Review: Huawei P9 Smartphone

Note: This review will only cover the camera/photography aspect of the Huawei P9 phone as I didn’t try most of the other features.

As soon as I heard that Huawei was collaborating with Leica to produce the ultimate camera for a smartphone, I knew I had to get my hands on one. After years of using iOS, this was my first experience with Android and a Huawei smartphone, a brand name that I always admired but from a distance for its ability to disrupt the smartphone market in such a short time.

As soon as the phone was released in Dubai, I immediately reached to Huawei Arabia who kindly obliged and lent me a phone to use on my upcoming trip to Istanbul.  

First off, I will list some of the general and camera specifications of the P9, followed with my personal experience with it. More details on the phone itself can be found on Huawei’s website


The P9’s main camera boasts an astonishing 12MP x 2, F2.2 lens with dual-tone flash. Its front camera has an 8MP, F2.4 lens. The fact that it has dual back camera (one for colored shots and another for black and white) means that you can capture more light with two sensors, one RGB and one monochrome. Huawei’s sophisticated merging algorithm intelligently combines the colors taken by the RGB sensor with the detail of the monochrome sensor.

The P9 is a light phone (maybe more so due to my fiendishly big hands!) with its size being 145mm * 70.9mm * 6.95 mm (Height x Width x Depth) and about 144g in weight.  

Personal Experience

As I mentioned, I took the P9 with me to Istanbul, a city known for vibrant colors in markets and neighborhoods as well as low light conditions inside the city’s many beautiful mosques, not to mention the harsh light in the summer. As soon as I arrived in Istanbul, I decided to focus on using the P9 and kept my iPhone 6 and Canon 70D in my backpack.

The P9’s camera has several features you could choose from for taking pictures:

  • Normal: Perfect for outdoor shots, architecture, city and landscape. It has an awesome extra feature which allows you to control the depth of field between F0.95-F16. In layman terms, this feature would allow you to take pictures that focus on your subject while almost entirely blurring out the background. Needless to say that this feature alone puts the P9 in the same rank as a DSLR camera.
  • HDR: perfect for when you want the details of a shot to pop out like when you are in a spice market with different colors or taking a picture of a city from the top and want more details of buildings and people
  • Beauty/beauty video: perfect for shots and videos of people
  • Light painting: perfect for creating light trails during the night (tripod is recommended if not a must)
  • Night shot: perfect for night and extreme low light shots (tripod is recommended)
  • Monochrome: for black and white shots
  • Document readjustment: perfect for taking pictures of documents
  • Timelapse, slow motion, panorama are also available

The camera option that I used the most was the normal (also known as “Photo” on the P9 camera) despite the fact that taking pictures with the HDR feature allowed me to skip a step in my editing process.


With its sleek design and colorful screen, the P9 is simply fun to use, which I cannot say about many of the smartphones in the market today. I truly enjoyed its camera to the extent that I am considering switching to it after years and years of being an iOS fanboy. The camera simply blows every smartphone camera I have seen so far out of the park.  

All the pictures I took below were with the Huawei P9 and are not edited in any way.

And just to show how good the pictures turned out, in two weeks of using the P9, I (@gmr83) was featured by some of the most popular Instagram pages in the region and the world for the pictures I took with it.

Below are some of the features:

And remember to follow me on Instagram (@gmr83) for more.