Marko Idžan

Using Huawei P9 Lite for a year

Or as I would write this alternative title: Long term review of Huawei P9 Lite with 3GB of RAM.

So, here it is. A review of my daily smartphone after almost one year of using it. In that year I had used other phones trough work devices like Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and even Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Also I got it to service center once (more on that later) and got new one (again more later). Today is right one year and one month of using phone so it is perfect timing for a long term review.

To start I have to write some specs, but I actually don’t need because of fantastic web site named where you can find specifications of this phone. But for some important notes I had to say that my device is Dual SIM version with 3GB of RAM, better known with Model number VNS-L31.

Here it is in daily usage – it is snappy as it can be. EMUI 5.0.1 on based Android 7.0 Nougat is good with this hardware. I didn’t got any major hiccups or problems in this year of using this phone. OK, I had some minor hiccups and random reboots from time to time, mostly when I don’t reboot phone for more then a month or after updates. Yes, this phone still receives updates most of updates are Security Patches by Google for Android. Latest update got us May 1st 2018 Security Patch with some Huawei specific updates to their software.

Now, let’s get to some important stuff – how battery survived a year. For my usage I can say superb. It can still get 2 days of moderate usage with about 4 hours of Screen on Time (SoT) with all important stuff turned on like WiFi, Mobile Data, GPS and lately Bluetooth. Bluetooth connection is used for connecting my lovely smartwatch and Wireless Headphones (Started switching more and more to them for music listening while running). If I don’t use any connection what so ever (which happens from time to time) it can survive up to 4 days. Keep in mind that happens rarely but I can tell that battery can survive weekend without charging it.

To the screen, and well, what to say about it. It is OK, not super bright and not so dim as I would like it (looking at you Samsung Galaxy Note 8 just in front of me).

Camera, oh boy camera is beautiful. Even tough it doesn’t have all bells and whistles of larger and hardware better Huawei P9 like Leica branded Camera lenses it can make pretty much good shots. With solidly implemented HDR and Professional (Manual) Mode it can make some good looking scenes even better. For instance, here is shot made without Manual Mode tweaks:

Open image on Flickr

And here it is with Manual Mode:

Open image on Flickr

As you all might see in distance, sky is blue which is better shown in image below with Manual Mode. Also clouds aren’t so grey they are as shown in second image. This can happen when you actually have time to make tweaks. For quick shots this phone is good.

For videos I can say that 1080p with EIS is great, even for night based shots with only one lamp turned on as you can see in next video, which can be viewed on YouTube.

Physical hardware of device can survive drops and falls from few heights. It have some minor scratches and some screen issues (like dead pixels, but actually it happened while phone got dropped to floor with Tempered Glass Screen protector from height of about 1.5 meters. Touch is working fine, but screen now have some bleed under display).

Now to some bad things that can happen so device get to Service Center. First problem was with some update in early Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Android 7.0 Nougat days. After update phone got to service center because of boot loop which I couldn’t fix. Another time when phone got to service center, well then I made problem. Actually I hard bricked device with testing unlocking boot loader and installing latest update. With that problem I got one good guy in Service Center which fixed phone to me with “refurbishing” it (he actually got me new phone with Warranty help, I’m still thanking him for getting me a new device).

Overall, device is great mid range based device with almost latest Android OS. If I was better thinking almost year ago I would go to Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017), but still after Doogee phone it was improvement. For my next phone I think keeping up with Huawei, but after some not so good news for Developers Community I think that my next phone is some Samsung device or maybe Nokia phone, but until then I can wait.

Photos and videos in this review are my property.

Updated as of March 19th 2023 as test YouTube videos are removed from my now old YouTube channel and will be uploaded later on new channel.

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About this post
Posted on: 27. May 2018
Last edited on: 19. March 2023
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