Huawei P9 Hands On – Change the way you see the world #OO

Huawei P9 – Reinvent Smartphone Photography #OO

Pricing & Design

Huawei P9 is the latest flagship phone introduced early this year, along with P9 Lite & P9 Plus. Huawei is commonly known to be introducing flagship-standard phone at a much affordable price. P9 is no exception with its retail price of $768 during their first launch. It is one of the most affordable flagship when you consider the fact that it is the easiest entry to get yourself into the Leica bandwagon.

At 6.95mm, Huawei P9 is the slimmest flagship phone introduced this year so far. Consider it an achievement as Huawei managed to squeeze in a 3000mAh battery and managed to avoid the dreaded camera bump at the back of the phone.

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On the back of the P9, an additional fingerprint sensor was added, a great improvement from last year omission from Huawei P8 where fingerprint sensor are becoming mainstream on flagship devices.

5.2 inches display are vibrant and sharp despite only having the resolution of Full HD 1920×1080. At screen PPI of 423 pixels/inch, it is almost impossible to distinguish each pixel from a usual viewing length and angle.

Performance
Huawei is one of the only few companies that produce their own chipset for their devices, P9 is using brand new octa-core Kirin 955 CPU, an slight upgrade from previous Huawei Mate 8.

Daily usage proven to be smooth & responsive despite the fact that benchmarking are considerably lower than other flagship running on Snapdragon processor.

Huawei’s own power manager are able to identify the power-hunger application and shut it off when needed, along with Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s Doze function. Users of Huawei P9 are able to get a decent amount of screen on time without reaching for the charger in the midday. Huawei P9 will be available with 32GB/3GB RAM & 64GB/4GB RAM version. With the help of Huawei’s Power Manager, I did not experience any occasion where application are forced close due to lack of memory. I am able to run multiple app at once without any lag.

Leica-certified Camera

Duo camera phone has been here for years, from 3D camera to purely creating bokeh effect, no one seems to have an idea what to do with the second rear camera. Unlike others phones where the second rear camera are often an assistance to create effects, Huawei P9’s second camera can actually work on its own. The co-development with Leica results in one of the most interesting duo camera set up so far – a pure monochrome camera.

Leica users should be familiar with their monochrome camera series that only shoot in B&W. Huawei P9 works exactly like that without a color filter array on the sensor, hence the sensor is able to take in as much lights as possible.

With the duo camera setup, P9 is said to be able to capture 270% more light than typical smartphone these days despite the fact that the F stop is at F2.2 for both 12 megapixels sensor.

Focusing is assisted by laser focus to provide fast focusing. Duo-LED flashlight are also here for your night shooting need, though I would not recommend using any flashlight for shooting on phone but the overall quality remains acceptable.

Monochrome camera

Only one word to describe the monochrome camera performance – Stunning. Details are kept to their best – as opposed to taking a color photo and covert it to B&W. Check out the monochrome photo sample below!

RGB camera

The usual camera benefits from the help of monochrome camera & laser focusing. Color turns out to be accurate and night time shot does not suffer from shutter lag.

Wide Aperture Mode

Huawei P9 make use of the duo camera set up to produce a realistic bokeh – RGB camera taking the usual shot while monochrome calculate the focal distance. With P9’s top tier processor & camera application, you are able to view the bokeh effect live while shooting photos without any lag. Noted that the effect can be best achieve within 2 meter distance.
 

Pro & Other Modes

The overall UI are different from usual Huawei phone we’ve seen so far. With the collaboration with Leica, the camera UI has been revamped with the standard Leica interfaces.

 

While the amount of different mode seems to be overkill, there are a good reason to it.

Pro mode is available for both RGB & monochrome camera. Photographers will appreciate the whole range of customizable setting similar to a standard DSLR.

Swiping left & right on the camera app will brings you to various mode (HDR,Night mode & time-lapse, to name a few)

I particularly love the light-painting mode. In light-painting mode, there are four different choices given – Trail lights, Light graffiti, Silky water & Star track. What sets P9 light-painting mode apart from pro mode is that P9 took the photo in right exposure first, and you are freely to add in any lighting effect for almost an unlimited time period without risking the photo being over-exposed.


(Trail lights)


(Light graffiti)


(Silky Water)

Conclusion

With the expectation of camera innovation raised so high this year. Huawei P9 has proven to be a worthy contender for this camera race for 2016. Along with the affordable price, slim design & Leica-certified camera, it is hard not to recommend Huawei P9 to everyone this year.

Bonus

Do you know that Huawei is the first to introducing a warranty scheme that last more than one year?

You are able to get up to two year of prestige warranty for your Huawei P9, along with one year of free screen protect (changing of screen within one year due to screen crack). Huawei also provided a Google app called HiCare (installed on P9) that can provide you with more tips & contacting services to ensure you that Huawei is always there for you when you required assistance.

Review : LG G5 – Time for fun #LetsPlaySG

Last year LG created one of the best flagship with the lG G4.

But with lower-than-competitors specs, LG G4 did not gained much attention in term of design & power. This year LG seeks to be able to hold themselves against competitors such as HTC & Samsung. The difference is this time round, G5 added a little trick to its phone – the Modular design. Without further ado, let us find out what has LG done this year.

There have been concerns over the years that despite its premium positioning, LG G series has never truly felt like a flagship for the first few generations (we are looking at you too, Samsung). It was only until last year where leather back cover was introduced for G4 to showcase the premium look. This year, LG raised their own game by giving G5 a full metal cover, putting them on par with the rest of the flagship phone in this year market.

It’s understandable why LG G5 move the volume buttons to the side, with so much features squeezed (We will touch on that in the latter part of the review) at the back of the phone, it may look overwhelming to keep a clean design.
Rejoice! LG has finally added a fingerprint sensor on the power button, which is a slight disappointment on last year LG G4 when competitors ha been utilizing it 2 years ago. The fingerprint sensor is able to read & unlock phone almost instantly. To avoid accidental unlocking when you are trying to check notification or read the time, .do stick to the double tap feature since LG G2.

20160521_165424_Burst01You would be happy to know that Fast-charger is bundled with the retail unit this time round. LG G5 support up to QC 3.0 so you can quickly top up some battery juice before heading out.

An interesting thing to note is that rather than staying on the same 5.5″ 2K display, LG has reduced G5 screen size to 5.3″- a minor change but still the largest in current market (for comparison Samsung S7 is 5.1″, HTC 10 is 5.2″, Sony Xperia X is 5″ respectively). The resolution is still being kept at a high 1440 x 2560 pixels, so you enjoy even a sharper image on the phone

LG Friends – Modular design

LG Friends

What is better than changing entire phone for just one component upgrade? LG has the answer for you which is the LG Friends. Basically utilized the bottom part of the phone as different modules to upgrade/add certain features. Now you do not have to look for another phone just for an upgrade on audio/camera experience anymore.

LG Cam Plus

LG Cam Plus is a camera add-on which provide physical button such as zoom & shutter button to give you a real camera experience. Interesting to note that despite the additional thickness for a better grip, LG Cam Plus has a 1,200mAh embedded battery to ensure that you don’t run out of juice during entire day of photography.

 

LG 360 Cam LG 360 Cam is a dual lens handheld camera capable of taking 360 full view to produce a full surrounding photo similar to Google Map Street-view, best thing of all that it is not limited to LG G5. Anyone using Android (or even iOS) can easily download the 360 CAM companion app from their respective app store and start shooting right away.

LG 360 VR

LG also joined the VR game with their LG 360 VR, unlike competitor like Samsung which required you to use the screen of the phone directly, LG 360 VR has its own screen so it won’t be as heavy as Samsung VR. Do note that it still required you to connect to your phone using USB cable for it to work.

LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play


Additionally, there’s a interesting collaboration with Bang & Olufsen called LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O Play. It’s a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC and Amp to enhance your music experience. Personally I do not own a high quality headset or speaker thus it is tough for me to comment on it. You may wish to know that Hi-Fi Plus can be use as standalone device (connect the USB C cable to any other phone/computer) and you can enjoy high quality audio as a portable DAC.

Camera

Fast laser focus? Check!
Fast lens (F1.8)? Check!
Manual mode? Check!
RAW file? Check!

Sounds familiar? Because G5 has basically kept the same camera set up from G4, like what we usually said “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. What else can G5 do to standout without touching the outstanding camera from G4? Adding another camera!

Additional wide-angle (135 degrees wide) is added at the rear together making it a dual rear camera setup. Just a warning, you can easily get your finger caught in the camera shot despite just holding the G5 like you always do. Just how wide the camera is? The answer – really wide!

Original camera
16 megapixels camera with normal view
20160521_155347
8 Megapixel Wide-Angle camera

Despite having a larger aperture (F/2.4 vs F/1.8) and lower megapixels count (8 Megapixels vs 16 Megapixels), you still can make use of the manual control to take stunning photo like the one below. There is almost no need to take a panorama picture as the wide-angle camera is capable to capture more at once.

20160429_193349
Taken with wide-angle camera

G5 also kept its 8 megapixels front camera from G4. The results? Colours are accurate from bright outdoors lighting to dim areas. You can rest assured that your selfies (and wefies) are going to turn out well.

Conclusion 

Overall, LG G5 has been the most interesting phone that I’ve used in a long time. While the competitors are promoting the internal capabilities of the phone (better processors, larger RAM, bigger pixels count). LG G5 changeable modular design adds a refreshing touch to the flagship market by providing something different physically.

Photo Samples