Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, the P9, goes toe-to-toe with the best of Samsung and Apple. Being the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, it wants a larger slice of the high-end market. Its all-metal body, smooth glass front and slightly-rounded sides are solid and well made, a big step up over last year’s P8.
It is tactile and nice to hold, but the back isn’t too slippery, meaning it is easier to hold than some other all-metal phones. The P9 is definitely thin and light enough. It weighs 144gms and is only 6.95mm thick, which is almost a full millimetre thinner than the 7.9mm-thick Galaxy S7 and 0.15mm thinner than an iPhone 6S.
The 5.2in full HD LCD screen is one of the better displays currently available on a smartphone. It has an octa-core Kirin 955 chip, which compares favourably to the current crop of top-of-the-line processors. It has a less powerful graphics processor, but it wasn’t noticeable in general use. The P9 is the first phone to come with two full resolution cameras on the back. One is a 12-megapixel colour sensor, the other is a 12-megapixel monochrome sensor.
The two work in tandem to boost low-light performance, one recording colour information, the other recording additional light information. The result is very impressive; low-light photography, producing images that are balanced without noise and are as good as any other smartphone, or perhaps better.
• Excellent camera, brilliant fingerprint scanner, good screen, great build and feel, microSD card support, USB-C, good battery stats, decent battery life.
• EMUI not quite up to scratch, fixed-focus selfie camera, no quick charging, no removable battery, screen not good for VR (low res).