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Tue, 8 November 2016

Huawei Launches Mate 9 Flagship Smartphone

Huawei has launched a new flagship smartphone, the Mate 9.

Key features of the Huawei Mate 9 include:

- Kirin 960 chipset, Huawei’s newest and highest performing smartphone processor;

 - EMUI 5.0, an upgraded user interface based on Android Nougat 7.0;

- 5.9” FHD display;

- SuperCharge technology that Huawei says can deliver a full day’s charge in 20 minutes; and

- Second generation Leica dual-lens camera with 12-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, featuring 2X magnification.

“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 the new Mate Series, breathtakingly new, inside and out.”

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.

 Huawei says that the GPU boosts performance by 180% and improves energy efficiency by 40% 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%.

Battery

The Huawei Mate 9 combines a 4000 mAh high-density battery with Huawei’s all new SuperCharge technology. Supporting 5A fast charging, SuperCharge technology enables a 50% improvement over the previous generation. This works so well that Huawei says that just 10 minutes of charge provides enough power to watch two full movies.

Huawei also claims that the battery sets a new standard in charging technology including Super Safe 5-gate protection, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring.

Smartphone Photography

Following the success of the Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus, the Huawei Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica.

 The camera module now includes a 12-megapixel f/2.2 RGB sensor, a 20-megapixel f/2.2 monochrome sensor and enhanced image fusion algorithms that work in concert to produce better pictures.

The camera also features dual-lens camera Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) solution and dual-camera pixel binning technology for superior night shot capabilities.

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.

 The Huawei Mate 9 will be available in Black, Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.

The first-wave of launch markets include China, Malaysia, France, Poland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain, Japan, Thailand, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The Huawei Mate 9 with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of built-in memory has a RRP of €699.

The Huawei Mate 9 will launch in Hong Kong at the end of November 2016.

Editor's Note

If you read reviews of the previous Huawei flagship, the P9 Plus, you will see a lot of negative comments about the EMUI that Huawei installed on top of the Android system. Frankly, a lot of that was unfounded and once you get used to it you will quickly forget what you came from.

You will also see a lot of English-language bloggers and media criticising Huawei for putting the fingerprint sensor on the back. That is where it is on most phones in China. I can understand the argument for having it on the front when it is lying on a flat surface such as your desk, but the back is far more useful for when you pull it out of your pocket and want to turn it on. The ideal situation would be to have a fingerprint sensor on both the back and on the front home button, but if I had to choose just one I would put it on the back.

The P9 Plus is blazingly fast, the camera terrific for a smartphone, it feels great and it does charge incredibly quickly, from 34% to 97% in about one hour in real world tests.

Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9

I have yet to get my hands on the Hauwei Mate 9 but when I do I will be looking to see if Huawei has improved the glass covering the camera lenses on the back of the phone. On the P9 Plus it is not clear whether that glass is Gorilla Glass or not, and it does seem to scratch easily leading some to speculate that is is not Gorilla Glass, at least not the latest version.

I would also like to see Huawei improve the watermark feature in the camera. The user should be able to edit what he or she wants the watermark to look like, where the watermark should be located, how big, small and transparent it should be, and what info the watermark should include. A name for example, a copyright mark perhaps a code or date. This is something the P9 Plus is lacking. It would be also useful if you were able to watermark one image, send it automatically to one folder and keep the original version in a separate folder in case you want to use it without a watermark.

The P9 Plus is already very, very fast - even when you have many apps open, and it is exceptionally reliable. I expect the Huawei Mate 9 to be even faster so the side by side comparisons to come should be very interesting.

See other recent news regarding: : Huawei, Mobile, Technology.

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