Huawei P9 Plus review: Size up

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GSMArena team, 25 July 2016.

Telephony

The Huawei P9 Plus handles voice calls with ease and sound quality doesn't disappoint.

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Smart dialing recent calls in-call interface

The P9 Plus stock dialer app is a trinity of tabs bundled together - these include the Dialer, Contacts, and Favorites. The phonebook offers all the usual sorting and display options, it supports multiple accounts, and there are lots of fields available for each contact.

The P9 Plus does a neat trick with its earpiece and loudspeaker. When you hold the phone horizontally, both pieces out similar sounds simulating a stereo effect, but in portrait mode the top speaker switches to treble while the bottom one plays bass (essentially a two-way speaker or as Huawei calls it - high quality sound).

If you like, you can turn off the Stereo switch from Settings and rely only on the so-called high quality sound.

Naturally, we tested both modes. Indeed, when using the high-quality sound mode (read default, or regular), the P9 Plus outed a score that's a decibel shy of our Excellent mark. If you use the Stereo mode for the landscape view, you'll lower the overall loudness to just 'Good' but you'll get a very nice stereo effect in return.

We were unable to pass a verdict on which mode is better, but each of those has its pros and cons, and we'll leave it up to you to choose.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 65.8 65.1 64.6 Below Average
Oppo F1 Plus 66.3 66.2 65.9 Below Average
OnePlus 3 62.4 71.0 77.8 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 69.5 69.3 71.1 Good
Huawei P9 Plus (stereo) 66.9 70.0 76.9 Good
Huawei P9 72.1 66.6 75.6 Good
Huawei P9 lite 66.0 71.5 83.2 Very Good
Huawei P9 Plus (regular) 71.7 73.7 81.3 Very Good
Sony Xperia XA Ultra 88.9 79.3 82.7 Excellent

App package

The P9 Plus ships with 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.

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WPS office

Phone Manager is Huawei's do-it-all app for keeping control over your phone. It lets you control all sorts of features from call/message privacy and Do Not Disturb settings, to phone optimization and app permissions, to network and battery usage.

The app features a one-touch optimization feature that frees up memory space and gives you settings recommendations for maximum battery performance. It's a hell of a slick feature that few manufacturers offer.

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Phone manager

Battery Manager is part of Phone Manager and includes a selection of three power plans with varying degrees of feature limitations. From here you can also control which apps can remain active after you send the phone to sleep.

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Battery manager

Huawei has bundled the P9 Plus with its Health app, which tracks steps and calculates calories burnt, but can also supposedly count the number of floors you've climbed. A file manager is also present, and it supports batch actions.

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Health app homescreen week view file manager file manager more tools

Finally, there is a Fun Scale app which can measure weight of small objects. It isn't pre-installed on all units for some reason, though. The app allows you to put small objects at the center of the screen and if they weigh between 100 and 400g, it should out you a close enough estimate of their weight. This app uses the pressure sensitive screen tech, of course, but you shouldn't expect it it be that accurate. It's called 'Fun Scale' for a reason.

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Fun Scale app

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Diamond pentile Oled is the worse to have for the display solutions. The blue pixels have potential to suffer burn-in higher than the red pixels and green pixels.

  • AnonD-670508

Huawei p9 plus I like smart phone I used all model smart Huawei This only very performance good .... But battery life camera quality 100% good 6 month I used this phone but not software ever phones 👈but P9 plus very good ...

  • Empireofmido

Which the best p9 plus or p10 Plz advice me because I want to buy one this month Thanks