FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS of Apple and Samsung, Huawei unveiled two versions of its latest flagship smartphone: the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus.
We take a look at the main differences between the two smartphones leading Huawei's charge in 2016.
Dimensions and design
Huawei P9: 145x71x6.95mm, 144g
Huawei P9 Plus: 152x75x6.98mm, 162g
The two handsets follow the same design philosophy and have been constructed from one piece of metal. As you'd expect, the Huawei P9 Plus comes with a little more padding than its smaller sibling, but the two phones almost match in thickness.
If a good choice of colours is your thing, both models offer slightly different options. The Huawei P9 comes in Rose Gold, Prestige Gold, Titanium Grey and Mystic Silver, while the P9 Plus comes in Haze Gold, Quartz Grey, Rose Gold and Ceramic White.
The P9 Plus offers an upgrade in the form of front-facing stereo speakers.
Huawei P9: 5.2in IPS, 1920x1080 at 424ppi
Huawei P9 Plus: 5.5in Super AMOLED, 1920x1080 at 401ppi
The Huawei P9 Plus gets a bump in screen size, but retains the same Full HD resolution which leads to a drop in pixels per inch. The phones use two different display technologies: the Huawei P9 is IPS and the P9 Plus is Super AMOLED. Despite this, one handset doesn't make a stronger case than the other. Super AMOLED will win on vibrancy and colour, but the P9's smaller display means it's the sharper of the two.
The spec-sheet for the Huawei P9 claims 96 percent colour saturation and 500 nits of brightness, while the P9 Plus claims 108 percent colour saturation.
Huawei P9: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei Emotion UI
Huawei P9 Plus: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei Emotion UI
The experience across Huawei's two handsets is consistent. Both run the latest version of Android and have Huawei's ghastly Emotion UI plastered over the top. Suffice to say, you'll need to make your peace with this if you're looking at buying the Huawei P9 or P9 Plus.
The camera menu and settings screens have received an overhaul owing to the Leica-certified sensor technology.
We also need to mention a feature that falls somewhere in between software and display. The P9 Plus has support for Press Touch which, like Apple's 3D Touch, adds another dimension of interaction by differentiating between hard and soft presses.
Huawei P9: Kirin 955 chipset, 3GB or 4GB RAM
Huawei P9 Plus: Kirin 955 chipset, 4GB RAM
The two handsets use the same Kirin 955 chipset that has four 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores and four 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 cores. In this case, the only difference between the models is the amount of RAM. The P9 is available in 3GB and 4GB variants, while the P9 Plus sticks with 4GB.
We found the P9 a solid performer in benchmark tests, letting itself down slightly only in the GPU department.
Huawei P9: Dual 12MP rear with 4K video, 8MP front
Huawei P9 Plus: Dual 12MP rear with 4K video, 8MP front
Both include the same headline-grabbing Leica-certified dual-lens cameras. One shoots in monochrome, the other in RGB. The monochrome camera provides detailed and pleasing results on its own, but the two can be used together to capture extra detail and let in extra light. A depth measurement chip also allows 'bokeh' effects to be applied to photos after the shutter has fired.
The P9 Plus adds a laser autofocus to the front-facing selfie camera, but that's it as far as differences go.
We've already taken an in-depth look at Huawei's new camera technology.
Huawei P9: 3,000mAh
Huawei P9 Plus: 3,400mAh
The Huawei P9 Plus contains a larger battery (claimed to last up to two days) and can charge in double-quick time thanks to support for rapid charging. Saying that, there's nothing disastrously wrong with the Huawei P9's stamina and we easily got a full day's use with a little left over.
Huawei P9: 32GB and 64GB, microSD support (up to 128GB)
Huawei P9 Plus: 64GB, microSD support (up to 128GB)
The P9 is available in two configurations: 32GB with 3GB RAM and 64GB with 4GB RAM. The P9 Plus skips the smaller size and has 64GB with 4GB RAM.
Huawei P9: From £449 SIM-free
Huawei P9 Plus: From £629 SIM-free
If you want the definite article the Huawei P9 Plus is the way to go, but there's a premium for the bigger screen, more storage and RAM, larger battery, speaker upgrade, Press Touch and improved selfie camera.
We awarded the P9 a very commendable four stars in our review, so there's still lots to recommend. µ