The world of tech and gadgetry is so fiercely competitive that companies would rather figure something out on their own before calling in an expert–a move that commonly yields subpar results. It’s almost like a master cook who knows how to make the best five-course dinner you’ve ever had but botches dessert because he was too proud to hire a pastry chef. Thankfully, smartphone company Huawei isn’t so vain. To achieve only the best in picture-taking technology, Huawei gave a call to seasoned global brand Leica Camera AG for their latest endeavour. The result is a simply brilliant new gadget that’s promising to reinvent smartphone photography: the Huawei P9.
We were lucky enough to land ourselves a P9 and we’re happy to say it lives up to the hype. For starters, the design is absolutely sleek. One of the first things we noticed was that there was no camera bump in the phone, giving it the kind of polished feel that conjures images of the smooth monolith from 2001. Add to that an exceptional level of slimness and this minimalist masterpiece is the kind of gadget you pull out of your pocket just to gaze over. To achieve industrial-strength durability, the P9 utilizes premium 2.5D glass and aluminium literally fit for a rocket ship (aka aerospace class). The edges are diamond cut and beautifully curved. Simply put, the device is an effortlessly thin and sturdy continuation of the brand’s ongoing love affair with top-shelf design.
But the real star of the show is the P9 camera technology. Huawei is all too aware that we use our smartphones to take pictures far more than we do make calls or even send texts, and so the company co-engineered the phone with German optics brand Leica. Leica has been innovating camera technology for over 100 years with a global reputation and tons of success to show for it. What Leica brought to the table for this particular project was their expertise and high standards of precision in the optical lens and image capturing departments. Pair Leica’s intense knowledge of camera technology with Huawei’s kung-fu grip on design and smartphone mechanics and you end up with a full-throttle approach to virtually every aspect of the device’s hardware and software, resulting in arguably unparalleled levels of image processing and capturing.
We can attest the camera technology on the P9 is essentially flawless. The camera’s abilities to capture natural colour and even the smallest detail is magnificent. It turns out the P9 actually uses two rear cameras in order to capture as much detail as possible, making the smartphone ideal for more or less any lighting condition. The speed of image capture of P9 is also breathlessly swift. The smartphone uses Huawei’s own focus technology for accuracy, and instantly chooses between three methods of focus–laser, depth calculation and contrast–to achieve the best turn out for any given picture.
For those who like to inject a little personality into their visuals, the P9 offers three modes of colour (standard, vivid, smooth) as well as a monochrome mode for some old school, high quality black and white. There’s also a wide-aperture feature for those who like to get a little experimental with their depth of field without blurring the main objects in the photo.
Naturally, there must be more to a smartphone than its ability to take great pictures, and you’ll find no complaints from us regarding the P9’s overall performance. Huawei is no slouch when it comes to telecommunications and the P9 ably carries the torch using virtual-triple-antenna engineering for reliable connectivity. A Kirin 955 2.5 GHz 64-bit ARM-based processor and Android 6.0 operating system fuel the data emerging on the P9’s smooth 5.2 inch 1080 display. The battery life is long lasting and all your information is secure thanks to Huawei’s biometric fingerprint recognition technology.
Of course with the P9 most roads of discussion point back to the amazing camera features. According to Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Leica Camera AG, the P9 hints at what might be an evolving relationship. “Leica and Huawei share an uncompromising commitment to imaging excellence,” says Kaltner, “and our partnership will put outstanding photography into the hands of more consumers around the world. We are deepening our collaboration to give users a more optimal photography experience.”
Sounds promising to us.
For more of the latest smartphone reviews stay subscribed to Man of Many.