Huawei P9: First impressions, benchmarking results and camera samples

After the launch of the Huawei P9 today, I came away with a review unit to put to the test. I’ll be doing exactly that in the coming days, but couldn’t really wait to get something up here for you to read.

Huawei P9 all colours

The Kirin 955 powered smartphone sold in the UK on all networks (a first for Huawei) comes with 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, dual SIM, Cat 6 4G support, and dual-band Wi-Fi. It also supports fast charging, has a USB-C port, and 3,000mAh battery.

Huawei also has a 64GB version, with 4GB of RAM, although it’s not clear if this will be sold in the UK. And on top of that is the Huawei P9 Plus, with a 5.5-inch full HD display, stereo speakers, force/pressure touch and a bigger battery. Again, no word on whether this will come to the UK.

The 5.2-inch display has 1080×1920 pixels, and on the back is the unique (if you forget Huawei made the Honor 6 Plus with two cameras last year) dual Leica branded cameras, with image sensors made by Sony.

Check below for the benchmark video, and beyond that some photos I’ve taken so far. I’ll have more in the coming days.

Huawei P9 vs Huawei P8

AnTuTu Benchmark video

I couldn’t wait to get home, so did a benchmark test on the lap in my car. It’s a bit shaky, but hey, at least you get to see the score quicker – right?

Some people are moaning because it’s not as fast as a Galaxy S7 or LG G5, but it’s still considerably faster than most devices released in 2015 and early 2016, including Qualcomm’s last Snapdragon 810 SoC that is featured in plenty of flagships. It’s NOT slow!

Camera Samples

The camera on the Huawei P9 (and P9 Plus) is produced in conjunction with Leica, using two Sony IMX 286 sensors – one RGB and one black and white, enabling it to capture more light – and also produce true black and white images.

For normal photos, the camera will combine the data from each sensor to produce a photo that should have more detail, and also work considerably better in low light.

I couldn’t wait to take some photos on the journey home with the phone, and will post more photos later (including low-light ones when it gets dark). But I knew you wouldn’t want to wait.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, as well as asking any questions that I can either answer here or include in my review later.

Update 1: I just did a speed test and the antenna in the P9 must be pretty good, as I got almost twice the speed of another Cat 6 enabled phone (each on EE) indoors, where I usually get nearer 25Mbps. That’s going to be another thing that will be fun to test..

Indoor 4G+ test. Can’t wait to go speed testing out and about soon!

Edit 2:
There’s an interesting feature in the power management settings menu, labelled ‘Enable ROG power saving’ and allowing you to scale down the screen resolution to just 720×1280 and save power. You can see the difference, but only just.

And to think many phones come with QHD displays today, and one even has a 4K display. Here’s a phone that lets you reduce the resolution!

Want to reduce the screen quality? Possibly if it saves power!

Spot the difference

(It’s 1080×1920 left, 720×1280 right.. or is it?!)

9 thoughts on “Huawei P9: First impressions, benchmarking results and camera samples

  1. did u face any problem with over heat , I just bought it yesterday and used video chatting with FB messenger but the device was really hot after only 15 mins (on wifi) , could you please advise

    1. Nowhere near as much heat as from a Snapdragon 810 phone, or the SD820 on my G5. But it has got hot without doing anything, which is usually down to a rogue app or an OS bug.

      There have been two OS updates for the P9 so far. The latest being B136.

    1. I don’t actually have S7 and am waiting for a G5, but I will do comparisons against my Nexus 6P. Later in the year, I’ll hopefully get to do a big group test.

  2. Can you give links to view the photos in their original form? Using a mobile the photos look awful due to the embedding,

  3. I know you are a fan of the brand and justifiably so, the photo examples look very good indeed, dual sim would solve a lot of issues for me, I can’t wait to ‘play’ with one 😊


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