The Huawei Mate 9 managed to sneak past me somehow. But Huawei’s latest flagship looks really impressive.
The Chinese phone maker has once again delivered an incredible-looking top-end smartphone. It looks even better in its Porsche Design guise!
The Mate 9 features a 5.9-inch HD display. This is backed up with powerful hardware and the company’s most detailed camera to date.
All of this runs on Android Nougat lightly skinned by EMUI 5.0.
In the engine-bay sits a Kirin 960 octa-core processor built by Huawei. Word is that it outperforms the Snapdragon 821 that powers the latest flagship Android devices such as the Google Pixel.
This is all mated with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It can handle a further 256GB via its SIM 2 slot.
The battery can also be recharged quicker than ever thanks to Huawei’s own SuperCharge technology. This slings the device over 50%t battery life from just 30 minutes of charging.
The Huawei Mate 9 camera
The Mate 9, as expected, packs a dual camera system. This is comprised of a 20MP Monochrome sensor and 12MP RGB, F2.2 snapper.
The Mate 9 comes packing access to Amazon’s Alexa. Huawei says the app will offer customers a “natural, convenient user interface” for talking to the digital assistant. It will, of course, be capable of all the usual tasks — setting alarms, making to-do lists, and getting information about the news and weather.
This is the first time that Alexa has come pre-installed on a phone.
This is certainly a huge step for Huawei and for Amazon and a definite win-win too! Huawei gets to sell the first properly Alexa-enabled smartphone, while Amazon gets the chance to forge a partnership with one of the biggest smartphone makers in China by volume.
The latter is pretty meaningful as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot have not yet been allowed in to China. So, Alexa slipping in to the country via a smartphone is, well, a smart move on Amazon’s part.
Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design
If you’re in the market for something a little more exclusive then the Porsche Design variant should get your juices flowing.
For me, this was love at first sight. Yes, it’s twice the price of the regular Mate 9 but it does pack more than just fancy logos.
Yes, Porsche Design’s name is emblazoned above the display. There is even a PD logo stamped centrally on the back of the device. But the phone also has a beautiful, eye-catching design, filled with some superb technical specifications.
The screen is curved like the Galaxy S7 Edge which matches its curved rear panel.
The phone is only available in a brushed, almost matte black finish. The finish gives the phone a mature air, so it doesn’t look like a flashy trinket. For me, this adds a classy, executive air to the handset. Rather than the brash bling of other devices.
The display measures 5.5-inches, smaller than the Mate 9’s huge 5.9-inch screen, but has a higher 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution.
The Porsche Design Mate 9 shares the cameras, battery and processor with its Huawei cousin, which is no bad thing.
Huawei Mate 9 price and availability
Three has been confirmed as the first UK operator to offer the new device.
If you want to buy the device SIM-free, the Mate 9 is available in Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown or Ceramic White.
Pricing is €699 – around £620.
At the moment it is not on the UK version of Vmall but I have it on good authority that, if you go to the German site, you can still get it delivered here 😉
The Porsche Design Mate 9 is available from January 31st for €1,395. You can pre-order now.