Huawei P9 32GB

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Huawei P9 32GB

Android 6.0 - 4G - Wifi, Bluetooth - Quadband

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80% positive

4 reviews from the community

Review of "Huawei P9 32GB"

published 21/07/2017 | Essexgirl2006
Member since : 07/02/2006
Reviews : 583
Members who trust : 273
About me :
Pro Good camera, easy to use
Cons Battery time, music player
Look & Feel
Durability & Robustness
Battery standby time
Battery talktime
Value for money

"Happy with my Huawei"

The Box it comes in

The Box it comes in



It was phone upgrade time and I was tired of my Sony Xperia Z3 compact. Generally it was a good phone but had a few niggles that came apparent after long term use. I was always disappointed with the front view camera (I don’t take a lot of selfies, but this didn’t inspire me to do more) and low light/unnatural light pictures (which is when I want a convenient camera – because I am not taking my expensive hybrid camera to the pub).

When O2 called regarding the upgrade I explained what I wanted from a phone and said a camera was important (I had a few phones in mind, but was quite interested to hear their suggestions). The advisor suggested this one and said many people didn’t go for it as they didn’t know the brand but that the P9 was their top spec phone (presumably until the P10 comes out) and was very good, as well as having a Leica dual lens camera. I decided to go for it on a 14 day trial and have stuck with it.
Price and Availability

I have a 32GB version (expandable storage is available).

My device plan with O2 is £12 per month for 24 months (plus my airtime plan). There was a small upfront cost of £9.95 which was waived, making the phone £288.00. Other providers who offer the phone on contract include Three, EE and Vodaphone and also via Carphone warehouse. Giffgaff will also sell the phone unlocked (£349) and Amazon (for £410).

There are various versions including a Plus, which seems to be larger in size and have 64GB memory, and a Lite (16GB) but is the same size as the standard one. I have seen it for sale in black, gold, silver and Titanium grey but not all suppliers will sell all versions. O2 only sold it in Titanium grey. I could have collected it at a nearby store but as I wasn’t able to get to one, so I elected to have it delivered next working day to my workplace.

I think I once had a Huawei router that I was sent by my broadband supplier, but other than that wasn’t familiar with this brand, let alone able to pronounce it (hwah-way apparently -I swear I manage to say something slightly different every time I say it). Apparently it means ‘Chinese Achievement’, when translated. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd is a Chinese company based in Shenzhen in Guangdong province. It is apparently the largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world since 2012 so they must know what they are doing (many telecoms manufacturers also make in China, regardless of the parent companies’ country of origin).

The company was founded in the late eighties and initially concentrated on the domestic Chinese market which was way behind the west. The expanded internationally some ten years later and now sell phones, networks and accessories all over the globe.

Dimensions: 145 x 70.94 x 7mm
Weight: 144g
Screen Size: 5.2 inch
Internal Phone Memory: 3GB + 32GB eMMC
External Memory Card Type: Micro SD card up to 128GB
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 955 Octa Core 4 x A72 2.53GHz, 4 x A53 1.8GHz
Operating System: Google Android 6 – EMUI 4.1

In the Box

A classy package arrived in my office – a sturdy ivory cardboard box that was shrink-wrapped. The outer packaging looked very nice and I was impressed. Inside was the phone (as you would expect) and underneath were three smaller ivory coloured boxes . One had a quick start guide, a screen protector that took me hours to get on and is still bubbly, warranty information and promotional gubbins (Huawei VIP Gold Club and Huawei Support services), one had the wall charger (white) and the other had a headphones and USB type C connection cable (also all white). Although it looks similar to a Micro-USB connector, it is different and subsequently, micro USB connectors/cables won’t work with this.

There is also a small Sim tool/pin which is attached under the lid of the box containing the information booklets. This took some locating!


Whilst I quite like the look of the gold phone, I wasn’t hugely disappointed with the titanium grey as it looks smart and sophisticated. I usually go for compact phones as I have small hands, but I got used to the slightly larger size after a couple of days and my approaching middle aged eyesight appreciated a larger screen ïŠ . It feels very slim, and I have bought a slim plastic case so it doesn’t get any bulkier..

When I first looked at this phone I had read that the Emui version of Android that Huawei use wasn’t very good, but I have no problem with it. Maybe if you are a tech reviewer who has used many different Android phones you may notice a difference, but for the most part this phone is better than my Sony Xperia.

On the back of the phone is a fingerprint scanner for security. It think this is a nice touch so you can access your phone with one hand, if it is on the front or you use just a passcode (optional) then you still have to use two hands – one to hold the device, the other to access it. Here I can access it quickly, and if there are no new messages, then I can just send it to sleep again. I am right handed, so scanned my left index finger as that is the one I would most likely hold the phone in, and have found this an easy and useful tool from the outset. You can also use it to take a photo, answer a call and access notifications etc, depending on your preferences.

You can also see the double camera lens on the back of the phone, but I will cover that later.

Set up

The phone comes with some charge (mine had about 65%) so you can set up straight away if convenient. There are no real instructions in the Quick Start guide, other than to make sure the phone is off when you insert your Sim. I followed the screens the phone offered up, but if you want more details about what certain options are, I discovered the Geek Squad website to be useful (

To be honest the longest bit was faffing with the Sim tool and waiting for O2 to connect. The phone has space for a Micro SD card if you want to expand the storage. Overall this was a quick process and I was pleased how easy it was to set up and transfer information and let me get on with the serious business of playing with it and familiarising myself with it.

First impressions/Display

I had read some techy review that said the display resolution wasn’t as good as other flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, I have to say I didn’t notice and it hasn’t affected my experience.

I am not sure how customisable the front screen is – there are lots of themes to choose from (I went for a gold/leopard one after some trial and error) and it is easy to rearrange you apps as you like on the front page, but as far as overall layout there only seems to be about two options that I have discovered. It isn’t something that bothers me particularly, I can work with it. My main niggle is the notification/shortcut bar at the top. On my old phone I would pull them down separately – one was on the right, the other the left, but they are together on this phone so if I want to turn my data off I need to pull down my notifications and then tap the shortcut tab to turn off data. This is also where you connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and put your phone on silent. It’s just one tap further then before, but I find it quite annoying, even though I am more used to it.

Calls and Texts

Although reports show we tend to use our phones for navigation or social media rather than calling or texting, it is the original purpose of the phone and a function I use often.

Texts are clear and well spaced with times for texts sent and received indicated with your texts and the recipients being different colours. The screen can be pinched to zoom in if you can’t distinguish an unfamiliar emoji (I genuinely have no idea what half of them are supposed to be doing).

I have had no problem making calls either, they sound clear at my end and there is no problem with muffling at the other, so I am told. A friend struggled to hear me when I was on speaker phone, but as far as I can tell, that is just him so am not sure if it is his phone or mine. .

Back Camera: 12MP Dual Lens, LEICA SUMMARIT-H 27 MM F/2.2 ASPH, Hybrid AF, Dual Tone LED Flash

Front Camera: 8.0 MPx front facing camera, LED Flash
HD Capture for camera and video (not set as HD for video, you need to adjust manually, but of course takes up more storage space).

Leica are a premium (and pricey) camera brand and I covet their cameras. This phone has two 12MP Leica lenses on the rear, one to capture black and white images , the other colour. Apparently combined this offers more depth to the photo and is better for low-light images even though the pixel sizes aren’t that great. There are some filters which I find quiet useful for dull days, when even the most dramatic and beautiful scenery of Cheddar Gorge looked dull because the skies were grey and dull and threatening rain.

The front camera is 8MP, which is higher than on my last phone and much better quality. I am not much of a selfie taker (small arms) but the quality at least won’t be what puts me off. Taking one in the corner of a bar with barely any light (we couldn’t see ourselves in the screen) I was really impressed with how bright and clear the photo was. I’ve fiddled with some of the settings/filters, but generally I am pleased with how this camera works and took more selfies in the first fortnight with this phone than I did in two years with the other.

It isn’t great at capturing movement (other than on video) however, and (like most camera phones) can be blurry if you don’t hold it steady but I’ve not noticed this problem more with this phone than any other – more than likely operator error!

I realise Sony are going to have a better product here as they can use their own world class Walkman technology in their phones. Listening to music through the phone directly (without speakers/headphones) I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t the best music player I have ever listened too but it wasn’t as tinny as I expected. This also depends on the nature of the track you listen to. I found it acceptable for casual listening through Bluetooth speakers at home.

The headphone port is in the bottom (I much prefer the top for when my phone is in a pocket or bag). The supplied headphones are white plastic with a strange oval shaped ear piece that are a bit too big to be comfortable and there is no foam/rubber covering (and they are to big for any spares I have at home). They are also fairly crap when used to listen through. My V-Moda headphones are better but the audio player is still going to be lacking here comparatively to some brands.

If the music player is a deal breaker for you then maybe give this one a miss. For casual use this will probably pass muster, but use your own headphones.
The phone does not have a radio function, unless you listen online vi Wi-Fi or through data.


Official stats: Battery life -Talk time: 2G/3G 33/18 hours. I have not had the opportunity to test this as there is no one I want to talk to for that amount of time, but calls don’t tend to drain the battery, it is apps. No matter how careful I am to shut all the apps before I go to bed at night, the phone usually loses about 6-9% charge overnight, laying ‘asleep’ in my handbag (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS are usually always on, as they were with previous phones).

It took a disappointing two hours to get to full charge from 18% to full, which seems on the slow side for me (especially the last 5% which seemed to take forever. I was using it sporadically at the time.

You can get alerts if power-intensive apps are running in the background to remind you to shut them down and there are a number of power saving options in the Settings which you can select if they suit you.

Battery use is always going to be subjective, as it depends on an individual’s use. As a new phone it got played with quite often as I was trying new functions and things and always needed to be charged daily.

Overall I think this is a weakness of the phone and have found it can be losing charge not doing much as some apps I can’t see are running in the background.
Apps and Games

It’s an Android phone so the usual apps are available for the Google Play Store. Not a lot of stuff is pre-installed, Chrome and the usual assortment of Google apps plus some apps from my network provider.

There is a Health tracker, which I have not bothered to use but the phone seems to want to tell me how many steps I have made that day, but as I usually keep it in a bag its not really that accurate.
Other stuff

I found the Screen shots tool a bit of a faff initially. I managed to take a few accidentally but couldn’t when I wanted to. I found a handy tool in the Smart feature list in Settings that basically means I just knock the screen twice with my knuckles for a screen shot.

There is a multi-user feature if you share your phone with other family members and a handy lock screen message so that if your phone is lost, someone can e-mail you or call you on an alternative number ,as they will be unable to get into your phone.
If you have a compatible Bluetooth fitness tracker device, this also can be used to unlock your screen whenever in proximity, however I understand that Fitbit’s are not fully compatible.

The phone has been reliable and stable. I have not experienced any lagging and freezing.


I have had this phone five months in all, so have had quite a bit of experience with it. I am happy with it but then I have never felt the need for a top-spec phone and if that is what drives you, then you probably won’t be interested in this one. I would also say that if listening to music on your phone it a huge pastime, then you may want to pass on this phone also. The only other disadvantage I have is that the battery tends to drain quickly even when you have shut all apps down.

Despite the niggles above I am happy with the phone as it does what I need it to do. I find it easy to find what I need it to do, and arrange the apps as I need. So if you are looking for a good spec phone that doesn’t break the bank I would suggest looking at the Huawei range. As to whether I would purchase again, I think it is too soon to say. When my contract expires in just over 18 months time, phones will have moved on further and the options so different. I would certainly consider their offering.

Community evaluation

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Comments on this review

  • siberian-queen published 22/11/2017
  • Angel19819 published 29/10/2017
    E!! A very detailed review, very very helpful.
  • rolandrat123 published 01/08/2017
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Product Information : Huawei P9 32GB

Manufacturer's product description

Android 6.0 - 4G - Wifi, Bluetooth - Quadband

Product Details

Manufacturer: Huawei

Cellular / Operating System: Android 6.0

Display / Diagonal Size: 5.2 in

Optical Sensor / Sensor Resolution: 12 Megapixel

Communications / Wireless Interface: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Cellular / Mobile Broadband Generation: 4G

EAN: 6901443107513, 6901443107520

Cellular / Band: Quadband

Form Factor: Touch

Weight: 144 g

Cellular / Type: Smartphone

MPN: 51090FXL, 51090FXJ

Flash Memory / User Memory: 32 GB


Listed on Ciao since: 13/05/2016