Huawei has grabbed everyone s eyeballs with its latest flagship smartphone, the P9. The smartphone comes with a dual-camera setup on the back. While the dual-camera set up is certainly not a new concept, what makes Huawei s device stand out is association with German optics major Leica. The smartphone has finally launched in India. I spent some time with the Huawei P9 at the launch event and here are my first impressions. Also Read - Jio 5G service: Reliance Jio, Intel partner to develop 5G network for IndiaAlso Read - Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza sale top deals: iPhone SE, Poco X3 Pro and more on discount
At the very first glance, you know Huawei has made efforts to make the Huawei P9 stand out in the crowded space that the smartphone market has become. It is quite slim at 6.95mm and quite light as well at 144 grams. The smartphone has metal unibody design that fluidly merges with the front panel that has 2.5D glass and the mildly rounded corners. There is a black visor band on the top of the back panel, where the dual-camera setup with flash is located. The black band is similar to what Huawei had done with the Nexus 6P. Also Read - Honor phones to come with Google Mobile Services: Report
Sporting a 5.2-inch display, Huawei has gone for a smaller form factor instead of the trending 5.7-inch or 5.5-inch displays. The smaller form factor is supposed to deliver an easy grip, but sadly the smartphone is quite slippery. Having said that, in my books the P9 is the best designed smartphone from Huawei so far.
Now, let s talk about the star feature of the dual-camera set up on the Huawei P9. The smartphone comes with two 12-megapixel cameras with f/2.2 aperture, BSI CMOS sensor, hybrid auto focus, laser focus, depth focus and dual-one flash. The dual camera setup is very similar to what we had seen on the Qiku Q Terra. The first 12-megapixel rear camera is aimed to capture monochrome shots while the other one is for color. The set up is supposed to deliver better details, colors, sharpness and overall quality. The dual camera set up also helps gives DSLR-like bookeh effect.
During the brief time I spent time with the Huawei P9, I found the camera UI pretty cluttered, and it may take a few minutes to just understand the different settings. The camera does quickly focus on the subject, but the image processing is slightly slow. Also, I found it slow while browsing the gallery. I could see colors gradually being restored when browsing the older images in the gallery. Though this could be because of it being a demo unit, which would have gone through quite some abuse.
There are tons of modes in the camera, including the monochrome mode. Just swipe right on the display when in the camera to access all the modes. For more serious mobile photography enthusiasts, there s a Pro mode, which you can access by swiping up on the screen. You can adjust ISO, white balance, color and saturation and other key elements in the camera.
The Huawei P9 looks a very promising camera smartphone. I am looking forward to check out the quality in low light, and other lighting conditions, and take some macro shots.
For performance, the Huawei P9 relies on its in-house Kirin 955 octa-core processor, which is an upgrade over the Kirin 950 processor that runs on Huawei Mate 8. The smartphone is available in 32GB (with 3GB of RAM) and 64GB (with 4GB of RAM) storage options. It also supports expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD. It comes with a hybrid SIM slot (nano+nano/microSD). The smartphone runs EMUI 4.1 based on Android 6.0. A 3,000mAh battery powers the device. During my brief usage, the smartphone felt fluid and looked capable of handling heavy duty tasks.
As mentioned earlier, Huawei has certainly upped its game with the Huawei P9, be it design, performance and camera quality. The dual camera co-engineered with Leica looks pretty interesting. However, it remains to be seen whether Huawei has enough brand pull to convince people to spend upwards of Rs 39,999 on its smartphones. Stay tuned for our detailed review of the Huawei P9.