In an era when big screen smartphones are the talk of the town, the Huawei Mate 9 will still stand out as one of the best ever phones to be released in 2016.
The Mate 9 phablet comes to succeed the 2015 Huawei Mate 8, another phone that was well-received among lovers of big screen phones. However, the Mate 8 has remained quite elusive in many markets across the globe, but hopefully, the new Mate 9 won’t be the same. Before thinking of making the switch to the new Huawei phablet, here is a look at what has changed when compared to its predecessor – the Mate 8.
Design and display
Not so much has changed when it comes to size and material. The same 7.9mm thickness can be seen across both phones and so is the metallic body design that features chamfered edges. Zooming in further, however, will reveal some small changes. The Huawei Mate 9 is smaller with a height of 156.9mm compared to the 157.1mm of the Mate 8. The latter is also wider at 80.6mm compared to the former, which measures 78.9mm.
As a result of the reduced height and width, you get a screen size of 5.9 inches on the Huawei Mate 9 as compared to the 6 inches found on the Mate 8. However, both units are packed with a 1080p IPS LCD panel with 2.5D glass. The pixel density of the two slightly varies, with the smaller Mate 9 managing 373ppi as compared to the 368ppi of the Mate 8.
Cameras and hardware
As you may have noticed, the Huawei Mate 8 and Mate 9 are almost identical on the front panel, however, the rear has some real differences. Where you get a single-camera setup on the former, the latter introduces dual cameras.
Huawei used the same technology as what the P9 has – the two sensors are black and white, and color – Leica is not left behind. The Huawei Mate 9 gets a 12MP sensor paired with a high-res 20MP sensor and both have an aperture of f/2.2, something that differs from the Mate 8 and even the P9 – which had both sensors at 12MP.
Using the camera of the Huawei Mate 9, it is possible to shoot 4K videos with H.265 compression, a huge step up from the Full HD support on the Mate 8.
Huawei makes use of its own chipsets and this hasn’t changed with the Mate 9. There is the latest Kirin 960 SoC, which should be more powerful than the Kirin 950 used in the Mate 8, at least on paper. However, you will love the improvements the new phablet brings in terms of graphics. There is a new and more responsive Mali G71 graphics unit that promises faster and smoother performance than the Mali T880 MP4 used in the Mate 8.
Both processors are octa-core units, but the latest version maxes a clock speed of 2.4GHz as compared to the 2.3GHz its predecessor manages. As for the RAM, there is the same 4GB on both phones.
Software and battery capacity
Huawei Mate 9 debuts the EMUI 5.0 software – a new skin that runs on top of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS. The new skin is cleaner, simpler to navigate and has nothing to do with the complicated themes and colors of the Huawei Mate 8, but the latter phone should be in line for a software update that could bring some of these changes on board. When this will be happening is still a mystery.
To keep the phones alive, Huawei went for the same 4000mAh non-removable battery, but the new Mate 9 shifts from microUSB to USB-C connectivity and also adds fast charging technology. Huawei has also added some nifty capabilities to prevent any occurrence of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7-like fiasco. Using a five-gate protection system, the Huawei Mate 9 will not be able to overheat. In addition, the phone has a dynamic charging system that lets the phone adapt to different electric current based on the cable or source in use.
Are these changes enough to make you switch from the Huawei Mate 8 or rather get the new Huawei Mate 9? Share your thoughts in the comments section.