Huawei Mate 9 enters the fray as the Note7 smoke settles

3 Nov 2016

Still from ‘The new Huawei Mate 9’. Image: Huawei/YouTube

Huawei has revealed the Mate 9, with really interesting ingredients making for quite the entry into the premium smartphone landscape.

As Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 vanishes from view, leaving nothing but a trace of smoke and a monumentally expensive bill for the South Korean company, Huawei hopes its Mate 9 can fill the void.

The Note7 was supposed to be the greatest phablet around, just as the size difference between smartphones and phablets become the smallest yet. Its failure was swift and dangerous, but the phablet market seemingly remains strong.

Mate 9

Mate 9 is the first device to operate on Android 7, commonly known as Nougat, and is decked out with its own processor and a screen size just below 6in, which makes it smaller than its predecessor.

Mate 9 sports a 4,000 mAh battery, fingerprint sensor on the back, a dual-camera system on the rear, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of memory and the new USB Type-C charge port. Most interesting, though, is the Kirin 960 processor, which Huawei claims is its fastest ever.

The rear camera is 20MP, f/2.2, with the front camera 8MP, f/1.9, and a 1080p display. There are also microSD slots included.

The Mate 9 will come in standard colour options, with ‘creative’ names: Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.

There are four microphones built into the phone, providing for some interesting audio capabilities, while the company’s processor could prove a bit of a game changer if the claims are true.

Huawei says it has developed proprietary technology to address the fact that smartphones tend to run slower once they have been used for several months.

“Our phones will on average be 80pc faster than another device after one year,” a spokesman told the BBC.

There are actually two devices, a standard Mate 9 at €699 and a Porsche-inspired version for around double that.

The oddly named Porsche Design Mate 9 is not for the masses it seems; souped-up with 6GB of RAM, 256GB internal memory, and a screen with 2K resolution. A smaller display size of 5.5in is offset by an ode to the Galaxy Edge series, with a curved, interactive screen.

Released in Europe and Asia, reports have already emerged that the US will be the next market for Mate 9 in a few months’ time.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic