Huawei P9 Plus review
Not just bigger
The Huawei P9 Plus isn’t just an enlarged version of the P9, it is packed with extra features and hardware, which will ramp up the lust factor significantly.
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The biggest question for consumers will be is the P9 Plus, at £605, worth £120 more than the P9. As few buyers will purchase the phone SIM free, the extra cost will be absorbed in the monthly line rental, over 24 months, so for £5 per month more, the answer should be yes.
The Huawei P9 Plus launches on April 16th 2016, so get ready to hit the ‘buy’ button.
Design - Premium materials and better reception
The Huawei P9 Plus has a desirable design that includes an aluminium metal uni-body with diamond cut edges and curved corners. As the P9 Plus is bigger than the P9, it is a little heavier at 162g. If we put the extra 18g into perspective, this is just a little more than the weight of a AAA battery.
|Huawei P9 review|
The Quartz Grey or Ceramic White body measures 6.98mm thick , which is almost exactly the same as the body on the P9.
The design employs two technologies to give better reception. The first is a virtual triple antenna that ensures good reception no matter how the P9 Plus is held. The second is Wi-Fi+ 2.0 and this tech analyses hotspot signal strengths and automatically connects to the strongest available signal.
Display - Press Touch
The first big difference between the P9 and the Huawei P9 Plus is the Press Touch hardware that the P9 Plus has and the P9 doesn’t. Press Touch senses more subtle variations in finger screen pressure, to make the feature more interactive and responsive.
At the moment there are 18 apps that will work with the feature, with more to follow. Applying more finger pressure will give access to apps through pop-ups, give a preview of images and magnify the details on the screen.
The large 5.5” 2.5D display appears to almost float above the phone’s body and brings a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. To go with this, Huawei has increased the colour saturation and contrast ratio, to take vibrant to new levels.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Security, Marshmallow and memory
The fingerprint sensor, positioned for the index finger on the back of the phone, is more accurate than before and unlocks the phone in under a second.
After setting up fingerprint security it time to explore the Android Marshmallow operating system. The first thing that is evident is that Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 user interface gives the home screens a refreshing look and adds a series of extra features that won’t be found on a stock Android phone.
|All about Android Marshmallow|
Thankfully, the Huawei P9 Plus has plenty of internal memory, at 64GB, giving plenty of space for storing images, videos, music and new apps.
Audio - Tweeter vs stereo
Here we find another difference between the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus. When the Huawei P9 Plus is held vertically, the earpiece works as a tweeter. Tweeters are extremely important as they produce high-frequency pitch that is close to the limits of human hearing.
This tweeter works with the low to mid rage speakers to create a frequency range of 20 Khz. When the P9 Plus is held in a landscape orientation, the front-facing stereo speakers kick in to give a cinematic video playing experience.
Camera & Video
Photography - Dual Leica lenses
The camera on the Huawei P9 Plus has been co-engineered with Leica, a German manufacturer that makes professional-grade cameras. There are two 12MP cameras that sit next to each other and both have very different roles.
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The first camera has a RGB lens that collects light from the red, green and blue colour spectrum. The second camera has a monochrome lens that captures only black and white light.
When the shutter button is pressed, the dual cameras capture simultaneous images and a special merging algorithm combines the two images to make one photograph. Creating an image this way gives colour and contrast like that never seen before on a smartphone. It also gives wide aperture effects, such as background blur and post-shot refocusing, as the two lenses see the scene from slightly different angles.
Image editing - Kirin image processor
Professional grade photography and image merging is demanding but the Huawei P9 Plus handles this though two of the cores on the Kirin 955 octa-core 2.5GHz processor (with 4GB RAM). The dual-cores process, manage the colour and noise reduction and handle any post image editing.
The dual cameras have a hybrid autofocus for fast and accurate focusing, large 1.25UM pixels for capturing more light and the ability to capture 4K video. The original RAW image data can also be saved for high-end editing on a computer.
The third camera on the Huawei P9 Plus is an 8MP camera and this faces the user for taking selfies or making video calls.
Power - Rapid charge
The bigger 3,400mAh battery on the P9 Plus (compared to 3,000mAh on the P9) comes with Dual IC rapid charging, which isn’t given on the P9. Here, 6 hours of talk time can be gained from only 10 minutes of charge.
The charging cable fits into the USB Type-C port on the phone and this is symmetrical, so unlike previous micro-USB cables, it can be inserted either way up.
Verdict: The Huawei P9 Plus is a serious contender to the Apple iPhone 6s Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the LG G5. So, if you are looking for something a little different, with exceptional photography, then the Huawei P9 Plus is most certainly for you.
Written by: Michael Brown