Huawei P9 lite review: On a diet

On a diet

GSMArena team, 08 July 2016.

Telephony

The Huawei P9 lite is a dual-SIM phone, which offers solid reception and call quality. You can set up individual ringtones for each SIM, even the "vibrate when ringing" option is separate.

Smart dialing - Huawei P9 lite review recent calls - Huawei P9 lite review in-call interface - Huawei P9 lite review
Smart dialing • recent calls • in-call interface

During a call, there are shorcuts to pull up your calendar and notes so you won't forget to write down important info after the call is over.

The call log offers an option to merge entries either by contact or by time to reduce clutter. There's no way to filter calls by SIM card, however.

You can view calls to a contact from the info sheet. A couple of options let you dodge incoming calls - either by sending all calls from a number directly to voice mail or from adding them to the blacklist.

Blocked calls and messages go into the Harassment filter, which is more advanced than just blocking numbers on the blacklist. It also checks for keywords in texts, can block unknown numbers and call from strangers (we're not clear how the phone distinguishes between "unknown number" and "stranger").

Blocked calls and texts - Huawei P9 lite review Configuring the harassment filter - Huawei P9 lite review Configuring the harassment filter - Huawei P9 lite review Configuring the harassment filter - Huawei P9 lite review
Blocked calls and texts • Configuring the harassment filter

The Huawei P9 lite loudspeaker proved stronger than P9's, pushing the lite model to a Very Good rating. It would have made Excellent, but it's quiet in the human vocal range (relative to the other two tests). The output is very clean, even at full volume, great for listening to music.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
LG Nexus 5X 61.2 65.8 61.7 Below Average
HTC One A9 65.0 64.9 67.2 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 65.8 66.0 66.5 Below Average
Oppo R7 65.6 66.5 73.1 Average
Huawei P9 72.1 66.6 75.6 Good
Huawei P9 lite 66.0 71.5 83.2 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 4s 73.7 68.6 82.9 Very Good
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus 72.8 71.3 81.9 Very Good
Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent

Messaging

The Messaging app arranges message threads on a timeline. You can pin the important ones, so that they don't get burried if you get a lot of texts.

The app handles just SMS and MMS, there's no Internet messaging component, but you can still send smilies, photos and other multimedia.

The Messaging app has smilies - Huawei P9 lite review The Messaging app has smilies - Huawei P9 lite review The Messaging app has smilies - Huawei P9 lite review The Messaging app has smilies - Huawei P9 lite review
The Messaging app has smilies

An interesting feature lets you cancel a message - you have 4 seconds to change your mind and double tap a message, which will prevent it from heading out.

You have 4 seconds to cancel a message - Huawei P9 lite review
You have 4 seconds to cancel a message

The Harassment filter can easily block spammy messages - either by number or by select phrases.

Text input is handled by Huawei's own Swype keyboard. The keyboard is fully themeable and you can change its height for both portrait and landscape views (they are separate settings too).

The Huawei Swype keyboard - Huawei P9 lite review Keyboard themes - Huawei P9 lite review Re-sizing - Huawei P9 lite review Swype gestures - Huawei P9 lite review
The Huawei Swype keyboard • Keyboard themes • Re-sizing • Swype gestures

As the name suggests, swipe input is available and it can do gestures too. You can do cut/copy/paste, add punctuation, change the case of a word and more. The keyboard supports simultaneous input in two languages for bilingual people.

App package

The P9 ships with an ad-supported version of WPS office, which can be used for some basic document editing on the go. It can handle text documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as PDF files. It can also export to PDF.

WPS Office - Huawei P9 lite review WPS Office - Huawei P9 lite review WPS Office - Huawei P9 lite review
WPS Office

Huawei has bundled the P9 lite with its Health app, which tracks steps and calculates calories burnt. It doesn't count floors climbed like the app does on the P9.

Health app - Huawei P9 lite review Starting an exercise - Huawei P9 lite review Day view - Huawei P9 lite review Setting goals - Huawei P9 lite review
Health app • Starting an exercise • Day view • Setting goals

The Backup app can copy your contacts, messages. logs, documents, system data and select folders over to the internal storage or microSD card. A file manager is also present, and it supports batch actions.

Backup app - Huawei P9 lite review Backup location - Huawei P9 lite review Selecting folders - Huawei P9 lite review File manager - Huawei P9 lite review
Backup app • Backup location • Selecting folders • File 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...