Smartphone Super Deluxe  Free €65  Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB 24 mths  50 International mins & texts  Data: 99c/day, 2c/MB over 50MB
 .
Also available in Carphone Warehouse
 .
Carphone Warehouse – differences
Smartphone Lite €249 €30 100 Unlimited 1 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts
Smartphone Regular €149 €45 400 Unlimited 4 GB 24 mths Free Meteor calls & texts
Smartphone Super €99 €55 Unlimited Unlimited 10 GB 24 mths n/a
Smartphone Super Deluxe €99 €65 Unlimited Unlimited 30 GB 24 mths 50 EU roaming SMS & minutes, 50 International SMS & minutes

 

 

Three
Plan Name Phone Price Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract Extras
Mini FlexMax 100 €249 €25.41 100 flexi units 100 flexi units Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
FlexiFix 200 €379 €25.41 200 flexi units Unlimited 200 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
Mini Flex 300 €379 €25.41 300 flexi units 300 flexi units 300 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex 500 €329 €40.66 500 flexi units 500 flexi units 500 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex Max 350 €199 €40.66 350 flexi units 350 flexi units Unlimited 18 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
Classic Flex Max 350 €99 €40.66 350 flexi units 350 flexi units Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts
FlexiFix 45 €329 €45.74 400 flexi units Unlimited 400 flexi units 12 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts, unlimited ROI texts
Unlimited Flex Max Free €55 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 24 mths Unlimited Three to Three calls and texts

 

Eir
Plan Name Phone Price 64 GB Plan Price per month Minutes Texts Data Contract
Eir Mobile 100 €249 €10 100 100 100 MB 24 mths
Eir Mobile 400 €149 €20 300 300 500 MB 24 mths
Eir Mobile Unlimited 10 GB €49 €30 500 500 15 GB 24 mths
Eir Mobile Unlimited 30 GB €49 €50 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 24 mths

 

Exclusively  available in Carphone Warehouse

P9 feature
P9 feature
P9 feature
P9 white front tilt back
P9 white front tilt back
P9 white front tilt back
P9 white front ski
P9 white front ski
P9 white front ski
P9 white front lying down buildings
P9 white front lying down buildings
P9 white front lying down buildings
P9 white front tilt colours
P9 white front tilt colours
P9 white front tilt colours
P9 silver back close
P9 silver back close
P9 silver back close
P9 lens close
P9 lens close
P9 lens close
P9 camera close shot
P9 camera close shot
P9 camera close shot
P9 grey back front picture
P9 grey back front picture
P9 grey back front picture
P9 gold front
P9 gold front
P9 gold front
P9 colour lineup
P9 colour lineup
P9 colour lineup

Unboxing

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TOP SECRET SMARTPHONE
Follow my Twitter for Huawei P9 Giveaway http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy This is a special, exclusive unboxing of the new Huawei P9. Huawei's new flagship ha...

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Huawei P9 Unboxing & First Impressions: Dual Leica Cameras!
2016 is turning out to be a year of bold moves. Huawei is the second company this year to deliver a flagship phone with dual rear cameras. Before we can dete...

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Huawei P9 Unboxing
The Huawei P9 is a phone that comes in a box. So let's unbox it! Be sure to subscribe to our channel with this link! http://phon.es/acsub You can download th...

 

Durability

quickview

Huawei P9 Water Test! (4K)
Huawei P9 Water Test! Is it water resistant? A waterproof review. ►► Subscribe Now for Daily Tech Videos - http://goo.gl/wj6RxI ►►Join me on social media! ★T...

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Huawei P9 Drop Test! (4K)
Huawei P9 Drop Test. Will it survive? ► Pricing & Availability ★US: http://amzn.to/1Tdx7M3 ►► Subscribe Now for Daily Tech Videos - http://goo.gl/wj6RxI ►►Jo...

 

Review

quickview

Huawei P9 review
Buy the Huawei P9: http://fave.co/1Szp6k7 | Full review & ratings: http://goo.gl/5iOm2L The Huawei P9 with its co-engineered Leica camera setup could be one ...

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Huawei P9 Review
The Huawei P9 doesn’t want to be just another phone with a good camera. It is here to reinvent smartphone photography with its dual-camera setup, engineered ...

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Huawei P9 Review
Full review: http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/25/huawei-p9-review/ Read More: http://www.engadget.com Get More Engadget: •Subscribe to Engadget on YouTube: ht...

 

Comparison

quickview

Huawei P9 vs iPhone 6S - Speed & Camera Test!
Speed and Leica Monochrome camera comparison between Huawei P9 & iPhone 6S! Did you know the P9 is much cheaper than the iPhone on Amazon! US- http://amzn.to...

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Huawei P9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - Speed Test! (4K)
Huawei P9 vs Galaxy S7 Edge Speed Test comparison including boot up, Apps opening, browsing, multitasking and fingerprint reader speed tests. ►► Subscribe No...

quickview

Smartphone camera comparison: iPhone 6S v Galaxy S7 v HTC 10 v LG G5 v Huawei P9 v Xperia Z5
We've put some of the best flagship phones money can buy right now to the test. We pitted the iPhone 6S, HTC 10, Huawei P9, LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7 – the Ex...

find out

What others are saying ...

quickview

Huawei P9 review: Huawei's best phone yet, and even better with Nougat
Huawei P9 long-term review: Huawei's best phone to date with Dual Leica cameras and an improved software experience. With Android Nougat rolling out now too, it might soon be an even better deal

About The Author
Lynne Pettre
Reviewing the latest tech in Ireland and across the globe.