Review: Huawei P9 Lite

[wpsm_highlight color=”yellow”]Price: AED 899[/wpsm_highlight]

Huawei recently announced the launch of the new P9 Lite, the “lighter” version of the company’s P9. In terms of pricing, the P9 Lits is almost half the price of the P9. A major difference that is evident as soon as you check out the rear of the phone is that the Leica dual camera system that was present on the P9 is missing on the P9 Lite.

The Huawei P9 Lite is available in three colours such as gold, white and black – we received the black version for a review. At first look, the phone looks brilliant in terms of design and build quality. It’s design resembles its pricier big brother, the P9.

To keep the pricing at a lower end, Huawei has dropped the aluminum unibody used on the P9 – inseatd with the P9 Lite, you get an aluminum frame with polycarbonate back. The fact that the rear cover is made of plastic isn’t so obvious at first glance, though, as the overall finishing gives it a metallic appearance.

And yes, the 12.3MP Leica dual camera system as mentioned before is gone. It is instead replaced by a more casual 13MP shooter. On the front of the device, you get a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that offers a pixel density of 423ppi. Under the hood, the P9 Lite runs a HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset. This one is an octa-core processory that packs in four Cortex-A53 cores running at 2.0GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.7Hz. In terms of graphics performance, you get a Mali-T830 MP2 GPU inside the device.

The device is either available with a 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. We got the 3GB RAM and 16GB storage variant for review. The built-in storage can be further expanded to up to 256GB using the microSD card slot which also acts as a dual SIM slot. The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system with Huawei’s very own EMUI v4.1 overlay on top of it.

Along with the 13-megapixel camera at the back, you also get an 8-megapixel front camera for all your selfie needs. The front camera can also do 1080p video recording. In terms of connectivity, the P9 Lite supports 4G LTE. You also get dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, and so much more.

The phone also comes with a microUSB 2.0 port for charging up the battery. You also get a fingerprint reader at the back of the device. The P9 Lite is fitted with a 3000mAh Li-Ion battery.

The camera is one of the strengths of the P9 Lite, despite it not packing in a dual camera system like the P9. The primary camera with an LED flash has a maximum resolution of 13 megapixels, and its biggest photo format is 4160×3120 pixels in the 4:3 aspect ratio. 16:9 photos can be taken with up to 10 megapixels (4160×2336 pixels). We were amazed at the quality of the photos shot using the device.

Special features, such as changing the depth of focus after shooting the pictures and the additional black-white camera sensor, are reserved for the P9. The P9 Lite, however, offers multiple photo settings including photo filter, self-timer, smile detection and object tracking. Even the front camera’s parameters for white balance and the ISO number can also be set manually by preference. The fingerprint scanner can be used alternatively for shooting photos and videos.

In terms of performance, the P9 Lite fares as a good mid range device. The P9 Lite’s strong selling point is certainly its competitive price, rather than the design, feel or dual Leica cameras that the more expensive models have. If you can do without these features, then the Huawei P9 Lite could be an excellent smartphone choice.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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