Huawei's big-screened Mate 9, previewed at CES this year, picked up a bunch of awards at the show for its impressive spec sheet and massive high-density battery. Combine that with the dual-lens Leica camera and you've got the recipe for a pretty tempting phone. Here's how much it'll cost and when you'll be able to get one in Australia.
The Mate 9 makes some pretty significant updates under the hood compared to the currently available Mate 8, most notably a new Kirin 960 processor that — on paper, at least — looks like it'll be more than competitive with the current state of the art from Qualcomm and Samsung. Compared to the last-gen chip, it's 40 per cent more powerful at processing and 180 per cent more gutsy in the graphics department.
The Mate 9 also inherits the Leica-branded dual-lens camera from the P9, although in this phone it's an over-under setup rather than side by side. Both cameras have the same focal length and f/2.2 lens, but one uses a 12-megapixel colour sensor and one uses a 20-megapixel monochrome setup. We've used and loved the simply laid out Leica-themed camera app from Huawei in the past, and it continues to feature prominently on the Mate 9.
Huawei's Mate family of phones have always had massive batteries, and the 9 is no different: a 4000mAh cell should make for at least a couple of days' worth of regular usage. Not that it should need it, but Huawei's newest phone also supports one of the fastest charging rates of any Android handset: 4.5 volts at 5 amps means the Mate 9 should charge at 22.5 Watts, a fair jump up over even Samsung's quick 18 Watt adaptive fast charging tech. Huawei says you'll get 20 hours of video playback on a full charge, and a 10-minute top up will be enough to get three hours of extra viewing.
The 5.9-inch LCD screen has a resolution of 1920x1080pixels, so won't be the most pixel-dense you can buy, but as with other Mates it occupies the vast majority of the 157x79x7.9mm, 190g phone's chassis and gives it a high screen-to-body ratio of nearly 80 per cent. Combine that with Android 7.0 and Huawei's latest EMUI 5.0 interface, which is a lot less intrusive than it used to be, and this is looking like one of the best new phones you can buy in the first half of 2017.
The Mate 9 will go on sale in Australia on February 7, and you'll be able to buy the space grey variant from Optus or Vodafone and the mocha brown variant from JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. The recommended outright price for the Mate 9 will be $999 in Australia, although you'll likely also be able to pay it off in monthly installments through either of the telcos on a 12- or 24-month plan too. [Huawei]