The Mate 9 is big in more respects that one, including a massive display that dwarfs the Pixel, iPhone 7 Plus and even the dearly departed Galaxy Note 7. It’s a massive 5.9 inches, which finds the hands firmly encroaching on tablet territory – though, at 1080 x 1920 pixels, it offers the same resolution as Apple’s 5.5-inch model, working out to 373 pixels per inch.
At 7.9 millimeters thick, the phone sits somewhere between the 7 Plus and the Pixel The relative bulk is due in part to the device’s curved backing – similar to what you get on the Moto G line – which promises a more comfortable fit in-hand.
The design language is inline with the company’s other recent offerings, including the mid-range Novas unveiled during IFA. On the back, you’ll find a fourth-generation high-speed finger print reader and above that a pair of cameras, positioned one above the other, rather than the more standardized side-by-side configuration we’ve been seeing of late.
As with the company’s P9 offering, the camera system was designed with the imaging experts at Leica and offers a bunch of different hardware and software tweaks like face-detecting focus, optical image stabilization and 4K video.
Perhaps most compelling of all is the 4,000mAh battery. That’s downright massive for a handset. Keep in mind that the Galaxy Note 7’s was just 3500 mAh – or maybe that’s not the best example. The Pixel’s is 3450mAh, and I was able to get more than two days of use out of the thing. All of that is paired with a decent 64GB of storage, (expandable via microSD), 4GB of RAM and Huawei’s own in-house octa-core processor.
Huawei’s running its own blue and white branded “Emotional UI” on top of Nougat, meant to invoke an “ocean fullness user experience.” That includes some of its own gestures like the ability to take a screenshot by knocking the display twice with a knuckle.
The company is also promising built-in diagnosis designed to keep the system running like new long after you get it and put it through its paces. We’ll get back to you about how well that works in a few years.
It’s also promising US availability – long an issue with the company’s handset. Information on that is also still forthcoming, unfortunately.