Huawei P9 Lite Smartphone review

by Adeel Younas
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The Huawei P9 lite boasts the same design as its pricier sibling, but only the frame is metal, this time, around, the back is smooth polycarbonate. And yes, the 12.3MP Leica dual camera is gone, replaced by a more casual 13MP shooter. There are some more technical differences which we’ll cover later, but if neither camera can record 2160p video, is this a massive downgrade or something you can live with? Here is Huawei P9 Lite Smartphone review

It is a budget phone and comes at affordable price.

Table of Contents


Huawei P9 lite key features

  • Aluminum frame
  • 5.2″ 1080p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 423ppi
  • HiSilicon Kirin 650 chipset: octa-core CPU (4xCortex-A53 @ 2.0GHz + 4xCortex-A53 @ 1.7Hz), Mali-T830 MP2 GPU
  • 2GB or 3GB of RAM; 16GB of built-in storage
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Huawei EMUI v4.1 overlay;
  • 13MP camera, f/2.0 aperture, 1/3″ sensor (Sony IMX 214, 1.12µm pixels), manual controls; [email protected] video recording
  • 8MP front camera, f/2.0 aperture; 1080p video recording
  • Hybrid DualSIM/microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • Cat. 6 LTE (300/50Mbps); dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Wi-Fi Direct; Bluetooth 4.1 LE; NFC; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou; microUSB 2.0
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Loudspeaker with dedicated amp
  • 3,000mAh Li-Ion battery

Main disadvantages

  • Non-removable battery; no fast charging either
  • Only 16GB storage (half of it reserved); you lose SIM2 if you use a microSD card
  • No scratch-resistant glass

You may not notice the difference between P9 and P9 Lite specifications. Chipset still has 8 CPU cores but now it is A53, GPU has half core compared to Huawei P9. There is no option for 4GB RAM Huawei P9 Lite start with 2GB RAM and it could be extended to 3GB version. The camera is also downgraded and some connectivity has been dropped like USB Type-C and 5Ghz Wi-Fi and there is no fast charging for 3,000mAh battery.Still, battery capacity is unchanged and the FullHD screen seems the same. The 8MP selfie camera actually sounds better as it has a brighter aperture.

The good thing is battery capacity and the FullHD screen remains same and 8MP selfie camera sounds better and has good image quality.


The Huawei P9 lite has a 5.2″ LCD screen of 1080p resolution. Neo or not, the P9 Lite screen keeps colors and contrast on the money even at extreme viewing angles. The image quality, in general, is quite impressive.

The screen is just as bright and contrast is just as high as on the flagship P9, black levels are quite similar too.


The Huawei P9 lite has dual SIM using a hybrid slot means you loose the extra line if you decide to add MicroSD card for extra storage. It has LTE Cat. 6 for up to 300Mbps downloading and 60Mbps uploading speed.

It also has 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. Wired connectivity is handled by microUSB 2.0. And there is no USB type-C like flagship P9 has.

Battery life

In Huawei P9 Lite if you want apps to run in the back you have to lock it otherwise the overly aggressive memory manager tends to kill them. One one SIM phone lives for 79 hours and 71 hours on 2 SIMs

Video playback and web browsing times are excellent, 11 hours and more but talk time is short in comparison but still good.

User Interface

The Huawei P9 lite runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, skinned with Huawei’s own Emotion UI, in its v4.1 iteration. It has been pretty consistent between versions and recurring Huawei users should feel right at home if upgrading to the P9 lite.

It has an iOS-style menu which can be pulled from bottom where you get another camera shortcut and 11 other options to choose from.


The Huawei P9 lite is powered by a HiSilicon chipset a Krin 650 similar to Kirin 995 embedded in flagship P9.

Its processor is octa core but it’s Cortex A53 while 955 chipset’s half cores are A57. There is also a difference of GPU it has Mali-T830, on the other hand, Huawei P9 has T880.

There are two variants of P9 lite one is 2GB model and other is 3GB.

I’ve tested Huawei P9 lite it works smoothly but heavier apps take time to start but  once loaded into memory they works fine.


The Huawei P9 lite has a 13MP camera based on an average-sized 1/3″ Sony sensor with 1.12µm pixels and a fairly bright f/2.0 lens. For comparison, the 12.3MP camera on the other P9 has bigger 1.25µm pixels, but a narrower f/2.2 lens. Obviously, there’s no secondary B&W camera here.

The camera UI is a custom Emotion job and will have you swiping up quite often – this brings up the mode selector, which has some rarely used options like Time-lapse, but also common ones like HDR.

Hope you like our efforts, if you think I’ve missed something related to Huawei P9 Lite review or you want to add new comment below.


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