Review · Technology

Huawei P9 Review

A fortnight ago today, RiverSystem dropped my three year old iPhone 5C as he was getting out of the car and smashed the screen. This would have been a disaster of epic proportions if it wasn’t for the fact that A: We have phone insurance with the bank and B: My contract was up in February.

I was going to phone the bank and get them to replace the screen but I really didn’t fancy the £75 excess charge. Especially as we had just had to buy a new fridge freezer and the car has started leaking oil. But the screen was changing colour which is never a good sign!

So on Monday 28th of November, 2016 at about 4pm, I phoned EE who my contract is with and I reminded them that I have been a loyal customer for 4 years and have my iPad mini contract with them as does RiverSystem and we have our home phone and broadband contract with them so pretty please could they see their way to upgrading my phone for free as my old phone was virtually unusable. It actually worked!

I didn’t want to go for another iPhone because I’ve been finding apple products a bit annoying recently. I don’t see that they’re worth the cost. And I really think that iPhone have a redundancy in them that makes them start playing up when your contract is due to finish. I was using RiverSystem’s old iPhone because I was really unimpressed with the battery life of the Sony Experia M2 that came with my contract and it’s camera was awful! I need a good camera for product photography and blogging. The iPhone battery wasn’t much better and the memory isn’t expandable on Apple products so the 16GB memory just wasn’t enough! And have you seen how expensive the 32GB version of the latest iPhone is?

I had a few wishes for my new phone:

  • At least 32GB memory.
  • Expandable memory with a micro SD card slot.
  • A decent front and rear facing camera.
  • A large screen because my eyesight is getting worse.
  • A fairly large phone because I’m always losing it at the bottom of my bag.
  • Decent speakers for watching YouTube videos and listening to music at night.
  • A stylish design.
  • Not that expensive on a contract.

When RiverSystem upgraded his tablet contract in the EE store in the summer, he spoke to the sales assistant about my contract and the sales assistant recommended I looked at the Huawei phones. He said they were just as good as Apple and Samsung products and half the price. I was a bit sceptical of Huawei phones because I’d never heard of the make before so I thought that I’d do some research.

Before I called EE with my cheeky request, I had a look at Huawei phones online. I was really impressed with the P9 which comes with a 32GB internal memory and is expandable up to 128GB with it’s microSD card slot. It has two 12 megapixel rear facing and 8mp front facing Leica lens cameras with macro capabilities. And it looks really stylish too!

I told the customer support operator at EE that I was looking at that phone. He agreed that it’s an excellent phone. He offered me a deal that cost the same as my old one and 10gb more data allowance than my old contract. He also added another 5gb free allowance because we have our home phone and broadband contract with them. That means I now have 20gb allowances which is more than enough for sfreaming music and other downloads when I’m out and about.

The phone arrived on Wednesday 30th November, 2016 and I opened the box immediately! I wasn’t disappointed! It felt really nice in my hands and came with a special pin to take the SIM card out of my old phone and put in my new one.

The display is a full HD LCD touch screen which is really bright and clear. The camera (which I tried straight away) is amazing and takes really good pictures. There are two rear facing cameras. One for colour and one for black and white shots. You can also switch a beauty mode on for the selfie camera. You can easily change the shutter speed etc on the camera which is useful but I haven’t really tested this feature out yet.

Below are some of the pictures I’ve taken already. As you can see, I tested the camera in low light as well as normal conditions.

The phone’s speakers as excellent! I even have to turn the speaker down when listening to music at night! It also came with earbuds that are just the same quality as the apple earpods that come with the iPhone. Call quality is amazing on both speakerphone and normal mode. 

We used Google maps to get to The Tramshed in Cardiff last Sunday for the Etsy Made Local event. RiverSystem was driving and as he is partially deaf, he struggles to hear the instructions from the iPhone satnav. We didn’t have any problems with hearing them from the P9! I changed the settings to make the instructions as loud as possible for RiverSystem and he said he had no problems hearing it. Although I found it too loud for me which is understandable.

The charger is different from the usual android phone chargers. It doesn’t matter which way it plugs in much like the iPhone which is really helpful in the dark. The phone takes about an hour to charge from empty which is excellent! The battery life is 18 hours when being used and 522 in standby mode. What that means in practice is that I generally have to put it on charge at night but that’s not a big problem because I was charging my iPhone at least twice a day!

It has a 2.5Ghz quad core processor which makes it really fast! It can handle complex tasks really well! I asked RiverSystem for his opinion on the processor and he says it’s really good and if it was in a PC you could use it to play high end games. I’m not exactly that good at understanding computer things so I’ll take his word for it. In practice though, I haven’t found an app that the P9 can’t handle. The user interface is intuitive and I found it easy to customise it to my taste. The keyboard is really easy to use and if you hold down the keys on the top row, you can chose numbers as well as the usual options for lettering.

There are two bonus features which I love so much! When you lose your phone down the back of the sofa which I’m always doing, you say ‘Okay Emy, where are you?’ and it plays a tune and says ‘Here I am.’ until you find it and pick it up. Also I love that fact that you can tap the screen with your knuckles to get a screenshot. Though I haven’t got this feature go work yet.

My only criticism is that getting the new SIM and microSD card into the phone is a bit fiddly because of you don’t put it in properly then it falls through the gap but I worked it out in the end.

Also the phone isn’t waterproof but that’s not a big problem because I don’t generally use my phone in the bath and I can’t swim. You can also get waterproof cases for a reasonable price fairly easily.

In short, I love my new phone! It’s amazing! I’m really really happy with it! My iRig mic works well with it so expect a few on the go podcasts when I finally work out how to record myself as an mp4 file instead of Raw. I would wholeheartedly recommend it. If you’re looking for a new phone then definitely consider it. Don’t let the fact that it’s a new name on the market fool you. This is a really good robust phone for everyday use. I’m blogging on it now!

And a new phone means a new cover. I went with this one which I got from Amazon for just £5.29. I have to protect the screen from RiverSystem’s clumsiness after all! He has after all smashed his iPad mini 2 and his iPhone 6S screen! He’s upgraded his tablet to an Acer Switch which I’m using and he’s using my iPad mini 3 but he contacted our insurance company with the bank and they sent out a new phone and he sent his smashed phone to them.

NB: I didn’t get any incentive to write this review. I got this phone as a normal customer and all views are my own. I just thought I’d share my review with you.


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