Huawei P9 lite review: On a diet

On a diet

GSMArena team, 08 July 2016.

Display

The Huawei P9 lite has a 5.2" LCD screen of 1080p resolution. So, just like the flagship P9, right? Looking a bit closer at the specs shows it's a mere IPS unit as opposed to the IPS-NEO screen used on the P9.

Neo or not, the P9 Lite screen keeps colors and contrast on the money even at extreme viewing angles. The image quality, in general, is quite impressive.

Huawei P9 lite review

The screen is just as bright and contrast is just as high as on the flagship P9, black levels are quite similar too. Contrast is a solid 1,200:1, better than similar phones in this price bracket. It's bright too at 500 nits, few competitors can do better.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei P9 0.46 500 1094
Huawei P9 Lite 0.42 497 1192
LG Nexus 5X 0.30 455 1542
HTC One A9 - 366
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 0.00 421
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) max auto 0.00 601
Xiaomi Mi 4S 0.49 475 975
Oppo R7 0.00 362
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus 0.44 441 998

The minimum brightness is 9.8 nits, which shouldn't hurt sleepy eyes in the middle of the night.

The Auto brightness setting actually moves the brightness slider so you can see it in action. Unfortunately, this also means you can't use the slider to override the auto mode.

From the settings menu, you'll find a Color temperature setting. You can drag the slider from Warm to Cold to find a look that suits you. We found the default setting a bit cold and in fact dragging the slider all the way to Warm produced more accurate colors.

The default setting does okay - an average DeltaE of 7.7 and a max of 14.6 are average and similar to the Galaxy A5 (2016), which proved one of the less accurate Super AMOLEDs.

However, with the Color temperature set to Warm, we got much better readings - an average DeltaE of 4.3 and a max of 6.7. The Huawei P9 lite actually topped its pricier sibling, which got slightly worse readings. Same goes for most other competing phones, aside from the Nexus 5X screen, which comes with a factory calibration.

Sunlight legibility is above average for the class (it even bests some pricier phones). This is the only place where the flagship P9 screen does better.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The P9 lite also has an optional glove mode. Also, the proximity sensor can disable the touchscreen (pocket detection).

Connectivity

The Huawei P9 lite is a dual-SIM phone (using a hybrid slot means you lose the extra line if you need more storage). It offers speedy LTE Cat. 4 for up to 150Mbps down and up to 50Mbps up.

Locally, it has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi b/g/n (no 5GHz or ac, however) and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. NFC is available on some models, but not all - check the model for your region.

Wired connectivity is handled by microUSB 2.0.

There's no Type-C here like the flagship P9 has. USB On-The-Go is not supported either so you can't connect peripherals. There's no wired TV-out option either.

Battery life

At least in the battery department, the phone doesn't deserve the 'lite' label. It has a 3,000mAh battery, same as the flagship variant. The Kirin 650 chipset used in the Huawei P9 lite is built on a 16nm FinFET process, same as HiSilicon's flagship 955 chipset.

The Endurance rating is very good - 79 hours with one SIM, 71 hours with two. If you need to guarantee that some background apps remain active, make sure to lock them. Otherwise the overly aggressive memory manager tends to kill them.

Web browsing and video playback times are excellent, 11 hours and more. The talk time is short in comparison, but still quite good.

Huawei P9 lite review

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Battery Manager is part of the Phone Manager and includes a selection of three power plans with a varying degree of limiting certain phone features. From here you can also control which apps can remain active after you send the phone to sleep and an estimate of how long the phone is expected to last in each mode.

The most frugal Ultra power saving mode essentially turns the P9 Lite into a feature phone (but more than doubles the expected battery life).

Battery manager - Huawei P9 lite review Battery manager - Huawei P9 lite review Battery manager - Huawei P9 lite review Battery manager - Huawei P9 lite review
Battery manager

Reader comments

  • Lazer

Ever since I received my phone it has never supported any video call ...why via all social media ..can u explan..its a p9lite

  • Anonymous

what about the upgrade is it safe?

  • Lynn

This phone Huawei p9 lite was my late partners phone I use it now and it's great good battery quick opening hardly ever had any problems apart from when I open too many oages. I like it that much I'm away to get a new Huawei y6 2018. Highly recommend...