Huawei P9 hands on

Review

Here are our first impressions of Huawei's dual-camera smartphone...
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Huawei P9 hands on

The Huawei P9 has just been announced at an exclusive London event, but we were given an early sneak peek at this photography marvel, so let’s see what’s new.

Professional-quality cameras

The big new feature on the Huawei P9 is its dual rear cameras. They’re completely unique, with one black and white and one colour camera. The idea is that the monochrome camera can focus on capturing every detail, while the colour one produces super-accurate colours. The two images are then combined so you end up with incredible photos.

To help make your shots even better, Huawei teamed up with Leica to produce the camera lenses. If you’re not a photography buff, Leica is one of the best lens makers in the world, with its top lenses costing upwards of £7,500. That means the P9’s photos are always in sharp focus and really bright.

The dual cameras also let you manually adjust the aperture on the Huawei P9. This lets you control the amount of light getting into the camera and create professional depth of field effects, where part of the photo is out of focus. What’s really special is that you can take the aperture to f/0.95, a number normally only seen on the most expensive professional cameras.

A premium design

The Huawei P9 definitely looks like a Huawei phone, with its distinctive metal body and edge-to-edge screen. But while it looks pretty similar to last year’s P8, it’s a whole new story when you pick it up.

Every corner of the P9 has been carefully crafted to feel smooth and comfortable in your hand – despite the 5.2-inch screen, it feels pretty small. And the toughened glass that covers the screen curves slightly at the edges, meaning it blends seamlessly into the metal frame.

Huawei’s unique software

When it comes to actually using the Huawei P9, there’s some pretty unique software keeping things running. It’s based on Google’s Android Marshmallow, but Huawei has customised it.

There’s no app drawer, for example, so your home screen feels more like the one found on an iPhone. Huawei has also created a handy device manager, which makes it easy to free-up memory, keep your phone running as fast as possible and even block nuisance calls.

Huawei also loves to make it easy for you to personalise your phone, so there’s a great Themes section of the settings where you can change the look and feel of pretty much every part of the software.

Early verdict on the Huawei P9

We’ve been impressed by our early preview of the Huawei P9. The new cameras really are unique and the design feels great to hold. The software’s quite different, but we’re sure it wouldn’t take long to get to grips with everything Huawei has to offer.

If you think the dual Leica cameras and sleek design are for you, you can order the Huawei P9 now. And for a limited time, you'll get a Huawei Watch Active, worth £349, thrown in when you do.

We’ll have more detailed views on the Huawei P9 soon, so keep checking back. In the meantime, tell us what you think about it in the comments below.

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