Huawei P9 Plus Review: Size Up: Performance

By 07:35 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

The Huawei P9 Plus is powered by the latest in-houtilize developed Kirin 955 chipset, the same one behind the Huawei P9.


The Kirin 955 employs an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A72 cores clocked at up to 2.5Giga Hertz (GHz) and four A53 cores ticking at up to 1.8GHz. The GPU is again a quad-core Mali-T880 MP4.

The P9 Plus model comes with 4GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) by default, unlike the Huawei P9 where you had to pay extra for more storage and RAM.

We already know what to expect from the Kirin 955, but we are always in for surprise, if they are fine ones. So, shall we start?

We kick off our benchimprint routine with the GeekBench Central Processing Units (CPU) test. The performance of a single A72 core is rather uninspiring compared to the Snapdragon 820's Kryo within the OnePlus 3 and the LG G5, nor does it come close to the Apple's Twister CPU.

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GeekBench 3 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    2527

  • OnePlus 3

    2383

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    2322

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    2151

  • Meizu Pro 6

    1905

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    1892

  • Huawei P9

    1819

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    1466

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    899

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    857

But don't foracquire we have four of those A72 cores, and another quartet of lesser A53, but they are the ones to eventually create the difference. And they did - the Huawei P9 Plus outed the best score so far in the multi-core chart. The P9 Plus Central Processing Units (CPU) is about as capable as the Galaxy S7 edge' Exynos.

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6660

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    6600

  • Huawei P9

    6558

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6427

  • OnePlus 3

    5520

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    5437

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    4759

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    4413

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    3799

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    3242

The compound AnTuTu 6 test ended up with a rather mediocre score despite of the plump processor and 4 gigs of RAM. That's probably due to the lower-grade GPU, but we'll talk about that in a minute.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    141764

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    140871

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    137420

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    129229

  • Meizu Pro 6

    99195

  • Huawei P9

    98069

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    97392

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    64591

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    52768

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    51299

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    50109

The BaseMark Operating System (OS) 2.0 test paints a slightly different picture, becautilize in addition to CPU, GPU, RAM, and UX, it also gauges web and storage performance, plus overall Operating System (OS) behavior. Here the Huawei P9 Plus scored an excellent imprint and is on par with the Galaxy S7 edge and very close to the iPhone 6s Plus.

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    2365

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    2261

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    2175

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    2099

  • Huawei P9

    2068

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    2050

  • Meizu Pro 6

    1919

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    1529

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    1242

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    1092

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    987

It's the graphics department where Kirins are often not quite up to par, and seeing that nothing's changed over the Mate 8 and P9 in this respect, benchimprint results are very much the same. While the Kirin 955, same as Helio X25 (Meizu Pro 6), uses Mali-T880 MP4 (4-core) graphics, the flagship Galaxy S7's Exynos utilizes Mali-T880 MP12 (12-core graphics), hence the gigantic difference.

Qualcomm's Adreno 530 within the OnePlus 3 and Vivo Xplay5 Elite are the best, though.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    31

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    31

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    29

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    27.9

  • Meizu Pro 6

    11

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    10

  • Huawei P9

    10

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    9.3

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    4.7

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    4.6

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    3.3

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    18

  • OnePlus 3

    18

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    15

  • Huawei P9

    6.5

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6.4

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6.2

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    2.8

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    2.5

Huawei P9 Plus runs on 1080p resolution, which gives it an edge over the Quad HD Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, which cuts the gap short and makes more sense for Huawei not to opt for the best GPU on the market. The Adreno 530, Quad HD (Vivo) or not (OnePlus 3), is still on top.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    30

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus

    27.9

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    15

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    15

  • Huawei P9

    11

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    11

  • Meizu Pro 6

    11

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    9.1

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    5.1

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    4.9

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    3.3

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    18

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    9.8

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    7.8

  • Huawei P9

    7.1

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    6.8

  • Meizu Pro 6

    6.4

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    3

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    2.7

BaseMark X GPU test clearly shows the superiority of Galaxy S7 edge and OnePlus 3.

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 3

    32715

  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite

    32362

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

    28480

  • Huawei P9

    16942

  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (S652)

    15290

  • Meizu Pro 6

    15209

  • Huawei P9 Plus

    15058

  • Huawei P9 Lite

    7681

  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra

    6754

  • Oppo F1 Plus

    6204

The newest Kirin SoC won't be catching up with elegant Qualcomm and Samsung anytime soon, as this is not its purpose. Huawei has always pursued consistent performance over chart-topping benchimprint results, and there is nothing poor with that.

But the facts can't be ignored - the Huawei P9 Plus, just like the P9, begins to experience tiny, but noticeable lag once you fill its homescreens with apps. App switching isn't smooth either, especially if you are swapping heavy apps. There are also some unexplained stutters which occur in both light and heavy-duty games. It might be the GPU, or may be poor handling of resources.

Anyway, as a flagship-priced smartphone the Huawei P9 Plus has to be judged as such. And its performance is not a flagship one. Yes, it's smooth most of the time and handles things properly, but some lag here and there, and mysterious stutter in apps, even though rare, will ruin the flagship feeling quite fast. The P9 Plus definitely deserved better.


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