Introduction and Specifications
The Mate 9 is the current version of Huawei’s signature 6-inch smartphone, building on last year’s iteration with the company’s new Kirin 960 SoC (featuring ARM's next-generation Bifrost GPU architecture), improved industrial design, and exclusive Leica-branded dual camera system.
In the ultra-competitive smartphone world there is little room at the top, and most companies are simply looking for a share of the market. Apple and Samsung have occupied the top two spots for some time, with HTC, LG, Motorola, and others, far behind. But the new #3 emerged not from the usual suspects, but from a name many of us in the USA had not heard of until recently; and it is the manufacturer of the Mate 9. And comparing this new handset to the preceding Mate 8 (which we looked at this past August), it is a significant improvement in most respects.
With this phone Huawei has really come into their own with their signature phone design, and 2016 was a very good product year with the company’s smartphone offerings. The P9 handset launched early in 2016, offering not only solid specs and impressive industrial design, but a unique camera that was far more than a gimmick. Huawei’s partnership with Leica has resulted in a dual-camera system that operates differently than systems found on phones such as the iPhone 7 Plus, and the results are very impressive. The Mate 9 is an extension of that P9 design, adapted for their larger Mate smartphone series.
Subject: Mobile | November 3, 2016 - 09:58 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: smartphone, phablet, Mate 9, Mate 8, Mali-G71, Leica, Kirin 960, Kirin 950, Huawei, dual camera
Huawei announced their flagship Mate 9 smartphone earlier today, successor to the Mate 8 we reviewed a few months back. A hair smaller than last year's phablet design, the Mate 9 boasts improved internals and the dual-lens Leica camera recently introduced with the company's P9 phone.
The biggest change inside the Mate 9 is the new Kirin 960 SoC, which makes use of the latest ARM Cortex architecture in an 8-core big.LITTLE design. Importantly, the Kirin 960 also includes the latest Mali-G71 MP8 graphics, and with GPU power a low point with the Kirin 950 this is a welcome change.
- 5.9” FHD display
- 2.5D glass
- 1080p (1920 x 1080), 373ppi
- 16.7M colors, Color saturation (NTSC) 96% High contrast 1500:1 (Typical)
- CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 960; Octa-core (4 x 2.4 GHz A73 + 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) + i6 co-processor
- GPU: Mali-G71 MP8
- Memory and Storage:
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB Storage
- microSD card slot, supports up to 256GB (uses secondary SIM slot)
- Front: 8MP AF, F1.9
- Main: Dual, 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB, F2.2 OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
- 4K video
- 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)
- Battery 4000 mAh
- Operating System: Android 7.0 (Emotion UI 5.0)
- Colors: Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White, Black
- Size and Weight:
- (H x W x D): 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
- Approx. 190 g
The other major improvement for the Mate 9 vs. the 8 is the primary camera, which now incorporates a dual-lens system. The dual Leica lenses in the Mate 9 are backed by two different cameras, with separate color and monochrome image sensors. This unusual setup has the potential to offer more detailed images, and the camera system can also produce simulated depth-of-field effects.
We have day-one review hardware in hand here at PC Perspective, so stay tuned for the full review!