2017/01/29
HUAWEI P9 review: Standout Shooter

Overview

We’ve all witnessed an interesting battle of flagship weapons in almost all categories under tech from the previous year. And while each section has a strong rivalry, what attracted our attention the most is the smartphone department. Our team had the chance to take a closer look at one of its top players in the form of the HUAWEI P9.

HUAWEI P9 specifications

Launch SRP

PhP 23,990

Network

Dual nano SIM 4G LTE

Operating system

Android™ 6.0 + HUAWEI EMUI 4.1

Processor

HUAWEI Kirin 955 (64-bit), Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz A72 + 4 x 1.8 GHz A53)

Built-in memory

4 GB LPDDR4 RAM

Display

5.2" FHD Screen, 2.5D, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 16.7 M colors

Camera

Dual 12 MP f/2.2 27 mm main camera with Leica optics, PDAF, and dual LED flash

8 MP f/2.4 front camera

Audio support

MP3, MP4, 3GP, WMA, OGG, AMR, AAC, WAV, MIDI, RA, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-WB, WMA2-9, RA, PCM, OGG, and FLAC

Connectivity

Wi-Fi 2.4G / 5G, a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support

BT4.2, support BLE

USB Type C (High Speed USB)

Storage type

64 GB internal storage (expandable up to 128 GB via microSD)

Battery

3,000 mAh

Dimensions

145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm

Weight

144 g

Design and Features

On the outside, while flaunting a minimalist look, the P9 obviously exudes the design ethos of the HUAWEI brand – simple yet elegant. Embracing an aluminum unibody, the handset, with its measurements of 145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm plus a weight of 144 grams, is relatively light and easy to use single-handedly compared with the other devices in the same size class.

Located on the bottom of the P9 is a USB Type-C Port, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and its single speaker, which we must say, yields impressive performance in terms of audio playback as it emits minimal sound distortion even with the volume set on a high level.

Situated on the right side of the P9 are the device's power button and volume control buttons.

Found on the upper left is its dual sim card tray. Similar to most high-end handsets today, the HUAWEI P9 has a dual nano SIM card hybrid SIM card slot, in which you can choose if you want to have two SIM cards on use, or if you want to expand your external storage thru a microSD card.

While HUAWEI has already laid out plans on releasing an Android 7.0 Nougat update, the demo unit that we had in our lab still runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which makes it equipped with motion controls and smart assistance features resulting to smoother and easier P9 user-experience. It highlights a Knuckle Gesture function -- a smart gesture feature that allowed us to take screenshots and record a video clip of onscreen actions. The P9 also has a One-hand UI option which once activated, you can access a mini screen view and shifting keyboard for seamless single-handed use.

Interestingly, HUAWEI has equipped the P9 with a Health application that performs basic pedometer functions. Users can easily track the number of steps they took as it is constantly flashed on the P9's lock screen and notification panel. The P9 also has the common Phone Manager application for easier device traffic management and system optimization.

Even before the P9 was officially introduced to the market, the smartphone already became the talk of the town. While dual-lens cameras on smartphones aren’t new to us anymore, the P9 is actually the first smartphone with a camera co-developed by Leica. The P9’s dual-lens camera comes with 12-megapixel sensors for monochrome and RGB.

Intended to elevate the level of smartphone photography, it offers advanced camera features and settings, including the usual modes plus light painting, time-lapse, slow-mo, audio note, and document scan. The device also features a wide aperture effect and professional mode in which we were able to easily adjust settings such as metering, ISO, shutter speed, exposure value, focus, and white balance. In addition, the P9 also offers Leica film modes --Standard, Vivid, and Smooth for different choices and levels of color saturation.

Sifting through the images produced by the P9 proved to us that the said device never fails to deliver as a shooter. With the right settings, the images that are already vivid, well-saturated, and life-like can be further enhanced by tweaking their sharpness and color accuracy. Moreover, the handset also produced punchy monochrome images. Its 5.2-inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080) helped in showcasing the clear images it took in brilliant colors.

Benchmark Results

Beating within the svelte body of the P9 is a Kirin 955 octa-core processor clocked at 2.5 GHz, running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS with HUAWEI’s EMUI 4.1, partnered with the device's 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64 GB internal storage (expandable up to 128 GB via microSD). Putting these components on test using different benchmark tests namely AnTuTu, Quadrant, Geekbench, Vellamo, 3DMark, and Epic Citadel, the HUAWEI P9 proves how powerful it is as a device by yielding satisfactory numbers.

The AnTuTu Benchmark tests all aspects of a certain device, including its UX, GPU, RAM, CPU, and I/O. The P9 obtained a high score of 89,840, inching a spot above the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Similar to AnTuTu, the Quadrant Standard is an Android benchmark test that scrutinizes a certain device's memory, CPU, graphics, and I/O performance. For this test, the Next gave us a score of 36280, placing it above outdated devices such as the HTC One X and the ASUS Transformer Prime.

The Vellamo Mobile Benchmark by Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., on the other hand, has three test categories which include; Multicore - for synergy of multiple CPU cores; Metal - for single core CPU processor performance; and Browser - for mobile web browser performance. In these tests, the P9 managed to be on top of Vellamo's rankings, beating the Samsung Galaxy S6, by scoring 3,605, 2,826, and 4,271 respectively.

3DMark - The Gamer's Benchmark, as the name suggests, measures the gaming capabilities of a device. For this particular test we applied with the Next, we utilized the Sling Shot Extreme test which assess the GPU performance and CPU performance of said device through a series of graphics test. The P9 obtained a high score of 719.

Further testing the P9's performance, we also ran the Epic Citadel benchmark -- a test found on the Epic Citadel game for Android.

Battery Life

As much as we were impressed with the P9's performance and features, it is quite disappointing that its battery life is a turndown. Its 3,000 mAh battery didn't even last for a day of heavy usage in our tests, and it managed to survive for only three hours when we used it mainly for photography purposes. Much to our dismay, we waited for quite a long time before its battery became replenished again, two and a half hours to be exact. The P9 equated a thirty-minute charge to only 28 percent of its battery life, and an hour to 78 percent of its stamina.

And it isn't quite surprising that it obtained a low score on PCMark's Work 2.0 Battery Life test, yielding a result of 4 hours and 14 minutes only.

Conclusion

With today’s prevalence of smartphones that boast superlative camera specs and impressive photographic capabilities, the P9 is certainly an appropriate response from a Chinese giant like HUAWEI. With HUAWEI teaming up with a legendary camera label like Leica, we know that they really mean business.

The HUAWEI P9 is available in all HUAWEI Experience stores and resellers for PhP 23,990.

Read original article here: http://www.hardwarezone.com.ph/review-huawei-p9-review-standout-shooter-0