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This is our closest look yet at Huawei’s upcoming flagship phone.
Thanks to a person who was given some hands-on time with the device, VentureBeat is able to share some of the premiere photographs of Huawei’s flagship — the Huawei P9 — expected in the first half of 2016. The individual, who requested anonymity, also shared full specs of the 5.2-inch, full HD handset, which is one of at least four variants reportedly being developed by the rapidly expanding Chinese manufacturer.
Code-named Eva, the P9 will be among the fifth generation of P-series Android phones, which (somewhat confusingly) jumped from the Ascend P2 to Ascend P6 in 2013 and dropped the “Ascend” branding with last year’s P8 family.
As VentureBeat reported in mid-January, this year’s P-series family will include the P9 pictured here, a more budget-friendly model in the vein of 2015’s P8 Lite, a larger-screened version a la P8 Max (which may be branded with the Apple-esque “Plus”), and a more premium model with enhanced internals.
Most of the P9 proper’s specifications have been previously (and accurately) reported elsewhere, although there seems to be some confusion between the regular version and the premium version, which has been tipped to run Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon’s custom Kirin 955 system-on-chip, coupled with 4GB of RAM.
According to the person who spent some time with the regular P9, its own components are, as would be expected, slightly more conservative: a Kirin 950, Mali-T880 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. The 950 contains an octa-core processor whose ARM big.LITTLE configuration divides the cores into four each for high and low power, running at 2.53GHz and 1.8GHz, respectively.
Storage clocks in at 32GB, and though there’s no information to substantiate this, premium version storage seems likely to hit either 64GB or 128GB. Battery capacity was supposedly reported by the system — Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 — as an eye-opening 3900mAh, rather capacious for the traditional slim design of this lineup.
As far as connectivity is concerned, P9 will be the first flagship from Huawei to include a reversible USB Type-C connector (pictured above) — something we recently saw in our review of the Nextbit Robin, as well. The fingerprint reader is located on the backside, a positioning Huawei pioneered with the 2014 Mate7.
Huawei first employed a dual-camera, dual lens arrangement in the Honor 6 Plus; in that handset, the additional sensor-lens combo enabled a few neat tricks like post-capture refocus, simulated aperture adjustment, and filter application.
The second generation of that technology will be one of the highlights of this P-series family, we’re told. Its pair of 12-megapixel sensors and Leica-made lenses should enable even more unique capabilities, as the concept is further refined. However, the handset in question was seemingly running non-final firmware.
Launch and release — along with expected pricing — are still up in the air, though they should occur sometime in the second quarter.
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