First impressions of the Huawei Mate9, the big phone with big capabilities

Huawei’s Mate9 is a smartphone for 2017, with a massive 5.9″ display, huge 4,000mAh battery, dual camera with OIS and running Android 7.0, there’s a hell of a lot...

Huawei’s Mate9 is a smartphone for 2017, with a massive 5.9″ display, huge 4,000mAh battery, dual camera with OIS and running Android 7.0, there’s a hell of a lot to like about this phone. After spending a few days with the Mate9, its time to reflect on the experience with some initial impressions, ahead of a full review.

Size
There’s no getting away form the fact the phone is big and won’t suit everyone, in fact, the phone is 156.9mm tall, 78.9mm wide and 7.9mm thin, it only just fits in my pocket.

The phone gets away with its size by weighing in at just 190 grams.

Display
The 5.9″ display is only 1920 x 1080p, while its not 4K like some others will be this year, the display is crisp, clear and looks fantastic. Making the display even more engaging is the almost bezeless edges, running almost the entire width of the body.

When I first unboxed the phone, I immediately thought about accidental touches from just holding the phone. Turns out this isn’t an issue at all, I’ve never once had a problem with this, so I’m going to assume Huawei has implemented some smarts to do the equivalent of palm rejection.

Camera
The back of the device looks different to most phones as it features a dual camera. This is to create 20MP Monochrome or 12MP RGB photos with Leica F2.2 lenses. In the camera software, you can turn on a depth of field effect, the result of which looks stunning, like you’re using a DSLR. As soon as you learn it works in video as well, you quickly think about never using your DSLR again.

The moment I realised the photos I’d taken with this can have the focus point adjusted after the photo is taken, I was seriously impressed.

The only downside I’ve seen from the camera is its performance at night. While its possible to take decent photos, its easier than it should be to take a blurry mess.

Battery
The massive 4,000 mAh battery is required to power the big screen, but after a few days of use, its far too early to tell what an average day looks like. I have had instances where at midnight the phone still had 30% left, while another day, heavier on location services, the phone made it to 11:30PM before hitting 0%. Given my S7 battery can often struggle to make it to 8PM without a top off, this extra battery is a very welcome inclusion.

Storage
Inside the phone lies 64GB of storage and in 2017, that should become standard issue in smartphones. Games and apps continue to swell in size and the quality of photos and video we’re taking also grows as camera quality increases. This phone also features the very welcome Micro-SD card slot to increase this even further.

Software
Android 7.0 Nougat ships on this phone which is a welcome addition. Despite being out for months, there’s still a tiny list of devices that support or can be upgraded to the latest Android OS.

Enough of the detail, here’s some photos to tie you over till the full review arrives.

The phone comes in a few colours, but if you’re not happy with those, you may want to consider the special Porsche edition.

To celebrate the release of the Huawei Mate 9 this week, Huawei are auctioning one of a very limited number of Mate 9 Porsche Smartphones. The auction will take place at World Square on Friday February 10th at 12:30pm. The proceeds of which will go to the charity Tour de Cure (a cancer charity that has raised more than $25m since 2007).

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 is a limited edition Smartphone brings in Porsche signature brand aesthetic, featuring curved edges, a graphite finish and stylish black colouring combined with the latest technology.

The software also gets tweaked with a unique, sophisticated UI thanks to Porsche Design’s signature design language.

The Mate 9 Porsche is not available for sale in Australia, indeed this is one of only three devices that Huawei currently have in the country.

To bid on this very limited edition phone go to (https://www.allbids.com.au/auctions/817761/porsche-design-huawei-mate-9-limited-edition-smartphone-to-support-tour-de-cure). The auction will close Midday on Friday February 10th. Winners will be announced 30 minutes later at 12:30pm.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.