Devices – December 2016

huawei-p9

This month we are looking at two Chinese manufacturers which are looking to break into EMEA in a big way. See how they got on below.

OnePlus 3

The OnePlus range is making a name for itself in the high quality and affordable segment. The OnePlus 2 was generally well received but after a really strong showing from the previous model, you’ve guess it… the OnePlus One, many felt that the leap in quality wasn’t really there. Rather embarrassingly the OnePlus 2 also claimed to be a “flagship killer”… it wasn’t, not even nearly. So, does the OnePlus 3 fare any better?

oneplus-3-press-photoLaunched in June prices started at £309, unfortunately due to that pesky Brexit vote and the currency fluctuations that followed the device will now set you back £329. In terms of options, there isn’t a lot to choose from. You can have it with 64GB of storage only, there isn’t a microSD slot and only comes in Soft Gold or Grey.

However, with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB of RAM, 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, fingerprint scanner and 3,000mAh fast-charging battery it certainly looks the part on paper at least. If you mark your smart phones heavily in favour of design features then the OnePlus 3 is going to please you. It certainly has a premium look and feel with a metal chassis which separates the device from its beginnings when it was perceived as just another cheap Chinese me-too phone.screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-35-06

The SIM tray can hold two SIM cards which will make this an attractive proposition to those that are constantly switching their cards around for business or when abroad. It also comes with a screen protector which will help protect the device from those inevitable bumps and scrapes. I didn’t find this particularly appealing as it didn’t quite cover the screen and there are better alternatives out there if you want to protect your device. Luckily it’s easy to remove.

Verdict Solid phone with a nice design at an affordable price. If you travel a lot or use multiple SIMs this HAS to be on your radar.

Huawei P9

huawei-p9Huawei has just reported a massive surge in sales in EMEA due to the growing popularity of their smartphones. People are getting tired with the top end devices lacking innovation and we now have a situation where the gap between the mid-tier phones and the top end has never been so narrow when it comes to features.

Huawei is desperately trying to prove its brand and be taken as seriously as Apple and Samsung, the P9 is their latest attempt at trying to break into the top end of the market. At £449 it is certainly cheaper than many of its rivals, but how does it stack up against other 2016 devices?

The dimensions of the phone are the same as the iPhone 6S but somehow the manufacturer has managed to fit a 5.2 inch screen whereas Apple only manages a paltry 4.7 inches… that is quite an impressive feat. Huawei has also started to focus on its camera technology as it realises in the consumer world this will make a big difference. The P9 comes with dual camera sensors which is a first for the company and has been designed by German camera manufacturer Leica. The results are really impressive.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-12-35-34The battery life is much the same as other phones with a similar capacity (3000mAh). It will get you through the day but not much beyond. With 4GB of RAM coupled with 64GB of storage the P9 is certainly rivalling the big boys in terms of the spec sheets. However, this phone falls down on the Emotion UI where the screen seems a little ‘busy’. There are so many decent overlays for the Android Marshmallow OS it is really disappointing to see Huawei go down this route.

Verdict A strong phone from Huawei with a few minor bugbears which will annoy some. However, if you are looking for a business phone you won’t find ANY task out of reach with this device.