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7 reasons to buy the Huawei P9

Androidpit Huawei P9 Hands on LONDON front 2
© nextpit

The Huawei P9 is a really big deal. It might not be quite as powerful as rival devices such as the Galaxy S7 Edge, but what it lacks in sheer grunt it more than makes up for in interesting touches and useful features. If you’re considering splashing out on a high-end handset, here are 7 reasons to buy the Huawei P9.

androidpit huawei p9 plus dual camera
With Leica on board, you know the P9's optics will be good. / © ANDROIDPIT

1 It’s got a really clever camera

Why have one camera lens when you can have two? Huawei follows HTC in the dual-camera stakes, but where HTC used dual cameras for photographic tomfoolery and filters Huawei’s deploying its twin lenses in the service of better quality imaging. The two rear lenses offer 12 MP apiece with dual-pixel technology and f/2.2 apertures, which should deliver great low-light performance. The sensors are bigger than the ones in the P8 too, capturing more light and therefore delivering better pictures. There’s lots of stuff to play with in its camera app too.

huawei p9 presentation hero
In addition to the dual rear cameras, there's an 8 MP selfie camera too. / © Huawei

2 Its selfie camera will make you look good

Say goodbye to blurry, badly lit selfies: the Huawei P9 boasts an 8 MP camera on the front, and with an aperture of f/2.4 it’s great in a wide range of lighting conditions. It also has plenty of tweaks to make your selfies even better looking, although as ever you can go over the top and make yourself look like somebody’s ironed your face.

AndroidPIT huawei p9 review 3617
A big battery means the P9's big screen won't be a big pain to power. / © ANDROIDPIT

3 Its battery goes on forever

The Huawei P9 is a big device, but it doesn’t fall into the big screen / small battery trap of some flagships: the battery is a hefty 3,000 mAh, which means it’ll keep on going for 1.15 days of seriously heavy use and 1.68 days of more moderate use. Huawei says you can expect 12 hours of HD video, 8 hours of web browsing and 56 hours of music. The battery’s a rapid charge model too, so you can expect up to five hours of call time from just ten minutes of charging. That’s based on an empty battery, of course: rapid charging is at its most impressive when it’s charging a depleted battery and slows down the more of a charge the battery has.

AndroidPIT huawei p9 review 3626
You're not limited to 32 GB of storage, which is good news for serious photography fans.  / © ANDROIDPIT

4 It’s got expandable storage

Smartphone storage is still incredibly expensive, so the ability to supplement the fairly meagre on-board storage with inexpensive microSD storage is a real boon on any device. The P9 isn’t as stingy as most, with 32 GB of on-board storage as standard, but that extra microSD is still a happy thing to have available - especially if you’ll be taking advantage of those dual-lens cameras at full quality.

Androidpit Huawei P9 Hands on LONDON selfie
The P9 isn't quite the fastest Android around, but we found its performance to be silky smooth. Even when we made faces like this. / © ANDROIDPIT

5 It’s really quick

The P9 is rocking an eight-core, 2.5 GHz HiSilicon Kirin 955, which is significantly faster - Huawei says 20% faster - than the processor in the P8, and it’s backed with a decent 3 GB of RAM. It’s not quite as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S7, but there’s not much in it: our experience of the P9 is that it’s silky smooth and lag-free no matter what you throw at it.

P9 camera detail
This is a diagram, not a dire prediction: the P9 is beautifully engineered.  / © Huawei

6 It’s pretty

Huawei is often described as “the Apple of China”, and it offers Apple-style build quality: it looks and feels reassuringly expensive. It isn’t quite as pretty as, say, a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but it retains everything we liked about previous Huawei P-series phones: it’s classy rather than brash or busy. And importantly, it feels as good as it looks: it doesn’t have the super-slippy metal of the iPhone 8 or feel like it was designed for somebody with freakishly large hands. It just works, as some tech firm or other used to say.

P9 Wide Aperture
Stylish rather than showy, the P9 is a very good looking phone. / © Huawei

7 It isn’t a Samsung

That’s not us slamming Samsung, but it’s funny how so many people who choose Android for its individuality and personalization end up rocking Samsungs with TouchWiz. If you’re looking for Samsung power and quality without Samsung software or ubiquity, the Huawei P9 is a really great alternative. The fact that it’s likely to be a little bit cheaper than the Galaxy S7 is a bonus too.

What do you think? Does Huawei deserve the “Apple of China” label, or is there a little too much hype around Huawei’s handsets? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Gary Marshall

Gary Marshall
Freelance writer

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall has been writing about technology since Google was two guys in a garage. He's written for many fine magazines, newspapers and websites, written a range of how-to-books and a novel, co-written a BBC documentary series and dishes out weekly tech advice on BBC Radio Scotland.

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  • Raymond Wheeler Jan 15, 2017 Link to comment

    I had a HTC M9 and after 3 replacements for various faults. This was a refreshing change. Battery is incredible. I just can't flatten the bloody thing. Responsive, easy to use, plus amazing camera. I have always been a HTC or Samsung supporter but after using this P9, I'm definitely a changed man.

  • Richard Jack Aug 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I have the P9 and this is a brilliant phone, I had HTC M8 and this is a vast improvement, no trying to sell me crap on my home screen!
    Camera is very good in all lighting conditions.
    It's fast, very fast!
    Battery life is ok, not brilliant, but will last most of the day with rather heavy use, including gaming, browsing ect.
    It looks lovely, sleek and stylish, although it does have a look of an iPhone! Sorry I said the "i" word!!
    I will say download Google NOW launcher asap UMUI is simply awful!!

  • CJ Brown Apr 25, 2016 Link to comment

    Huawei P9

    Huawei is not the Apple of China, but they do impress me more than Samsung (Huawei is where I want HTC to be at). Price and close to stock Google Android and OS updates that do not take forever ... keep up the work, Huawei, I am confident you will conquer North America (even if the US Government thinks you are a spy for China (lol, silly government officials) :)

  • Michael Hodgson Apr 17, 2016 Link to comment

    I had the Huawei p8 and it quickly became my favourite phone...quick Internet nice build decent camera super fast downloads expandable storage
    Nice screen... And still no slow down After lots of add ons... And every other phone I've had LG g3 Samsung s6 Sony z5 can't say the same... I got rid of mine got the next big thing...worst mistake ever.. I've ordered the p9 and this time it's a keeper

  • Angus P. Apr 16, 2016 Link to comment

    Ive reçently got the Huawei Mate 8, and i have to say Huawei has stepped up their game. Even with the details that come in the packaging, to the free leather case they include, screen protector already applied on, quality headphones plus a VIP package.
    The phone itself, is pure quality and pure beast. Only thing they could improve on is software, but of course you can customize it yourself, bonus is they push updates more frequently.

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