Huawei has unveiled its new the Mate 9, offering a 5.9-inch screen, high performance internals and a large 4,000mAh battery.
Huawei introduced the Mate 9 at a global event. The phone’s 5.9-inch display makes it one of the biggest on the market, even larger than the 5.7-inch Note 7. It’s made of a metal chassis that’s clean and simplistic. A dual-lens camera system and fingerprint sensor adorned the rear case while the front is dominated by the giant screen.
The Mate 9 is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor. The company claims it’s the “world’s highest performing” smartphone chipset. It has now sold over 100 million units worldwide. The octa-core ARM Cortex-A73 CPU reduces power consumption by up to 15 percent and the Mali G71 GPU boosts graphics performance by up to 180 percent compared with its predecessor.
According to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business he said “In developing the HUAWEI Mate 9, we started with a simple question – how can we improve every element of the smartphone experience?” “We know that for today’s business users, a fast and functional smartphone is just the beginning. Consumers also want a gorgeous design and intuitive features, so we created two new devices at the forefront of hardware and software innovation. The result is a device that is breathtakingly new, inside and out.”
Huawei has returned to Leica to develop the Mate 9’s dual-lens camera. It is now based around a 12-megapixel colour sensor and a second 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. The two work together with image fusion algorithms to capture colour and detail across the image. The colour sensor is responsible for true-to-life colour accuracy. The monochrome sensor improves overall image quality as it can capture details that would be lost on a single sensor system.
Besides the basics, Huawei has added a market-leading 4,000mAh high-density battery that can gain enough power to watch two full movies after 10 minutes of charging. There’s also 64GB of expandable storage, a fingerprint sensor and four built-in microphones that can be individually disabled during audio recordings. It adopts a black colour scheme, graphite finish and curved edges for an even more premium feel. According to Huawei, the collaboration with Porsche offers customers “an unrivalled premium smartphone experience,” incorporating “luxurious design cues.”
The Mate 9 is as much about software as it is powerful hardware. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei’s new EMUI 5.0 skin on top. EMUI has previously been criticized by consumers outside of China. Older versions of the interface abandoned Android’s visual style almost entirely, layering soft colours across the OS and removing the app drawer.
Huawei has finally realized the approach isn’t working. EMUI has been given a complete overhaul that includes a new simplified look, the option of an app drawer and heavily reduced menu clutter. There’s also a machine learning system that claims to make the phone run faster over time, instead of falling victim to a gradually more sluggish experience as the handset ages. EMUI monitors how you use your phone and changes what processes get the most CPU power accordingly.
Huawei has concentrated more on the overall experience. Instead of adding every piece of hardware available, it said consumers are more interested in a phone that covers all the bases.
The Huawei Mate 9 will be available in a range of markets at launch, including European regions. The regular 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage version will cost €699 and be available in Black, Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White. The Graphite Black Porsche Design special edition with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will be priced at €1,395. Huawei said the Mate 9 will be available in the United States but it has not yet stated a timeframe.