x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Huawei P9 Review

Huawei P9

Posted: , by Nick T.


Huawei P9 Review


Some say that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is one of the reasons why people now turn to their phones for snapping the occasional photo. The Huawei P9, however, 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 in partnership with Leica.

Huawei P9 Review
Huawei P9 Review
Bold claims aside, the Huawei P9 is the company’s latest flagship Android smartphone, and as such, it aims to impress with more than just its intriguing photographic capabilities. It has been engineered to meet the expectations of a broad range of customers, including those who demand the very best. Needless to say, high-end rivals from Apple, Samsung, and LG have set the bar high, but the P9 is shaping up as a phone that can leap over it. Let us find out if that’s the case.

The box contains:

  • Huawei P9
  • Wall charger (Output: 5V, 2A)
  • USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable
  • Wired stereo headset with microphone and volume buttons
  • SIM card tray ejector
  • Quick start guide


“I’m an individual that favors style and exquisite build quality. I’m also secretly into Battlestar Galactica.” – this is the statement you’ll be making if you’re seen holding one of these. Indeed, whoever designed the Huawei P9 knows their stuff. The chamfered edges make for a smooth transition between the curved-edge glass covering the screen and the metal back plate of this appealing handset, while the sides and corners are rounded just right to make the unit comfortable to hold. But a dash of “nerd” has been added to the formula, and we’re not sure whether we like it or not. That camera setup at the back spoils the otherwise elegant appearance of the P9, although it also serves as a reminder that the dual-lens snapper is the phone’s key highlight.

Huawei P9
5.71 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches
145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm
5.08 oz (144 g)

Huawei P9

Apple iPhone 6s
5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Samsung Galaxy S7
5.61 x 2.74 x 0.31 inches
142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm
5.36 oz (152 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7

5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches
149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm
5.61 oz (159 g)


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

As we hinted above, the Huawei P9 is pleasant to touch and hold. It is light and not as large as you might expect considering the size of its display. Conveniently placed on its right side are the power key and volume rocker. And speaking of convenience, at the phone’s bottom we see a USB Type-C port, meaning that the charging cable goes in either way. Your old Micro USB cables will not work with this new connector, however.

On the back of the Huawei P9 we find a fingerprint reader – one of the fastest we’ve ever used. It is highly reliable as well, rarely failing to read our finger correctly from the first try. Moreover, it has been integrated into the software, but we’ll dive deeper into that on the next page.


With the P9, Huawei is aiming to deliver a bezel-less visual effect, as if there’s nothing between the handset’s sides and the display’s left and right edges. Turning the screen on, however, reveals that it is surrounded by a black border, which makes the effect much less striking when the phone is in use.

Huawei P9 Review
As far as technicalities go, the Huawei P9 sports a 1080x1920-pixel display measuring 5.2 inches in diagonal. It’s no Quad HD panel, but we’re perfectly happy even with the 424 pixels per inch that it packs. First of all, that’s more than enough resolution to deliver smooth, detailed visuals. In addition, sticking to 1080p over Quad HD means there will be less strain put on the GPU by visually demanding games and apps, which will result in higher frame rates and better battery life.

On the downside, the screen lags in color accuracy, and that’s clear to see even with a naked eye. The most noticeable flaw is the bluish tint that dominates whites and highlights being displayed. Furthermore, our screen tests indicate a tendency for oversaturation. We doubt that a typical user would ever be bothered by that, but we are, as the color boost gives images a slightly artificial, exaggerated look. At least the 450 nits of brightness are enough to provide adequate outdoor visibility.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Huawei P9 458
Apple iPhone 6s 554
Samsung Galaxy S7 484
LG G5 816
View all

  • Options

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:10

1. xdza1979 (Posts: 296; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)


posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:13 1

3. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

and HTC10 score wont be far from this one :D

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:37

12. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Early reviews are suggesting that HTC again fall short of a good camera... so P9 should be scored higher than 10...

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:53 31

19. letosaw (Posts: 127; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

Almost every reviewer says that htc 10 has a really good and compelling camera. Unless you watched the verge's review which you absolutely shouldn't watch

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:27 4

28. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

check that vid dislikes :DD

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:34 5

32. letosaw (Posts: 127; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

One of them is mine DD

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:34 12

31. maherk (Posts: 4845; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

True that, the verge's review was a joke. Didn't even bother watching the whole thing after the 1st minute.
As for the other reviews, they did say the 10 has a very good camera, that can deliver astonishing results in day light, but not so much in challenging low light situations, and thats not what HTC promised us. Nothing still beats the S7 and G5's camera.

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 12:51 1

39. 2.5GHz (banned) (Posts: 270; Member since: 03 Apr 2016)

Hey maherk! Here's a quote from Slashgear's review of the HTC 10's camera:Throw in the tendency for the "Laser auto focus blocked" warning to flash up, even when you'd swear you had no fingers, toes, or any other extremities anywhere near the lens - you have to wait a moment for the message to clear before you can try again - and the whole thing can be very hit-or-miss."

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 14:38

45. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 1021; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)

The reviews I watched were here and there. Some of the reviewers hadn't got the software update that fixed focusing speed and camera app quickness. Thus, some of them rate it pre-update.

There are reviews that say it's pictures are more natural than the S7 and that its lowlight is nearly as good if not better in certain cases.

posted on 16 Apr 2016, 03:44

63. medtxa (Posts: 1341; Member since: 02 Jun 2014)

S7 lowlight is supposedly not that good.

posted on 16 Apr 2016, 10:56

65. zeeBomb (Posts: 2304; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Its not that bad. Just that the software needs a little work...low light images still have the yellow tint in them

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 18:16 4

54. TerryTerius (unregistered)

I guess my fundamental question about the HTC 10, is whether or not simply making a phone that is as good as its rivals is enough. HTC needs sales more than anything else. It's hard for me to see a really compelling reason for the average consumer to choose the 10 over its biggest rival, really every android phone's biggest rival; the S7. You don't want to be equal, when going into battle with a juggernaut you want to be definitively better. Especially when you're outgunned in terms of marketing, brand cache, and brand loyalty.

In no way am I trying to detract from the 10, most of what I've read about it says is a great phone and I think they've massively improved. If I didn't already have a 6S plus as a business line, I would probably be getting the 10. But with incredibly stiff competition from Samsung and to a slightly lesser degree LG, what does HTC have that will be a huge draw? I'm not really convinced boom sound, great build quality, a competitive camera and the refined interface is going to be enough to steal Samsung's thunder. And considering they will be competing head on in terms of price… It just makes me wonder whether or not they can pull it off. Convincing avid readers of tech sites is one thing. Swaying the market is another beast entirely. You don't want to be the alternative, you want to be the better choice.

posted on 17 Apr 2016, 05:47

73. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

I don't know what you are reading... Almost every review shows that HTC 10's camera is trailing behind the competition. It is much better than before but not better than the competition... I will suggest you to go and see camera shoot out between G5, S7, 6p and HTC 10... You will find 6p in the top performers and HTC 10 in the tail end, despite having the same sensor... so, basically HTC f**ked the great im377 sensor...

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:20

27. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

just people don't take this slut aple site seriously we know this site right ?
just read its news ..

posted on 30 Apr 2016, 01:07

82. johnny_cypher (Posts: 10; Member since: 19 Mar 2014)

It looks like you are totally wrong :D

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:49 2

17. zeeBomb (Posts: 2304; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

Damn 7.5...I guess we need to call state farm/all-statw

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:04

25. dimas (Posts: 2525; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)

Just fresh from the html oven, android pit have a different take and cons are only nitpicking things. I think $600 for huawei p9 is a good buy after all.https://www.androidpit.com/huawei-p9-review

posted on 17 Apr 2016, 10:27

74. TerryTerius (unregistered)

It would probably be wise to average out the reviews and not just focus on one. Whether that's negative or positive.

posted on 17 May 2016, 08:00 1

83. ECPirate37 (Posts: 220; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

I got the Huawei P9 the day it released in China, and I love it. Is it the best phone ever? Nope. But, I do enjoy it a lot. I currently use that, and the LG V10 (which I LOVE). I would get the P9 an 8.5.

I haven't had to deal with the battery life, since I use my V10 for most things, so I can't speak to that. My battery usually only gets charged once every day or two.

As far as the camera, I've taken GORGEOUS photos with the P9. I am a part time photographer, and when I sent friends photos from it, they thought I was using my Canon 70D. They're that good.

Left out of the article, and something I find cool is the "Light Painting" option. That has the ability to do: Taillights, Moving Water, Light Graffiti, and Star Track". For example, taillights takes the photo with the cars moving, so you have the trail of taillights glowing. Very cool. The Moving water is awesome. It makes the rest of the photo still, but the water looks almost like glass.

Also, for any that are overly vain, the depth of "beauty" options on the selfie cam is amazing. I keep that turned off because I like looking at me, haha but it is fun to play with!

As for the screen having a bluish tint in the whites, I do not have that problem. In the display options, they have the option to chose warmer, normal, or cooler so I wonder if maybe the review unit PA has was set to cooler. And if you don't like any of those options, there is a color wheel and you can pick.

When making phone calls, PA failed to mention Call record. That's a cool function. Especially for when you're making a business call. Turn that on, and you don't have to worry about remembering exactly what they said.

The phone is beautiful, and when people here have seen it, they want to touch it. I don't think the 2 camera lens takes away from the beauty at all. If anything, it makes it more attention grabbing. Of course, that is personal opinion.

One drawback that PA failed to mention is the phone doesn't rest well on your shoulder if you make a call (which I wouldn't expect them to test). It likes to slide down no matter how you prop it.

I feel like there are a couple of other functions I really appreciate about the phone but can't think of right now. But seriously, I find 7.5 to be really low for this phone.

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:09 4

26. FoneAddict (Posts: 259; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)

Why is there so much HATE for Chinese phones??

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:30 1

30. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

because USA is failing.. there is no chance to ONLY ape hold smartphone throne .. the legs are breaking .. all sites are under apple steer wheel .. usa sites.. where else..
These days you must not believe NOTHING .. all is just LIE .. we living in HUGE WAST LIE ..

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 17:57

52. TerryTerius (unregistered)

Ha, alright.

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:40 8

33. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

so crappy iphone SE got 8.8 ?? PA u wanna tell me now ip SE is better that P9 ? utaking piss PA right ?

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 18:55

55. BradyCrack (Posts: 835; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)

I think for its price the SE is an excellent smartphone. That's why it got such a high score, and potential biased.

posted on 16 Apr 2016, 02:11

62. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)

no it has that score JUST because there is apple logo and says ''iphone''

posted on 16 Apr 2016, 17:06 1

68. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

But the 16gb shouldn't even be considered since you can't really record in 4k very long. So most websites state that you should really only consider the 32gb... Which puts it around $100 less than better phones and the Nexus 6P...

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:12 2

2. nebula (Posts: 903; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)

I would never give away my $600-$650 to Leica camera marketing bubble and overall "just another phone". 7.5 is a very generous score for this price tag.

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 10:25 16

8. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

imagine if its that apple add that Leica camera to their iPhone..
their fans will go crazy over that mono and blur, lol..

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 11:45 8

34. maherk (Posts: 4845; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

In all fairness, Huawei admitted that Leica didn't help build the sensor nor the software, they simply endorsed the P9's camera, which is nothing but a marketing stunt.

posted on 15 Apr 2016, 19:58 1

57. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

thats the point.. and leica even slapping their name beside their camera..
leica have high brand value, and most of apple user love high brand value :D

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Huawei P9

Huawei P9

OS: Android 7.0 6.0
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
HiSilicon, Octa-core, 2500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A72 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.71 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches
(145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm)
5.08 oz  (144 g)

Latest stories