Do we have a good one for you today – the new Huawei P9 goes up against the new HTC 10. Both devices are made from metal with the P9 heading towards the softer i-look while the HTC 10 looks like it was chiseled from a block of metal. Both of these flagship smartphones are beautiful to look at, well-built, and premium in every sense of the word. They are sized just right to fit comfortably in your hand for long periods and they have quite a few similarities. Which one of these new models can walk away as the winner of this comparison? Let’s first see what these two devices share before we take a closer look at each.
The Huawei P9 and the HTC 10 each sport identical sized 5.2-inch displays making them very close in physical size, although the HTC 10 weighs 17 grams heavier. Their displays use the same LCD technology with the HTC using an advanced version called Super LCD5, but both have different resolutions. The P9 and HTC 10 both offer a 32GB model, with the P9 offering a 4GB/64GB option – both the P9 and HTC 10 offer external expansion. They both sport excellent cameras but go about it in a different way.
Each incorporates a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device as well as authorizing mobile payments. Android Marshmallow is running on both devices, although the P9 uses Huawei's Emotion UI 4.1 overlay and HTC uses their own Sense UI. Both have the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, a Type-C reversible microUSB port and both have a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
Please take a careful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Huawei would like nothing better than to make itself a household name in the US smartphone world and they made great strides last year with their excellent Nexus 6P. US users had a chance to experience a premium Huawei device. The new Huawei P9 is their next generation ‘P’ series smartphone and while the device stands on its own – the real news concerns the lens and camera. They worked with lens maker, Leica to provide dual 12MP shooters. The best smartphones are taking the camera areas seriously, as they are clearly becoming the new generations’ point-and-shoot camera. The P9 series looks much like other Huawei devices – the popular Nexus 6P and Huawei P8 – with a little ilook thrown into the mix. The P9’s aluminum-clad body is as beautiful to look at, as it is to hold.
The Huawei P9 sports a 5.2-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 423 PPI. The processor for the P9 is Huawei’s 64-bit HiSilicon Kirin 955 octa-core with one quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz, and the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU providing the graphics. It packs 3GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable by 128GB via a microSD card – there is also a 4GB/64GB model available.
Leica optics is clearly the emphasis that Huawei has put on the P9 series. The lenses are paired with dual 12MP (Sony IMX286) sensors – one handles colored photos and the other handles black and white photos. Huawei claims the monochrome lens can capture more detail than the RGB lens. Put together, they should produce some excellent photos along with an aperture of f/2.2, dual LED flash, and laser autofocus, but still no OIS. Huawei uses an 8MP with autofocus and f/2.4 FFC for selfies and video chatting. Providing the power is a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
What does the Huawei P9 offer that the HTC 10 does not – other than a dual lens camera if you think that is a plus - I cannot think of a thing. It measures 145 x 70.9 x 7mm, weighs in at 144 grams, and is available in Ceramic White, Haze Gold, Rose Gold, Titanium Grey, Mystic Silver, and Prestige Gold with a price of about $650 – $700. Huawei announced that the P9’s release in Europe and Asia, and while there were no specifics given, word has it that Huawei will bring the P9 series to the US later in the year. It is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.1.
The new HTC 10 has everything you want in a new flagship smartphone – the body is made of beautifully carved aluminum, it has a QHD display, the best processor currently on the market, a powerful GPU to satisfy the most avid gamer, and 4GB of DDR4 memory. The HTC 10 finally has a great camera and a newly configured BoomSound Hi-Fi and Hi-Res Audio – but is it even to sway new customers to try the HTC brand. HTC is betting on it to increase sales and help their bottom line.
HTC finally moved on from the FHD display and now the HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Super LCD5 QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 565 PPI. HTC chose the Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core with the dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. Qualcomm paired an Adreno 530 GPU with the 820 and it can handle the most demanding graphics. The HTC 10 packs a full 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable to 2TB via a microSD card.
The HTC 10 uses their best camera design to date after fooling around with a 4MP camera and then a duo camera. Yes, it still uses UltraPixels, but instead of using only 4MP, this time around the HTC 10 is using a 12MP sensor for their primary camera to capture more light and image. They added laser autofocus, a dual-tone LED flash, a large aperture of f/1.8 and OIS. The HTC 10’s camera was able to tie the top rated DxOMark mobile score of 88. They did not just throw in a 5MP FFC, they added an f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle lens, and even included a screen flash and OIS to ensure great selfies and video chatting even in low-light. The HTC packs a 3000 mAh non-removable battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0.
The HTC 10 does have a few changes when it comes to their infamous BoomSound – they placed their fingerprint sensor down front where the second speaker resided, so they had to do some rearranging. First, they rearranged the name to BoomSound Hi-Fi, it still features two separate speakers with the woofer placed on the bottom end of the device, and the high-end sounds now originate from the earpiece. The HTC 10 measures 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm and weighs in at 161 grams. It comes in Carbon Grey, Topaz Gold, and Glacier Silver and it will cost you about $650 for 32GB of memory.
...And The Winner Is...
This comparison was tough because the Huawei P9 and HTC 10 are both excellent smartphones, but I have to give the win to the HTC 10. When we start comparing the ‘China’ phones with others that are easily found on all the key US networks – and the price is the same – then we have to be a little pickier. The Huawei P9 is certainly a flagship device in every sense of the word…it’s just that the HTC 10 offers just a little bit more and works on all US networks. Now if the rumblings that Huawei is bringing the P9 to the US later this year, then we will talk again.
The HTC 10 has a QHD display and is easier to see in bright light. There is just a better overall experience than the FHD display on the P9. While the Kirin processor in the P9 is no slouch, the Snapdragon 820 with its Adreno 530 GPU will give better overall performance. The HTC 10 comes with 4GB of RAM, and it still costs about the same as the 3GB/32GB P9 model. For those in need of ample storage for videos and such, the HTC can expand up to 2TB while the P9 has a 128GB limitation. The HTC 10 has the BoomSound Hi-Fi and Hi-Res audio for better sound, and the HTC offers Quick Charge 3.0 to get you quickly back to a 50-percent charge in only 30 minutes.
The Huawei P9 has nothing that warrants a win over the HTC 10 – the camera areas differ the most, but both will take great pictures. If the P9 was a couple of hundred dollars cheaper, I might have chosen it as the winner, but with both devices carrying close to the same price tag, the HTC 10 has a bit more to offer.