Huawei Flagship Smartphones P9 and P9 Plus – with Leica’s superior optical lenses

New smartphones are coming out at an unprecedented rate. The only way manufacturers differentiate their product from the rest is to innovate. Huawei has chosen to work with Leica to offer superior DSLR features on their new flagship P9 and P9 Plus

If photography is your thing of you are thinking of going into ‘Smartphone’ photography big time, then take a look at Huawei’s new flagship smartphones the P9 and P9 Plus.

Photography on a smartphone has become increasingly important to users.

For most of us, we take photos on our smartphones all the time, more so than our point and shoot or SLR cameras. But when it comes to taking smartphone photography to the next level, more and more smartphone manufacturers are looking to make their mark offering their brand of super camera phone.

We have seen this on the Asus ZenFone Zoom and ZenFone Selfie on our sister blog Colour My Learning with their HOYA lenses. It’s now Huawei’s turn to step into the limelight.


Let’s Take A Look At The Cameras

Working in collaboration with Leica camera AG, the main rear facing camera on the phone features not one but two optical lenses. We have seen this before on the HTC but the collaboration brings together a new level of integration between hardware and software from optical lenses to sensors and image processing algorithms.

Huawei P9 Lenses

The result, a superior smartphone with Leica’s lenses capable of capturing the highest quality images using a dual-camera design. The cameras work in together to allow users to create images of superior detail, depth and colour.

Huawei P9 featured

While externally the two lenses may look the same but they are actually a colour and a monochrome camera. The RBG camera is designed to capture vibrant colours while the monochrome camera works on acquiring the details in every shot. Put the two captured images together and with some clever software and you have an excellent output.


Huawei P9 featured

The most important feature with any camera on a smartphone is its focus speed. Huawei’s Hybrid Focus technology makes taking photos with incredible speed, depth and clarity using laser focus, depth measurement and contrast.

Huawei P9 front

To pull that off, the phone capitalizes on Kirin processors built-in Image Signal Processor (ISP) and a dedicated Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for post processing, to allow the camera to capture images with superior speed, accuracy and stability.

Huawei P9 Front Camera

As you would expect, the camera works very well in low-light conditions. The dual camera arrangement is designed to allow more light and details to be captured. Playing to their strengths, Huawei and Leica were able to meticulously calibrate the smartphones camera parameters to ensure that each photo mode renders the authentic colour and style of a Leica camera. The front facing selfie camera however does not get the same treatment. Still it is a good 8MP shooter that works well in low light.

What About The Phone

The chassis is made from glass on aerospace class aluminum frame. The frame has diamond-cut edges for a rounded finish. The phone is powered by the new Kirin 955, a 64-bit ARM processor clocking at 2.5GHz. For memory and storage, the smartphone comes with 3GB or 4GB of RAM memory and 32GB or 64GB of storage.

Huawei P9 Gold

 

True to the trend of releasing flagship duos, two leading smartphones instead of one, Huawei’s P9 has a 5.2-inch display with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution while the P9 Plus has a 5.5-inch display also with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution. The Huawei P9 Plus only come with one memory and storage size at 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. The one thing that both phones lack is microSD slot for additional flash memory.

Huawei P9 White

 

Depending on the market, these smartphones come with Dual SIM and NFC support. The battery capacity of P9 is 3000mAh while the P9 Plus has a 3400mAh battery. When it comes to thinness (or thickness depending on how you see it), the P9 is only a mere 6.95mm while the P9 Plus is not far off, only 6.98mm. You won’t be able to feel the difference.

Huawei P9 Rose Gold

 

Apart from the screen size, there are some additional features that are available with the P9 Plus. It comes with a battery with dual IC for rapid charging. The ear piece also doubles as a tweeter, pumping low to mid frequency sound of up to 20KHz complementing the main speakers when in vertical mode. When in horizontal mode, the device’s dual speaker offers sufficient sound for catching up on TV shows and listening to music.

Huawei P9 Titanium

 

That’s not all, the Huawei P9 Plus also offers enhanced ‘Press Touch’ akin to ‘Force Touch’ from Apple. The display comes with screen pressure recognition technology that recognizes variations in touch pressure so you can preview images, magnify details and access applications via the pop-up shortcut menu all too familiar for iPhone 6s and 6s plus users.

Huawei P9 Plus Touch

Specifications

Display:

  • P9 – 5.2″ FHD Screen, 2.5D, 1080p (1920 x 1080), 16.7M colours
  • P9 Plus – 5.5” FHD Screen AMOLED 2.5D 1080p (1920 x 1080), 16.7M colours

Processor: HUAWEI Kirin 955 (64-bit), Octa-core (4 x 2.5 GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53)

Memory and Storage:

  • P9 – 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM or 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
  • P9 Plus – 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM

Cameras: 12MP x 2, F2.2 BSI CMOS, Dual-tone flash main camera. 8MP, F2.4 front camera.

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support, Bluetooth 4.2, support BLE, USB Type C (High Speed USB)

Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Hall effect sensor

GPS: GPS/A-GPS/Glonass/BDS

NFC Support: Yes (subject to market)

Dual SIM Support: Yes (subject to market)

Dimensions & Weight:

  • P9 – 145mm x 70.9mm x 6.95 mm (H x W x D) about 144g (Weight)
  • P9 Plus – 152.3mm x 75.3mm x 6.98mm (H x W x D) about 162g (Weight)

Operating System: Android 6.0 with EMUI 4.1