This is the much-awaited review of Huawei’s latest flagship. Did they deliver?
Take a look at our take on the Huawei Mate 9 Full Review.
We kick things off with the smooth matte rear backing in mocha brown, the color of our review unit, that covers most of the build apart from the plastic cutouts at the top and bottom portions in place of antenna lines.
The most noticeable will be the vertical dual rear camera setup flanked by the dual tone LED flash and the sensors. Right below will be the capacitive fingerprint scanner in a for of a dimple that doubles as photos navigation by swiping on it.
The metal build continues to the sides that taper and chamfer for extra grip.
It’s a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3.
Taking up most of the space will be the 5.9inch edge-to-edge screen with the ambient light and proximity sensor up top by the selfie camera. It’s just the Huawei logo for the respectably sized chin which means on-screen navigation.
The Huawei Mate 9 will be sporting a 5.9 inch IPS LCD panel at 1080p or FullHD.
We’d understand if that made you second guess on what Huawei chose to include in a flagship phone, no less. But don’t let that blindside your options as the display is fantastic.
Even at 373 ppi, the screen gets bright, clear and crisp. Surprisingly, beside a 1440p from the Nexus 6P, it feels brighter and clearer thanks to color saturation with a super high contrast ratio (1600:1+) especially when set at full brightness.
Some nit-picking would argue the thin black bezels get in the way of enjoying the content. Just wanted to get it out there.
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The build aids in better color reproduction, setting up for that bokeh effect, as well as add the capability of taking things in true black and white.
Outdoor shots already have great dynamic range and are only partially improved with the HDR mode that has to be manually enabled.
Indoor shots with proper lighting emulate much the same quality as the previous sample.
Nighttime shooting may prove a little difficult with the noise present but still, takes better shots overall compared to previous iterations. Though there may be some focusing problems.
Low light scenarios turn up better than expected seen here with grains still creeping into the shot and the dual tone LED flash will greatly improve on details for subjects in close proximity.
Selfies are much the same quality as the rear facing shooter with the 8MP front facing camera. Features include taking the perfect selfie or smile detection that instantly takes a photo upon seeing teeth. The night shooting, however, takes a while as it adjusts for flash from the screen.
Videos caps out at 4K resolution with a little bit of jitter with only Electronic Image Stabilization on the software side.
Flaunting the latest and fastest from Huawei, the Mate 9 will be powered by their proprietary HiSilicon Kirin 960 paired with 4GB of RAM and Mali G71 MP8 GPU.
You will have 64GB of on-board storage to work with in addition the option to expand to 256GB via a microSD through the hybrid SIM tray where you switch out the second sim for more memory.
You can expect all the newest apps and games to play on this behemoth of a device with the entire system garnering a score over 144k points in our Antutu benchmark.
Yes, it’s not efficient and faster than the top dogs of the benchmark race but the Huawei Mate 9 holds its own especially with the proprietary MiUI 5.0.
The system is designed with user in mind with the Machine Learning Algorithm that basically tells the system to get your most used apps ready at the forefront based on how you use it and at what times.
The system is sound and stable with a few misses on some key aspects of what made Android, well, Android. The Chinese giant listened to adding an app drawer function, thankfully. But that’s all that’s changed.
It’s a good system overall but the experience is not as fluid as we had hoped and maintains much of the Apple-esque feel of the EmotionUI of old.
Packing 4000mAh of juice in a reasonably sized frame makes wonders for the Huawei Mate 9.
You can expect about 31 hours of standby time on casual usage and about 20 hours on moderate use with about 5 hours and 3.5 hours of screen-on-time respectively.
Heavy usage with gaming, photos, and videos commanded about 14 hours of standby time and 2.9 hours of screen-on-time.
But all is well as the proprietary fast charging capabilities of the Huawei Mate 9 topped us up from 0 to 100% in one solid hour.
The bottom firing speaker grilles get loud when needed as it is able to produce good sound overall with just the right hints of bass and treble. Landscape mode activates the secondary speaker where the earpiece is that allows for a more immersive experience.
The 3.5mm headphone jack will support hi-resolution audio playback.
Pricing and Verdict
The Huawei Mate 9 is a capable daily driver that excels in what is says it can do. We are still scratching our heads on it being VR ready despite only having 1080p for screen resolution.
The camera is reliable with some misses on focusing in night shooting, performance is top notch with some hiccups on the experience of EMUI 5.0. But overall is a solid device that is more than capable of providing you your power hungry needs.
The Huawei Mate 9 is officially retailing for PHP 31,990 or 640USD available nationwide.
What do you think of the Huawei Mate 9 Full Review? What phones do you want to see us pit against it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Huawei Mate 9 Full Specs, Official PH Price, Release Date in the Philippines
|SPECS, PH Price||Huawei Mate 9|
|Display||5.9-inch 1080p FHD IPS LCD, 373ppi|
|Size||7.9mm thick, 190g weight|
|Design||metal body, 2.5D curved Gorila Glass 3|
|Colors||Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, and Ceramic White|
|Chipset||Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core chipset|
|Processor||4 x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 | 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53|
|Memory||4GB RAM, 64GB internal, microSD card slot up to 256GB|
|Main Camera||20MP f/2.2 monochrome & 12MP f/2.2 color sensor Leica dual camera with support for Optical Image Stabilization and 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus(laser,pdaf,depth,contrast)|
|Multimedia||2160p @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 30fps|
|Front camera||8 MP f/1.9, 26mm, 1080p|
|Connectivity||GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz | (3G)UMTS|
4G LTE, WiFi ac, Bt 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, hybrid dual-sim card slot, NFC, GALILEO
|OS||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Ports||USB Type-C, 3.55mm headphone jack|
|Official Price||Php31,990 ~ $641|
|Availability date||January 30, 2017|
|Where to buy||Huawei Shop|