[Review] Huawei P9 Plus – Power Phablet with Pluses Aplenty

[Review] Huawei P9 Plus – Power Phablet with Pluses Aplenty

The larger sibling of the Huawei P9 that we reviewed earlier, the P9 Plus is the largest and priciest of Huawei’s triumvirate of flagship phones along with the P9 Lite and P9 for the local Malaysian market. At RM2,599, Huawei’s priciest, most powerful flagship is still cheaper than the Galaxy S7 that clocks in at RM2,699 and the Note 7 which retails for RM3,199.

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For your money, the P9 Plus brings quite a few offerings to the table. Rather than just acting as an upsized version of the P9, the P9 Plus notably sports a more vibrant and larger 5.5-inch Super Amoled screen over the P9’s 5.2-inch IPS NEO LCD display along with 3D Touch support, allowing users functionality and shortcuts with the display. Layered on top of that is larger storage – 64GB and more 4GB RAM over the P9’s 32GB storage and 3GB RAM. While a 4GB RAM/64GB storage version of the P9 exists, it’s not sold in Malaysia. That aside, the hardware for the P9 Plus is identical including the processor and rear camera.

Barring the display, the design is upscaled to accommodate the P9 Plus’ larger Amoled display. The front comes with the aforementioned Super Amoled touchscreen with a front-facing 8-MP selfie camera facing front and the Huawei logo monogrammed at the base. The bezels on the edges are exceptionally slim with a slight curve on the edges on account of the 2.5D Gorilla Glass used in its construction. The phone lacks the usual physical menu, home and back buttons at base of the touchscreen bezel and relies purely on the touchscreen to get about.

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The left side of the phone comes with a volume rocker and a knurled power button. Befitting Huawei’s flagship phone, the buttons are hewn of metal and feel suitably premium.

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The top of the phone comes with an IR blaster while the left side of the phone remains otherwise unadorned save for the hybrid SIM card tray that lets you cram in either two SIM cards or a single SIM card and a microSD card.

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The base of the phone sports the new USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm audio jack along with a speaker grille. Of note is that the P9 Plus is sealed with a pair of pentalobe screws, something that’s not exactly standard issue in the average toolkit to prevent casual tampering.

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The rear of the phone is exquisitely finished with a brushed metal finish that is lustrously smooth to the touch with rounded edges all around on account of the subtle chamfering on the backplate and the aforementioned 2.5D glass on the cover to make make it a smooth, wonderful thing to hold in one’s hands. A fingerprint reader lies in the upper third of the backplate while Huawei’s unique dual Leica camera setup along with a dual LED flash and Leica’s logo emblazoned in the upper right corner. Of note is that the entire camera array lies flush with the casing to preclude scratches. The overall finish befits a flagship phone with superb heft, exquisite tactility and a premium feel in every aspect of its design.

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The packaging is equally premium, with a cream white cardboard box containing the P9 Plus with it’s accessories coming in neat little boxes. The P9 Plus comes with an interesting assortment of extra kit including a pair of headphones, a three-pin UK-style charger, a USB Type-C charging cable and, interestingly, a transparent polycarbonate casing that snaps onto the back.

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While some competing brands add in a USB Type-C to microUSB adaptor, the Huawei P9 Plus lacks that convenience and offers only a single USB Type C cable along with the fast charger. If you’re like most users, you’ll likely have to chunk out for another spare cable and charger to keep in the office. The provision of a casing though is a very nice bonus that precludes you having to hunt for a third party one so you can use the P9 Plus straight out of the box.

Page 1 Introduction & Design
Page 2 Performance & Camera
Page 3 Battery Life & Conclusion

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