Huawei P9 in review: The Leica dual camera makes the difference

With the Huawei P9 the Chinese company wants to offer not only a better compared to the previous smartphone, but by lifting the Leica Dual Camera also photography with a smartphone to a new level. In our review we are but received not only the camera but also to the many other improvements and new features that brings the Huawei P9.

Huawei P9 in review: The Leica dual camera makes the difference

Short-Conclusion first: The Huawei P9 having an excellent workmanship, is very comfortable to hold and provides a great performance. With the Leica Dual Camera Huawei has indeed received an experiment, but this is definitely a success - even if the final touch is still missing. The battery is grown, the design has been optimized and functions were finally integrated that were missed with the predecessors eagerly.

  • Difference between Huawei and P9 P9 Lite compared

With respect to the larger sister model Huawei P9 Plus the cuts in the equipment are not explained away, even if the Huawei P9 classifies priced much cheaper. On the software Huawei also have to work, because some points are not completely thought out.


  • Very quality design
  • high performance
  • Long battery life
  • Leica Dual Camera
  • Fingerprint scanner

  • not think software in some places to a close
  • No dual SIM function
  • No Wireless Charging
  • Not waterproof
  • No optical image stabilizer
Huawei P9 order from Amazon*

Huawei has launched in recent months, many new Android smartphones on the market and thus often hit the mark. The Honor smartphones sell at low prices as well as the Huawei models at the higher price with better facilities. Huawei has now blossomed to become the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and reported increased sales from quarter to quarter. With the P9 the company has now sent another flagship in the race, which has many necessary improvements compared to P8 to survive against the competition and against their own Honor smartphones.

Masterpiece: The Hauwei P9 design

Huawei P9 Design

With the Huawei P9, the Chinese company has delivered his masterpiece, when it comes to the value of the smartphone. The angular design of its predecessor's history, the new model is made much more rounded and thus truly pleasant to touch. From the first contact, the phone feels very pleasant and is excellent in the hand. The metal case has no sharp edges, uneven gaps or other imperfections that would spoil the impression. But the finish is not optimal, because the surface I very smooth. One should therefore always smart to hold on tight - but this is not a problem with the size of 5.2 inches.

Huawei P9 thickness

The Huawei P9 is 6.95 mm though slightly thicker than its predecessor at 6.4 mm, but it also has a good reason: The battery is in fact grown to 3,000 mAh and is expected to reach a higher maturity. is more surprising but then that both smartphones weigh as much exactly, namely 144 grams. The smartphone has become for a total of 1.2 mm narrower, which also minimizes the inner black frame around the display, the Huawei so much airbrushed out of the press pictures. When Huawei P9 is no longer necessary.

Offering the new model in the colors "Titanium Gray" and "Mystic Silver". We've received a darker version that works completely unobtrusive and makes a nice eye-catcher from the smartphone. The new Leica Dual Camera stands in the color combination not as eye-catching as the glass of the camera unit is finished in black. The same applies to the fingerprint scanner on the back and the speaker on the bottom. These are visually very discreetly integrated into the design. The back is also completely insensitive to fingerprints - continuous wiping of the device, as with many other competitors customary eliminated.

Huawei P9 keys

The arrangement of the keys is the default layout for Huawei: The power button is located on the right side below the volume rocker, both buttons are made of metal and have a very good tactile feedback. The surface of the power button is also slightly shaded to give can feel this very well. The fingerprint scanner sits in our opinion too high after about 3 to 4 mm. The but you can tell only if one simultaneously utilizes a different Huawei smartphone such as the Mate S. Although one often comes only with a fingertip to the scanner, the smart phone is always reliable but unlocked.

Huawei P9 connectors

Another new feature is the USB Type C connector on the bottom, but only supports USB 2.0. In addition, the smartphone can very quickly recharge or connect to the computer. To the left there is the first microphone next to the headphone jack, while installed on the opposite side of the speakers. On the left side, Huawei has housed the SIM and microSD slot, which unfortunately does not dual SIM function, and at the top of the second microphone was placed yet. In the earpiece, the notification LED is integrated to its left is the front camera. Visually, all designed very cautious what we like.

The sound quality when making calls can also convince. The earpiece can be set loud enough and you will also be very well understood by comparison. The reception was very good both in 3G and 4G network. The same applies for the WLAN: crashes or connection problems are not noticed. The connection via Bluetooth with the car worked well, as did the Contact via NFC and the subsequent data transmission.

Only an IPS panel: The display in Huawei P9

Huawei P9 Display 2

One may be disappointed by the choice of the panel in Huawei P9 when representation, brightness, and resolution match? Not really, but a slightly bitter aftertaste has the choice of IPS panels already, because in larger P9 Plus and also in the S Mate each AMOLED displays were installed. The resolution is the same, the pixel density is even higher - but the black level and the colors do not look so loud how it would be possible with an AMOLED display. Especially the comparison with the display of the Huawei Mate S shows the differences on very well. Maybe Huawei was able to reduce the cost of the phone such a thing to be able to offer it even cheaper.

Huawei P9 Display Sun

Huawei continues to 1080 pixels on a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x in order not to unnecessarily degrade the performance and battery life. The presentation is very good, the display can be read well in direct sunlight, and in the settings, the user can adjust the color temperature individually. Perfect for those who either like it warmer or cooler. So does a very good white balance can be achieved without the other colors will be adversely affected.

Huawei P9 Test Display color temperature

The brightness sensor of Huawei P9 works reliably and selects just the right setting for each situation. Only when it is darker, you have to manually intervene and adjust, since the display is otherwise a bit too bright. This goes directly through the quick settings when you pull down the notification bar. On the plus side is that the display can be adjusted very dark, without flickering. This is especially useful if you want around at night just look out to smartphone, without being too blinded.

Leica dual camera for taking pictures animated

hauwei P9 Leica Dual Camera

The Huawei P9 is equipped with a new dual-camera, which was developed in cooperation with Leica. The Chinese company relies on two sensors to address different issues better. It is even an RGB sensor for color images and a monochrome sensor for black and white photos. The resolution is in each case 12 MP, the focal length at 27 mm and the aperture at f / 2.2. On the data sheet does not sound though exhilarating, but the two sensors work very well together and make great shots.

Many analysts dual-camera setups in smartphones as the future and say the breakthrough for the coming year ahead. Huawei is already setting a new dual-camera and has for good reasons. Because why should you try to develop a sensor that delivers excellent results in any situation when leaving work yet perfectly split on two sensors? Not for nothing storing more and more manufacturers of features. The best example is the laser auto focus, which ensures good focus, even in low light conditions and in complete darkness. In the case of monochrome sensor supports the RGB sensor also in normal shooting, in order to better determine the sharpness.

Huawei P9 Camera app modes

When Huawei P9 that works very well. The camera app is extensively equipped, that you really can adjust everything manually. The smartphone is suitable for ordinary snapshots that you can send a messenger like WhatsApp, and for really handsome photos that you print out and hangs on the wall. Huawei helps the users with special programs that meet the specific preferences. But since you can intervene on the settings. The automatic mode is often but a better choice because you get such impressive results without having to really know about in professional photography.

Gallery Huawei P9: camera test photos

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No optical image stabilizer

What is missing is the optical image stabilizer. This is particularly evident if you want to take pictures in the dark. With longer exposure times you have to hold your smartphone absolutely quiet, which hardly works in everyday life. Even if one leans, light blurs are award. On the screen of your smartphone see the pictures basically always good, on the PC and a larger screen may not. It is advisable, therefore, to pull the trigger more often and focus manually if you are not sure that the focus really has been detected correctly. While Huawei P9 tests it happened to us often that motives were simply out of focus, without this was a reason. Either the focus was not sitting properly or the shutter lag was too large, making it easy blurred. Here an optical image stabilizer would definitely help.

Huawei P9 stand

If you want to shoot in the dark, then you should take a stand in order to obtain good results. : Leica Dual Camera da disappointed something - in the normal mode, the photos are always too noisy

Gallery Huawei P9 test Low Light Normal

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but you choose the night mode, the following snapshots can occur which show what the camera is actually capable of:

Gallery Huawei P9 Test Camera Night Scene

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These photos really look very impressive from a smartphone, but also a slight blur comes out when it enlarges the image. The high exposure time a tripod is essential, otherwise the photos will not succeed. In automatic mode, the smartphone selected depending on the brightness of the length of the exposure. In Pro mode, the value can of course determine individually. The photos in the gallery were taken in automatic mode.

Black and white photography brings the special effect


The black and white photography has become a trend and is brought to a new level with the Huawei P9 and the monochrome sensor. Sure, a color image can be converted easily into a black and white photo, but the perfect shades of gray can only be obtained with a monochrome sensor. In some situations, an image in black and white looks simple powerful and reflects the history of a subject better. As Huawei has installed two sensors in P9, you simply switch to monochrome mode and can make wonderful photos.

Gallery Huawei P9 test black and white

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Camera app not final thought

The menu of the camera app is solved somewhat cumbersome and swipe gestures. When you open the app for the first time, you will be introduced to the menu. of course, is preset, the automatic mode. With a mop from the right edge of the screen to get into the settings. There, the resolution, the location, a grid, and more can be set. With a wipe from left in the picture you get to the modes: There is a wide variety of options for just about every situation erdenkbare find. It seems almost overloaded, because the functions do not even fit on one page.

Huawei P9 Test Camera Setup

The Pro mode is, however, hidden again in another place, namely directly above the trigger. An elongated bar that you have to swipe up or to the side - depending on the orientation of the smartphone. There can be hit, such as the ISO speed, shutter speed and more additional settings in the different modes. Problem: The alignment of the menu is not designed for landscape mode. Like Huawei is already happening in other menus in the past. The same goes for the settings of the camera app - there is only the portrait mode available. Annoying if you want to change something quickly, without taking the phone out of the tripod.

Huawei P9 camera app settings

It is also annoying that functions that are housed at the top with small icons, are extremely difficult to meet. If you want to, for example, turn off the flash, choose a filter, or switch to the front camera, you will encounter never really the first time the icon. This menu should have been significantly more separated, because the buttons are way too small. Particularly annoying is it when one has made a selfie and then want to switch back to the main camera again. you do not hit the small button, a Selfie is constantly made, as the display is preset as a trigger. Something like this should actually notice during testing of the device - or we Europeans have too thick finger.

The front camera comes with fixed focus and a resolution of 8 MP. but photos and videos without any problem whatsoever, the popular selfies are in virtually all situations no problem. A front-LED flash but there is not.


Videos can hold up in Full HD with 60fps the Huawei P9. Again, the lack of optical image stabilization does indeed noticeable, total convinced but the quality of the videos. The adjustment of the brightness works very smoothly and the focus is not pumping unnecessary. Nevertheless, it would be desirable if Huawei would finally create the possibility of recording 4K video. The microphones are also very susceptible to wind noise. Optional also time-lapse and slow-motion video can be recorded.

Huawei P9: test video camera

4311Huawei P9 test video camera

EMUI 4.1: The software of Huawei P9 in the test

Huawei P9 test Software_01 Huawei P9 test Software_02

If you already own a Huawei smartphone has or possessed and now switches to Huawei P9 with the new EMUI 4.1, will get along well on the whole. Visually, the surface is modeled somewhat on iOS, color has but much improved over previous versions. The Chinese have "Europeanised" their design. actually during one wanted to install another launcher in the EMUI 3 immediately because the performance has extremely suffered from the adjustments, which is no longer absolutely necessary for the new interface. the look on the designs App can be adapted in addition, the Community provides countless options. Alternatively, a third-party launcher can be installed, of course, can also solve the following problem.

Gallery Huawei P9: Pre-installed Apps

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So Huawei waived namely still a App Drawer and shipped just in the style of iOS all the apps on the home screen. are the most important applications of Huawei and Google on the home screen. With a mop left all other preinstalled apps come to light - and since Huawei delivers a lot with. There are separate apps for music, videos, calendar, e-mails, health, files, weather, a compass, an extensive phone manager and much more. Through the Google Apps that some functions are thus doubly occupied.

Huawei P9 Backup Huawei P9 backup selection

Really useful is the function of data backup, enables you to store all personal data and restore in an emergency. In addition, Huawei installed also a few other apps and games, but which may be referred to as bloatware to a large extent. Fortunately, the games and apps can also uninstall without problems.

Huawei P9 Benachrichtigungsleiste_01 Huawei P9 Benachrichtigungsleiste_02

The notification bar is divided into two sides. On the left side are the normal notifications that are listed chronologically by time. For each message you get to see more content - follow more notifications, the information is grouped clean and can be folded to a wiper. So you keep track. With a mop to the left to reach the so-called links. Here is the known quick settings from Android, which Huawei has donated its own page. There, in the most and adjust the brightness manually many settings.

Huawei P9 fingerprint scanner

is really great here and the function of the fingerprint scanner, because that can be the smartphone not just turn on and unlock immediately, but it can also use gestures. you wipe from top to bottom over the fingerprint scanner, the notifications open. So often, how to do that day, is the one of the best features and of course also facilitates the operation of the smartphone with one hand. The fingerprint scanner can be used as a trigger to continue, which is very convenient for selfies, or stop an alarm or answer a call.

Huawei P9 Einstellungen_01 Huawei P9 Einstellungen_02

The settings were slightly revised as a whole and some features are no longer found right away. Especially those who umsteigt from an older model, will have to look for some functions. First and foremost, so that the battery manager is meant to be visited but often times. This is no longer directly under the settings, but in the submenu "Advanced Settings". The confused and does not have to be, because this feature is also peddled certainly significantly more often in use than the Huawei ID there. Overall, we remember the settings a bit much of iOS - we would like to see if the software designers would come up with something of their own times.

Kirin 955: The performance of Huawei P9 convinced the test

As already mentioned, the performance has developed very positively over time, Huawei smartphones with the adjusted surface. In benchmarks, the smartphones have always been pretty good, but the surface has partially wiggled visible in old models. When Huawei P9 this is not the case, it really all boils liquid, apps and games open quickly and the new Kirin 955 processor has light with full HD resolution game. Just as you could wish for a powerful smartphone in the price range.

In the benchmarks, the Huawei P9 assigns a well below the competition from Samsung, LG and HTC. but since the surface runs absolutely smoothly, switching between apps quickly and vonstattengeht games at the highest settings can be gambled liquid, can live with that. Good results in benchmarks are no longer a guarantee of a high performance. Nevertheless, we have, of course, running a few benchmarks.

Hauwei P9 test benchmarks


Huawei P9: Technical data overview

display5.2 inches with Full HD resolution and 2.5D glass
processorHiSilicon Kirin 955 octa-core with 4 x 2.5 GHz and 4 x 1.8 GHz
random access memory3 GB
Internal memory32 GB (expandable to up to 128 GB)
main camera12 MP (Leica Dual) with f / 2.2 aperture, Summarit-H 27 mm focal length and dual LED
front camera8 MP with f / 2.4 aperture
connectivityNano-SIM, Bluetooth LE 4.2, USB Type-C, NFC, WLAN a / b / g / n / ac
battery pack3000 mAh
Dimensions & mass145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm, 144 grams
operating systemAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1
OthersFingerprint 2.0
To dyeTitanium Gray, Mystic Silver

The battery power of Huawei P9

The Huawei P9 comes with a 3000 mAh battery which is permanently installed. The runtime has improved noticeably compared to its predecessor. This is first of all of course at higher capacity - the Huawei P8 there were 2,680 mAh. But there are also some tweaks to the software and of course the updated processor, which is less energy hungry. The biggest difference you notice in standby: There were older Huawei smartphones true battery eater and have consumed a lot of energy compared to the competition. That has fortunately improved significantly - also because Android 6.0 Marshmallow is preinstalled, which is known to be equipped with the power saving feature "Doze".

In normal operation with four e-mail accounts, WhatsApp, Facebook, Line, Slack, a few phone calls and a few videos on YouTube, the smartphone reaches a display-on time of 4.5 to 5 hours. This is a pretty good value - most users are likely to get through the day even with intensive use. During the test, the useful life was over one day to a maximum of one and a half days when the display brightness is reduced somewhat and used the intelligent energy plan.

Huawei P9 Test Battery Manager Huawei P9 test energy plan

Huawei P9 VIP service

Huawei P9 VIP Service

Those who opt for the purchase of Huawei P9, should register their phone and the manufacturer and so benefit from the VIP service. So you get for your device instead of two years direct three-year warranty, can make its display within 3 months after purchase for free exchange, should it be damaged or broken. In addition, you will receive immediately a replacement unit when the smartphone receives a defect within the first 3 months. More details about the service are available on the VIP side of Huawei.

Our test rating for Huawei P9

Huawei P9 Review Conclusion

The Huawei P9 can definitely convince in the test. It is one of the highest quality smartphones on the market and is slightly cheaper compared to the competition. The disadvantages of the predecessor were removed from the world and the Leica Dual Camera can convince in many situations. Only in the Software Huawei has to work on. The performance fits now, but some features are hidden deep in the system unnecessarily and are also not thought through to the end. Features such as 4K video recording, Wireless Charging, water- and dust-repellent properties or unfortunately dual SIM missing. So that Huawei could have been more interesting P9, the price would then rise with security.

  • Processing, feel and design: 4/5
  • Display: 5.4
  • Camera: 4.5
  • Software: 4.5
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Telephony and Audio: 4.5
  • Connectivity and storage: 5.5
  • Battery and everyday life: 4/5

Total: 83%

Huawei-P9-test rating badge

Huawei P9 order from Amazon*

Huawei P9Peter Hryciuk

03. May 2016

83/100 points


Posted In: Android