Thursday, 23 June 2016 09:45

Huawei’s P9 coming 5 July – worth the wait Featured

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There were audible gasps of disbelief and delight when Huawei announced Australian pricing of its flagship Android P9 smartphone at its launch last night. After all flagship phones like the iPhone cost more than $1000, right?

The price for this magnificent piece of design is $799. It has a dual lens Leica camera and enough technology and smarts to possibly take the crown as the best value flagship smartphone in 2016. Although you will need to wait a few weeks for reviews to confirm whether that is the case and who knows what Apple has up its sleeve with the iPhone 7 later in September.

That is not to take away from [more expensive] flagships like Samsung’s Galaxy S7/Edge or LG’s amazing G5 – simply to reflect that in 2016 we have seen far more innovation in the Android sector than ever before, and Huawei is right up there.

Whether the aggressive pricing reflects Huawei’s superior design and in-house manufacturing capabilities or that it simply wants to shore up and improve on its global number three market share position is immaterial – the P9 offers a lot of premium bang for fewer dollars than any other flagship.

As I said earlier reviews have yet to be done – check back in a couple of weeks - so, my comments have that caveat.

Global research into smartphone use shows that the camera is one of, if not the most important, features in phones. The more you pay, the more you expect it to take brilliant shots and become a realistic DSLR (camera body and lens) substitute.

Huawei and Leica have collaborated on a closely coupled (work as one) dual lens camera – one captures the image in colour and one lens in black and white. When combined it brings out the details and highlights allegedly not possible with a single typical RGB (red, green, blue). It has two, 12MP, Sony IMX286 big pixel, sensors. Also having two lens means far more light capture and better low-light capabilities – 200% more sensitive than last year’s already capable P8.

From what I saw last night the images are excellent. The camera is also ‘bump-less’ – there is no surround or ring as on the iPhone. And the software seems to be spot on.

Added to that is the super slim 7mm profile; 5.2”, 423ppi, IPS HD display and the good screen-to-body ratio of 72.9%; 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and micro-SD slot (other options available); USB-C; Cat 6 LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and Wi-Fi AC dual band; fingerprint sensor; and a 3000mAh battery with rapid charge and its up there with the best. There is also a 5.5” PLUS version coming with an AMOLED screen!

Early international reviews put the camera just ahead of the acknowledged leader Samsung Galaxy S7 and way ahead of the iPhone 6S/Plus.

Regardless this phone will sell heaps, and initial sales figures of over 2.6M and pre-orders of 5M in China alone guarantee this a place in history.

The Huawei P9 (UK Site) will be available in Australia in Titanium Grey with 32 GB onboard storage through Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Virgin, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Leica Boutique and Digi Direct from 5 July 2016.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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