Huawei P9 and P9 Plus look to build on company’s recent success in Europe and take on established flagships from Apple and Samsung
Huawei hopes the imaging capabilities of its two new flagship smartphones, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus, can help it carve out an even greater share of the global smartphone market having shipped 100 million devices worldwide last year.
Unveiled at an event in London today, the all-metal Huawei P9 boasts a powerful dual-lens camera, co-engineered with photography specialists Leica, along with an all-day battery life. As the name suggests, the P9 Plus is an upgraded model with more power and a larger screen.
The P9 has a 5.2 inch display capable of 423 pixels per inch (ppi) – more than flagship devices from other manufacturers, including the Apple’s iPhone 6S.
Huawei seems to view Apple’s device as a benchmark and was keen to point out a number of differences between the 6S and P9, which it claims is slimmer and has no visible camera ‘bump’ across its unibody build.
The P9 also has a 1.7mm bezel that is smaller than both Apple’s iPhone 6S and Samsung’s Galaxy S7, bringing the concept of an edge-to-edge display ever closer.
On the back of the P9 is a “3D scanning” fingerprint sensor that promises to offer speedier and more secure access than any other device just below the dual-lens Leica camera. This has two 12 megapixel lenses, including one that only looks for monochrome input for richer images and also has the fastest laser-focusing system yet. There’s also an impressive 8 megapixel front camera that is able to take detailed selfies even in low light.
The P9 also features a bigger battery than its competitors, packing a 3000mAh battery that should provide one and a half days of what it calls “heavy usage”, with charging carried out by the device’s USB-C port.
Also inside is Huawei’s new octa-core Kirin 955 2.5GHz 64-bit ARM-based processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD, putting the P9 easily among the most powerful devices on the market today.
As for software, there’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow, topped with Huawei’s own EMUI skin, and the device will feature a “Press Touch” function that will allow for more interaction with a number of apps, just by pressing more on the screen.
As for the P9 Plus, it comes with a 5.5in screen and 401ppi, but also feature some more powerful hardware – packing in 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3,400mAh battery, all within a body that is just 6.98mm thick.
Available in six and four seperate finishes respectively, the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus will be available from next month, with O2, Three, EE, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse already confirmed, costing from £449 for the 32GB, whilst the P9 Plus will retail from £549 for 64GB.
Huawei hopes the devices will result in more success in the European market. The Shenzhen-based firm has been traditionally strong in its homeland, but has struggled to gain traction abroad until recent times.
However strong demand for its medium to high end smartphones and increased brand recognition in Europe helped consumer group revenues rise 73 percent to $19.9 billion (£14bn) during 2015, contributing to overall annual revenues of $60.8 billion (£43bn).
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