Battle of the big smartphones: HTC U Ultra vs Huawei Mate 9

The trend in 2017 is toward taller, narrower phones, but that doesn't mean we won't continue to see some beasts. The HTC U Ultra and Huawei Mate 9 are two of the largest Android smartphones available today and one seems to be a clear winner.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Back in January, I reviewed the Huawei Mate 9 and was pleased to see Huawei launch it for the US market at a very reasonable $599. Earlier today, my review of the HTC U Ultra went live and this large phone is available now in blue, white, and black for $749.

While these prices show a $150 premium for the HTC U Ultra, if you are inclined to drop or damage your phone then understand that the HTC U Ultra, when purchased directly from HTC, includes the HTC Uh Oh protection for one free replacement if you break or damage your phone in the first year. Most people never need to use such an insurance policy, but it's a factor to consider.

Tale of the tape

Specifications don't provide the complete picture regarding the capabilities of a smartphone, but they are useful for comparison purposes and to provide you with an indication on what each manufacturer is providing.

Feature HTC U Ultra Huawei Mate 9
Display size 5.7 inches 5.9 inches
Acreen-to-body ratio 69.19% 77.39%
Dimensions 162.41 x 79.79 x 7.99 mm 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
Battery capacity 3000 mAh 4000 mAh
3.5mm headset jack No Yes
Stereo speakers Yes Yes
Dual rear cameras No Yes
IR port No Yes
AI HTC Sense Companion Amazon Alexa (coming soon)
Back panel design Gorilla Glass 5 Brushed aluminum

Both devices are good for business with large displays, solid cameras, and the ability to expand storage capacity via inexpensive microSD cards.

Neither phone has water resistance, which is becoming a standard for flagship phones. It's not an essential feature, but a nice convenience for those who live in areas with inclement weather.

The Huawei Mate 9 is the better choice thanks to its optimized Kirin 960 processor, larger display and smaller form factor, extremely long battery life, dual rear cameras, and $150 lower price.

Huawei Mate 9 first impressions: in pictures

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