Huawei Flagship Smartphones P9 and P9 Plus – with Leica’s superior optical lenses
If photography is your thing of you are thinking of going into ‘Smartphone’ photography big time, then take a look at Huawei’s new flagship smartphones the P9 and P9 Plus.
Photography on a smartphone has become increasingly important to users.
For most of us, we take photos on our smartphones all the time, more so than our point and shoot or SLR cameras. But when it comes to taking smartphone photography to the next level, more and more smartphone manufacturers are looking to make their mark offering their brand of super camera phone.
We have seen this on the Asus ZenFone Zoom and ZenFone Selfie with their HOYA lenses. It’s now Huawei’s turn to step into the limelight.
Top 8 Things You Need to Know about Huawei P9 and P9 Plus
Working in collaboration with Leica camera AG, the main rear facing camera on the phone features not one but two optical lenses. We have seen this before on the HTC but the collaboration brings together a new level of integration between hardware and software from optical lenses to sensors and image processing algorithms.
1. Dual 12MP Main Camera and 8MP Front Camera
The result, a superior smartphone with Leica’s lenses capable of capturing the highest quality images using a dual-camera design. The cameras work in together to allow users to create images of superior detail, depth and colour.
While externally the two lenses may look the same but they are actually a colour and a monochrome camera. The RBG camera is designed to capture vibrant colours while the monochrome camera works on acquiring the details in every shot. Put the two captured images together and with some clever software and you have an excellent output.
The most important feature with any camera on a smartphone is its focus speed. Huawei’s Hybrid Focus technology makes taking photos with incredible speed, depth and clarity using laser focus, depth measurement and contrast.
It capitalizes on Kirin processors built-in Image Signal Processor (ISP) and a dedicated Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for post processing, to allow the camera to capture images with superior speed, accuracy and stability.
As you would expect, the camera works very well in low-light conditions. The dual camera arrangement is designed to allow more light and details to be captured. Playing to their strengths, Huawei and Leica were able to meticulously calibrate the smartphones camera parameters to ensure that each photo mode renders the authentic colour and style of a Leica camera. The front facing selfie cameras comes with an 8MP sensor that also works well in low light.
Enough with the camera, let’s take a look at everything else.
2. Design and Built Quality
The chassis is made from glass on aerospace class aluminum frame. The frame has diamond-cut edges for a rounded finish. Altogether weighted, good to grip and well designed with a premium finish.
3. CPU, Memory and Storage
The phone is powered by the new Kirin 955, a 64-bit ARM processor clocking at 2.5GHz. For memory and storage, the smartphone comes with 3GB or 4GB of RAM memory and 32GB or 64GB of storage.
The Huawei P9 Plus only come with one memory and storage size at 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. The one thing that both phones lack is microSD slot for additional flash memory.
4. Only Full HD Displays
True to the trend of releasing flagship duos, two leading smartphones instead of one, Huawei’s P9 has a 5.2-inch display with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution while the P9 Plus has a 5.5-inch display also with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution. The P9 Plus does get an AMOLED display.
5. Dual SIM Support
Depending on the market, these smartphones come with Dual SIM and NFC support. While other manufacturers use the second SIM slot and double this as a micro SD slot, such is not the case here. Where there are 2 SIM slot, NFC support is only available on one of the SIM cards in use.
6. Ultra Thin
When it comes to thinness (or thickness depending on how you see it), the P9 is only a mere 6.95mm while the P9 Plus is not far off, only 6.98mm. You won’t be able to feel the difference.
7. Extras with P9 Plus – Rapid Charge and Sound
Apart from the screen size, there are some additional features that are available with the P9 Plus. While the battery capacity of P9 is 3000mA, the P9 Plus has a 3400mAh battery. The laters battery also comes with dual IC for rapid charging.
The ear piece also doubles as a tweeter, pumping low to mid frequency sound of up to 20KHz complementing the main speakers when in vertical mode. When in horizontal mode, the device’s dual speaker offers sufficient sound for catching up on TV shows and listening to music.
8. Press Touch with P9 Plus
That’s not all, the Huawei P9 Plus also offers enhanced ‘Press Touch’ akin to ‘Force Touch’ from Apple. The display comes with screen pressure recognition technology that recognises variations in touch pressure so you can preview images, magnify details and access applications via the pop-up shortcut menu all too familiar for iPhone 6s and 6s plus users.
- P9 – 5.2″ FHD Screen, 2.5D, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 16.7M colours
- P9 Plus – 5.5” FHD Screen AMOLED 2.5D 1080p (1920 x 1080), 16.7M colours
Processor: HUAWEI Kirin 955 (64-bit), Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53)
Memory and Storage:
- P9 – 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM or 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
- P9 Plus – 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM
Cameras: 12MP x 2, F2.2 BSI CMOS, Dual-tone flash main camera. 8MP, F2.4 front camera.
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support, Bluetooth 4.2, support BLE, USB Type C (High Speed USB)
Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Hall effect sensor
NFC Support: Yes (subject to market)
Dual SIM Support: Yes (subject to market)
Dimensions & Weight:
- P9 – 145mm x 70.9mm x 6.95 mm (H x W x D) about 144g (Weight)
- P9 Plus – 152.3mm x 75.3mm x 6.98mm (H x W x D) about 162 g (Weight)
Operating System: Android 6.0 with EMUI 4.1
In terms of colours, the Huawei P9 is available in 6 shades (gold, white, rose gold, prestige gold, grey and silver) while the P9 Plus is only available in gold, grey and white.