Are you the proud owner of a new Huawei P9? If you’re setting up your phone for the first time, we recommend checking out our 14 things every Huawei P9 owner should do article. There is a bit of overlap, but for this post we’ve pulled together more than 25 different tips and tricks which can be used to customize and optimize your experience with the Huawei P9. A few of them may seem basic, but we promise that there’s something for everyone. If you have a P9-specific tip you’d like to share with us and our readers, feel free to post it in the comments below.
Tweak the display’s color temperature
Since we all see things a little different, Huawei has chosen to give users the ability to tweak the color temperature on the P9. Most people will be quite happy with the out of the box settings, but you can choose to make the display warmer or cooler if you notice that the tint of the display is not to your liking. Navigate to Settings > Display > Color Temperature and you’ll be given Default, Warm or Cold preset options. You can also choose to add specific color tints to the display using the included color circle adjustment panel.
Add multiple user profiles to your phone
It’s pretty easy to protect your phone with a password or fingerprint, but what if you want to share your device with others without worrying about them accessing all your photos and accounts for all the apps you have installed? To handle that, the Huawei P9 supports Android’s multi-user feature which creates separate user profiles on the phone.
Go to Settings > Users and you’ll have the option to create a new user profile or a generic guest profile for the phone. If there’s someone else in your family that needs to use the phone from time to time, a standard user profile should be used. But we also recommend creating a Guest profile just in case someone asks to borrow your phone to make a phone call or check something on the web. Unfortunately, the number of user profiles allowed is limited to four, so you’ll have to think things out if you were hoping to create profiles for each member of the family.
Turn your phone off or on at pre-set times
There are a lot of things you can do in an effort to save battery life, but we all know that turning your phone completely off is the best way to conserve precious power. If you want to save battery and don’t mind being completely disconnected, you should check out the Huawei P9’s built-in scheduler which allows you to turn the phone off and back on again at a specific time. The options can be found in Settings > Smart Assistance > Schedule power on and off. The settings also include repeat options which allow you to customize the occurrence, with options of once, on weekdays or every day.
This setting can be extremely beneficial for those who are not able to use their cellphones during a work shift or for those who want their phone to be turned off at night but still need it to be their alarm clock in the morning.
Restrict app background data usage
There are a lot of apps which run in the background on our phones, but sometimes those apps go a bit crazy and use a good chunk of your monthly data allotment without you knowing. If you want to cut an app off from using background data, the P9’s got you covered. Go to Settings > Data traffic management > Networked apps > Advances network management and you’ll to able to set background data restrictions for any application on your phone.
Keep in mind, cutting an app off from using background data will likely restrict the app from receiving push notifications. We only recommend cutting an app off if you know that it’s causing problems.
Customize app notifications
Android’s notification system is quite robust, but there are certain instances in which notifications can be quite annoying. If you find yourself ignoring or getting annoyed with notifications from certain apps, the Huawei P9 has a setting which can change which notifications you see and how they appear. To do this, go to Settings > Notification panel & status bar > Notification center and select which app you’d like to tweak notifications for. You’ll be given the option to turn off the app’s notifications, set notifications from the app to Priority display or tweak how the notification displays on the lock screen or status bar.
Add a lock screen signature in case you lose your phone
Setting up a password, pin or fingerprint to protect your data is great, but what happens if someone finds your phone and would like to return it to you? If that person is locked out of your phone, the only way they’ll be able to track you down is if you set up an “If found” message using the phone’s lock screen signature feature. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap Screen lock & passwords
- Tap Lock screen signature
- Type a short “If found” message which includes an email address or alternate phone number that can be used to contact you
- Press save to finish
Once the lock screen signature is set up, the message will display on the lock screen of your phone.
Use the fingerprint sensor to perform touch control gestures
The main purpose of the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone is to keep your content secure, but Huawei’s software team has given the sensor a few extra tricks. If you navigate to Settings > Fingerprint ID you’ll be given the option to turn on or off five distinct fingerprint sensor actions which allow you to interact with your phone using the fingerprint sensor.
- Take photo/video – From the viewfinder screen, touch and hold the fingerprint sensor to take a photo or video
- Answer call – Touch and hold the fingerprint sensor to answer a call
- Stop alarm – When alarm goes off, touch and hold the fingerprint sensor to stop the alarm
- Browse photos – When viewing photos in full screen mode, swipe left or right on the fingerprint sensor to switch photo
- Show notification panel – Slide down on the fingerprint sensor to display the notification panel, double-touch to clear the panel, and slide up to close the panel
Pull up on the lock screen to reveal the quick launcher
Since Huawei’s EMUI copies a lot of features found in iOS, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s a hidden quick launcher panel which appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the display on the lock screen. The only apps which can be launched from the quick launcher panel are the voice recorder, calculator, flashlight, and camera. It’s extremely convenient to tap the power button, swipe in from the bottom and tap the flashlight or camera icons, but we’re not convinced that a calculator and voice recorder are the best options for most people. It would have been nice if the P9 had an option for users to customize the quick launch panel with their own apps like Instagram or Google Search.
Use Smart Lock and skip the lock screen
In addition to unlocking your phone with its fingerprint sensor, those who use Bluetooth-enabled fitness tracker or smartwatch will be thrilled to hear that the P9 works with Android’s trusted devices smart lock system. For those who are not aware, if you pair your phone with a trusted Bluetooth device, you can choose to have the phone’s security settings disabled as long as the trusted Bluetooth device is within range. It’s not as secure as having the phone’s fingerprint sensor security enabled at all times, but it is very convenient for those who want some level of security without needing to hassle with entering a PIN or scanning their finger every time they want to use their phone.
How to enable Smart Lock:
- Screen lock & passwords
- Smart unlock (enter password)
- Add a Bluetooth device
Universal phone search from the home screen
If you’re still getting used to EMUI on your P9 and don’t remember which folder you stashed a particular app in, you can use the phone’s build-in universal search tool to find it. Swipe down on the home screen and a search windows will appear. From here you can search for any application that’s installed on the phone. But that’s not all: the search functionality also indexes all your contacts, music, videos and calendar entries. It can even search Google Docs files.
Increase your phone’s storage 400% with a microSD card
The microSD card slot may have been a standard feature for Android phones for years, but it’s becoming increasingly rare these days. Fortunately, the Huawei P9 sports a microSD card slot with support for 128GB cards. Combine that with the 32GB of internal storage and your Huawei P9 could have a total of 160GB of storage for all your media and apps. If you don’t have an extra microSD card lying around, you can pick up a 128GB card for only $45.
Change navigation button layout
The on-screen navigation buttons on the Huawei P9 work perfectly fine, but you can change their order or add an extra button which will pull down the notification panel. To customize the navigation buttons on your phone, go to Settings > Smart assistance > Navigation bar and choose the desired layout. You don’t have complete control over where the buttons appear, but four options are better than none.
Turn on the Floating navigation dock
Since we all like to use our phones differently, Huawei added alternate navigational keys into a floating dock which can be positioned anywhere on the screen. Once the dock is enabled, you will see a small circle on the side of your display which can be dragged along the display’s edge. Tapping the circle will reveal the Home, Back and Multitasking buttons along with shortcuts to turn off the phone’s display and clear out all the apps that are running in the background.
Follow the instructions below to turn the floating navigation dock on or off on your phone.
- Smart assistance
- Floating dock > toggle on/off
Get rid of the rounded corner app icons
One of the first things you’ll 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.
Change video recording to 1080p
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.
Customize the quick toggles in the notification panel
Quick toggles in the notification panel can save you time, just as long as the right ones are readily available. By default, the quick toggles displayed on the P9 include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Auto-rotate, Mobile data, Sound, Wi-Fi hotspot, Airplane mode and Screenshot. If you don’t need one of those toggles on a regular basis, you can customize the list and swap them out for ones that may be more useful to you.
- Pull down from the top of the display to open the notification center
- Tap Shortcuts on the right side
- Scroll up on the quick toggles to reveal the Edit button
- Tap the Edit button
From here, you can drag quick toggles from the bottom to replace those that are currently displaying on your device. Once you have things set up exactly how you want, tap the Check icon in the top right corner to save your changes.
Draw letters with your knuckle to open apps
One of the most odd features built into the P9 is the ability to launch an app by tapping the screen with your knuckle and drawing a letter. This unique app launching feature is limited to the letters c, e, m and w which means you’ll only be able to open four unique apps. To turn the feature on and set up which apps you want to use, go to Settings > Smart Assistance > Motion Control Draw. Tapping your knuckle on the screen and tracing a letter feels counter-intuitive at first, but you do get used to it after a few days.
Turn on One-hand UI for easily one-handed use
The Huawei P9’s 5.2-inch display isn’t particularly unmanageable, but it can feel overwhelming if you are trying to use the phone with one hand. For those times when you wish the phone’s display was a bit smaller, you might want to turn on the phone’s One-hand UI setting which shrinks the phone’s interface and positions it on either side of the phone. The feature can easily be turned on by following the steps below.
- Smart assistance
- One-hand UI
- Enable One-hand layout
- Swipe left or right on nav bar to re-position screen on either side
Those of us who live in colder climates know that using a smartphone outside in the winter can be quite tedious. Thankfully, Huawei’s software team was thoughtful enough to include a glove mode on the P9 which allows you to use the phone’s display even while you are wearing gloves. The setting can be turned on by going to Settings > Smart assistance: More > Gloves mode.
Turn on Swype’s auto-correct feature
Huawei has been using Swype as the default keyboard on its phone’s for a while now, but for some reason they have auto-correct turned off by default. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to turn auto-correct on.
- Open any application which will display the keyboard
- Tap a text field to show the keyboard
- Long press the key in the bottom left corner to open the setting menu
- Tap settings
- Toggle auto-correction to the on position
With auto-correction turned on, Swype will automatically fix your spelling mistakes and typos without needing you to manually tap the suggested word replacement which shows up above the keyboard as you type.
Change the default keyboard app
If you’re not keen on the pre-installed Swype keyboard used on the Huawei P9, you can always swap it out for another one from Google Play.
- Download any keyboard app on Google Play
- Return to the home screen and open keyboard app you’ve just downloaded
- Follow the app’s installer to get up and running
Most keyboard apps offer unique customizations or settings, so we suggest downloading and testing a few different ones before settling on the one that works best for you. We have a tendency of installing the Google Keyboard on most of our devices, but there’s a good chance that you will enjoy SwiftKey due to its text prediction and customization options.
Hide your carrier’s name from the status bar
If you have more than a few applications installed on your phone, the status bar can get quite crowded. If you want to free up some space, the P9 allows you to remove your service provider’s name from showing up in the status bar. With your service provider’s name no longer displayed, your app notifications have a little extra room to breathe.
- Open Settings
- Select Notification panel & status bar
- Toggle on/off Display carrier name
Use the built-in Power saving modes to extend battery life
Most people should be able to go a full day on a single charge with the Huawei P9’s 3,000mAh battery, but Huawei has included a handful of built-in power saving settings and other tweaks which can be used to extend the battery life of the phone to its fullest. The P9’s battery settings can be found under Settings > Advanced Settings > Battery manager. Out of the box, the P9’s Smart mode is enabled by default, throttling the phone’s CPU and actively managing the phone’s network connections to reduce power consumption. If the phone feels slow or if you notice poor network connectivity, you may want to turn the Smart battery mode off. Switching to the Ultra power mode will allow the phone to last up to four days on a single charge, but you will only be able to use the phone to make calls or send text messages as all other features on the phone are turned off.
Out of the box, the P9’s Smart mode is enabled by default, throttling the phone’s CPU and actively managing the phone’s network connections to reduce power consumption. If the phone feels slow or if you notice poor network connectivity, you may want to turn the Smart battery mode off. Switching to the Ultra power mode will allow the phone to last up to four days on a single charge, but you will only be able to use the phone to make calls or send text messages as all other features on the phone are turned off.
If you want to conserve even more power, the P9’s display resolution can be reduced from 1080p to 720p. This allows the processor to work more efficiently and can add an extra hour or so to your phone’s battery life when starting from a full charge.
Display battery percentage in status bar
Let’s face it, the battery icon that shows up in the status bar doesn’t do a good job showing us how much battery life our phones have left. All it’s good for is to give us a general ballpark estimate, not an exact figure. If you’re interested in knowing exactly how much power your phone has at all times, the P9 does have a setting which will display the battery’s charge percentage in the status bar. Turn the feature on by going to
Turn the feature on by going to Settings > Notification panel & status bar and toggle Remaining battery percentage to the on position. Below the toggle you’ll also have the option to display the battery percentage next to or inside the battery icon.
Hunt down excessive battery hogs
Optimizing system performance to increase battery life can only go so far since many of the apps we have installed on our phones are the real reason for poor battery life. To track down which apps are consuming the most battery (even when they are not being used), go to Settings > Advanced settings > Battery manager > Consumption level. Here you can tap individual apps to view their battery consumption details and set notifications for when an app is consuming excessive power.
Factory reset your phone
If you’re reading this article, you’re likely a new Huawei P9 owner. That being said, even a new smartphone owner should know how to perform a factory reset. This comes in handy if you come across major issues on your phone that can’t be resolved or if you want to sell your P9 for any reason. Performing a factory reset will completely remove all your personal information from the phone. We recommend backing up all your pictures, videos, music and other information to a computer or another device before getting started. Here’s how you do it.
- Advanced settings
- Backup & reset
- Factory data reset
- Reset phone
- Reset phone (confirm)
Once the process runs its course, your P9 will restart automatically and all the information on the device will be completely gone.
Explore Android Forums
While we’ve listed more than 25 different tips and tricks for the Huawei P9 in this article, there are even more things that can be done to improve the phone’s performance or make it more user-friendly. For more information about the Huawei P9, we suggest checking out the phone’s dedicated section over at Android Forums to discuss it with all your fellow owners!