Huawei Mate 9 Pro review
The Mate with a curved display
This Huawei Mate 9 Pro review takes a look at the high performance edition of the Mate 9 series. The specifications challenge those on any smartphone, so read on to find out if the Huawei Mate 9 Pro is for you.
Design - Dual curved display
The first thing that catches the eye is that the Huawei Mate 9 Pro has a dual curved display, which looks just like the one used on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The 5.5” display area has 2K resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels / 534 pixels per inch) and the curved AMOLED screen produces both bright and vivid colours.
The dual curved design of the display sits in perfect symmetry with the back, where the same curves have been replicated. The two colour choices are Titanium Grey and Haze Gold and both have a brushed finish, created with cutting-edge wet wax polishing of the crystalline oxide coating.
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro is slim enough at 7.5mm thick and light enough at 169g. For call quality, there are four microphones and noise cancellation technology. There is a 128GB internal memory, which is pretty generous indeed.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Security
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro has a fingerprint scanner that has now been moved to the front and integrated into the home button. Level 4 3D fingerprint recognition is 20% faster and can be used to add security in a number of different ways.
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As well as protecting access on the lock screen, fingerprint recognition can also be used to encrypt files for storage in the safe feature or protect personal contacts, apps and photos. If the phone is to be used by multiple users, then two privacy spaces can be created and accessed by two different fingerprints.
Performance - 6GB RAM
The 2.4GHz Kirin 960 octa-core processor is paired up with a massive 6GB of RAM, which is 2GB more RAM than that offered on the Huawei Mate 9. This gives the Huawei Mate 9 Pro a boost of 180% GPU performance and the Vulkan graphics library gives double the frame rate, for high-end seamless gaming.
The Kirin processor uses a Machine Learning algorithm and this ensures that performance stays fast by prioritising CPU, ROM and RAM resources. The algorithm learns the users habits in order to build app priority and by closing memory intensive background apps.
User interface - Android Nougat
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro is powered by the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, which includes a series of useful Google apps. Huawei has added its EMUI 5.0 user interface to this, giving a blue and white look with smooth animations and sound effects.
Huawei has designed this interface in a way that lets you can access 90% of functions in just three steps. There is also a new Notepad that lets you add photos, URLs and to-do lists, with the option to share them, should you need to collaborate.
Camera & Video
Photography - Leica Dual Camera
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro has the second generation Leica Dual Camera, which comprises of a 20MP Monochrome lens for capturing detail and a 12MP RGB lens for capturing colour.
In addition to being able to create the Leica effect, you can capture true bokeh effects with blurred backgrounds, shoot photos and refocus them later and use the 2x hybrid zoom.
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For speed and precision, the dual camera uses PDAF and Laser Depth focus. The dual camera pixel-binning tech on both lenses doubles the image brightness, for use under low-light.
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro can shoot 4K video and this takes up less memory, with 50% file size compression, gained through the phone using the H.265 video compression standard.
Portrait photography - 8MP selfie camera
The 8MP selfie camera has autofocus and you can activate the shutter by smiling or by saying a voice command. Huawei has added a new facial enhancement algorithm and this applies custom beauty settings automatically, when it recognises your face.
Power - Huawei SuperCharge
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro has a very high capacity 4,000mAh battery and this can be charged using Huawei SuperCharge. SuperCharge safely recharges the phone at speeds that will give one day’s usage in 20 minutes (50% quicker that the Mate 8).
The Huawei SuperCharge system monitors battery temperature, voltage and current and with eight-layer thermal mechanics, there is no danger of overheating. The Mate 9 Pro is charged with a USB Type-C cable and the symmetrical design of this, means that it can be connected either way up.
On a full charge this Huawei phone will give up to 105 hours of music playback, 20 hours of video playback, 20 hours of 4G internet browsing or up to 30 hours of voice calling.
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Next review: Huawei Nova review
Written by: Michael Brown