The Huawei P9 Plus grows all the great P9 features into a larger body. The screen here measures 5.5" to complete the twin-size strategy that quite a few smartphone makers employ these days.
The screen is an AMOLED that features the Press Touch technology, much like the 128GB version of the Mate 8. It enables gestures in the UI: preview photos, zoom, special gestures in games and so on, it can even measure weight. Like other Huaweis, you can use your knuckles for additional gestures (crop and edit images, launch apps from the lockscreen and more).
The big P9 has another advantage over its smaller counterpart - stereo speakers on the front. When you hold the phone horizontally, the speakers work as expected, but in portrait mode the top speaker switches to treble while the bottom one plays bass (essentially a two-way speaker).
The Huawei P9 Plus comes in two different versions in terms of finish. We handled both and are pleased to report that we like them a lot. The brushed metal units feel silky smooth, reminiscent of the HTC One M9. The Ceramic white version on the other hand might look a bit like plastic from a distance, but it's really great to the touch.
Another perk is that the selfie camera has been upgraded with autofocus and f/1.9 lens. Oh, and there's an IR blaster on top.
Anyway, both P9s run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1, slightly updated compared to the Marshmallow + EMUI 4.0 software that the Mate 8 received.
The fingerprint reader on the back is second-gen (so it's faster) and it doubles as a multi-purpose button.
Both phones are powered by the same chipset too, the HiSilicon Kirin 955. Huawei has resolved to use in-house chips as much as possible, but experienced some issues with earlier Kirins.
That likely won't be an issue here as the 955 is a refinement of the 950 used in the Mate 8. It has an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A72 cores (2.5GHz, a 0.2GHz bump) and four A53 (1.8GHz). The P9 Plus only comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, unlike the small P9, which also has a 3GB/32GB version.
We had a chance to run a quick benchmark, Basemark X (a graphics test), here's how the P9 Plus stacks up against the competition. Note that this phone is over a month away from launch so the software may not be final.
Higher is better
Despite the power increase, the new chipset still can't record 4K 2160p video. As you can see in the settings, it tops out at 1080p. It does have a ton of Leica features though and full manual controls.
Like the P9, the Plus is a dual-SIM phone. It uses a hybrid slot, so you can't have both a second SIM and a microSD, so keep that in mind.
With the larger chassis comes a larger battery - 3,400mAh. Unlike the smaller unit, the P9 Plus features Rapid Charge with dual-ICs, which is able to push 6 hours of talk time into the battery in just 10 minutes.
The Huawei P9 will launch on April 16 for €600 for the 3GB/32GB version and €650 for the 4GB/64GB. The P9 will launch later, May 20, and cost €750. The phones wil arrive in the following markets first: