Huawei P9 review: great camera, disappointing phone

Rating: 7/10 | Price: £449


Exceptional camera with plenty of shooting modes; great design; expandable storage


Android skin is slightly frustrating; awkwardly located fingerprint scanner; touchscreen responsiveness could be better

Until now, Huawei has always been a bit of a budget brand. Its devices provided decent bang for buck, but nothing that could compare to high-end phones from Apple or Samsung.

The Huawei P9 is trying to change that – it's the first phone from Huawei that feels genuinely premium and built without cost-cutting in mind. The addition of a dual lens rear-facing camera made in collaboration with German optics firm Leica sets the Huawei P9 apart.

But are two cameras really better than one? And if they are, is the Huawei P9 as good at being a phone as it is at being a camera?

Find out which phone WIRED Recommends in our guide to the best smartphones and Android phones


The Huawei P9 is a bit of a looker. Its 5.2" 1080p display runs almost all the way to either edge, leaving just a thin bezel. Despite its sizeable screen, the Huawei P9 is still thinner than an iPhone 6S and isn't so big that it's uncomfortable to hold.

Matthew Reynolds

A small light that pulses white, green or red from within the speaker at the top of the screen provides a subtle visual alert to notifications. Flip the phone over and a sandblasted metal finish fits nicely with a glass band that houses the two camera lenses. But within a couple of days, this attractive finish was easily scratched and blemished. This really isn't a phone you'd want jangling alongside your keys without a case to protect it.

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