Earlier this month, Huawei unveiled the Mate 9, its latest flagship that is poised to battle against what is arguably the best smartphones of the year - Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge. And it is easy to accept this battle and watch. The new handset from the Chinese company offers unparalleled power in a large but modern design.
SlashGear notes how the year has actually not been good for the larger players in the smartphone market. Sales have not been as good as what as expected or hoped for. Instead, a notable group of the general public has looked at the offerings of other companies. And it is this in between ground where where companies like Huawei - not unheard of, but not a star - have stepped in and really shined.
The Huawei Mate 9 has a metal unibody that is comfortable and sturdy in the hand of its user. The downside on the design, however, is undoubtedly its size. Tethering between a standard handset and a phablet, the device is 5.9 inches and is virtually incapable of being used with one hand. Furthermore, the display is not exactly stellar as it sports a maximum of 1920 x 1080 pixels, or Full HD. This was a bit of a let down for some critics, who would have wanted the screen to take advantage of its size.
And unlike its competitors, Huawei decided to take the Mate 9's specifications within the company. So instead of the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, the unit is powered by the Kirin 960 from HiSilicon. The company, which is fully owned by the Chinese manufacturer, is powerful in its own right. It has an an octa-core mobile processor with four Cortex-A73 cores running at 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.8 GHz. It is also paired with the Mali-G71 GPU.
With this much power, it is understandable why Huawei installed such a large battery to the device - which might be why the handheld itself is relatively large as well. At 4000 mAh, the handheld will last throughout the day and some of the night before having to recharge. And even then, the device has a SuperCharge feature.
Huawei has also improved on the dual-lens camera it had on the P9. This time around for the Mate 9, there is a 20 megapixel sensor partnered with a 12 megapixel one. The former lens is made for picking up contrast and other such details in a photo, while the later focuses on color.
Once again keeping it within the boundaries of Huawei, the Mate 9 come installed with EMUI, the company's operating system. Though generally an Android device, EMUI provides its own skin and customizations. Though this might be an issue for some, the OS comes with little pre-installed applications, most of which can also be deleted, disabled or hidden.
As Android Pit adds, there are several reasons why the Huawei Mate 9 will do well in the market. These include its stellar camera, its battery life, its operating system and the power that it produces. The device will first sell in China and Europe - where it will be priced at around €699 or US$740 - before hitting the US. However, specific dates have not yet been released.