Huawei kept its promise: the official update to Android 7.0 Nougat and EMUI 5.0 reached the P9 last Friday after the beta testing phase, which also involved the P9 Lite and the P9 Plus. But, how will the user experience change on the P9 after the update? What interesting changes were introduced? We'll explore that further here.
Download Android Nougat on the P9
The Huawei P9 will get the B360 firmware, a 2.28 GB package, which includes both Android 7.0 Nougat and EMUI 5.0. To download the update on the P9, we had to rely on the HiCare app and after a little more than 10 minutes the new software was ready to welcome us on its home screen.
The update did not delete the data stored on the device, but it is still advisable to backup all of your data prior to proceeding with the installation.
The new features
The return of the app drawer
EMUI has always had more in common with iOS than with Android and one of its distinguished features is precisely the absence of the app drawer. With the new update, EMUI is one step closer to fans of the Android setup by introducing the app drawer, as well as offering a more uncluttered blue and white-toned interface.
But if, like me, you are used to having apps displayed on various screens, organizing them in convenient folders and you do not miss the app drawer, you can disable it by giong Settings > Home screen style.
The settings menu has been redesigned
The settings menu received a redesign. The icons have a new look and new features (such as app mates that will be discussed later) were introduced while others have changed names. Initially, you may feel a bit disorientated but fret not, all the items that you need are here and after a few days you will be reacquainted with the new design.
One of the most anticipated features is the multi-window, which allows the screen to be divided into two, in order to visualize two different apps simultaneously. This is one of the additions to Nougat that Huawei decided to personalize slightly.
To activate it, you will only have to long press the multitasking button. Next, by selecting the blue bar displayed at the center, you can click on the two arrows to invert the layout of the contents. Click on the X or press the multitasking button to exit the multi-window mode.
Quick settings and more intuitive notifications
The quick settings menu with Nougat was redesigned to increase readability and intuition. To access it, do a two finger swipe from top down or tap the arrow displayed at the top right. Notifications that appear in a row are expandable, now more readable and in some cases allow you to respond directly from the lockscreen. a row are more readable and can expand for further settings. By holding down the notifications you can either silence it, enable sound and vibration or block their arrival.
Contacts: managing them is still easier
If you select a contact from your contact list by clicking on the icon at the top right you can quickly share it via Email, Whatsapp, Facebook, Bluetooth and other methods. The QR Code scan function used to add new contacts was also implemented on the lock screen. To access it, you will need to swipe two fingers from the bottom to the top and select the icon on the right.
By accessing the settings, you will find a section reserved for suggestions at the top. These are recommendations based on how you use your phone and the settings options you have already selected. Closing the suggestions is done by clicking the X or accepting the recommendation.
App mates: using two different accounts on Whatsapp and Facebook
With this feature already seen on the Huawei Mate 9, you can simultaneously use two different accounts with the same app (Whatsapp and Facebook). The app mates are displayed on the home screen and can be used independently of the main ones. This is an interesting gem especially for those who use the dual SIM or those who use two accounts, one personal and one professional.
Camera: plug-in to save internal storage
Once the camera is launched, you can see the different shooting modes by swiping once from left to right. Some of these, such as the yummy mode or the one reserved for document editing, might be missing, but are currently available as plug-ins by clicking on More.
This way, you can save memory space on the device and have certain functions at your disposal only if necessary, by installing them with a simple tap.
With Nougat, it is now possible to get different languages by clicking on Advanced Settings > Language > Add a language. The most interesting aspect is the intuitiveness and the ease with which you can go from one language to another: you only have to put your finger on the language that you want to set as main and move it to the top of the list.
This feature activates a filter for the blue light emitted from the display, causing less strain on your eyes while reading or using the device for prolonged periods. When activated, the display has a yellow shade to which your eyes adapt quickly. If you are used to reading from your P9 at night, you can also schedule the activation and deactivation of the eye protection mode at a fixed time.
As explained above, the settings menu was revised and so were those relating to the battery. Nougat also brought the lockscreen cleanup setting that lets you close background apps after your screen has been locked to help save power.
When I tested the device with the Nougat update in my free time, I did not notice any improvement in battery life. I use the P9 to place calls, surf the Internet, send messages on Whatsapp, check Facebook and Instagram, take a few photos and browse through the twists and turns of the settings and the smartphone lasted the entire day. Using the smartphone more intensively throughout the day will require daily charging.
Overall, Nougat runs on the Huawei P9 smoothly and without a glitch. The smartphone is highly reactive and showed neither lag nor sudden crash. The only occurrence was with Whatsapp, which opened automatically, however it only occurred once. Overall, user experience offered by the new interface, especially with the new notification management and multitasking, has improved. Transitioning from between apps and web browsing is fast. With regard to the battery, there are really no improvements to talk about but only prolonged use of the device would be able to give us a better indication on this matter.T
The EMUI 5.0 user interface is blue and white, a look that may not appeal to everyone, but might win more fans with the arrival of the app drawer. I think Huawei has done a good job with Nougat on the P9, starting with the update release at the beginning of the year as the company promised.
Have you already received Nougat on your Huawei P9? What do you think about it?