Apr 29th, 2016

Are you the proud owner of the Huawei P9? Setting up an Android phone for the first time is pretty straight forward, but each device does have a few unique hardware and software characteristics which makes it special. And the Huawei P9 is no exception. Having had the Huawei P9 in-hand for nearly three weeks, we thought we’d walk you through a handful of tips and tweaks every P9 owners should take a look at when they first get their phone.

1. Insert a microSD card

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Let’s face it, 32GB of internal storage isn’t really enough if you enjoy playing games on your phone or are constantly taking pictures and recording video. Fortunately, the P9 has a microSD card slot to augment the phone’s internal storage. With a 128GB microSD card (the maximum capacity supported by the P9) inserted into the phone, you can store countless pictures and videos without worrying about running low on storage.

2. Protect your phone with a PIN and Fingerprint ID

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During the initial setup process, the Huawei P9 will ask if you want to set up a password or PIN number to secure your phone. If you plan on using the P9’s build-it fingerprint sensor (we highly suggest that you do), select the PIN option and enter your desired PIN number for the phone. Once the PIN number setup is complete, you’ll be given the option to set up one finger to be used with the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. After completing the phone’s full setup process, we recommend you go to Settings > Fingerprint ID > Fingerprint management to scan additional fingers so that you can unlock the phone with both hands.

3. Re-download apps from a previous Android device

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Getting a new phone is fun, but the setup process can be quite tedious if you need to search Google Play to find all the apps you had installed on your previous device. When you log into your Google account during the setup process, you’ll be given the option to restore the apps you had installed on a previous device. Tap the drop-down to select which backup you’d like to pull from. You even have the option of selecting which apps from the backup you want installed on the new phone. We always recommend taking a look at the list to remove any apps you haven’t used in a while. And make sure you download them while connected to WiFi!

4. Uninstall unwanted bloatware

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Like most phones these days, the Huawei P9 comes with quite a few pre-installed apps that you’ll likely never use. The good news is that many of them can simply be uninstalled. The device we’re using had half a dozen pre-installed games and a handful of Huawei’s apps which could all be uninstalled. To see if an application can be uninstalled, long-press the app icon. If a trash can icon appears at the top of the screen, drag the app over it and drop it in to uninstall it.

5. Check for software updates

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Huawei and other hardware manufacturers have a habit of shipping their phones before the final software build is ready. Go to Settings > Updater and tap Check for update to ensure your phone is running the latest software version. If you are prompted to download and install a new software build, make sure your P9 is connected to WiFi before tapping the download button.

6. Change the font size

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The default font size on the Huawei P9 should be fine for most people, but if you have a hard time reading text on the screen or like super small text, you can tweak the system font size in the phone’s settings. Go to Settings > Display > Font size and then tap the desired font size.

7. Tweak the display’s color temperature

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The 1080p display on the Huawei P9 is pretty good, but Huawei gives you the option of tweaking the tint if you think the out of the box setting is too warm or too cool for your liking. Navigate to Settings > Display > Color Temperature and you’ll have the option to choose between Default, Warm or Cold presets or precisely tune the color temperature of the display with color circle. 

8. Customize your status bar

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Huawei’s EMUI has a lot of design flaws, but it makes up for them by giving you a lot of customization options. If you want to change how things appear in the status bar at the top of your screen, go to Settings > Notification panel & status bar. Here you’ll have the option turn off the name of your service provider, remove the icons associated with your notifications or display the phone’s battery percentage next to the battery icon. If you want to change the clock from a 12 hour to a 24 hour format, you’ll need to jump over to Settings > Advanced settings > Date & time.

9. Get rid of the rounded corner app icons

One of the first things you’re notice when you start using the Huawei P9 is that all the icons have been rounded off – even 3rd party apps downloaded from Google Play. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. You’ll need to download a user-created theme and move it into the phone’s HWThemes folder. Once the theme is applied using Huawei’s Theme app, the rounded corners on all the apps will magically disappear. You’ll still be missing an app drawer, but at least your app icons will look like they’ve been pulled from a Nexus device. Be sure to watch the embedded video or read our how-to article for detailed instructions.

10. Install a 3rd party launcher from Google Play

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If you’re still not satisfied with Huawei’s stock launcher after removing the rounded corners from all the apps, you can always install a 3rd party launcher from Google Play. For something simple, we recommend checking out the Google Now Launcher; but Nova and Apex offer advanced customization options if you don’t mind spending a little time settings things up exactly how you want them. 

11. Adjust the phone’s power saving options

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The Huawei P9’s has a Smart power profile turned on automatically to ensure you get optimal battery life. This feature throttles the P9’s CPU and makes some tweaks to the phone’s network usage, but the setting doesn’t give you more than 30 extra minute of battery life at the end of the day. If you want to use the phone to its full potential, you can switch to the Performance power profile by going to Settings > Advanced settings > Battery manager > Power plan.

12. Change video recording to 1080p

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We’re not sure whose bright idea this was, but someone at Huawei set the P9’s default video quality to 720p. That’s a good option to have if you’re running low on storage, but you’ll likely want to change that to Full HD. To make the switch, open the camera app and tap the video icon next to the shutter button. Once the camera switches over to video mode, swipe in from the right side of the phone to open the settings menu. Tap resolution and select FHD 1080p (16:9, stereo, 60 fps). It’s still not 4K, but your videos will look a lot nicer than if they were recorded at 720p.

13. Buy a quick charger

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The Huawei P9 has quick charging capabilities built in, but the company chose to include a standard 5V2A wall charger with the phone. If you don’t want to wait two hours for your Huawei P9 to fully charge, we recommend picking up a quick charger which can top off the P9’s battery in just over an hour.

14. Explore the Huawei P9 forums to learn more

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It doesn’t matter if the Huawei P9 is your 1st or 10th Android phone – there’s always something new you can learn from our forum members. The Huawei P9 forum is a great place to ask questions, share tips and meet other forums members who own the same phone as you.

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