Product Listing
Huawei Mate 9: Best Mate to date
By John Law - 3 Jan 2017
Launch SRP: RM2699

Design and Features

Overview

With the success of their P9 and P9 Plus, as well as the Honor 8 from their sister company Honor, it’s safe to say that Huawei has been on a roll for the better part of 2016. But rather wait for the new year to roll in, the company decided to hold a special event during the month of November for a select number of media members in Munich, Germany.

It was there that Huawei unveiled their new flagship smartphone, the Mate 9, as well as the Mate 9 Pro, and the premium (and very pricey) Mate 9 Porsche Design. While the phone is already available in Malaysia, Huawei finally sent us a unit to play around with. Here are our thoughts about it, and what it was like living with it.

Design and Features

Huawei Mate 9 specifications
 
Launch SRP
  • RM2,699
Network
  • Dual Nano-SIM 4G LTE
Operating system
  • Android 7.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 5.0
Processor
  • HiSilicon Kirin 960
Built-in memory
  • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
Display
  • 5.9-inch Full HD 
Camera
  • Rear: Dual-camera lenses: 12MP RGB, 20MP monochrome f/2.2 with OIS
  • Front: 8MP f/1.9
Audio support
  • RA, AAC, OGG, MP3, WMA 2-9, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, PCM, FLAC, MP4,
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11/a/b/g/n/ac, dual band
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • A-GNSS (GPS + GLONASS)
  • Wi-Fi Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.2
Storage type
  • 64GB internal storage (expandable up to 256GB via microSD)
Battery
  • 4,000mAh Li-Ion
Dimensions
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight
  • 190g

Identical to its siblings, the Huawei Mate 9’s design is simple and unassuming. In fact, the phone draws its elegance from that very factor: simplicity. The front of the phone sports a clean, 5.9-inch Full HD display, and the only physical buttons that you’d come directly into the contact with is the power button and the volume rocker.

At the back of the phone, only its ultra-fast fingerprint sensor and the famed Leica-approved dual-camera lenses stand out of the back of the phone, and nothing else.

The famed Leica-approved dual-camera setup returns on the Huawei Mate 9, along with its super-fast fingerprint sensor (pictured below).

At its base, the phone connects and conducts its charging via the built-in USB Type-C port, flanked by machine cut speaker grills on each side. On that note, these speakers on this device are impressively loud enough that they’re capable of drowning out a moderate amount of environmental noises.

The USB Type-C on the Huawei Mate 9 is flanked by machine-cut speaker grills on each side.

A 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the top of the phone.

That being said, do be considerate about where you choose to blast your media content out loud. While the act would prove that you're Mate 9's speakers are indeed powerful, it will, in turn, give people the impression that you're just a being a bit of a jerk for doing so.

And while this joke may already be getting old, the Huawei Mate 9 sports a 3.5mm headphone jack, so yes: you still have the option of using wired headphones to listen to your music or watch your video discreetly without disturbing the public around you.

A hybrid dual SIM and microSD card is what the Huawei Mate 9 uses.

Like most smartphones of today, the Huawei Mate 9 can support dual Nano-SIM cards, a feature that ultimately spares you the hassle of having to switch out one SIM card for another whenever you travel to another country. Unfortunately, the SIM card slot is a hybrid slot, and the second SIM card slot shares a space with the microSD card slot, so you'll still need to make a choice between extra storage or another SIM card. Bear in mind, the phone itself already comes with a bare minimum 64GB internal storage, so if we were to pick, we'd got with the latter option. 

We’ve already covered the Huawei Mate 9 and it's two other brethren in our earlier coverage of the phone’s launch at Munich, Germany, so we’ll spare you the repetition as you can simply just read our article of the event yourselves.

8.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 9
  • Value 8.5
The Good
New HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC is very snappy
Leica-approved dual-camera is capable of taking impressive photographs
EMUI 5.0 user interface blends seamlessly with the Android 7.0 Nougat OS
Battery life on phone is impressive
The Bad
Pricetag still a bit on the high side
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