Huawei Mate 9 Takes Aim at Premium Smartphone Market

Huawei Mate 9 Takes Aim at Premium Smartphone Market
A Big Screen—With a Caveat
It Has a Powerful Processor
It Runs Android Nougat
It Has a High-Capacity, Quick-Charging Battery
Huawei Touts the Camera Design
The Design Is Sleek
It'll Work Anywhere and Everywhere
Security Is a Major Selling Point
Audio Features Are Strong
It Has a High-End Price
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Huawei Mate 9 Takes Aim at Premium Smartphone Market

With the Mate 9, Huawei hopes to gain ground on Apple and Samsung in the North American smartphone market. Here's a sneak peek at the upcoming Android high-end device.

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A Big Screen—With a Caveat

The Huawei Mate 9 will ship with one of the market's larger touch screens, at 5.9 inches. At that size, it will be noticeably bigger than some of its top competitors, including the 5.5-inch screen in the iPhone 7 Plus. However, it comes with just 1080p resolution, which matches midrange smartphones. So, while the Mate 9's screen might be big, its resolution won't blow users away.

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It Has a Powerful Processor

Huawei said the Mate 9's processor will deliver outstanding performance. The smartphone will ship with the Huawei Kirin 960, an ARM-based, octa-core processor featuring four cores with 2.4GHz clock speeds and four with 1.8GHz clock speeds. The smartphone also will include the i6 coprocessor to handle sophisticated functions.

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It Runs Android Nougat

The Huawei Mate 9 is running Google's Android Nougat, giving it all the security patches one would want to find in a new Android-based handset. However, Huawei has slapped its own user interface on Nougat to deliver a differentiated design compared with standard builds found on other high-end devices, such as the Google Pixel. Huawei said its user interface, called EMUI 5.0, is a more intuitive interface than standard Android.

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It Has a High-Capacity, Quick-Charging Battery

The Mate 9 ships with a downright huge battery, with a 4,000mAh capacity, giving users more than two days of life with regular usage before the smartphone needs to be recharged. After just 10 minutes of charging, the battery life can regain several hours of life, thanks to a SuperCharge feature.

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Huawei Touts the Camera Design

Photographers will be happy to learn that the Mate 9 comes with two rear-facing cameras. One, an RGB sensor, sports 12 megapixels, while the other with 20 megapixels will handle monochrome capture. Together, Huawei said the cameras can capture richer colors and finer detail. The rear-facing cameras also feature optical image stabilization and improved depth performance.

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The Design Is Sleek

It's hard to find fault in the Mate 9's design. The device comes with a metal finish and the bezel around its screen is exceedingly thin, so the face is nearly entirely covered by the display. The Mate 9's design isn't a major departure from its predecessor the Mate 8, but that's just fine—the earlier Huawei handset has a great look.

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It'll Work Anywhere and Everywhere

Huawei will offer dual-SIM support in the Mate 9, allowing users to place another SIM card in the device while traveling globally. In fact, Huawei said that its Mate 9 is designed for world travel and should be able to work in many major markets around the world, including China and the United States.

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Security Is a Major Selling Point

On the security front, the Huawei Mate 9 is full-featured. The device ships with four-level and 3D fingerprint for better accuracy in identifying the authorized user's biometrics. The smartphone also ships with an encrypted file safe that's accessible via the fingerprint sensor. In that safe, users can store contacts, photos and apps. If users set up two fingerprints, they can have two separate spaces for content.

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Audio Features Are Strong

The Huawei Mate 9 might be a nice option for audiophiles. The device features four built-in microphones to deliver better sound quality on calls and video capture. The receiver and microphones are equipped with noise-cancellation technology for better-sounding calls. On the video-capture side, audio recording is directional and will be captured only in the direction the lens is pointing.

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It Has a High-End Price

The Huawei Mate 9 will be available in several countries, including the United States, China and France, as well as others. When it hits store shelves, it'll be available for about $776 for 64GB of storage and 4GB of onboard memory. Huawei hasn't yet said which carriers might offer the Mate 9 and hasn't pegged an exact release date. However, the smartphone is expected to reach the United States sometime in January.

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