The Huawei Mate 9 follows into the steps of the P9 but with a twist. Yes, it’s flagship stuff inside out, but while the Huawei P9 was, how should I put it, more pocketable, the Huawei Mate 9 is the definition of a phablet, being aimed at users who spend most of their time pecking at their smartphones, i.e. watching movies, videos, live streams and what not.
And for that kind of heavy usage, there is no replacement for displacement. Err, screen real estate, but I think you know what I am talking about.
Arriving seven months after the P9, the Huawei Mate 9 was released actually in two flavors,the regular or “vanilla” if you like and the Porsche Design, which is a rare gem due to its prohibitive price.
The Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design costs twice as much as the proper version, yet it features a very interesting dual curved design. However, for all intents and purposes, we will focus on the Huawei Mate 9 today, because after all is said and done, I can’t think of a good enough reason to spend one grand (or more) on a smartphone branded Huawei. Nor a Vertu for that matter or even a gold plated iPhone, but hey, that’s just me, I don’t consider smartphones to fall into the bling/social status category. That’s what diamonds and Bugatti’s are for, gadgets are for everybody, or at least that’s my opinion and it’s the best in the world.
Kidding aside, true to its traditions, the Huawei Mate 9 boasts a 5.9 inches wide display and a huge 4000 mAh battery, everything packed tight into a full metal jacket aluminum unibody.
It’s already sounding pretty cool, doesn’t it? But wait, it gets better: this flagship phablet made in China runs on Huawei’s best/in-house made Kirin 960 system on chip, which marks a debut for ARM’s latest and greatest Cortex A73 CPUs, which are thirty percent faster than the previous generation. That’s quite a boost in terms of sheer power by any metrics, right?
And speaking of world-premieres, the Huawei Mate 9 is powered by a Mali G71 graphics processing unit, i.e. this GPU is first seen here, featuring Vulkan support and being aimed at Virtual Reality applications.
Oh, and then let’s take a look at the camera. As we’re already accustomed with, Huawei works with Leica for providing them with high end optics for their flagships and of course, this is the case with the Huawei Mate 9.
This smartphone boasts a 20 megapixels/10 megapixels dual camera setup , with both monochrome/color sensors respectively but this time there’s optical image stabilization and 4 in 1 auto-focus, unlike the P9. Basically, the technology matured and more than that,it evolved into something beautiful.
Another first for the Mate lineup is that the Huawei Mate 9 is capable of recording ultra High Definition videos, or 4k in the parlance of geeks.
So, we have a phablet with a premium aluminum unibody design, a 5.9 inches LCD IPS display of full HD resolution, 2.5 D glass, 96% NTSC and 373 pixels per inch density, a high end/in house made Kirin 960 SoC i.e. an octa-core CPU architecture, an octa-core GPU, an i6 co-processor and 4 GB of RAM, a Leica branded/co-engineered snapper, 64 GB of internal storage, expandable via micro SD, a finger print scanner, LTE Cat 12, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even an infrared blaster and finally a fast charging 4000 mAh monster of a battery.
The main shortcomings are the full HD display, which is not quite flagship grade, yet it improves the performance of the smartphone dramatically, the lack of dust and water proofing which would have been nice to have, but not a deal breaker and the lack of any mention about the display’s glass protection, like it was the case with the P9. That one’s really weird.
But bottom line, if you’re seeking for a cool top shelf phablet with a great display (even if it’s not AMOLED), looking and feeling as premium as they come, with a dependable battery and an epic camera, offering class leading performance at all levels, the Huawei Mate 9 is very easy to recommend.