The fierce demise of Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Huawei’s Mate 9 is the new preferred option for those big and powerful like smartphones.
It does not hit the best heights of Samsung and Apple, but this is another very solid performer from the Chinese giants, talented battery life and a very nice camera, all at a relatively reasonable price point.
Huawei, as almost everyone, but also with Samsung and Apple’s design.
Smooth metal finish of companion 9 certainly does not feel cheap but does not come close to the Milky Way Premium Style S7 Edge or iPhone 7.
The other minor weakness of Companion 9 is its 5.9-inch Full HD display, which retains its predecessor companion 8.
The video and pictures are again nice but lacking in vibrant four-drive HD display on the HTC 10 and Galaxy S7’s Amoled Amazing screen.
When it comes to staying power, however, the Mate 9 wipes the floor with the competition, sporting a whopping 4,000 mAh battery.
This is the rare smartphone where you genuinely don’t need to worry about preserving battery life, with plenty of charge remaining at the end of the day, even after heavy usage.
The Mate 9’s other big selling feature is its dual-lens camera, engineered in conjunction with legendary German camera manufacturer Leica.
A 12MP colour sensor and a 20MP black and white sensor work together to produce impressively detailed images, even if it can’t quite match the low light performance of the Galaxy S7. Its 8MP front facing camera takes perfectly decent selfies.
All in all the Mate 9 is an impressive if not stellar package, with its design and display falling a little short of the Apple and Samsung’s flagships.
Thankfully, it also falls short price wise, retailing at Dh2,299, considerably less than an entry level iPhone 7 Plus.
The Mate 9 may not be perfect but it’s a very compelling option for those looking for good all-round performance at a reasonable price point.
John Everington reveals more about Huawei’s new Mate 9:
So, it’s got a big display and a big battery then. Is it big in other ways too?
If you’re talking about memory and storage, yeah, sure. The Mate 9 comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard, significant upgrades on the entry level Mate 8, although that model was a few hundred dirhams cheaper as well.
I like things big, but also powerful. Does the Mate 9 deliver?
Huawei claims it’s the most powerful smartphone in the world. That’s like saying my cat is better than your cat (which she is, by the way), in that it’s impossible to prove and not the most helpful metric. Still, there’s definitely a lot of power under the hood, with everything loading quickly, with the rear mounted fingerprint reader particularly nippy.
So what other big phones is the Mate 9 competing against?
With a 5.7 inch display and dual camera system of its own, LG’s V20 is probably the closest competitor. LG’s design, cameras and display have the edge on the Huawei and it comes with a second, programmable display on the front. However it’ll cost Dh400 more, and has a comparatively puny battery. And if you have very large hands, there’s also Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, retailing for Dh1,999, giving you a frankly ludicrous 6.4 inch screen.
I think I’ll stick with the Mate 9 for the moment. What colour does it come in?
Space Grey, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White. No pinkish hues unfortunately.