Huawei's 5.9-inch Mate 9 with Leica dual-lens cameras coming to the US

It's been a couple of years since Huawei sold a Mate product direct in the US. The new Huawei Mate 9 is targeted towards the business user who wants a big, fast, functional phone.

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Image: Huawei

Today in Munich, Huawei announced the Mate 9 and Porsche Design Mate 9, with the Mate 9 slated to hit US shores after the first devices launch in Europe and Asia, likely in early 2017.

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The Huawei Mate 9 will be sold online, similar to how the Ascend Mate 2 was a couple of years ago. While the excellent Google Nexus 6P was made by Huawei and sold on the Huawei US website, the Nexus brand was the focus with that device. The Honor 8 is sold in the US, but also not under the Huawei brand. The Huawei Mate 9 release is timed well as Chinese-branded smartphones are gaining in popularity with high quality and low pricing.

After using the Huawei P9 with Leica dual-lens cameras, it's exciting for me to see that US customers will finally get the chance to experience this fantastic camera setup. The Mate 9 includes the second generation Leica dual-lens setup with optical image stabilization (OIS) included this time.

Specifications for the new Huawei Mate 9 include:

  • Processor: Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core
  • Display: 5.9 inch 1920x1080 pixels resolution with 2.5D glass
  • Operating system: Android 7.0 Nougate with EMUI 5.0
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB internal with microSD expansion card slot
  • Cameras: Dual rear 12 and 20 megapixel f/2.2 aperture cameras with OIS and one with monochrome and front 8 megapixel f/1.9 aperture
  • Extras: Infrared blaster and rear fingerprint scanner
  • Battery: 4000 mAh non-removable with fast charging technology
  • Dimensions: 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm and 190 grams

All the specs are what we expect today from a high-end phone, with the exception of the 1080p display. I personally am fine with 1080p displays and only see the need for the higher resolution if you are going to use VR, which I rarely do.

The Ascend Mate 2 battery life was incredible and I imagine we will see a couple days of use with the 4,000 mAh battery and 1080p display. Huawei's own processor should also be optimized for battery life as it has full control over that internal element.

We don't yet have pricing information for the US, but the Mate 9 in Europe will be priced at a whopping €699. This is not an inexpensive Android smartphone. There is no word on whether or not we will see the Porsche Design model in the US. That model is priced at €1395.

A review unit arrives today so stay tuned for some first impressions and a full review coming this month. Let me know if you have any specific questions as I evaluate this new Huawei device.

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