Huawei’s Consumer Business Group is at it again, unveiling two new smartphones overnight at an exclusive event in Munich, Germany. Pictured above are the two new phones, the Mate 9, and an exclusive Porsche Design Mate 9. Of course, these are the latest installments in the Mate line, incorporating a new more powerful processor, SuperCharge technology and a redesigned user experience.
The highlight features of the new phones include:
- The new Kirin 960 chipset, claimed to be the highest performing smartphone processor
- EMUI 5.0, a streamlined user experience
- SuperCharge that can give a full day’s battery power with just 20 minutes on the charger
- Dual-lens Leica camera with 12MP sensor / 20MP monochrome sensor with Hybrid Zoom
Let’s take a look at some of these features, but first here’s a quick overview video showcasing the new features:
Kirin 960 Processor
The Kirin 960 processor is claimed to deliver superior power and a smooth software experience even after 18 months of continuous usage, meaning that the gradual slowdown that Android sometimes experiences will hopefully be headed off here. Internally, the Kirin 960 is an Octa-Core CPU with ARM Cortex A73/A53 cores, and a Mali G71 Octa-Core GPU. While we’re on impressive figures, Huawei says the power consumption of the Kirin 960 is down 15% on the predecessor, 40% improvement of energy efficiency, and 400% increase in graphics performance.
All this doesn’t mean a lot to most of us, but what Huawei are claiming is that this combines to be the best performing smartphone SoC on the market, with GeekBench results to supposedly back it.
Huawei have also spoken about their safe, fast charging battery, with the Mate 9 incorporating a 4,000 mAh battery which can deliver up to two days of uninterrupted use. The battery charges with a 5A fast-charge technology called SuperCharge, which can deliver enough power to watch two movies from 10 minutes on charge, or a full day’s use with 20 minutes.
Of course, there’s a range of safety features built in to ensure that the Mate 9 doesn’t become the next Note 7. Huawei had to slip that one in.
Second-generation Leica Dual-Lens camera
The Huawei Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica, which we first saw in the Huawei P9. Huawei and Leica have continued to improve and enhance the optical performance of the camera module, which now includes a 12-megapixel/F2.2 RGB sensor, a 20-megapixel/F2.2 monochrome sensor and enhanced image fusion algorithms that work in concert to produce stunning photography.
When paired with the leading dual-lens camera Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) solution and the industry’s first dual-camera pixel binning technology, the Mate 9 has a superior night shot capability. Coupled with 4-1 Hybrid Auto-focus features laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus and contrast focus, Huawei’s Mate 9 might actually have the best mobile camera on the market, following the incredible performance of the P9.
Reimagined EMUI 5.0 experience
Probably the biggest sticking point for adopters of Huawei’s earlier devices has been EMUI, which on the Huawei P9 became a little less than comfortable after some time, detracting from an otherwise amazing experience.
With EMUI 5.0, Huawei claims that the Mate 9 becomes more intelligent and efficient over time, but most importantly, Huawei is spruiking a brand new, intuitive interface design, with more than 50% of features accessible within just two clicks, and 90% within three clicks.
We look forward to having some hands-on time with the Mate 9 when it reaches Australia so we can take a closer look at the new EMUI; let’s face it, this will make or break the Mate 9, as the remaining features already sound pretty damned incredible — in other words, what we’ve come to expect from Huawei.
That said, the Mate 9 isn’t listed to launch in Australia initially, with launch markets including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand and the UAE.
As there are no local launch plans just yet, there’s no local pricing either, but with indicative pricing coming from the EU, we can probably extrapolate. The Mate 9, configured with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, will launch at EUR699 which is basically an even $AUD 1,000. The higher-spec Porsche-design Mate 9, which comes with 6GB of RAM and 256GB storage, will come at EUR1,395, which could be around the $AUD 2,000 mark.
Either way, we look forward to hearing from Huawei about plans for Australia for the Mate 9.