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6 Huawei P9 problems and the solutions to deal with them

Huawei P9
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The Huawei P9 is a gorgeous smartphone with a host of powerful hardware and software to ensure it stands tall next to the competition. It launched running Android 6.0 with a Huawei-developed UI on top, but has recently been updated to Android 7.0. For those of you just learning your way around the Huawei P9, here’s how to use that superb dual-lens camera. Sadly, like many other Android-powered phones, it’s still prone to familiar problems, and we found a few new ones that are unique to the P9. If you’ve encountered any Huawei P9 problems or issues, perhaps our list of fixes and workarounds can help you out.

Problem: Unable to connect using Bluetooth, or maintain a Bluetooth connection with other devices

This a common problem that many people with different smartphones run into, but the P9 can also share data with other phones via Bluetooth, which further complicates the matter. That said, the solutions on the P9 should sound familiar.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure your phone is up to date and running the latest software version.
  • This sounds silly, but make sure Bluetooth is enabled by going to Settings > Bluetooth. Go to Clock and tap Slide to turn off alarm at the bottom of the screen, and make sure Visibility is enabled, so that your phone can be found and paired to.
  • If you’re trying to send data to another phone, make sure the Bluetooth has been enabled on the other device and that it’s discoverable. Also, make sure that it supports the file type you’re attempting to send.
  • If you’re trying to connect the P9 to other devices — i.e. headphones, cars, or speakers — check and see if they’re connected to another phone, if they have have enough battery power, and whether they’re within range.
  • Restart your phone and the Bluetooth device you’re trying to interact with.
  • Clear cached application data by going to Phone Manager > System optimization. You’ll then be given instructions to follow, which will allow you to manually clear files and and configure their settings. When the process is done, hit Finish.
  • Wipe the cache partition. Start by turning the phone off, then press and hold the Power and Volume down keys until the Huawei logo appears. Use the Volume Down button to navigate to wipe cache partition and use the Power key to select it. Once the cache partition is wiped, go to reboot system now and use the Power key to select it.

Issue: Can’t add Google account or open Play Store

Some P9 owners have found themselves unable to add a Google account, sign into their Google account, or even access the Google Play Store. Google-related apps and services such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Drive are affected, with some apps instantly closing or becoming unresponsive when launched.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone and try accessing one of the Google apps or services again.
  • Make sure you’re using the correct password for the Google account. According to user B.Diddy in the Android Central thread linked above, changing the password for your Google account will prevent you from logging in from a new phone for some time.
  • Try removing and re-adding your accounts again. You can do this by going to Settings > Accounts.
  • Go to Settings > Apps > the affected Google app(s) > Clear Cache/Clear Data.
  • Perform a factory reset. First open Backup, then head to Backup > Internal storage > Next and choose the files you wish to backup. Then, select Backup. Now open Settings and head to Advanced settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset. If you want to format your internal storage, now is the time to do so. Once done, hit Reset phone. You can also tap Erase internal storage, which will do what you expect, but if you made a backup, you’ll be deleting that. Finally, tap Reset phone and your device will automatically restart when the process is complete. Restore your data by opening Backup, going to Restore > Restore from internal storage > Next. Afterward, choose the backup and data you want before tapping Start restoration.

Issue: Android Pay not working

In some cases, Huawei P9 users have been unsuccessful with Android Pay. When trying to use the feature, they’re met with the message “unsupported card” on the NFC reader’s screen, or the NFC reader doesn’t detect their phone at all.

Potential solutions:

  • If you have one of the dual-SIM Huawei P9 models, keep in mind that it doesn’t support NFC. Only single-SIM models offer NFC support.
  • Android Pay was updated in March. If you haven’t already,update the app to the latest version.
  • Make sure Android Pay supports your card and bank, as well as any stores you attempt to use it at.
  • Restart your phone and make sure it’s updated to the latest software version.
  • Remove the cards you’re trying to use, then re-add them.
  • It could be a faulty NFC reader at the retailer.
  • If none of the aforementioned solutions works for you, reach out to your carrier, or take your phone to the retailer you bought it from and ask about repairs or a replacement. Alternatively, locate a Huawei Service Center. There may be something wrong with your phone’s NFC capabilities.

Problem: Error message when using Camera app

When using the Camera app on the P9, a handful of users in this thread ran into an error message informing them that the camera is recording audio and “ can’t open at the moment.” Fortunately, this problem isn’t as dramatic as it may appear, and there are a few easy things you can try.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Google > Search > Voice > OK Google detection > Delete voice model > OK. This will disable a feature that allows you start a Google search from any app or webpage with the phrase, “OK Google.”
  • Wipe the cache partition. Start by turning your phone off, then press and hold the Power and Volume down keys until the Huawei logo appears. Then, use the Volume Down button to navigate to wipe cache partition and use the Power key to select it. Once the cache partition is wiped, go to reboot system now and use the Power key to select it.

Problem: App notifications not coming through

Some Huawei P9 owners have noticed that notifications for apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, and Facebook are not coming through unless the app is open. This is frustrating, because leaving the app(s) open when not in use can drain your battery at an unreasonable rate.

Potential solutions:

  • Open Power Manager > Protected Apps > The app you want notifications for > Toggle the switch on.
  • Go to Settings > Notification panel & status bar > Notification manager > the app you want notifications for > Toggle on the Priority display.

Problem: Bricked phone or phone is unresponsive

A number of people in these three threads on the XDA Developers forums have bricked their devices and have been unable to get them working again. Bricking isn’t unique to the P9, however. All Android phones can be rooted, making it difficult to know what, exactly, caused the issue.

Potential solutions:

  • Huawei has a program known as HiSuite, which may be able to help you get your Huawei P9 back in working condition.
  • Locate a Huawei Service Center to have your phone repaired.
  • Reach out to Huawei Support, as you may be able to have your device replaced.

Article originally published on 08-13-2016. Updated on 03-14-2017 by Kyree Leary: Added problems with Google account, Android Pay not working, Error message when using Camera app, No app notifications, and bricked phones. Removed old problems and added sources throughout. 

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Kyree Leary
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyree is an Atlanta-based freelance writer who spends a lot of his time writing about video games and all kinds of tech…
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