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Huawei P9 Lite Review

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huawei p9 lite review

Huawei P9 Lite Review

So the wait is over, finally we have the lighter version of the flagship Huawei p9 that is as usual known as Huawei P9 Lite. As we remember, Huawei had launched P8 in two variants, and let me state that Huawei P8 Lite did record business and became the most selling device from Huawei in calendar year all around the world. “Huawei P9 Lite review” will cover all valid queries about P9 lite and we will try to discuss each point concisely.

Huawei has launched Huawei P9 lite Last month in Pakistan, while it has already been launched in the international market quite before couple of months, here it is important to mention that Huawei P9 lite is available in 2 variants, the one is with 2GB and other is 3GB but hold on, in Pakistan, it would be available with only 2GB RAM, which is quite surprising for us too.

Well, Huawei P9 is the first full metallic smartphone in P-series, while for the lighter version i.e. Huawei P9 Lite has only metallic frame however the back cover is polycarbonate plastic.

Let’s go through the specs sheet quickly. On the front we have a 5.2 inch vivid 1080p FHD IPS display, however P9 carries IPS-NEO display with same resolution. The innards has 2.0GHz Octa-core chipset, 2GB RAM and 16 ROM. Additionally, the battery inside Huawei P9 lite has 3000mAh capacity, and last but not the least spec is fingerprint sensor on back to provide more ease and comfort.

Huawei P9 Lite is available in Pakistan market since last month. It is available at price of PKR. 28,000/-. While its price siblings are in competition with same specs like Samsung J5 (16) is head to head competitor with greater battery and full-fledged metallic body, however the Huawei P9 Lite is ready to give tough time with some prominent features like Fingerprint sensor and sleek and slender shape.

Huawei P9 Lite Unboxing:

The retail box contains all the essential accessories, the box we received for review having 1.0A charger and it doesn’t support fast charging.

Well, it would be injustice to ask for fast charging from mid-range device. But it would have been better if Huawei gave at least 1.5A charger.

The box also has USB cable for charging and transferring data, the earpieces comes with remote and mic on it.

Huawei P9 Lite Specifications:

LAUNCH Released June, 2016
Availability Available
BODY Dimensions 146.8 x 72.6 x 7.5 mm
Weight 147 grams
SIM Slot Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.2 inches (~69.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (480 dpi pixel density)
Multi-touch Yes,  Emotion UI 4.1
NETWORK Network Support GSM/HSPA/LTE
2G Bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G Bands HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100 – VNS-L21,
4G Bands LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800) – VNS-L21
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat6 300/50 Mbps
PLATFORM Os Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
Chipset HiSilicon Kirin 650
CPU Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 + quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-T880MP2
MEMORY Card Slot microSD, up to 128 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 13 MP, f/2.0, autofocus, LED flash
Features 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
Video [email protected]
Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0, LED flash
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS/ BDS (market dependant)
Radio Yes
NFC Yes (L31, L21 only)
USB microUSB v2.0
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint, accelerometer, proximity, compass
BATTERY Non-removable 3000 mAh battery, SmartPower 4.0
PRICE PKR 28,499
OTHERS Colors Black, White, Gold

Pros :

  • Smooth capacitive screen
  • Full HD display has good brightness and color reproduction
  • Good camera and camera app
  • Very good battery life
  • Sleek design

Cons :

  • 1A charger
  • No Stereo Speaker
  • No Gorilla Glass

Display of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei P9 Lite comes with 5.2” FHD IPS display, the screen has 1080p resolution –same as P9 but Huawei P9 has IPS-NEO display technology, the display consists of 480 DPI and 424 PPI.

Well, when it comes to technical term, Huawei has excellent color and 1200: 1 contrast ratio, so what’s more one can expect from a mid-range device.

From setting option, Huawei p9 lite gives option to set the color temperature, it has slider that runs from warm to cold and chose the setting what suits your eyes.

huawei p9 lite review display

The default setting works fine as it’s a bit cold but give catchy look to display; however warmer display gives better reading.

The shortcuts toggle has slider bar to control the brightness of display, the auto check controls the light automatically, but if you try to set in manual while it’s on auto mode will override the auto setting.

Design and Display of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei p9 Lite is 5.2” FHD IPS screen on the front that sits in 146.8 x 72.6 x 7.5 mm dimensional frame, the total net weight is 147 grams which is just 3 grams heavier than Huawei P9 –a negligible difference. The phone is 1.8 mm taller than Huawei P9, 1.7 mm wider and 0.5 thicker.

However if we compare the design language with Huawei P8 lite, so Huawei has got totally the different shape, the dimensions and all the body structure is just different from the predecessor’s diet version.

The alloy frame give premium look and feel to phone and screen to body ratio is 76.6% which shows P9 Lite is a more compact and handy smartphone. The smartphone we received for testing was white color P9 Lite, though it is also available in Gold and Black color in the market.

On the front side, Huawei P9 Lite has strong resemblance with its flagship partner, P9 Lite has been provided with same 5.2” HD IPS display clothed with 2D Glass which is unfortunately not a Gorilla Glass, and the bezel around the display is metallic and pretty thin.

In addition, beside the capacitive display, the upper portion of front is home to 8MP selfie shooter, couple of necessary sensors, and little Notification LED (Which can only sighted when active). The bottom has nothing but Huawei mark, the function keys are virtual and placed on capacitive display.

There some input/output hardware is placed around four sides/edge, the edges are chamfered to give firm grip and also it shine adds more beauty to P9 Lite look.

The top edge is home to 3.5mm audio jack and secondary mic for noise cancellation, beside on the right side, we have the only physical button, the volume keys and pattered power button, both are placed at right position under thumb range.

Likewise, on other hand at left, the SIM tray is mounted, which takes two SIMs, while the SIM2 slot can also be used for Micro-SD card and support upto 128GB card.

The bottom looks more decorated as compare to other three sides, the grills on each corners side, beneath the right grill is HiSilicon Hi6402 audio DSP, 9 V Smart PA speaker. The left grill hides primary mic under pinholes.  While the center has MicroUSB port 2.0, unlike Huawei P9 Type-C port.

Finally, the back cover is of polycarbonate and on its top is the Glass strip on which 13MP rear camera along with dual-LED Flash are flanked from bumps. So for the given price bracket, Huawei has dropped LEICA camera module. But 13MP usual camera will fulfill the need of user.

The fingerprint sensor is also there on the back and thin silver bezel around helps you to recognize the actual place of sensor accurately.

Memory for Huawei P9 Lite:

The memory section is decorated with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM, well, internationally P9 Lite has two variant in term of main memory, but in Pakistan , it has specifically launched with 2GB RAM. For internal storage we have 16GB ROM, my personal opinion is that it would have been more better if P9 lite was launched with 32 GB internal storage, because it’s for sure that 16GB is less space for today’s data storage, and it pushed the user to insert SD-card in SIM2 slot.

Camera within Huawei P9 Lite:

The Huawei P9 Lite features Sony IMX214, 13MP lens on back with size of 1/3” sensor and 1.12µm pixel, the aperture is f/2.0.  However on the front side, 8MP Sony lens is fixed with f/2.0 aperture.

Both cameras are quick to launch through camera App, the App UI is user friendly, those who have been Huawei’s user for quit long time, they would be familiar with interface.

The Camera interface has few toggles on the top that are flash controller, effect/filters, and camera switcher. Likewise at bottom, the gallery view at right corner, the middle has capture toggle and video button is next to it.

The pre-loaded modes are Photo, PRO Photo Camera, Beauty, Video, Pro Video Camera, Beauty Video, HDR, Panorama, Good Food, Light Painting, Time Laps and last one is Slow motion video. Except that Huawei P9 lite has object tracking feature, touch focus, and different controls like shutter speed, ISO, Exposure, and white balance.

I would definitely say, although it doesn’t have LEICA co-production but it has paid the money back in photography.

Don’t forget that you can use the fingerprint reader to snap a photo. You can snap panoramas with the selfie camera as well.

Rear Camera of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei P9 lite sports 13MP camera on back, the common tradition followed by vendor for mid-range device. But let me tell you that Huawei P9 lite has elegant camera though not a match for flagship but still a strong competitor for same price bracket.

The picture quality is though good, for 13MP usual camera but colors look dim and soft especially we have captured greenery. But the HDR mode captured the dynamic range wisely, and picture was well-detailed and cloud bubbles were more prominent.

Front Camera of Huawei P9 Lite:

For the front side, Huawei p9 lite is packed with 8MP selfie shooter. The camera has f/2.0 aperture which intakes sufficient light to brighten up your selfies. The front camera is also provided with Face beauty feature. It makes excellent selfies with more details what I found in image is bit noisy, it can also make 1080px video.

The camera detects the faces and pack them in block. This indicates that you are at right position to take perfect selfies.

Network / Connectivity of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei p9 lite is a 4G enabled, dual-SIM smartphone, however if you use SIM2 Slot for SD-card then you will have to compromise on one SIM. For 4G connectivity, P9 Lite has employed LTE Cat.6 modem that download speed is upto 300Mbps while the upload speed is 50Mbps. Other brands mostly use cat.4 modems.

For wired connectivity, Huawei P9 lite offers microUSB port 2.0 not Type-C like Huawei P9, it does not support USB On-The-Go, which is bad news and surprisingly dropped from Huawei.

For LAN connection with local networks, Huawei P9 Lite use Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n standard that works on 2.4GHz, and 5GHz connectivity is not available. In addition Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC are also in account of Huawei connectivity.

Battery Performance of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei P9 lite carries huge 3000mAh battery, which indeed a good sign as Huawei P9 does have the same capacity. The chipset on board is Kirin 650, octa-core runs at 2GHz frequency and FHD IPS display is tackled by Mali-T830 GPU. So for the given Hardware, 3000mAh battery is a good option.

While test the device for “Huawei P9 Review”, the battery has shown excellent results. On standby it last for almost a week , while on normal daily usage like messaging and GSM calls, P9 lite Battery is enough for 3 days or more. However it does also have power saver option in Phone manager that kills the background app. It’s quite good.

On 3G network, P9 lite work whole day if using 3G network for 5 to 6 hours.

Interface of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei P9 lite is using Latest Android v6.0 (Marshmallow), layered with Huawei own EMOTION UI released 4.1, the Huawei native users would be quite familiar to EMUI 4.1 –it also looks like iOS interface.

Let’s start with lock screen, the big digital clock welcomes you on the front along with step counter and below are the patterned dots; if you have set any patterned lock. The camera icon is at right bottom corner, while swipe up at bottom will open up menu like iOS interface.

If you unlock with fingerprint, you will directly land into home screen and the home screen will look very crowded but it can be customized accordingly, four icons can be placed in each row which is fine and easily be touch with fingertips.

The status bar as usual shows the most recent notifications, at left side, time, single bar along with Wi-Fi single bar are placed. There is no extra application menu, all the installed App are located at home screen.

Pinch over the screen, it pop up the settings which includes theme, Wallpaper and other setting related to interface.

P9 lite is packed with several useful bloat-wares, few of them are Health, Phone Manager, weather, Notepad, Recorder, HiCare, and Flashlight etc.

The Phone Manager in P9 lite controls many operation of Phone, it keeps on cleaning the memory from useless Apps, it has different features like Traffic manage, Harassment Filter, Battery manager, Notification center, and Dropzone Management.

Just in case, if you don’t want to use internet and keep the mobile as simple as feature phone, P9 lite offers totally different mode. It looks like Windows interface and icons become extra-large.

Processor of Huawei P9 Lite:

Huawei P9 Lite features its own HiSilicon chipset, its Octa-core processor and chipset model is Kirin 650. As its Octa-core processor, the 4 cores are 2GHz Cortex-A53 and rest of 4 Cores are 1.7GHz Cortex-A53. The GPU is Mali-T830MP2, dual-core GPU is pretty much for 1080p display.

As mentioned earlier, Huawei P9 Lite would be available with 2GB RAM that will definitely slower than the 3GB variant; yet it can play and run every kind of Game and App smoothly. You will hardly feel lags while switching the Apps, but will run smoothly once loaded into RAM fully.

Let me tell you one important thing, the Kirin 650 chipset is head to head chip with Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series.

Antutu Benchmarking of Huawei P9 Lite:

In Antutu benchmark test, Huawei has performed very well with its upper midrange octa-core chipset, it got 52K+ points which is remarkable for being a mid-range device. This show it has powerful chipset which is ready to run every app smoothly, and great Mali-T830MP2 GPU that enables the phone to process graphics brilliantly.

 

Vellamo Benchmarking for Huawei P9 Lite:

Basically Vellamo benchmarking has three test to check the performance of smartphone and specially to check the processor’s performance.

Just like Antutu score, Huawei P9 Lite has attained excellent points, thanks to it mighty 2GHz each core which made P9 lite to get 1448 points in Metal (Single Core Test), and Multi Core score is also good and admirable. The Last test of Vellamo benchmarking is Browser test, P9 Lite got outstanding 2982 points, this shows it has very responsive and quick browser.

Conclusion:

Now let’s discuss about the Huawei p9 Lite just in two lines. Huawei p9 Lite has almost everything that a user wish to have in a mid-range smartphone. The fingerprint, octa-core chipset paired with 2GB RAM, latest Android v6.0 skinned with native EMUI 4.1, and heavy duty 3000mAh battery etc. P9 Lite is overall a complete package with an affordable price. Yet it lacks 2160p video, no Gorilla Glass and there is only metallic frame however the other brands are providing full metallic body. We found just these two things missing during our review practice.

Well, on brighter side, Huawei P9 Lite is a reasonable, efficient, serviceable and stylish fellow.

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