I’m sitting in Munich right now having just finished at the Huawei Press event. We saw the bigwigs at Huawei talk about their latest release, the brand new Huawei Mate 9. There’s been lots of speculation about the specs and looks of this particular phone. Some people have even suggested that it could fill the void that has been left by the combustible Note 7.
However, up until now all of those things have been just rumour and suggestion, so let’s get down to some hard and fast facts.
Let’s start with the fact that there are 2 versions of the phone. One is the standard Mate 9 and the second will be a Porsche Design (PD) version. The big difference between the two versions are the cost, storage capacity, RAM and the screens used. On the standard Mate 9 we find a flat edged 5.9″ screen with a 1080p resolution.
The PD version will have curved edges, very much of the same design as on the Galaxy S7 edge.The resolution of the PD jumps up to 4K whilst dropping to a 5.5″ screen size. The glass is also using Gorillia Glass 4 which bodes well for the resilience of the unit. It also provides a really nice feel when you’re using the display.The PD Version will also have the Fingerprint reader mounted in the front of the phone, instead of in the back like the standard Mate 9. Both fingerprint readers are gesture aware as well as Huawei have done before.
Underneath the screens on both models is the Huawei Kirin 960 processor. This is latest and greatest chip from Huawei’s Hi-Silicon brand and is looking comparable with that of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 series. The chip is an octa-core unit rated at 2.6GHz which is arranged in a “big little” design. The chip is the latest ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU. Huawei are the first to use both of these chips so far and the most powerful chips according to Geekbench 4.0.0 multi-core CPU performance and DDR performance tests.
This will ensure snappy performance in all aspects especially when paired with the 4GB RAM on the standard phone. However, if you opt for the PD variant then you will be able to enjoy up to 6GB of RAM. Again, the storage size will differ between the standard and PD version. The former has up to 64GB and the later having up to 256GB. In addition, you’ll get the microSD card that will be supported on both phones up to 256GB. In theory, this means that your phone could have a bigger memory capacity than most ultrabooks on the market, a fact that still boggles my mind slightly!
The rest of the specs are the same, with the both the phones featuring all the same connectivity options across the board. These include the following:-
-Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, hotspot
-Bluetooth – v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
-GPS – Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
-NFC – Yes
-Radio – FM radio
-USB – Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
Huawei has put their fine attention to detail into the making of the antenna’s on this device. They have given the phone the very best chance for it to receive signal in all scenarios regardless of which medium you are connecting to. It is something that they are very proud. With the phone being a true world phone they are aiming this at frequent travellers as one of their key marketing segments. it is going to support 7 WCDMA bands and 4 GSM bands which pretty sweet. I know what phone I will taking on my next international trip!
Another area that has been a big focus for the Mate family line over the past few years is the battery. Rest assured that this is an area where corners have not been cut, as the Mate 9 standard has a massive 4000mAh battery on board. this proported to be good for 2 days “real world” usage. The PD version has got a slightly lower capacity but it is also driving a samller screen so should still hit the same metics. This is in addition to their own version of Qualcomm’s quick charge protocol. They call this “Super Charge”. This will allow the phone to charge up to 50% in 2o mins meaning that it is very much hot on the heels of the other flagships from the likes of Samsung etc. The battery uses slightly newer technology to allow for this rapid charging and it has been painstakingly tested from the ground up in order to avoid the disaster of the Note 7.
Here is their less than subtle dig at Samsung that was included in the event with the words from Richard Yu “it will not explode”
Another really neat feature of the Mate range is that this battery can be used as a power supply for other devices. With 4000mAh to share, this is very handy.
The big news, of course, is the new camera. Actually, it’s perhaps doing Huawei a disservice as the P9 actually has two Lecia co-developed cameras onboard. This time we find that the RGB sensor has been increased to a 20MP sensor and the Monochrome one is still at 12MP. This will hopefully allow for a much better end image, although that being said the P9 (with its two 12MP sensors) was very good. The camera also has a very clever Hybrid Zoom allowing you get the same effect as 2x Optical Zoom by using the two sensors and interpolation between the respective captured images. You can also like on the P9 change the focus point on the picture after it has been taken
As is always the case with these things, the proof will be in the testing, though. Also found nestled next to the camera is a Dual LED and dual tone flash. The camera, as expected, also features 4-1 Hybrid Auto-focus that features laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus and contrast focus and optical image stabilisation. All in this does look like a really nice camera setup and I am excited to start using it in anger.
Other features are really what you would be expecting from a flagship device. We have a fingerprint reader on the back which has the awesome speed that we are accustomed to from Huawei devices of late. We also have an accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, barometer and compass on board.
What is really nice to see here is NFC. This means that the phone will be fully compliant with Android Pay and other contactless payment options. It is nice to see Chinese manufacturers including this feature, particularly in devices that are being aimed at the European markets.
The phones are both going to be running Android 7.0 out of the box, which makes it the second non-Google device to be doing so after the LG V20. Sadly we will not be seeing that in the UK anytime soon. On top of the Android OS is Huawei’s EMUI5.0 that has some very nifty looking features including the ability to utilise the dual sim aspect of the phone. if you like me are someone who carries 2 phones then you may no longer need to that as you can now have Whats App and Facebook Messenger running on both sims at the same time. Please bear in mind is dependant on you having the Dual Sim and this may not appear on our shores especially if it is through a network retailer.
The build quality of the phone is stunning and it really does feel beautiful in the hand. Whilst it is quite large in size, it is still manageable. Bear in mind thought that you will not be using this in one hand very often as it is a bit of a stretch to do so.
The pricing for the phones is pretty special with the standard Mate 9 coming in at £624 and the PD Mate 9 costing £1245 when it lands in January of 2017.
Here is a breakdown of all the specs for the standard Mate 9
Height: 156.9mm; Width: 78.9mm
Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White, Blac
1080p (1920 x 1080), 373ppi
16.7M colors, Color saturation (NTSC) 96%
HUAWEI Kirin 960; Octa-core (4 x 2.4 GHz A73 + 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) + i6 co-processor
Mali G71 Octa-core
Android™ 7.0 (Nougat)
microSD card slot, support up to 256GB (uses secondary SIM slot)
Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support
BT4.2, BLE support
USB Type-C (Hi-Speed USB)
Front: 8MP AF, F1.9
Main: Dual, 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB, F2.2
OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
4000 mAh (Typical Value)
Before we leave things though we did also get shown the Huawei Fit which is the new fitness band I didn’t get a chance to get any time with that specific device. It is essentially Huawei’s idea of a Fitbit. We will cover it in a separate article. That about rounds it up for the device, to be honest. We will have a full unboxing and review coming up soon so keep it glued here for more to come from the Mate 9.
Huawei Introduces the HUAWEI Mate 9
A Step Ahead: New Mate Series Delivers a Breakthrough Android Experience with Powerful New Performance, Battery and UX Advances
Munich – Nov. 3, 2016 – Today at an exclusive global launch event, Huawei Consumer Business Group unveiled two of the most anticipated devices of the year – the HUAWEI Mate 9 and the exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9. Building on Huawei’s success in delivering beautifully-designed, powerful mobile devices, the newest members of the Mate Series provides users with an all new Android experience – featuring the Kirin 960 for the fastest computing performance, SuperCharge technology and a stunning new UX.
“In developing the HUAWEI Mate 9, we started with a simple question – how can we improve every element of the smartphone experience?” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “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.”
The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a dynamic interplay of industry-leading hardware and advanced software that work together to keep users a step ahead. Key features include:
Kirin 960 chipset, the world’s highest performing smartphone processor*
EMUI 5.0, an intuitive user interface that streamlines the users’ experience with the OS
SuperCharge technology that delivers a full day’s charge in 20 minutes
Second generation Leica dual-lens camera with 12-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, featuring a superior 2x magnification
Maximized Performance and Speed with Kirin 960
With over 100 million units sold, Huawei’s Kirin chipsets showcase the company’s deep understanding of the kind of power and experience users are looking for – a fast mobile device that is intuitive and reliable. The HUAWEI Mate 9 Series debuts the premium Kirin 960 chipset with Huawei’s Machine Learning Algorithm to deliver a fast and smooth experience, even after 18 months of continuous usage.
The Kirin 960 is the world’s first chipset to feature an ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU. The CPU delivers the best multi-core performance among all smartphone SoCs, while reducing power consumption by 15 percent. The GPU boasts a 180 percent performance uplift and a 40 percent improvement in energy efficiency compared to its predecessor. The Kirin 960 also takes full advantage of the pioneering Vulkan graphics standard on Android 7.0, increasing graphics performance by up to 400 percent.
A Safe, Faster-Charging Battery
The HUAWEI Mate 9 combines a 4000 mAh high-density battery with Huawei’s all new SuperCharge technology. With its advanced power saving technology, the HUAWEI Mate 9 increases battery life to provide over two days of uninterrupted performance. This includes a 40 percent increase in CDMA call time and a 20 percent increase in gaming time.
Supporting 5A fast charging, SuperCharge technology enables a 50 percent improvement over the previous generation – 10 minutes of charge provides enough power to watch two full movies. Most importantly, the battery sets a new standard in charging technology including Super Safe 5-gate protection, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to eliminate safety hazards and safeguard battery life.
A New Standard for Professional-quality Smartphone Photography
Following the incredible success of the Huawei P9, the HUAWEI Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica. Huawei and Leica have continued to improve and enhance the optical performance of the camera module, which now includes a 12-megapixel/F2.2 RGB sensor, a 20-megapixel/F2.2 monochrome sensor and enhanced image fusion algorithms that work in concert to produce stunning photography.
The RGB sensor captures true-to-life colors, while the monochrome sensor captures intricate details and depth resulting in the iconic Leica Image Style. When paired with the leading dual-lens camera Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) solution and the industry’s first dual-camera pixel binning technology, the HUAWEI Mate 9 has a superior night shot capability. The Kirin 960 is designed specifically to support the HUAWEI Mate 9’s second generation Leica dual-lens camera with Hybrid Zoom. The 4-1 Hybrid Auto-focus features laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus and contrast focus.
Performance in Design
The HUAWEI Mate 9 builds upon the Mate Series’ highly-regarded design DNA and uses the finest materials to deliver a smartphone that features a 5.9” FHD display and is both beautifully designed and comfortable to use. Based on an extensive process of research and development, the HUAWEI Mate 9 is constructed using 50 unique processes including one hour of CNC milling, resulting in a high-precision unibody metal frame. Every detail – from the soft sandblasted texture to the gorgeous color palette – is a result of more than 25 years’ experience in delivering refined craftsmanship.
Design Icon Meets Technology Leader
The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is a limited edition smartphone combining Porsche Design’s signature brand aesthetic with Huawei’s mobile engineering expertise. Together Huawei and Porsche Design have achieved a new pinnacle where Porsche Design’s unique signature aesthetic meets Huawei’s market-leading technology. With the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9, Huawei introduces a remarkable 5.5” curved AMOLED display that offers a smooth, sleek feel. It will be available exclusively in Graphite Black. (See additional PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 details.)
The Android Experience Reimagined
With the introduction of EMUI 5.0, the HUAWEI Mate 9 reimagines the native Android operating system using Linux to improve the experience, aesthetics and functionality. With EMUI 5.0, the HUAWEI Mate 9 becomes more intelligent and efficient over time by understanding consumers’ behavior patterns, and ensures the highest priority applications are given preference subject to system resources. This guarantees a long-lasting, smooth experience as over time, EMUI 5.0 slows down the performance erosion that all smartphone devices experience. EMUI 5.0 also introduces a brand new intuitive interface design. More than 50 percent of features can now be reached within two clicks while over 90 percent can be reached within three clicks.
Pricing and Availability
The HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Black, Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.
The exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Graphite Black.
The HUAWEI Mate 9 will be available in the following first-wave launch markets:
Huawei Consumer Business Group also launched the HUAWEI FIT, a fitness watch featuring heart rate monitoring, automatic step counting, sleep tracking and support for multi-sport activities. The HUAWEI FIT provides comprehensive and customized running programs and offers real-time coaching; after a run the watch displays VO2 max, recovery time and a training score. It is the first wearable device to achieve the TÜV-WT reliability and accuracy certification.
The HUAWEI FIT is available in Titanium Gray and Moonlight Silver for €149 in the following first-wave launch markets: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and the United States.
*Geekbench 4.0.0 multi-core CPU performance and DDR performance.
About Huawei Consumer Business Group
Huawei’s products and services are available in more than 170 countries, and are used by a third of the world’s population, ranking third in the world in mobile phone shipments in 2015. Sixteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. Huawei Consumer BG is one of Huawei’s three business units and covers smartphones, PC and tablets, wearables and cloud services, etc. Huawei’s global network is built on 20 years of expertise in the telecom industry and is dedicated to delivering the latest technological adv