Huawei P9 after a month of use: a terminal that improves by spending time

The Huawei P9 arrived a few weeks ago with the aspiration to make a place among the best phones this year. And arguments have, among them design, innovative dual camera system with Leica certification and good balance in the rest of the lines.

In Xataka we have dedicated a month of use to know what the Huawei P9 is capable of offering us with calm and focusing on more specific sections such as screen, operating system or battery. Will you have kept your promise to be side by side with the best smartphones on the market?

Fingerprint reader and design personality

Something that one assimilates that you will get when buying a Huawei is the care for the materials. They have done it for generations of their terminals and in the Huawei P9 it is not lacking. We saw it in our initial analysis and we have verified it in this month of use.

The Huawei P9 is eye-catching, well finished, and easily recognized by people. It is a comfortable terminal in hand, very light and soft in its forms, and in this time it has become the most manageable 5-inch terminal that we have tested lately.

The Huawei P9 is not only notable for its design and finish. It has proven us to be one of the most manageable with one hand and with a very fast fingerprint sensor

It is also a phone with personality and a good design language that only seems to us to be improved by the fingerprint reader. And it is not because of its operation, because it seemed the fastest of those I have tried, but because of its situation in the rear.

There it makes sense because it is easy to unlock but it does not act as a start button, which seems to me a mistake because we associate the fingerprint reader with the action of unlocking the terminal, but to block it we must switch to the side. It is not something that implies a handicap but in this month of use it has been something we have thought about a lot.

On the resistance and quality of the materials, the Huawei P9 asks us to use a case. In this month of use there are clear signs on the beveled edges as well as on the metal back.

Screen and battery that you can improve with some adjustments

In this month of use with the Huawei P9 I have been able to confirm that although the IPS screen has a good quality, as we saw in the review in which we stopped at Huawei Neo technology, there are details with which I have managed to feel more satisfied at the screen quality level of this terminal.

We already told you that the brightness of this Huawei P9 had room for improvement. When we are outdoors we miss a bigger gloss bump to improve visibility. Also in this month of use it has seemed to me that the adaptation of the automatic brightness is not as fast as I would like. In general in this month I have ended up adjusting the automatic brightness and especially outdoors I have finally chosen to keep it turned on and to the maximum to not have to wait for it to adapt when I wanted to consult information at a quick glance.

The screen of the Huawei P9 is less striking and spectacular than that of other rivals with which it intends to compete in the market. It is less striking but it must be said that it is more than enough than the range in which it competes.

By touching the color tone and temperature slightly in the configuration we can get a more attractive and interesting screen to look at

To compensate for the duller tones, it is advisable to slightly adjust the color temperature. It is what has worked for me in this month of use. The cold mode is the one that has convinced me the most. Once chosen I have played with the color temperature until I found the most acceptable balance between a striking tone without reaching unreal.

Containing the panel's resolution has allowed Huawei to take advantage of its own less powerful processor than Samsung or Qualcomm solutions and the battery. This seemed fair enough for an intensive user, and we have also missed a faster battery charge. In the comparison, the Huawei P9 was not very good: more than two hours is a lot to compete in the market.

As it has happened to us with the screen, there are small tricks to be able to remove an extra from the battery. In the power options we find a filter to keep the consumption of certain applications under control, as well as tips to optimize the battery life.

The battery of the Huawei P9 has room for improvement, both at the optimization level and above all due to a charge that does not compete with the best on the market

There we can manage applications and services that we do not realize that we do not use but consume energy that we do not want to waste. There are some applications that come with EMUI by default and that we probably won't use (as has been the case in this month of use), such as Play Books or third-party services. Better disable them to gain some autonomy.

A camera to enjoy, not to shoot without control

I already calmly told you what the Huawei dual camera system intends and how it competes with the LG solution. And in the review we already told you that at the interface or speed level it was the best on the market. I corroborate it: for me it is the most comfortable interface I have ever managed on a smartphone, being able to access the modes only by sliding from the left, the camera options from the right, and manual modes from below, just above the button. Shooting.

In this month of use, my purpose was to check how a different camera like the Huawei P9 affected my way of taking photos. I think globally it is behind the best of the year. We have also used it less for photos in automatic mode and at all hours, but we have compensated by getting more different and creative images to upload to services like Instagram.

The monochrome mode has caused a sensation among friends, who asked me for portraits for their profiles on social networks. And more than one night image that I could have saved has ended up being one of the most liked on some social networks thanks to the magic of black and white, with a fabulous contrast.

Globally it is behind the best on the market but it is one of the most creative smartphone cameras and the one that I think has the best overall interface

Beyond the monochrome mode, the Huawei P9 camera gives us a lot of play to go further in smartphone photography. We went from point-and-shoot and had a lot of fun with virtual aperture handling to get very small depths of field, very usable RAW, or long exposure mode.

On the opposite side we have the video mode, which without 4K or stabilization, is also at a lower level than rivals.

Android layer with which it is possible to get along

EMUI allows high customization of Android on Android terminals but also has good ideas that can compensate for duplicate services. The trick is that you have to get hold of it in order to feel comfortable.

One of the first learnings to do has to do with something we do a lot: the notification bar. By default when stretching with a finger that bar appears and only by sliding to the left we can access the controls and quick settings. It is a small nuisance when we want to go directly to activate or deactivate the Wifi connection.

A direct solution is to remember that with two fingers we can directly lower that configuration layer. But if we prefer to use a single finger, there is an option to configure that when stretching from the left we go to the notifications, and if we do it from the right, to configuration.

Another option to take advantage of that it is a very manageable terminal with one hand is to add a fourth button to the Android bar to download or collect the notifications drop-down. You press with one hand, see if there is anything interesting, and continue with what you were doing.

The fingerprint reader, in addition to being essential in everyday life, we can indicate to the system that it can be used as a touchpad. It does not work with too many services but it does for two that I liked: for the notification center and to move through the image gallery in an efficient and comfortable way. Allowing a press to make a start button would not have hurt.

If you come to EMUI as a novice, it is advisable to spend some time learning about the particularities and the possibilities of personalizing this layer on Android because your experience with it can improve a lot.

At the interface level, there is no central hub but desktops as in iOS. Here the fingerprint reader would be very comfortable to move between them, but it is not possible. Of these desks or screens, by default there are three, we can group them in folders, but we do need more, just make the gesture of to pinch to be able to expand those desks or personalize them.

Waiting to see what the operating system update policy is like with this intense layer, a few more details: in the application search engine accessed by sliding down from the desktop we can both open the application and click on the icon the right that takes us to the folder or place where it is anchored; In the highly visual file explorer, we can easily and directly create folders protected by password or fingerprint.

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