REVIEW: Huawei P9 in 2020, Leica Dual Lens Smartphone – Still Worth It?
This was a smartphone released in 2016, making it almost four years old and it’s, a contemporary two devices like the LG g5, and also the original Google pixel – that we also did a throwback review on a few months prior and you guys really seem to like it. So I was curious to see how another phone for the similar time has aged it’s, also interesting, because this was when Holly started to really up their photography game. It was the first device from them to use Leica branded optics and ever since then, Holly has become regarded as one of the best smartphone manufacturers in terms of camera quality on their flagship, P and mate series. And this is kind of what started that entire trend. For them and to see how its aged and it’s also a device, I think that many folks have kind of forgotten about and see how it stacks up against. For example, the first generation Google pixel, which is also now, can be found for around the same price. Around 60 to 70 dollars, so we are talking about very affordable phones now, definitely in budget territory, because of how fast price of technology deteriorate s. These partnerships between well regarded camera companies and smartphone OMS is interesting to reflect on just because we’ve seen is ice cameras. They always typically come with Nokia phones and their flag. Ships, then there’s, a Schneider which also works closely with LG devices at times.
In addition to, and the BlackBerry Priven Leica seems to, for now at least be more of an exclusive partnership between Huawei and themselves anyways. Returning to the p9, I would say that it’s actually aged pretty well from a hardware perspective that’s carved from a unibody aluminum slab. So it feels extremely solid in the hand pretty similar feeling, in fact, to the Google pixel, which also uses a aluminum chunk. And there is some glass accents, such as on the top with that, like a lens and there’s, delicate grooves, underneath as well, that is again shared similarities with equal pixel and that glass and visor design. These are design elements which are probably borrowed from popular Nexus 6p, which was also a collaboration between the aforementioned Google and Huawei, so they kind of retain that for their p9 and also for their p10, which is the next generation model that came afterwards on the rear. We also have access to a fingerprint scanner, which is pretty fast speaking of the cameras they’re, both 12 megapixels. However, there is a dual tone: LED flash the typical laser autofocus and there’s one monochrome sensor, which is more sensitive to light and there’s one regular RGB sensor, but on the side here, there’s, a very textured power, key that’s super tactile and easy to press a volume. Rocker we have lots of shiny chamfers, making it pretty reflective across the light, but it doesn’t attract too much fingerprints, which is good on the bottom.
Here there is a standard 3.5 millimeter, headphone jack, always nice to see a reversible type C port that supports quick charging. A loudspeaker which is unfortunately mono on the standard p9. There is a p9 Plus which uses the same kind of internals, except it has stereo speakers and it also packs in forced touch or 3d touch, as Apple likes, to call it on their slightly older iPhones. It allowed the screen to recognize how much pressure you were exerting and then bring up, contextual menus. However, even Apple these days is no longer really using 3d touch, it’s, just something baked into the software just by a simple long hold now the front of the phone is arguably the part that has held up the worst in terms of its age, just because, after 2016 in 2017 phones quickly adopted a tall aspect ratio which began that bezel less trend how before it still had that 16 by 9 design. So as a result, we have larger bezels on the top and the bottom, which again 2020 aren’t the most sightly things. But it still is definitely functional on the top. Speaking of there is a front facing five megapixel camera there’s, also a proximity light sensor and a year piece and then down below here. This chin doesn’t have any controls or keys so they’re, still relying on on screen buttons, so it’s a little bit of wasted space, but it does have some slight textures underneath or grooves on this Gold Edition, which matches kind of the grooves on the camera lens part.
So does show good attention to detail still up against similar phones such as the original Google pics. You can see it’s definitely not alone in having this overall design. They were just the more conservative back in the day had larger bezels. Now, speaking of the screen size of this phone measures, 5.2 inches diagonally it’s a full HD panel it’s, an IPS neo, which offers very good viewing angles. Super wide and pretty punchy and contrast II for a non AMOLED display overall it’s, a very good quality screen and it’s a nice decision as well from Huawei to stick with Full HD to conserve on battery life and at 5 inches or so. It still is good enough in terms of the sharpness really to get you buy in underneath the hood we do have a proprietary or in house designed processor it’s secured in 955 and it’s a contemporary with the Snapdragon 820 821 single core scores were a little lower Than the 820, but multi core was higher, so it overall kind of balances itself out, as we talked about with other Snapdragon 820 phones here in 2020, such as the og Google pixel, it still performs quite well so for things like system navigation, you really won’t have Too many issues when it was new, it flew and was pretty much the fastest experience you could get on an Android phone now it’s starting to show you know maybe some slight more moments of hesitation, but definitely not bad it’s still held up quite well.
Just for kind of regular tasks like YouTube, taking images things like that you’re, certainly not going to see any problems. It is running on huawei’s skin, on top of Android, that’s called emui or emotion, UI, but anyways. In terms of the update situation, some versions of this phone are now running on android 8.0 Oreo, but there are other models depending on your region, which are upgradable up to the Android 9.0 Pi. So it’s, not the latest Android 10, but it’s not shabby at all. For a phone that’s creeping on to four years old, we are still getting a pretty up to date. Version of the system – let’s just dive in and start with, the camera sense really that’s. The main curiosity, at least for me, the interface, is very typical. So if you used any Huawei phone even of late, you can definitely be at home here. Nothing has really changed. We have the ability to go between things like a wide aperture mode, which is essentially their bouquet effect. I have to stand a little closer to the object and then you can change how much you want the background to be blurred out works decently. But this is among the first generation of phones to pack a dual lens setup. The other contemporary that had a secondary camera was the LG g5, but they had a very different concept with a wide angle lens slepping over we can capture HDR. You can also capture a night shot mode 3d panorama where you can tilt and interact with the photo so they’re, all not anything that we haven’t seen before, especially on a review of the mate 10 Pro that we did about a year ago.
So this is something that we can still do over here on the right. We can change the camera resolution, geo tagging and other settings. We can tag alone and we can also access this little bar here to bring up additional things like a manual control mode. So we can control things like the ISO, the sensitivity, the white balance, the autofocus we can make manual as well for more granular control. Over all I’d say the image quality of the p9 is still very good, especially if you have moderate lighting now in darkness, that’s. In one area that hasn’t held up quite as well, yes, there is a night photo mode, but it’s not really up to 2019 2020 standards anymore. If Google has continuously released software updates even to the og pixels that have made the camera continuously improve. Even you know right now, with more and more loaded features versus on the p9, where, yes, while we release some software updates to the operating system but to the camera, they haven’t really made too many additional adjustments, especially again, if you’re in bright environments and outdoors, it Still captures great looking shots that I think, can really rival any other top of the line camera, but again, as the lights start to dim that’s, where the performance also drops out a little bit um and again lots of small little modes that you can tweak yourself. If you want to get into it things like the aforementioned 3d panorama, the light painting, in addition to the monochrome mode are all kind of specialties which we don’t have on many of the other rivals.
Granting us impressive results overall, although I’d say to be completely honest against the Google pixel, I would still say the pixel here in 2020. Is the stronger camera that’s a bit more consistent in terms of taking images really quickly compared to the newer devices from Huawei that have the Leica collaboration and lens those newer devices do have slightly improved performance, so devices like the aforementioned may 10 pro so, basically, the Next generation and above is where I think things really started to kick off so moving away from the camera again emui just like before, has all these dynamic wallpapers that changes every time you wake up. The screen inspirational quotes accessing the flashlight, the torch accessing the QR code; scanner, a calculator, a sound recorder, things like that can all be opened at a click back then, of course, while we didn’t have any problems with the US government, so you do have access to Youtube Google services things like that, which is always nice on a slightly older device. In addition, standard tools that we have from hallway include a calculator so they’re also slightly different. Looking from stock Android there’s, also their version of a compass transitions into the camera. So you get a live view of what the compass direction is. Probably health very similar to Samsung health also is a place where you can connect their wearables, and it also uses the accelerometer to basically track how many steps you’ve walked during the day.
On the left side, we have access to a screen route. It shows us our news feeds of interested articles. It also tells us things like our phone in terms of optimizing performance. We can also do a universal search through our applications, find contacts things like that. So if we jump into web browsing and take a look at Chrome, we can see that loading back pages is still going to be very fast and responsive. Not too many surprises there. Considering that the cure in 955 is definitely still a very capable chipset, definitely better than many entry level phones on you know: processors like the Snapdragon 630 or the 625 it’s gon na feel faster and smoother than that. So very good in terms of kind of scrolling and the general responsiveness let’s try something else like savvy verge and see how it’s that goes. Haptic vibration engines also feel quite responsive and clicky. No real complaints there. This is a pretty complex site, but it’s gon na load along again very nicely, and the optimization for battery is still also decent. I’D say this has a three thousand milliamp hour pack and I was certainly able to still use it for an entire day, if not stretching to two days before I needed to recharge it again. So I think emui has one of the more aggressive and better battery optimizations out of the proprietary system. Launchers I’ve tried let’s, do a quick sample of video playback and the speaker quality next let’s crank up the volume Music Music, all right! So just some reflections from that quick sample overall, the speaker quality, even though it’s a mono speaker is really good for our smartphone.
Definitely above average it’s quite rich and it doesn’t distort even at higher volumes. So the takeaway is for video watching such as YouTube are Netflix. It still is a very enjoyable process. It really is a great quality panel on here, with its vibrancy, its colors and contrast, and again surprising, good speakers as well, since we do have android 8.0 and above we do have access to kind of the newer gestures as well. Things like picture and picture mode to minimize the video as we multitask is also available, so that’s always nice to see, and things like access to the Google assistant can also be found here. Things like multitasking can also be found. If I can tap on the tap here. I can split screen, for instance over here, and that will allow me to kind of change between two different apps at once and get some productivity done. Maybe watching the video while answering an email and that still keeps things running actually pretty smoothly on this device. As far as gaming is concerned, we are going to try loading, a pass fault 9 and pretty graphically intensive game that will be quite taxing expression on lower end phones to run performance as far as the fluidity that we’re seeing here is still actually quite good. We’Re not noticing any too significant drop frames, moments of occasional hesitation, but still is more than enjoyable and definitely still a pretty good gaming experience, especially for the sub 100 that you’ll be paying for it now.
Finally, in terms of Nova Launcher, if you want to see what it looks like in a more stock experience, you can also fiddle around with that to give you a more pixel like experience being more clean and it works equally as well, so that’s, more or less It as far as our revisited look at the Huawei p9 here in 2020, I would say that it still represents a very good value, in addition to packing still very similar fluidity and speed when it comes to system performance compared again a pixel device. We are also getting more hallways customizations and extra tricks that, if you are a fan of, say, Samsung phones, who also like that Huawei has presented, giving you certainly more options to tweak around with and if you’re on a budget could be worth taking a closer look At could also be a great introduction to hua way if you’ve never used one of their phones before you’ve been hearing a lot about them and the news lately and you’re kind of curious. I think that this is as far back as I would go in terms of getting a used Huawei phone in 2020 kind of when they started taking photography more seriously by packing. Like a lens. If you are interested, you can check out more details and the links down below, but for now that’s been our video thanks for watching throughout OS reviews.