Huawei Mate 9 comes with a Porsche Design version

Huawei is a name that a lot of users in US will know as either “that Chinese brand” or the maker of the Nexus 6P. But Huawei is a much bigger deal in Europe than many will realize, and as such, it should come as no surprise that they held an event in Munich today to announce the new Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro. It’s the company’s sleekest, most powerful phone to date, and the first to run the brand new Kirin 960 processor, which features a boatload of powerful cores and ARM’s new Mali-G71 GPU, alongside Huawei’s own i6 co-processor.

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Following on from the Huawei P9 announced in London in the Spring, Huawei have partnered with Leica once again for the camera, and have created a larger device that offers users a larger device with similar features from Huawei’s line of devices. The Mate 9 comes with a 5.9-inch full HD display, 4,000 mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, rear dual-camera system, USB Type-C, 4GB of RAM, and Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor (its fastest ever).

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The 5.9-inch display is certainly a lot bigger than most users will be accustomed to, but Huawei has always positioned the Mate line of devices as something for those with a taste for a larger smartphone. Huawei’s home grown HiSilicon Kirin 960 is a 64-bit octa-core CPU with performance better or equal to the latest and greatest CPUs from both Qualcomm and Samsung. It all sounds very punchy, and the Mate 9 looks and feels like a high-end device, too, with a metal unibody design that’s sleek and solid as a rock.

Around the back of the Mate 9 is where things get interesting as the rear-facing Leica cameras make the Mate 9 something of a unique machine. There are two sensors on the back here, one of which is a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and the other a 12-megapixel RGB sensor. Each of these sensors feature Leica lenses with f/2.2 apertures. As with the Huawei P9, this setup helps to deliver much better contrast as well as much better depth information, while also offering users an excellent solution to take black and white photography with. This is second-generation of this setup, and Huawei is adding in Hybrid Zoom to the whole affair as well, which has been designed in conjunction with the Kirin 960 CPU. On top of that, there’s the return of laser autofocus as well as PDAF autofocus.

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Software is something that has often put Huawei in the firing line, and this time around, the firm is making some changes. Not only does the Mate 9 launch with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, but it also features the latest version of their Emotion UI atop it. This time around, Huawei has included an app drawer, something that was missing from previous versions of Emotion UI, but the new version 5.0 fixes this, as well as streamlining the overall skin. This new approach to software, as well as the overall feature set here makes the Huawei Mate 9 an excellent new device to consider.

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The Mate 9 is launching alongside a super-lux variant, which has been given the clunky moniker of the Porsche Design Mate 9. This will be a limited edition device with boosted specs including 6GB of RAM, 256GB internal memory (compared to 64GB on the Mate 9), and a screen with 2K resolution. More notably, that handset’s 5.5-inch display is curved like Samsung’s Galaxy Edge series. Huawei certainly isn’t targeting the mainstream with this one, as the Porsche Design handset costs a ludicrous €1,395 ($1,549). That’s not to say the standard Mate 9 is any cheaper as the device costs €699 ($776) itself.

The company says it’s also introduced a machine learning-powered system which watches how you use the phone and changes the allocation of processing power accordingly. Huawei’s promise is that the Mate 9 which actually get faster the more you use it — the opposite of what happens with most Android phones — and the company claims internal tests have found that performance improved by as much as 8 percent over 10,000 hours of simulated use.

Here’s a quick specs rundown for the Huawei Mate 9 and the Porsche Design version of it :

Category Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design Mate 9
Operating System Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.0 Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.0
Processor Huawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor
Huawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor
RAM 4GB 6GB
Display 5.9-inch 1920×1080
IPS LCD
2.5D glass
5.5-inch 2560×1440
AMOLED
curved glass
Rear Camera 20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
f/2.2
OIS
20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
f/2.2
OIS
Front camera 8MP, f/1.9 8MP, f/1.9
Video 4K capture 4K capture
Battery 4,000 mAh
Non-removable
4,000 mAh
Non-removable
Charging SuperCharge
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A
SuperCharge
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A
Connectivity USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2 USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes, on rear Yes, on front
Storage 64GB 256GB
Expandable storage microSD microSD
Dual SIM Yes, dual nano Yes, dual nano
Colors Space Gray, Moonlight Silver,
Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown,
Ceramic White
Graphite Black
Dimensions 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm 152 x 75 x 7.5 mm
Weight 190 grams 169 grams
Price €699 €1395

What do you think about the Huawei Mate 9? Interested?

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