The Huawei P9 isn't an all-rounder, and this should have become clear by now. Instead of being a collective of all the latest technology, the P9 focuses on a few key features and excels in them.
First - it's the exceptional design. Regardless whether you go for the ceramic P9, the brushed aluminum version, or the sandblasted aluminum version - the Huawei P9 feels like a piece of jewelry in hand. You can see and feel its premium chassis, which also shines with sleek profile and compact form factor.
Then there is the Leica camera setup. The monochrome camera was a risky move, but it looks like it will pay out. The B&W samples turned out great while the regular ones are nothing short of flagship-worthy. Finally, the low-light photography skills are so rich that we are still researching all the available modes and options. Huawei has a unique way to handle the so-called Light Paintings, and you can do some jaw-dropping shots as long as you have a tripod.
Finally, the P9 continues the improvement of its Emotion UI, on top of the latest Android Marshmallow. The launcher is very intuitive and easy to use, but it has lots of tweaks and customizations settings that will please everyone.
The company likes to focus on the user experience, and that's why the P9 has one of the fastest and most accurate fingerprint readers, one of the best IPS displays out there, and a very good battery life. Even the loudspeaker and audio quality performance are doing very well.
And we are back to the beginning - the Huawei P9 isn't the perfect flagship, it isn't an all-rounder. It fails to deliver a punch in the graphics performance test, and it can't even record good 1080p videos, let alone 4K ones. But that's about it.
As we've already established, the Huawei P9 is far from being perfect. But it has an edge over the competition with the Leica camera setup, and that should count for something.
The Galaxy S7 has the looks, offers better performance, and water-proofing. The camera is excellent, too, but the low-light skills aren't as good, and you can't have those dramatic B&W pictures. It's the best-selling flagship this season and is worth checking out.
The same goes for the LG G5 - innovative modular design, top-notch performance, but can't match the P9 looks. What it can do is offer another take on the dual camera setup with a super-wide secondary camera sensor for some panorama-grade pictures. Note, however, that the G5 is about €150 more expensive than the P9.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 is yet another great performer to match the P9 flagship status and offers equally beautiful looks on the cheap. Its camera is mainstream, but is OIS-enabled, and the MIUI is a fan-favorite launcher. The Mi 5 also outed one of the best battery scores we've seen to date, so there is that. It's limited availability, and the even more limited ceramic version is a deal-breaker though.
The 16GB iPhone 6s costs as much as the Huawei P9. It has the looks and the performance skills, but can't match the camera performance, the bigger screen or the expandable storage. You can have the 64GB iPhone SE for the same cash too - it may be smaller than P9, but offers blazing-fast performance and 4K video capturing.
The 2015 flagships - the Galaxy S6 edge and the Xperia Z5 are still among the best performers on the market, they go for less and may turn out the better choice if video recording or water protection come before the camera quality for you.
Finally, for some extra €150 you can upgrade to the Huawei P9 Plus with a bigger AMOLED screen, 3D Force Touch display, double the storage, and a beefier battery. If you want to save €150 off the P9 price, and you are ready to give up on the Leica camera - there is the Huawei P9 Lite for you.
With Huawei P9 the photography geeks will rejoice while the rest may find a stunning looker they must have. The Huawei P9 may not be the fastest smartphone around, but it is so many other things. It's beautiful and snappy, it's a skilled photographer, it's got a great screen, rich software features and customizations, and it's also got expandable storage. The competition has a lot to offer, too, but so does the P9. A more palatable pricetag would certainly help its case as well.