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Reviews

Huawei P9

Huawei-P9-Lite

The Huawei P9 sports an innovative dual-lens Leica camera, but it’s not without its issues.

The Huawei P9 seems like a smartphone that’s been designed for photographers. Its dual-lens camera, designed in partnership with German camera and optics manufacturer Leica, captures images at up to 12 megapixels and includes one monochrome-only lens which can capture up to 200% more light than the colour sensor.

huawei-p9

It does have a few downsides, however. For instance, each pixel measures only 1.25um in each sensor, which isn’t quite as large as the 1.4um pixels found on the Samsung Galaxy S7. The P9 has no optical image stabilisation, either, which is odd considering the photography emphasis. The f/2.2 aperture lenses also aren’t the largest around; the Galaxy S7, for example, has an f/1.7 aperture lens. As for image quality, our outdoor test shots were incredibly vibrant and punchy, aided by the monochrome sensor’s extra contrast. Indoors, it kept noise levels down but shooting without the flash resulted in some rather soft photos.

The flash helped with the shutter speeds but resulted in less natural colours. With our studio lights turned on, colour reproduction and detail levels were much better.

There’s a fingerprint sensor on the rear, which proved quick to unlock. Like Huawei’s Mate 8, it can be configured to answer calls and silence alarms with touch gestures, but the option we found most useful was having the notification shade open and close with a swipe.

The now familiar Huawei Emotion UI Android customisations are present, complete with the same old grievances. The lack of an app tray still means that your homescreen can quickly become a cluttered mess, and the notification pane always feels like it’s overly populated. The 5.2in display’s 1,920×1,080 resolution isn’t as high as other recent flagships, but still produces asharp pixel density of just 423 pixels per inch.

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