Review Roundup: Huawei P9
Expert Reviews80%
Android Pit80%
Trusted Reviews80%
Android Authority87%
  • Excellent camera
  • Great build quality
  • Solid performance
  • Average battery life
  • Buggy, ugly software
  • 4GB/64GB model is hard to find
81%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

It’s fair to say to say that Huawei’s P9 is more evolution than revolution, but that’s not to damn it with faint praise. The P8 had great hardware, and this new model keeps much of that design but adds a much improved camera system, faster processor, more memory and niceties like USB-C and a rear mounted fingerprint reader. It does, however, have a high starting price (£450), so how does the latest from the world’s third largest phone manufacturer stack up? Let’s take a look.

Expert Reviews

For many people, camera quality is right up there with battery life as one of the most important considerations when choosing a new smartphone. In both regards, the Huawei P9 acquits itself well, and its camera performance in particular is very good indeed. If the camera’s your main priority, then the Leica collaboration can be considered a success, and Huawei should be commended for trying to innovate, even if the overall execution of the P9 overall doesn’t quite deliver. Huawei’s Emotion UI still proves to be a sticking point, however, and the P9’s general performance isn’t particularly stellar, especially around gaming.

Trusted Reviews

The Huawei P9 is one of the best looking and performing phones the company has ever produced. There’s a lot to love here in terms of the design, the spec and how everything comes together to work.

Paired with a kick-ass camera that works perfectly on auto-mode and a fingerprint scanner that boots up the phone in a matter of milliseconds, it’s hard not to recommend the Huawei P9.

But on the other hand, it’s also hard to recommend when the software is still such an issue. I do feel if Huawei offered this with a cut-down or even stock version of Android I’d love it even more than I do now.

With battery life that doesn’t stun anybody, the Huawei P9 is a good, solid phone but it’s just not hit the right level of greatness yet.

If you’re looking for a smaller Android phone experience that needs high-end spec without a high-end price tag or a cumbersome design, try the Huawei P9.

Android Pit

The Huawei P9 is a great smartphone for photography buffs, with image post-processing being some of the best you’ll find in any phone. Improvements are needed in the power-saving department but, since I have had good experiences with Huawei devices in terms of software optimization, I don’t see this as a deal breaker.

The Huawei P9’s hardware is better than you’d expect for the price. The design and performance are very good. Only the software optimizations and mediocre display hurt my overall impression. But in the end, the positive aspects outweigh the negative, such as long battery life and camera quality. This makes the Huawei P9 a very competitive flagship and definitely worth your consideration.

Trusted Reviews

The P9 is the best Huawei phone to date. The Leica-branded camera may not fully deliver on Huawei’s claims, but it’s still as good, if not better than, most competing phone cameras.

The P9 doesn’t quite match competing handsets, such as the Galaxy S7, when it comes to its other hardware, but with a £449 starting price it’s over £100 cheaper than its key rivals. The phone’s nippy performance, robust build quality, and solid battery life mean it will meet most users’ needs.

Were it not for the reappearance of Huawei’s EMUI Android skin – which, apart from the LG G5’s UX 5.0, is probably the worst on the market – I’d happily recommend the P9 as a great choice for any smartphone buyer looking for a good deal.


The P9 is a perfectly good smartphone, particularly when it comes to performance and camera tricks. I had a ton of fun playing around with all the shooting modes, ogling the gorgeous native black-and-white images, and fiddling with bokeh. But the dual camera is something HTC pioneered yonks ago, and has since sent it to feature heaven. And what else are we really getting?

A nice 1080p display (albeit no improvement over last year’s P8), a rather uneventful metal unibody design, a somewhat charming but unfamiliar Android build and a day’s worth of battery life. Huawei isn’t the only company taking baby steps, mind. Aside from LG’s ambitious G5, the biggest smartphone launches of 2016 thus far have largely been iterative.

If I had to take issue with one thing specifically, it would be the P9’s price, which is almost impossible to justify. The handset’s camera is its only standout — but not innovative — feature, and you want me to pay four hundred and fifty quid for that? No deal.

Android Authority

There is no doubt that the Xiaomi Mi 4S is a great smartphone, especially for the price. Despite its flaws of a lack of global availability, disappointing low-light camera performance, and an outdated version of Android, there are several reasons why the Mi 4S may be appealing. Its very nice display, impressive performance for the price, excellent battery life, and great daylight camera performance may be enough to win over many who would have instead purchased the Mi 5.

Want to buy a Chinese smartphone? Our guide can help! Or, find out whether a Chinese smartphone will work in the UK here.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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