The highest end smartphone on the market from Huawei is the Mate 9 right now and we’ve finally got one for testing. We’ve unboxed it below and before you get over excited, it’s the flat screen 5.9 inch Full HD version, not the 5.5 inch curved screen 6 GB RAM model. Anyway, it’s priced at $600 on Amazon and it’s quite the looker.
Inside its box there’s a big charger with fast charging, USB Type C cable, headphones, USB Type C to microUSB adapter, a case and manuals, plus the metal key used to access the slots. This big metal phablet is also an occasion for us to get our first contact with EMUI 5.0, on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. The handset measures 7.9 mm in thickness, exactly like the Galaxy S7 and Note 7 and weighs a hefty 190 grams.
Inside we find an octa core Kirin 960 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and a microSD card slot, plus a 4000 mAh battery. There’s a dual camera at the back, with a 20 MP monochrome sensor and 12 MP RGB sensor, as well as dual LED flash, OIS and laser focus. Leica technology is still used here, in an evolved version. There’s a front 8 MP cam for selfies and I was surprised to see just how much the UI has changed here.
The menu backgrounds are now black, we get blue toggles and I’ve heard this interface is inspired by the Aegean culture. This probably explains the marine blue used among the icons, Settings menu and more. Huawei has integrated a fingerprint scanner here too. In USA this phone sells with Amazon Alexa preinstalled and it was showcased at CES 2017.
My first impression was that we’re dealing with a very solid Galaxy Note 7 rival, that would have competed with it even if it had no problems. It’s well built, premium looking and the camera has a ton of options. We look forward to testing it over the next days. In the meantime you can get the device here.