As huawei announced Mate 9, manufacturers have been follow established game plan, issued a “mainstream” pocket flagship in the spring, just to take a picture of our flat down time, to maintain throughout the year. In this case, huawei Mate 9 is now in our hands, seven months after P9.
And quite a blow it is indeed. For one, Huawei came up with not one Mate 9, but two of those. The super-exclusive Mate 9 Porsche Design will remain a rarity outside of posh company stores due to its prohibitive price – twice that of the Mate 9 proper, so we’ll leave that dual-curved marketing stunt of a smartphone out of it. Though we might revisit, now that the more reasonably priced Mate 9 Pro was finally announced in China sans the Porsche branding.
We will insist on vanilla Mate 9 now, there are a lot like it has not even all of the special version of the bells and whistles. Real partner tradition, it all starts with a large monitor – 5.9 inches in the iteration, the backup by a 4000 mAh battery, the benefits of all of this in a high quality aluminum body.
If the interesting stuff ended there, though, it would be just another phablet, no? Well, it doesn’t and it isn’t. Huawei’s brand new in-house Kirin 960 chipset is the vehicle for the debut of ARM’s latest Cortex-A73 cores promising a 30% performance boost over the A72s. And speaking of debuts, the Mali-G71 GPU is first seen here, with support for Vulkan and a focus on VR.
Of course, a camera. Since P9 huawei/leica cooperation is ripe for 20 mp / 12 mp camera Settings, monochrome and color. Now increases the optical stability and the benefits of 4 in 1 af. Oh, Mate 9 can record 4 k video – the first squad for huawei Mate.
Huawei Mate 9 key features:
• Premium aluminum unibody
• 5.9″ IPS LCD screen of FullHD resolution, 373ppi, 96% NTSC; 2.5D glass
• Kirin 960 chipset: Octa-core CPU (4xCortex-A73@2.4GHz + 4xCortex-A53@1.8GHz), i6 co-processor, octa-core Mali-G71 GPU, 4GB of RAM
• Android 7.0 Nougat; Huawei EMUI 5.0 overlay
• Leica co-engineered dual camera: 20MP monochrome/12MP color sensors, f2.2, 27mm equiv. focal length, 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus (phase/laser/contrast/depth sensing); dual-LED, dual-tone flash; 2160p and 1080p @ 30/60fps video capture
• 8MP autofocus selfie camera, f/1.9, 26mm lens; 1080p video capture
• 64GB of built-in storage, expansion via microSD up to 256GB (hybrid slot on the dual-SIM version)
• Fingerprint reader
• LTE Cat 12 (600Mbps downlink, 150Mbps uplink); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP, LE), GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo, NFC, IR blaster
• 4,000mAh battery; fast charging with proprietary 22.5W charger
• FullHD display resolution is not flagship-grade, especially on a display this large, and certainly not for VR use
• No dust or water resistance
• No documented display glass protection (just like on the P9)
• Non-removable battery
• Hybrid DualSIM/microSD card slot limits options
• No FM radio
Of course, this is not real life, if there is no compromise. In Mate 9 cases, these include FullHD display resolution – although it good enough generally use, VR forte is certainly is not the screen. The voice of the pixel density 5.5 inch QHD Mate 9 Pro is more suitable for the task.
We’d also be happier if the Mate had at least some water resistance – we’d appreciate the extra insurance on a device in this price bracket. Speaking of, Huawei doesn’t advertise any protection on the 2.5D display glass. We can’t imagine them entirely skipping any, but we tend to feel safer when we have that advertised, especially with the less than reassuring experience we had with the P9’s scratch-prone screen.