This spring, Huawei introduced an updated line of its image models: P9, improved P9 Plus, and also simplified P9 lite. We have already reviewed the central model of the P9 line in the corresponding review, now it’s the turn of its lightweight modification. Naturally, there is no longer a Leica dual camera, no metal case, the processor is installed less efficient, and so on. But this is when compared with the current flagship.
However, do not forget that the P9 lite has the most direct relation not even to it, but to its own ancestor. released P8 lite exactly a year ago. With him we will compare the hero of today’s review. And with this comparison, the opposite is true: the new product has a much better screen, the processor is more powerful, and the battery is larger. In general, the P9 lite is more similar in characteristics to the “full-fledged” P8, that is, the lite version today is the flagship by last year’s standards.
P8 lite, by the way, was the first modification of the flagship invested in it; before it, the Huawei P series included only “numbered” models in one version without lightweight or improved versions. So today we have the opportunity to find out whether the new fashion has taken root at Huawei and whether the new product is really worthy of its popular predecessors.
Key Features of Huawei P9 lite (VNS-L21 Model)
- SoC HiSilicon Kirin 650, 8 cores ARM Cortex-A53, 4 × 2.0 GHz and 4 × 1.7 GHz
- GPU Mali T830 MP2
- Operating System Android 6.0, EMUI 4.1
- IPS 5.2 ″ touch screen display, 1920 × 1080, 423 ppi
- Random access memory (RAM) 2 GB, internal memory 16 GB
- SIM cards: Nano-SIM (2 pcs.)
- MicroSD memory card support up to 128 GB
- GSM networks 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- WCDMA networks 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
- Network LTE Cat.6 FDD Band 1/3/7/8/20
- Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n (2.4 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct
- Bluetooth 4.1, NFC
- USB 2.0
- GPS / A-GPS, Glonass, BDS
- Direction, proximity, lighting sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetic compass, step counter, fingerprint scanner
- Cameras 13 MP, f / 2.0, autofocus, LED-flash
- Camera 8 MP, front, f / 2.0, fixed. focus
- 3000 mAh battery
- Dimensions 147 × 73 × 7.5 mm
- Weight 145 g
Appearance and usability
The novelty, like its predecessor, received a plastic case, which significantly distinguishes it from the current top version, since the P9 smartphone is dressed in an all-metal case without plastic. Here, metal is also present, but only in the form of a rim running along the entire lateral perimeter of the P9 lite case.
The design of the new product practically does not differ from its predecessor, and from other devices of the P series, since their appearance is almost the same. However, one can notice that the P9 lite received a glossy translucent insert on the back cover of a strange appearance, which looks completely out of place here and looks worse than the matte insert that was in the same place with the P8 lite.
Curiously, being only a few millimeters wider, longer and thicker, the P9 lite is felt in the hand to be larger and heavier than the metal P9. This is not to say that the smartphone is comfortable for controlling with one hand, it is quite large for this, even despite the small thickness. Matte surfaces do not allow it to slip out of the fingers and do not collect fingerprints. There are no complaints about the assembly, the device feels like a monolithic bar.
The front panel does not have a convex 2.5D glass, it is here as flat as the P8 lite. But compared with last year’s model, the screen received twice as much resolution: it already has full Full HD, although the physical size has slightly increased (from 5 to 5.2 inches).
The usual number of elements is located on the front panel, among them there is an LED indicator of events. The front camera did not receive its own flash, then it was replaced by a screen backlight. There are no touch buttons at the bottom of the device, all buttons are transferred to the screen. Their order and set can be independently set in the settings.
None of the elements on the back of the case protrude beyond its borders, so the smartphone can be comfortably used even when it is on the table. There is a camera with a flash, as well as a pad of a fingerprint sensor. The new fingerprint scanner is implemented with support for ARM TrustZone technology, which increases the speed and accuracy of unlocking a smartphone with one touch.
The sensor platform standardly recognizes the fingerprints of the owner, but in addition, even without authorization, it can be used as a small touchpad. With it, you can scroll through the pages, flip through photos in the gallery, turn off alarms, answer phone calls, and everything else in the same vein. Such functionality is now often found in smartphones equipped with a fingerprint scanner, and we have already seen it in Huawei smartphones.
On the side faces, mechanical keys and a card slot were habitually placed. There were no special changes with the buttons, except that the power button changed its strange and plain appearance to a more elongated one. Now all the buttons look nice and uniform. The keys are large and, familiar to Huawei smartphones, have a fairly soft stroke.
As for the card slot, there are more changes. The P8 lite had two such slots, but there is only one slot embedded in it, and, unfortunately, it is again hybrid. That is, you can install either two SIM cards or a memory card instead of one of them. Users have reached the point where they grind and glue cards between themselves so that the smartphone can accept two SIM-cards and a memory card at the same time, and since they go to such torment, it means that they really need it. Then why do manufacturers not listen to them and continue to launch their new devices with such “hybrid” connectors? The question remains unanswered.
Interface connectors are located at the ends, where they should be. However, if the older model P9 had an audio output at the bottom end, next to the Micro-USB connector and speaker output, then here, like the Huawei P8 lite, the headphone mini-jack hole is output to the upper end and is adjacent only to the hole of the second, auxiliary microphone.
The Micro-USB connector here is standard, not type C, like the older P9; it is located in the center of the lower end. It is habitually framed by two lattices, and just as habitually, one of them serves only for props, since there is no dynamics behind it.
There are no plugs on the connectors; strap attachments, too. The device did not receive protection against moisture and dust. As for the colors of the case, on the presentation photos there are devices of three colors, but at the time of the announcement of the article in the official Russian retail there are white, black, golden and silver options.
The smartphone is equipped with an IPS touch screen, its physical dimensions are 65 × 115 mm, the diagonal is 5.2 inches. The screen resolution is 1920 × 1080, the density of dots is 423 ppi. The frame around the screen is not very wide: about 3.5 mm on the sides and 15 mm on the top and bottom. On the large panel of the smartphone, the frame does not look rough, the screen as a whole fits in organically, although they did not try to achieve a “frameless” effect, like in P9. The manufacturer gives exact numbers: the Huawei P9 lite screen occupies 76.4% of the front panel surface.
The brightness of the display is automatically adjusted based on the light sensor. There is also a proximity sensor that locks the screen when you bring the smartphone to your ear. Multi-touch technology allows you to handle 10 simultaneous touches. You cannot activate the screen by tapping twice on the glass, however, the screen is activated when you touch the fingerprint scanner area. In the display settings, you can enable glove support.
A detailed examination using measuring instruments was carried out by the editor of the Monitors and Projectors and TV sections Aleksey Kudryavtsev. We give his expert opinion on the screen of the test sample.
The front surface of the screen is made in the form of a glass plate with a mirror-smooth surface that is resistant to scratches. Judging by the reflection of objects, the anti-glare properties of the screen are better than those of the Google Nexus 7 (2013) screen (hereinafter simply Nexus 7). For clarity, we present a photo on which a white surface is reflected in the turned off screens (on the left. Nexus 7, on the right. Huawei P9 lite, then they can be distinguished by size):
The screen on the Huawei P9 lite is darker (brightness in photos 103 versus 111 for Nexus 7). The doubling of reflected objects in the Huawei P9 lite screen is very weak, this indicates that there is no air gap between the layers of the screen (more specifically, between the outer glass and the surface of the LCD matrix) (OGS. One Glass Solution type screen). Due to the smaller number of boundaries (such as glass / air) with very different refractive indices, such screens look better under conditions of strong external illumination, but repairing them in the case of a cracked external glass is much more expensive, since the entire screen has to be changed. On the outer surface of the screen there is a special oleophobic (grease-repellent) coating (even better in efficiency than Nexus 7), so fingerprints are removed much more easily and appear at a lower speed than with ordinary glass.
With manual brightness control and when displaying a white field in full screen, the maximum brightness value was about 520 cd / m², the minimum. 11 cd / m². The maximum brightness is very high, which means that, given the excellent anti-glare properties, readability even on a sunny day outdoors should be at a good level. In complete darkness, the brightness can be lowered to a comfortable value. In the presence of automatic brightness control by light sensor (it is located to the left of the front speaker slot). In automatic mode, when the external lighting conditions change, the screen brightness both increases and decreases. The operation of this function depends on the position of the brightness adjustment, by it the user can try to set the desired brightness level in the current conditions. If the brightness slider is brought to the maximum in office conditions, then in complete darkness the auto brightness function reduces the brightness to 16 cd / m² (normal), in an office lit by artificial light (approximately 400 lux) it sets to 520 cd / m² (excessively bright), very bright environment (corresponds to illumination on a clear day outdoors, but without direct sunlight. 20,000 lux or a little more) increases to 520 cd / m² (to the maximum, which is necessary). If everything is also in the office environment, the brightness slider is half the scale, then the screen brightness for the three conditions above is as follows: 16, 180 and 520 cd / m² (suitable values). If the brightness control is set to a minimum of 11, 11, 520 cd / m² (the second value is too low). It turns out that the auto-brightness function works adequately and to some extent allows the user to customize their work to individual requirements. At any brightness level, the backlight modulation is practically absent, so there is no screen flicker.
This smartphone uses an IPS type matrix. Microphotographs show a typical IPS subpixel structure:
For comparison, you can see the gallery of microphotographs of screens used in mobile technology.
The screen has good viewing angles without significant color shift even with large deviations of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen and without inverting colors. For comparison, we present photographs in which the same images are displayed on the Huawei P9 lite and Nexus 7 screens, while the brightness of the screens was initially set to about 200 cd / m², and the color balance on the camera was forcibly switched to 6500 K. A white field is perpendicular to the screens:
We note a good uniformity of brightness and color tone of the white field. And the test picture:
The colors on the Huawei P9 lite screen are clearly oversaturated and the color balance of the screens varies. Now at an angle of about 45 degrees to the plane and to the side of the screen:
It can be seen that the colors did not change much on both screens, but the contrast decreased in Huawei P9 lite to a greater extent due to the strong brightening of black. And the white field:
The brightness at an angle of the screens decreased (at least 4 times, based on the difference in shutter speed), but the Huawei P9 lite still has a lighter screen (brightness in photos is 237 versus 222 in Nexus 7). The black field with a diagonal deviation is highlighted strongly and acquires a reddish tint. The photos below demonstrate this (the brightness of the white areas in the direction perpendicular to the plane of the screens is the same!):
And from a different angle:
With a perpendicular look, the uniformity of the black field is good, although not ideal:
Contrast (approximately in the center of the screen) is high. about 1200: 1. The response time for the black-white-black transition is 24 ms (13 ms on. 11 ms off). The transition between gray tones of 25% and 75% (according to the numerical value of the color) and vice versa in total takes 45 ms. Constructed at 32 points with an equal interval in the numerical value of the shade of gray, the gamma curve did not reveal a blockage in either highlights or shadows. The exponent of the approximating power function is 2.36, which is slightly higher than the standard value of 2.2. In this case, the real gamma curve almost does not deviate from the power law:
This unit has some kind of dynamic adjustment of the brightness of the backlight in accordance with the nature of the displayed image. As a result, the obtained dependence of the brightness on the hue (gamma curve) may not correspond to the gamma curve of a static image, since the measurements were carried out with sequential output of shades of gray to almost the entire screen. For this reason, a series of tests — determining contrast and response time, comparing black flare at angles — we performed (however, as always) when displaying special patterns with unchanged average brightness, rather than plain colors in the entire screen. It should be noted that in this case, the brightness correction is poorly expressed and has a not entirely obvious dependence on the image, but it would be better if it were not at all.
The color gamut is noticeably wider than sRGB:
We look at the spectra:
We have already seen this in the case of, for example, Sony Xperia Z2, a variant of Huawei P9 without lite and other mobile devices. Sony indicates that these screens use LEDs with a blue emitter and a green and red phosphor (usually a blue emitter and a yellow phosphor), which, in combination with special matrix filters, allows for a wide color gamut. Yes, and in the red phosphor, apparently, the so-called quantum dots are used. For a consumer device, wide color gamut is not an advantage, but a significant drawback, because in the end, the colors of images. drawings, photographs and films. oriented to the sRGB space (and the vast majority of them) have unnatural saturation. This is especially noticeable on recognizable shades, such as skin tones. The result is shown in the photo above.
The balance of shades on the gray scale is average, since the color temperature is higher than the standard 6500 K, but the deviation from the spectrum of the black body (ΔE) is below 10, which is considered an acceptable indicator for a consumer device. At the same time, at least ΔE varies little from shade to shade. this has a positive effect on the visual assessment of color balance. (The darkest areas of the gray scale can be ignored, since there the color balance does not matter much, and the error in measuring color characteristics at low brightness is large.)
This device has the ability to adjust the color balance by adjusting the hue on the color wheel.
In the graphs above the curves No correspondent. correspond to the results without any correction of color balance, and the curves Corr.. data obtained after shifting the point to the position indicated in the picture above. It can be seen that the change in balance corresponds to the expected result, since the color temperature approached the standard value and ΔE decreased. There is a benefit from such correction, besides, the brightness decreased by less than 10%. Note that this function is implemented in the variant rather for a tick, since there is no numerical reflection of the correction and there is no field for measuring color balance.
To summarize: the screen has a very high maximum brightness and has good anti-glare properties, so the device can be used outdoors without problems even on a summer sunny day. In complete darkness, the brightness can be lowered to a comfortable level. It is acceptable to use the mode with automatic brightness adjustment, which works adequately. Also, the advantages of the screen include the presence of an effective oleophobic coating, the absence of an air gap in the layers of the screen and flicker, high contrast, good black field uniformity. The disadvantages are the low black stability to deviation of the gaze from the perpendicular to the screen plane, an excessively wide color gamut and average (without correction) color balance. Nevertheless, taking into account the importance of characteristics for this particular class of devices, the screen quality can be considered high, although it is worth preparing for strange and not quite natural shades in films and photographs.
Sounds Huawei P9 lite, surprisingly, no worse than the older model P9. The simplified version of Huawei turned out to be well equipped in terms of sound system, this compares favorably with the same simplified Sony Xperia XA, for example, and many other modern smartphones of the middle and even higher category. Huawei P9 lite is equipped with HiSilicon Hi6402, 9 V Smart PA audio processor and powerful built-in speaker. The sound of the P9 lite is really very good, this is one of the undoubted advantages of the new product. And during the work of the main speaker, and in the headphones, the whole spectrum of frequencies that are low in abundance is perfectly traced, while the sound is not dull, but bright and saturated. At the maximum volume level, the backgrounds do not merge, individual instruments remain discernible, the volume margin is enough for any environment. The vibrating alert is average in power, or even slightly below average.
To play tunes, you use your own player, and, as usual, there are no additional manual settings in it. you can only turn on or turn off the Super Wide Sound 2.0 (SWS) virtual system, but only when working with connected headphones.
There are no complaints about the conversational dynamics and microphone, although everything is pretty standard here: the intonations and timbre of a familiar voice remain recognizable, almost no extraneous noise is noticed. Microphones are not to say that they are too sensitive, for recording on a voice recorder it is necessary to bring the device closer to the sound source. The sound itself is recorded cleanly and remains legible during playback, the noise reduction system copes with its tasks adequately. It is curious that here, unlike the older model, they did not forget to install the FM radio program.