And just like that, the world’s third biggest smartphone company’s latest flagship has been revealed to the world. Oh, sure, we heard all about the Mate 9 back on Tuesday, but those low-res pictures did little to justify its high end pricing. So, with the press conference finished and the assembled tech journalists hunched over their keyboards, what do we know about the Mate 9? Let’s dig in.


Firstly, we know where it sit in the baffling hierarchy of Huawei phones. Namely, the Mate 9 is the flagship, top-of-the-tree product, positioned above the P9 family and aimed at consumers who place serious demands on their phone. So, how does it meet those demands.

Well, just like the rumours suggested, the Mate 9 features a 5.9″ 1080p display, a Kirin 960 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of memory and a 4,000mAh battery, on top of niceties like a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and a USB-C port. Huawei tell us that the 960 is their fastest processor ever, and it was the only one they considered fitting inside the Mate 9.

Being powered by all that is Huawei’s EMUI Android skin, based on Android 7.0. It’s a lighter and fresher look for the company who have been (rightly) criticized for their heavy handed work in the past. Perhaps most interestingly though is that Huawei claim to have included a machine-learning powered system which watches how you use the phone and changes the allocation of processing power automatically.

That, Huawei says, means that the Mate 0 actually gets faster the more you use it. They’re saying that with internal tests, the Mate 9’s performance increased by as much as 8% over 10,000 hours of simulated use.


Externally, the handset looks superb. Crafted from aluminium and with a gently sloping design, it evokes the best of modern smartphone design without being particularly distinct. Those that have managed to get their hands on it say that it’s extremely solid feeling and very comfortable to hold.

Then we’ve got the cameras, which take inspiration from the P9 but go from a horizontal layout to a vertical one. That means you get a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor around back that adds extra detail to the color data captured by the main 12-megapixel sensor. Together, they can also do some nice optical zoom tricks.

So, the cost of all this? Well, when it launches soon, it’ll cost a steep £625. The good news, however, is that it’ll be coming to the UK via your favourite network. In the meantime, enjoy this glossy promotional video and think of all the things you could do with a phone which actually gets faster over time.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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