The Huawei P9 lite has a 5.2" LCD screen of 1080p resolution. So, just like the flagship P9, right? Looking a bit closer at the specs shows it's a mere IPS unit as opposed to the IPS-NEO screen used on the P9.
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. Contrast is a solid 1,200:1, better than similar phones in this price bracket. It's bright too at 500 nits, few competitors can do better.
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The minimum brightness is 9.8 nits, which shouldn't hurt sleepy eyes in the middle of the night.
The Auto brightness setting actually moves the brightness slider so you can see it in action. Unfortunately, this also means you can't use the slider to override the auto mode.
From the settings menu, you'll find a Color temperature setting. You can drag the slider from Warm to Cold to find a look that suits you. We found the default setting a bit cold and in fact dragging the slider all the way to Warm produced more accurate colors.
The default setting does okay - an average DeltaE of 7.7 and a max of 14.6 are average and similar to the Galaxy A5 (2016), which proved one of the less accurate Super AMOLEDs.
However, with the Color temperature set to Warm, we got much better readings - an average DeltaE of 4.3 and a max of 6.7. The Huawei P9 lite actually topped its pricier sibling, which got slightly worse readings. Same goes for most other competing phones, aside from the Nexus 5X screen, which comes with a factory calibration.
Sunlight legibility is above average for the class (it even bests some pricier phones). This is the only place where the flagship P9 screen does better.
The P9 lite also has an optional glove mode. Also, the proximity sensor can disable the touchscreen (pocket detection).
The Huawei P9 lite is a dual-SIM phone (using a hybrid slot means you lose the extra line if you need more storage). It offers speedy LTE Cat. 4 for up to 150Mbps down and up to 50Mbps up.
Locally, it has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi b/g/n (no 5GHz or ac, however) and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. NFC is available on some models, but not all - check the model for your region.
Wired connectivity is handled by microUSB 2.0.
There's no Type-C here like the flagship P9 has. USB On-The-Go is not supported either so you can't connect peripherals. There's no wired TV-out option either.
At least in the battery department, the phone doesn't deserve the 'lite' label. It has a 3,000mAh battery, same as the flagship variant. The Kirin 650 chipset used in the Huawei P9 lite is built on a 16nm FinFET process, same as HiSilicon's flagship 955 chipset.
The Endurance rating is very good - 79 hours with one SIM, 71 hours with two. If you need to guarantee that some background apps remain active, make sure to lock them. Otherwise the overly aggressive memory manager tends to kill them.
Web browsing and video playback times are excellent, 11 hours and more. The talk time is short in comparison, but still quite good.
The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.
Battery Manager is part of the Phone Manager and includes a selection of three power plans with a varying degree of limiting certain phone features. From here you can also control which apps can remain active after you send the phone to sleep and an estimate of how long the phone is expected to last in each mode.
The most frugal Ultra power saving mode essentially turns the P9 Lite into a feature phone (but more than doubles the expected battery life).