Huawei Mate 9 is out: powerful biggie with sweet Nougat and Leica-branded camera duo
Huawei just took the stage and removed the wrapper from its long-rumored Mate 9 flagship phablet, and the good news is that the phone keeps the slim and stylish exterior, as well as the fine screen-to-body ratio of its predecessor. The freshest member of the Mate series is again pretty compact for a 6-incher, while sporting some greatly updated internals.
Here, it is a Leica-branded combo that consists of one monochromatic 20 MP shooter, and a color 12 MP sensor that collect and mix much more color and depth of field info from a scene than what you would have with one rear camera only. In addition, the camera duo is optically stabilized, and the image processing power is enough so that it can shoot 4K definition video. The rumors that the camera will sport optical zoom with a setup similar to the iPhone 7 Plus didn't really pan out, as the Mate 9 uses info from both cameras for the so-called Hybrid Zoom, which is a variation of a digital one.
Power and storage
Speaking of silicon, the one powering Mate 9 is Huawei's own flagship Kirin 960 chipset that consists of an octa-core processor (four 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 and four 1.8 GHz A53 cores), powerful Mali G71 MP8 graphics, and an i6 co-processor for motion and image sensor calculation duties. Because of this sensor and some other prerequisites, the Mate 9 is one of the first Daydream VR-ready phones this side of Google's new Pixels, too. The phone comes with 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage, which is a pretty sweet setup, considering that Huawei also gives you a microSD slot for expansion.
Battery and charging
The Mate 9 sports a generous 4000 mAh battery to keep the lights on. With that capacity, a frugal 5.9" 1080p display, and Android 7.0 Nougat with enhanced Doze mode on board, the Mate 9 can easily be taken for a weekend trip away from the charger, provided that it doesn't consist of Pokemon hunting, of course. Moreover, Huaweu provides a 5A "SuperCharger" which is capable of pumping the 4000 mAh piece full of electron for about an hour and change which is a commendable achievement, especially if you are in a hurry.
The stock Nougat interface is layered with Huawei's own Emotion UI 5.0 on top, which includes customizable press and swipe functions for the clicky finger scanner on the back. The interface apparently sports artificial intelligence now, too, that can tell the ways you are most often using the phone with, and adapt accordingly.
The classy metal chassis will be available in several anodized hues for every taste, which Huawei calls Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, and Ceramic White. Mum's the word on availability just yet, but it shouldn't be long before we know, while the price is pegged at EUR 699. Do you like what you see with the new 9 from the world's third-largest phone maker?