This year is said to be the “Year of Dual Cameras” and so far it is. Leading the way is Huawei when they greeted 2017 with two new smartphones, the Huawei Mate 9 and the GR5 2017. Both phones have dual rear cameras that is said to work together to achieve better photos.
We have been reviewing the Huawei Mate 9 for weeks now and we are in love. Yeah. Really! Why? Read on to find out!
Huawei Mate 9
- Octa Core HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor
- Mali G71 MP8 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD up too 256GB
- 5.9-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with 2.5D arc glass
- 20 megapixel + 12 megapixel Leica camera f/2.2 aperture with OIS, PDAF, Laser Autofocus and dual LED flash
- 8 megapixel front facing camera, f/1.9 aperture
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS
- 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging
- Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.0
- Price: P31,990
- Status: Available in Huawei stores and retailers
Related article – Huawei Mate 9 Unboxing and Hands On
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
The Huawei Mate 9 is a big phone but you won’t feel that behemoth of display thanks to its trimmed bezels. It is surprisingly handy and manageable to use with one hand. It looks and feels very premium and it is a looker!
We are also glad that Huawei included a case out of the box since the Mate 9 has a metal unibody design, it is very slippery and the plastic case helps to add more grip.
We normally don’t cover audio on full review but we have to make an exception. Audio was the best we’ve heard on a Huawei smartphone. At first we thought Huawei had placed a dedicated audio chip here. The sound is coming from the earpiece that serves like a tweeter and the bulk of the audio is coming the bottom firing speakers. Using our third party earphones, audio is still good.
Only 1080p? So what? The 5.9-inch display is still sharp, bright, vivid, has good color saturation. It is usable under direct sunlight though we wish it could be brighter. Multimedia junkies will love the phone’s big display though if you are an avid VR fan, the 1080p display is not ideal for it.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
Here’s the juicy part of the review. For starters, the Huawei Mate 9 is powered by Huawei’s home brewed Kirin 960 processor paired with 4GB RAM. Performance has been very smooth thanks the phone’s regular prompt to close power draining apps occasionally. You may find it annoying but for us it is very useful and helps improve battery life.
The Mate 9 has a unique and very intelligent feature – a machine learning algorithm that prevents your phone in slowing down as it ages plus learning from your usage. The system anticipates the user’s next moves to prepare resources in advance. That’s so cool!
As a gaming device, the Kirin chipset performs very well when playing graphic intense games like Dead Trigger 2, NBA 2k17 and SkyForce Reloaded.
Looking for an app tray? It is now possible with Huawei’s new EMUI 5.0. This new UI allows you to put an app tray making it look and feel more Android than iOS, a feature that we really love.
Another of the phone’s best selling feature are the cameras. The Huawei Mate 9 has a 20 megapixel monochrome sensor and a 12 megapixel RGB sensor. The way these cameras work are very much similar with the Huawei P9. There are various shooting modes, filters and effects such as bokeh are present. We normally use auto mode and wide aperture mode for bokeh effects. Here’s take a look at some of our photos.
Huawei has been known for having excellent radio performance resulting to a more reliable LTE coverage and the Mate 9 did not disappoint. Normally cell signals get weaker in a closed elevator and that never happened to the Huawei Mate 9. Calls are excellent with no distortions. WiFi and Bluetooth comes in standard. LTE has been great. We managed to get normal speeds on Globe’s LTE network.
That large 4,000 mAh battery promises up to 2 days of power. On our moderate use, we actually achieved that despite constantly connected to 4G/LTE. Closing apps regularly do actually help improve battery life. The phone occasionally prompts you to close power draining apps. Though it may annoy you, it can help a lot especially if you are a power user. We managed to get around 12 hours of heavy use by doing a video loop and casual gaming.
We just want to say that we are completely in love with the Huawei Mate 9. It is indeed better than the P9 and the P9 Plus in every way. It also fills the gap of those who used to own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 who might be looking for a complete phablet experience. The camera? It is the BEST by far. The Huawei Mate 9 is the ultimate multimedia and camera device to beat this 2017. 🙂
- Hardware – 10
- Design – 10
- Display – 9
- Software – 10
- Performance – 10
- Connectivity – 10
- Camera – 10
- Battery – 10