Wow! Huawei. The company has been very busy last year and was literally everywhere, reinforcing its global presence. On a more personal note, after a wonderful Huawei APAC Innovation Day which I had the chance to attend, in Sydney (November 2nd), I could set my sights on the official announcements to come from Germany (November 3rd).
Among the new products, the Huawei Mate 9 made a remarkable appearance. Now, with the CES running at full speed, the Mate 9 was, yet again, part of the announcements made by CEO Richard Yu and is now due to sell in the USA (Jan 6th).
With the Mate 9, Huawei showed that innovation is not simply a word. The Mate 9 comes with a sleek design and packs some serious power too. And how could I not mention the fact that there are two versions of it? A standard one and a second one created in collaboration with Porsche Design (!). Both built on the same frame with an aluminium casing but different types of screens.
Huawei Mate 9 or Huawei Mate 9 by Porsche Design?
The team at Porsche Design has decided to take a page from Samsung by fitting their version of the Mate 9 with a curved screen, partly covering the sides of the phone. For Samsung lovers, it does look similar to the screen available on the Galaxy Note 7.
When it comes to buttons and the handling of the phone, Huawei have opted for a similar positioning as what is seen on the P9, for example, putting all of them on the right hand side. In the same way, the fingerprint sensor is positioned at the back of the phone, under the camera(s), once again built in collaboration with Leica.
Did I write cameras? Indeed. The novelty seen on the recent iPhone 7 is already an old story (see the Huawei P9 for example) – but such a good one – at Huawei as they do boast a double camera module. And an even better photo quality.
The technology is premium
The classic version of the phone offers a 5.9-inch full HD screen, a Kirin 960 processor and 4GB of RAM with 64 GB of storage (which can be increased by using a micro SD card).
The Porsche Design one goes even further with a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD screen, a Kirin 960 and 6GB of RAM (!!!) with 256 GB of storage (which can not be extended with an SD card though).
They both share the same module for photography, with a 20 megapixels monochrome camera and an RGB one of 12 megapixels.
The front camera offering an “acceptable” 8 megapixels.
Add 4G compatibility, Wifi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and GLONASS to the party, with a 4,000 mAh battery and a USB-C port.
And with the fast charging feature, the battery will be back to 50% within 30 minutes.
Straight out of CEO Richard Yu’s CES speech, the Huawei Mate 9 comes with a pre-installed voice-interactive app giving access to Amazon Alexa. And the Mate 9 pro, as well as the Porsche Design version, will eventually support Google Daydream.
The phone also comes with a new artificial intelligence feature that learns the daily habit of a user.
Gorgeous, smart, (super) powerful. What else? With Huawei seizing the “Manufacturer of the year” award from Android Authority, the company not only dominated 2016 but looks like they are ready to keep growing in 2017.
Update: A little after publishing this post, news came up and the Huawei Mate 9 was awarded a “Best of CES 2017” title. Huawei and the Mate 9 are definitely owning this CES 2017.
Disclaimer: I am part of the Huawei KOL (Key Opinion Leaders). This review, however, only reflects my honest and unbiased opinion and interest in this device.