Skip to content

Huawei P9 Review, A Great Camera But, Is It Good Phone Overall?

Huawei has recently launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Huawei P9 in India this week. It gathered a lot of praises in the international market since its global launch but the pricing in India has raised some questions, whether it’ll be liked by masses or not. No doubt the phone is really a great piece of hardware and has a tremendous camera performance, but we have tested it in other areas as well and here is what we have found out after 3 weeks of usage.

Huawei P9 Full Specs

[table id=620 /]

Huawei P9 Unboxing, Review, Pros, Cons [Video]

What are Usage Reviews, Tests and Opinions?

This review is based on our quick tests and usage done with the phone, we try to push the device to its limits and find out the results which will matter if you plan to buy this phone. We hope this review helps you to get your queries answered about the device.


The Huawei P9 is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 955 with a Octa-core processor with 4 x 2.5 GHz Cortex A-72, 4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex A-53 and Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. The device comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The storage on the device can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. HiSilicon Kirin 955 is the latest flagship processor from Huawei and has 16 nanometer architecture which sticks with top end components.

Huawei P9

App Launch Speed

The app launch speed on the Huawei P9 was quick and I did not see any delays in launching apps and folders, also the heavy benchmark apps and games were launched in no time.

Multitasking and RAM Management

The Huawei P9 comes with 3GB of RAM although the 4GB variant is available in global market, it didn’t make its way to India and it is sad. Looking at the price and present standards, we expected at least 4GB of RAM but still the multitasking is fair and the CPU manages RAM quite efficiently.

Although I noticed a few apps taking time to launch, and slight delay in between the transitions, but I am sure Huawei must be working on these issues and resolve them with their next update.

Scrolling Speed

For testing the scrolling speed, I loaded the GadgetsToUse homepage on the smartphone and scrolled top to bottom and back on the phone. The web page rendering speed was great and the page managed to scroll easily without any problems.


To test the heating on this device, I turned to Asphalt 8 and Nova 3 as both the games demand high graphic performance. I played both the games one after another for almost an hour to see if it really heats up but the phone was not even one scale higher than warm. Despite the metal built, it was easy to hold in hand just the sides were a little hot.

When used in warm weather conditions, the phone did get a bit warm while using GPS on LTE but still it was not uncomfortable to hold.

Benchmark Scores

[table id=621 /]

Huawei P9 benchmarks


The Huawei P9 comes with a Dual 12 MP, f/2.2, 27 mm, Leica optics, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash. The rear camera is the highlight of this device and is manufactured by the famous German company Leica optics.

Huawei P9

On the front, Huawei P9 comes with Sony IMX179 8MP camera with f/2.4 aperture.

Camera UI

The camera app of Huawei P9 is laid out very neatly and is easy to use. You can swipe left and right to switch between modes and settings. You do not get a full screen viewfinder but this makes it look neat and clutter free.


It offers tons of settings and tweaks to make your photography experience more customizable according to your ease.

It comes with heaps of camera modes to play with. It has almost every option to make your photography experience more creative. You’ll find modes like Monochrome, Beauty, Night Shot, Light Painting, Time Lapse, Slow-Mo and more.


Day Light Photo Quality

The pictures taken in natural light came out to be very good looking during my encounter with the camera. It took no time to focus on objects and the shutter speed is also very quick. Pictures were nicely stabilized and the colours came out to be very close to natural. But in some cases the pictures looked over saturated due to the software which naturally fixed the image.

Overall I am impressed with the type of pictures I could click with this camera. You can surely use this camera as a point and shoot when it comes to natural light photography.

Low Light Photo Quality

Low light shots on this phone were looking good until and unless there was a minor source of light. But as we moved to darker areas, it was showing a lot of grains like any other smartphone camera unlike the Galaxy S7. It comes with a Night Shot mode to enhance your photos in the night, and it really does work.

As we know the shutter speed is reduced for better low light pictures you will have to keep your hand still to avoid clicking shaky pictures. So if you are using a tripod or a still base, you can get great dim light photos with this one.

Selfie Photo Quality

Selfie quality is excellent on good lighting conditions, no matter it is natural light or artificial light. It has solid white balance even in artificial indoor lighting. It offers good in terms of details and handles light quite efficiently.

Camera Samples

Battery Performance

If you ask me, at Rs. 40,000 the battery is not bad, but I cannot call it exceptional too. Like most of the high end phones, Huawei P9 also consumes a little extra juice on LTE. Although it can easily last for a day of use on moderate usage but aggressive users may need to charge it by the end of the day. 

P9 (7)

Quick charging capability scores as an equalizer to those who complain about the small battery.

Charging Time

We were able to charge the Huawei P9 up to 50% in just 35 minutes and it was fully charged in 1 hour 30 minutes using the bundled charger.

Looks and Design

The Huawei P9 is a solidly built smartphone. Huawei has upped its design game with the P9 and the hype around the phone is fairly justified due to multiple reasons – design being one of them. We received the Ceramic White edition and it looked really good. Check out the photo gallery above for a quick glance. It has ultra thin bezels on the sides, which looks beautiful with the 2.5D glass layer.

Huawei P9

The phone’s dimensions are 145 x 70.9 x 7 mm and it weighs 144 grams. That means it is thin, light-weight and very handy. It looks really premium when you have a look at it first.

Huawei P9 Photo Gallery

Quality of Material

The Huawei P9 comes packed in a solid metal shell which looks and feels premium. THe quality and finishing of the metal is top notch and it is tightly packed that makes it feel like a well cut stone. Front has Gorilla Glass protection with 2.5D curved glass, which is again a plus.


The Huawei P9 feels amazing to hold and use with one hand. It it one of those phone which come with a minimalistic design that focuses on user comfort and ease. It is easy to grip and the rounded edges make it even more comfotable.

Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles

The Huawei P9 comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS NEO LCD display. It is a full HD panel (1080×1920 pixel resolution). It may sound a little outdated in front of the Quad-HD displays present in most of the flagships but the real life experience did not disappoint us. With a pixel density of 423ppi, this panel makes everything from images to Full HD videos to graphics-heavy games look amazing. Viewing angles are great, and colour reproduction is accurate. Contrast is spot-on as well.

Huawei P9

Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness)

Outdoor visibility is very good. The screen looks very bright and clear.

Operating System

It comes with the latest version of Android Marshmallow with Huawei’s own custom UI on top. The custom UI is the same Emotion UI which we have seen on Honor phones, but with slight improvement. The OS feels smooth and looks neat in almost every area.

It offers tons of gestures and modes to make your experience more intuitive and reliable. If you are a stock Android user, you may find it difficult to adjust with this UI in the beginning but slowly you may start liking it.

Sound Quality

The sound quality on P9 is not something that the company focuses on. The speakers are placed at the bottom edge which sound decent for a small room. You cannot call it bad but it could have been a little louder. The sound is clear and I did not notice any distortion at high volumes.

Huawei P9

If you expect a lot from the sound department, then you should not expect a lot from it.

Call Quality

We tested the Huawei P9 with different network providers across 2G, 3G and 4G. In all our testing, the Huawei P9 performed very well.

Gaming Performance

The Huawei P9 comes with a Kirin 955 octa-core processor and a Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. To test regular day-to-day gaming performance, we played a bunch of games on the phone – both simple as well as complex games like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush to complex games like Asphalt 8. In our testing, we noticed that the phone played all these games effortlessly – without any noticeable lags whatsoever.

As is common with every smartphone out there, the Huawei P9 showed signs of heating up after playing Asphalt 8 for 25 minutes. We witnessed a battery drop of 15% with the device temperature rising to 42C.


Huawei has taken its time before making a come back to Indian market. I was really happy when I heard that P9 is coming to India as it comes with great quality and amazing camera capabilities. The only cause of concern was the pricing. At INR 39,999 Huawei P9 is a fair deal for those who are looking for a phone with extraordinary camera but can’t go for Galaxy S7.

Other than camera, the 16nm Kirin 955 is another highlight which offers impressive performance and battery optimization. But I would have loved if Huawei brought the 4GB variant, even if they priced it a bit higher.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.