To dismiss the Huawei P9's imager as 'just another smartphone camera' would be unfair. Its dual 12MP cameras aren't your average dual cameras – Huawei claims that by using one monochrome and one RGB sensor, the camera is 100% more sensitive to light than your standard smartphone camera. It offers Raw capture, full manual exposure control and laser-assisted autofocus. Oh, and Leica had a hand in designing the module. All-in-all, there's plenty going for it camera-wise. 

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We approached the P9 eager to give it a try, but with a healthy dose of skepticism. And keeping our expectations measured, we were pleased by the Huawei P9's results. For one thing, shooting with it is a nice experience. There are multiple grid overlay options, a level gauge (praise hands emoji!) and you can easily toggle between full manual and full auto shooting. It's also possible to shoot exclusively with the monochrome camera, which opens up other creative possibilities.

The P9 offers many of the comforts of an advanced point-and-shoot. So how's the image quality? It's pretty much as we expected. Good light JPEGs look just peachy on phone-sized screens, but at 100% they don't look exactly '100 emoji' 100. Grass turns mushy and halos start appearing around high contrast edges. Things obviously get quite noisy by the time you get to ISO 3200.

But wait, there's Raw! You can see some of the benefits in terms of detail retention in the studio scene widget, but definitely check out the difference it makes in some of our real-world samples. It should be noted that Raw capture is only available in Pro mode, and can't be used when shooting with the monochrome camera.

TL;DR, I'd be pretty happy if the Huawei P9 camera was the camera I had with me all the time. But the dual camera system hasn't solved the low light troubles inherent to small sensors.