Huawei P9 review: Ascension

Ascension

GSMArena team, 15 April, 2016.

5.2" IPS-NEO display

The Huawei P9 may be all about the Leica camera, but it also has a very promising and flagship-worthy display. Arguably, 1080p is a bit outdated, but the 423ppi is more than enough for achieving an excellent mark in pixel density.

The Huawei P9 uses an IPS-NEO LCD panel by JDI, which delivers deep blacks. The Huawei P8 was perhaps the first phone we've seen to come with this tech but today, it no longer looks as spectacular as before. Don't get us wrong, it's still noticeably better than any regular IPS LCD.

Huawei P9 review

Huawei promised us a maximum brightness of 500 nits for the P9 and we measured exactly 500 nits. While the IPS NEO screen offers some deep blacks, we've surely seen better. The contrast is very good, but not impressive at 1094:1.

Regarding color reproduction accuracy, the P9 screen is less than stellar with an average deviation (DeltaE) of 6.7 - a bit higher than what we would ideally like. We've seen worse even in flagship devices, so this one sits somewhere in the middle. For a screen to be considered properly calibrated it needs to have a maximum DeltaE of 4.

Using the built-in Color temperature modes, we managed to get a better color reproduction by going with the Warm one (Avg. DeltaE 6.1), but that came at the expense of slightly lower maximum brightness (450nits). The Warm option fixed the bluish white color, which was the one top drag the Maximum DeltaE up to 12.8.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei P9 0.46 500 1094
Huawei P8 0.38 584 1516
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Xiaomi Mi 4S 0.49 475 975
Samsung Galaxy S7 0.00 391
LG G5 0.17 306 1855
Sony Xperia Z5 0.59 583 986
Apple iPhone 6s 0.36 536 1481
Apple iPhone SE 0.77 618 804
Microsoft Lumia 950 0.00 328

The P9's solid performance in our display tests continues into sunlight legibility. A score of 3.195 is a very good achievement for an LCD panel and emphasizes another strong point of the IPS NEO tech.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • 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
  • 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
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • 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
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • 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
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • 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
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    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
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221

Battery life

The Huawei P9 is powered by a beefy 3,000 mAh battery, sealed as expected. The P9 supports the so-called rapid charging with a 9V/2A charger, which fills about 40% of the battery in 30 minutes. The phone ships with a regular 5V/2A plug though, so if you want rapid charging, you'll have to buy the 9V charger separately.

We ran our battery test and the Huawei P9 scored a 75h rating, which means you can count on the battery to last just few hours north of 3 days if you do an hour each of calling, browsing the web and video playback a day. Such usage pattern may be somewhat artificial, but we've established it, so our battery results are comparable across devices.

Huawei P9 review

The P9 posted very balanced battery life on all tests. Standby battery life was gauged in the Performance mode, which does not put any limits on the hardware. The Standard mode will add a couple of hours to the rating, while the Ultra Power Saving will keep your phone alive for quite some time.

There is also the so-called ROG power-saving, which lowers the native resolution down to 720p and will give you more battery life when playing games.

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.

Connectivity

Regarding connectivity, the Huawei P9 is properly equipped. Huawei is very proud, and rightfully so, of the Kirin 955's built-in radio support, which includes up to four 2G bands, seven 3G bands, and eighteen 4G bands.

Our variant (EVA-L09) comes with a single nano-SIM slot, but you can opt for the dual-SM flavor (EVA-L29) with a hybrid secondary nanoSIM/microSD slot. Its second card can only tap into 2G networks while the first gets the full cellular connectivity.

The P9 supports dual-band 2.4/5.0GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot capabilities. Bluetooth is v4.2, where interference issues with LTE networks should be fixed. There's NFC on board, but only on the single-SIM EVA-L09 model.

The satellite receiver GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou, so there isn't a corner in the world where the smartphone won't be able to pinpoint your location.

There is no FM radio though.

A 3.5mm jack provides standard connectivity for wired headphones. There is the new USB Type-C connector for charging and wired connectivity. Mind you, it defaults to charge-only every single time you connect it to a PC, and you have to select manually from the notification shade that you want to do something else.

Reader comments

  • LUIS FLORES

I still have the phone and in my opinion it is very good, the bad thing is that I only have 3GB of RAM and 32 ROM. It is the main reason why I want to change it, since if I had more ram and rom I would still be perfect. The 3000 mAh battery also s...

That just means you need to get a battery replacement. Once you have a quality replacement, camera and other functions work as expected.

  • Anonymous

The same happens with me too.