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Huawei P9 smartphones launch, boast dual-lens Leica cameras

by Mark Tyson on 7 April 2016, 11:31

Tags: Huawei

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaczya

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Huawei proudly launched the P9 and P9 Plus smartphones in London yesterday afternoon. The Huawei flagship device duo are the first to feature Leica optics, furthermore they are provided in dual-lens 12MP configurations to set "a new standard in smartphone photography".

The Huawei P9 and P9 Plus are basically the same phones in different sizes, just like the recent Apple iPhone 6/S/Plus models have been configured. Of course different sized phones use different screens and also vary in overall physical size and weight. Predictably, the battery in the larger Plus phone offers a higher capacity too. The other differences between the Huawei P9 models are in the amounts of RAM and storage configured; with the P9 being available with 3GB RAM with 32GB storage or 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, while the P9 Plus has a single configuration of 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. A microSD card slot allows either model to enjoy extra storage.

P9 and P9 Plus Fact Sheet

 

P9

P9 Plus

Size

Height: 145mm; Width: 70.9mm;

Depth: 6.95mm; Weight: 144g

Height: 152.3mm; Width: 75.3mm;

Depth: 6.98mm; Weight: 162g

Display

5.2-inch FHD, 2.5D glass

5.5-inch FHD, 2.5D glass

CPU

Huawei Kirin 955  (64-bit),

Octa-core (4 x 2.5GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8GHz A53)

Huawei Kirin 955  (64-bit),

Octa-core (4 x 2.5GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8GHz A53)

Operating System

Android 6.0

Android 6.0

Emotion UI

EMUI 4.1

EMUI 4.1

Memory

32GB ROM, 3GB RAM

64GB ROM, 4GB RAM

64GB ROM, 4GB RAM

Camera

Rear: Dual 12MP(Monochrome & RGB)

Front: 8MP

Rear: Dual 12MP (Monochrome & RGB)

Front: 8MP AF

Battery

3,000mAh

3,400mAh

 

Above you can clearly see the basic tech specs of the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus. There are a couple of standout features that catch the eye straight away. Firstly these smartphones use Huawei's own Kirin 955 (64-bit) Octa Core SoCs which incorporate with Mali T880-MP4 graphics. In leaked benchmarks published at the end of March the Kirin 955 offered acceptable performance but was easily beaten in AnTuTu by the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5.

The second standout feature, and what was most strongly trumpeted by Huawei, is the built-in dual-lens Leica lens main camera. Huawei says that one of the cameras is dedicated to RGB capture while the other works in monochrome to enhance detail. Working in tandem the Leica SUMMARIT lens based camera units "enable users to create images of superior detail, depth and colour," says Huawei. Dual-tone flash supports shooting in the lowest light conditions.

The main camera uses Huawei's Hybrid Focus technology based upon and intelligently selecting laser, depth calculation and/or contrast modes. The wide aperture f/2.2 lenses installed (with no camera bump) help the camera systems perform well in low light conditions and provide good depth of field shooting effects. Furthermore there is a 'Professional mode' offering full control of shutter speed, exposure, RAW files and more.

Other important features not spelled out in the tech specs table above include; a metal unibody construction, dual-SIM support, pressure sensitive display with 'Press Touch' UI features, an 8MP f/2.4 selfie camera, stereo speakers, a fingerprint sensor, connectivity via a virtual-triple-antenna architecture, fast charging via the USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack, an IR sensor, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, and a choice of Mystic Silver and Titanium Grey finishes in the UK.

In an email to HEXUS Huawei said that the P9 and P9 Plus will be available from early May from Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. The P9 will cost £449 (3GB + 32GB model), and the P9 Plus (4GB + 64GB) will be priced £549, with Vodafone snagging the Quartz Grey colour exclusive.



HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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Hmm, pricing is pretty reasonable but I'm sceptical that they'll be able to deliver photos that are better than those coming from the current leaders. I'm sure I heard that Huawei's skin is pretty light, so maybe the lack of cpu grunt might be “no big deal”.
Why are they so pricey compared to fellow Chinese premium brands? (Xaiomi, OnePlus etc.)
kalniel
Why are they so pricey compared to fellow Chinese premium brands? (Xaiomi, OnePlus etc.)
Not sure if its true, but I read that they saw premium pricing as a positive thing, a la Apple presumably.

BTW, is 1+ counted as a Chinese premium brand? I thought they were firmly in the mid range group.
crossy
Not sure if its true, but I read that they saw premium pricing as a positive thing, a la Apple presumably.

BTW, is 1+ counted as a Chinese premium brand? I thought they were firmly in the mid range group.
I guess if you define premium by pricing then no - which would explain the Huawei cost :laugh:

But seriously.. I was kind including Chinese in the term rather than saying they're competing with Apple/Sony. 1+ seem to produce phones with the latest chips and stuff or with high end looks/feel, so something either like a Nexus or like a Sony A series, which I guess is mid-range in the global scheme, but certainly premium compared to much lower spec Chinese phones of which there are plenty.
I doubt Leica would put their name on the the phone if the camera was duff and the camera was pretty much the focus of the entire presentation yesterday (about an hour and a half of the two hour presentation). Difficult to say without playing about with it more, but the photos that Huawei's band of professional photographers had taken looked pretty stunning.

Once I switched the launcher to Google Now, I was a lot happier with the P9. It certainly feels like a premium phone with it's full metal body, and screen that curves into the frame. It's one of the first with a Type C USB connector. Which is a nuisance as I don't have a lot of type c cables sitting about :)