Huawei Mate 9: User Review

by Shehryar Ahmed

Friday, June 15, 2018

I was given the Huawei Mate 9 by my dad as a gift earlier this year. He originally bought it in April 2017 for PKR 58000, which was the equivalent of $500 at that time. This was a huge upgrade for me considering I had a cheap Chinese phone at that time, consequently bringing bundles of joy to my otherwise tech-less life. My first impressions, precisely, were: Wow! Despite having a plastic back, the phone felt great in my palm and the golden color amazed me beyond words. Anyhow, let’s start the review by getting into the details, shall we?

Performance

The main utility of my phone is the usage of social media apps and boy oh boy, this phone does not disappoint! Apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook etc. are known to be memory-intensive, which equates to the phone hanging on several occasions; but not in this case. The Mate 9 smoothly sails through each challenge I throw at it: No hanging, no slowing down. This includes constantly sending friends snaps of what I’m doing paired with chatting with friends on Facebook Messenger’s chat heads – all at the same time!

The Best Features

Camera

Oh God, putting my feelings into words is really hard! The Mate 9’s camera has hardly ever disappointed me. There is a dual camera setup on the back, the primary and secondary camera having a resolution of 20 MP and 12 MP respectively. Similar to other Huawei models, the Mate 9 also boasts a camera developed in collaboration with Leica, the German camera manufacturer. However, the back cameras have an aperture of f/2.2, which makes night photography nearly impossible.

The front camera has a resolution of 8 MP and has an aperture of f/1.9, which is slightly lower than its back counterpart. This enables the front camera to perform relatively well in dim-light conditions.

Functioning of the Fingerprint Sensor

The Mate 9’s fingerprint sensor is placed on the back, right beneath the back camera. It is really swift and it hardly takes a quarter of a second for the phone to unlock. The sensor hardly ever fails to read my fingerprint, even when my fingers are oily! The thing I love the most about it is its ability to unlock the phone without having to turn the display on.

Operational Speed

There is a negative stereotype attached to Android smartphones about being “too slow” and “sloppy”. Well, I’ve hardly ever had an issue with that on the Mate 9. The phone is powered by Huawei’s Hisilicon Kirin 960 chipset running on an octa-core setup, with four cores clocking in at 2.4 GHz with the remaining cores capable of attaining speeds of up to 1.8 GHz. Additionally, the Mate 9 is currently on Android Oreo 8.0 paired with EMUI 8.0, which serves as icing on the cake and ensures that the device’s functioning is consistenly smooth no matter how strenuous the ongoing processes are.

The Battery and Fast Charging

The Mate 9 has a battery capacity of 4000 mAh. This enables the phone to go up to 18-20 hours on each charge with HEAVY usage! This one time, a relative took my charging cable. My phone was at 91% when she took it. Now, I couldn’t use a normal Android micro-USB cable since the Mate 9’s charging port supports a type-C connector exclusively. Miraculously though, I was able to use my phone for the entire day without any significant hassle, which amazed me beyond words. To be precise, the 91% charge was reduced to 3% after a period of 25 hours and 20 minutes.

Furthermore, the fast charging is something I absolutely adore. Being an outgoing person, I hardly ever get time to charge my phone and the fact that I don’t own a power bank means the only place I get to charge my phone is my house. Well, the phone’s original charger, Huawei’s Super Charger gets the phone from 60% to 100% within half an hour.

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The Worst Features

The positioning of the fingerprint sensor

While I love the functioning of the sensor itself, I would give anything for it to be placed somewhere else. The fact that it lies right beneath the back camera means my lens is smudged up almost every time I use the fingerprint sensor, which obviously has an adverse effect on picture quality.

The delays in software updates

The Mate 9 came with Android Nougat 7.0 out of the box and the update to Oreo 8.0 wasn’t available until late February/early March. Oreo released on August 23rd worldwide, meaning there was an approximate gap of 6 months till the Mate 9 came up to par with the ongoing software technology. Pity, no?

The display

First things first. The Mate 9’s display is of 5.9 inches, which is uncomfortably large for me. Using it is quite a hassle sometimes while keeping it in my pocket is an entire challenge in itself on most occasions.

Second, the display, despite having a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, doesn’t really fulfill my criteria for a good display. Viewing 1080p videos on YouTube doesn’t give the “HD” feel as it should and that disappoints me a lot.

The speakers

This is probably the worst feature of the phone. It is nearly impossible to listen to music on the phone’s speakers because of how low their output is. Additionally, using the loudspeaker during a call is a huge no too, thanks to, once again, the low output. Huawei has failed greatly in placing some good quality speakers and well, that just cuts down the phone’s charm by half.

Verdict

The Mate 9 has its pros and its cons. Features like the fast charge and the amazing quality of the camera makes the phone a perfect companion for the average user. Furthermore, the inconvenience caused by the awkward positioning of the fingerprint sensor is made up for by the speed of the sensor itself. On the other hand, while the poor display output reduces the Mate 9’s attractiveness, the processing speed ensures the user experience is at its peak at all times, making it a win-win situation for everyone. Conclusively, I would highly recommend this phone to everyone who’s in the search for a budget-friendly Android phone.

Final rating: 8/10

by Shehryar Ahmed

by Shehryar Ahmed

Friday, June 15, 2018

I'm Shehryar, an average teenager with a lot of ambitions and high goals. I'm a Google certified digital marketer along with being a football fanatic. Tell me you're a Manchester United supporter and you're automatically my best buddy! I abide by one main rule when I work: Under-commit and over-deliver!

Read more at shehryarahmed.com

Buy Huawei Mate 9 & Accessories

Huawei Mate 9 with Amazon Alexa and Leica Dual Camera - 64GB Unlocked Phone - Space Gray (US Warranty)

Friday, June 15, 2018

by Huawei
Huawei Mate 9 co-engineered with Leica: A Step Ahead. Revolutionary speed: Now you won’t slow down, thanks to the new Kirin 960 processor and intelligent Machine Learning algorithm. This ground-breaking interplay between hardware and software means your Huawei Mate 9 is born fast and stays fast. Integrated with Alexa voice service. Just tap and ask Alexa, to enjoy thousands of skills on the go, such as hearing the latest news, weather and traffic reports, check sport scores, and much more. Alarm clock skills and rights-protected music services such as Spotify are not yet supported. Enhanced power: The Huawei Mate 9 offers a truly revolutionary battery life. With its large 4000mAh battery and smart power-saving technology, you can enjoy two days’ usage. State-of-the-art HUAWEI Supercharge technology safely charges the device for a full day’s power in 20 minutes. Breath-taking photography: The Huawei Mate 9 offers exceptional sharpness. Its second-generation Leica Dual Camera renders images in unprecedented detail for images that take you from mere photography to artistry. Ground-breaking user experience: We’re proud of the EMUI 5.0 and its beautiful and smart user interface. Uncompromising design from a team of dedicated experts helps make the Huawei Mate 9 a stunning experience. Global connectivity: With incredible network support and integrated dual SIM support, the Huawei Mate 9 offers outstanding performance worldwide. Experience consistent call quality and a stable Internet connection with reduced power consumption and data usage around the globe. Bold, meticulous and refined: The Huawei Mate 9 has inherited the Mate Series’ design DNA, with a visual and sensual feel that’s uniquely glamorous. Unique features: The Huawei Mate 9 comes with a wide range of exciting new features that are satisfyingly intuitive to use.

$529.99 on Amazon.com

Huawei Mate 9 Pro LON-L29C 6GB / 128GB 5.5-inch 4G LTE Dual SIM FACTORY UNLOCKED - International Stock No Warranty (GREY)

Friday, June 15, 2018

by Huawei
High-Performing Design Huawei introduces a remarkable 5.5 inch 2K curved screen inspired by our commitment to constantly challenge our craftsmanship and skills. Revolutionary speed Now you won¡¦t slow down, thanks to the new Kirin 960 processor and intelligent Machine Learning algorithm. This ground-breaking interplay between hardware and software means your Huawei Mate 9 Pro is born fast and stays fast. Enhanced power The Huawei Mate 9 Pro offers a truly revolutionary battery life. With its large 4000mAh battery and smart power-saving technology, you can enjoy two days¡¦ usage*. State-of-the-art HUAWEI SuperCharge technology safely charges the device for a full day¡¦s power* in 20 minutes**. Breath-taking photography The Huawei Mate 9 Pro offers exceptional sharpness. Its second-generation Leica Dual Camera renders images in unprecedented detail for images that take you from mere photography to artistry. Ground-breaking user experience We¡¦re proud of the EMUI 5.0 and its beautiful and smart user interface. Uncompromising design from a team of dedicated experts helps make the Huawei Mate 9 Pro a stunning experience. Global connectivity With incredible network support and integrated dual SIM support, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro offers outstanding performance worldwide. Experience consistent call quality and a stable Internet connection with reduced power consumption and data usage around the globe. LTE B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28 / B29 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41 *****Please check with your carrier for compatibility. We are not responsible for any incompatible issues.

$578.99 on Amazon.com

Huawei Mate 9 lite L23 Dual SIM (32GB) 5.5" Full HD 4G LTE Factory Unlocked Android w/ Fingerprint Sensor - No Warranty (Gray)

Friday, June 15, 2018

by Huawei
See the world in a new light, through the 5.5 inch Full High Definition display. The "2.5D" design mimics natural curves for a better look, and an unparalleled feel of the device. The metal body's natural curve design and accents in beautiful colours is sure to match any wardrobe. A carefully crafted texture, using a fine sandblasting process, makes this a true delight to hold. More than just a phone, the HUAWEI Mate 9 lite is an accessory that will bring your style together, and leave a lasting impression. The HUAWEI Mate 9 lite features a fast processor lightning fast processor, 3GB of RAM for speed and a smooth user experience, and a long-lasting battery. This carefully designed phone delivers speed and power, for as long as you need, wherever you are. Special software helps you keep your phone at peak performance, by keeping the phone memory clean and organised. The new generation fingerprint reader makes sure to keep your data secure and safe. The sensor allows you to unlock and use your phone in less than one-third of a second. A night out or a cosy party with friends has never looked better. The 12 megapixel rear camera boasts a fine, 1.25 μm large pixel Sensor, letting you have crisp, clear, and vibrant photos at night and in low light. Fast, 0.3 second PDAF focus will make sure that your action shots are as crisp as they are breathtaking. Get to the heart of any fast-paced moment with this feature. The HUAWEI Mate 9 lite will be there, day or night helping you capture your life's brightest moments, taking complexity out of shooting photos, and letting you be present in the moment. Share your joy, share your smiles. Look your best through the 8 megapixel front-facing selfie camera, featuring a wider angle lens, and automatic facial recognition and retouch software. Preset beauty filters and panoramic selfie mode make for great memories, by yourself, or with all your friends.

$230.00 on Amazon.com

Huawei Mate 9 lite L23 Dual SIM - 32GB - 4G LTE Factory Unlocked Android Smartphone (Silver)

Friday, June 15, 2018

by Huawei
See the world in a new light, through the 5.5 inch Full High Definition display. The "2.5D" design mimics natural curves for a better look, and an unparalleled feel of the device. The metal body's natural curve design and accents in beautiful colours is sure to match any wardrobe. A carefully crafted texture, using a fine sandblasting process, makes this a true delight to hold. More than just a phone, the HUAWEI Mate 9 lite is an accessory that will bring your style together, and leave a lasting impression. The HUAWEI Mate 9 lite features a fast processor lightning fast processor, 3GB of RAM for speed and a smooth user experience, and a long-lasting battery. This carefully designed phone delivers speed and power, for as long as you need, wherever you are. Special software helps you keep your phone at peak performance, by keeping the phone memory clean and organised. The new generation fingerprint reader makes sure to keep your data secure and safe. The sensor allows you to unlock and use your phone in less than one-third of a second. A night out or a cosy party with friends has never looked better. The 12 megapixel rear camera boasts a fine, 1.25 μm large pixel Sensor, letting you have crisp, clear, and vibrant photos at night and in low light. Fast, 0.3 second PDAF focus will make sure that your action shots are as crisp as they are breathtaking. Get to the heart of any fast-paced moment with this feature. The HUAWEI Mate 9 lite will be there, day or night helping you capture your life's brightest moments, taking complexity out of shooting photos, and letting you be present in the moment. Share your joy, share your smiles. Look your best through the 8 megapixel front-facing selfie camera, featuring a wider angle lens, and automatic facial recognition and retouch software. Preset beauty filters and panoramic selfie mode make for great memories, by yourself, or with all your friends.

$495.00 on Amazon.com

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