As these things often do, the event starts with a large swanky hall, a big crowd of people, and a new device or two. Introducing the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus.
Huawei took to the stage today in London to launch their new flagship line-up consisting of two devices, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus.
Starting with the Huawei P9, there’s a lot to get excited about. Huawei continues it’s all metal body design here this time delivering a body just 6.95mm thick (or thin depending on your preference). Within that metallic chassis is housed a 5.2″ IPS LCD 1080p screen, 3GB RAM, 32GB/64GB internal storage options although Europe will only get the 32GB option, a Kirin 955 Octocore chipset, a now ubiquitous fingerprint scanner (on the rear), USB-C port, and a non-removable 3000 mAh battery. Those specifications took all of ten minutes to real off at the event. The majority of the time was spent discussing the one feature not mentioned above, the dual 12MP cameras with hybrid autofocus and dual-LED flash. There’s also an 8MP selfie camera too.
Dual Cameras With A Twist
The optics on the Huawei P9 were designed in conjunction with Leica, the relatively well-known camera manufacturer, and has a rather unique dual-camera setup. Now this is not the first time a Huawei-based device has toyed with dual cameras. The Honor 6+ back in 2015 did have a dual camera configuration, but utilised dual 8MP cameras then to deliver wide aperture capabilities. In the Huawei P9 however, one of the cameras shoots in colour, whilst the other delivers monochrome output. Not only will that monochrome camera be excellent for some dramatic shots, it’s usefulness is felt in low light also where it can take in more light to augment the colour camera – an interesting architecture. It’s claimed that the cameras, working in tandem can improve contrast in pictures by up to 50% and can deliver triple the light information, taken in by the respective sensors. This would certainly allow a wider range of use cases and deliver superior low light photography; something of a Holy Grail that mobile device manufacturers are chasing.
Huawei also announced the P9 Plus, a larger version of the P9, for those wishing to have that little more real-estate to play with. The Huawei P9 Plus delivers a 5.5″ display over the 5.2″ of the P9, 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage (although China will get a 128GB variant) and a bump in battery capacity to 3400 mAh. Interestingly the 5.5″ display switches technologies to Super AMOLED from IPS although both devices share the 1080p resolution.
Both phones will come sporting Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 skin over the top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
The Huawei P9 will be available in Mystic Silver and Titanium Grey. It comes with an RRP of £449 for the 3GB RAM/32GB storage model, and will be free on contract. The Huawei P9 will be available to buy in the UK in early May from Carphone Warehouse, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone and be available from vMall in mid-April.
A full list of carriers/outlets stocking the Huawei P9 is as follows:
- Three – Mystic Silver, Titanium Grey
- Vodafone – Mystic Silver, Titanium Grey
- vMall – Mystic Silver, Titanium Grey
- CPW – Mystic Silver, Titanium Grey
- EE – Titanium Grey
- O2 – Titanium Grey
Vodafone will have exclusivity over the Huawei P9 Plus in the Quartz Grey colour variant. Consumers will be able to purchase this from mid-May in Vodafone stores and online retailing at £549 for the 4GB RAM/64GB storage variant.