Huawei’s Richard Yu wasn’t pulling any punches today at the Chinese company’s global launch event in Munich. From a promise that there would be “no explosion” with the Mate 9, to claiming the charging speed would be 400% faster than the iPhone 7 Plus, Yu comes across as charming and simply proud of his product, despite the not-so-subtle digs at the competition.
The launch featured a couple of special appearances in the shape of two Porsche 911s, showcasing the Huawei’s partnership with the German car manufacturer. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 was the first of three devices announced at the event today, and I admit it does look good. As for what’s under the bonnet (see what I did there), Yu was pretty emphatic that the Mate 9 is far superior to any other flagship phones on the market. Main selling point? It’s fast, and it’ll stay fast for at least 18 months. Of course, there’s a lot of detail when it comes down to it.
Both the Huawei Mate 9 and the special edition Porsche Design Mate 9 (which has some sleek-looking design differences to its more affordable brother), feature the Kirin 960 processor, the intelligent machine learning algorithm that will be ‘smart’ about how and where it store things, the 4000mAh battery with 4.5V/5A SuperCharge (that the one that’s 400% faster than the iPhone 7 Plus), and the 2nd Generation LEICA dual camera (first introduced in the P9 earlier this year) 12 MP RGB & 20MP Monochrome sensors. The Huawei Mate 9 has a 5.9” FHD display, runs EMUI 5.0/Android 7.0, and comes with 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 has a slightly smaller 5.5” screen, but it is 2K curved display – and it looks great. The OS is the same, but there’s more brain power – 6GB RAM + 256GB ROM.
Both versions of the new Mate 9 come Google Daydream ready and feature Huawei SuperCharge – a new ‘super cool’ charging system that automatically adjusts voltage and current output, and can charge the device enough to last a whole day in just 30 minutes. It also, Yu was keen to point out, has ‘5-gate protection’ and now charges 5 degrees cooler ensuring “no explosion”.
Once again Huawei has partnered with Leica for the 2nd generation dual camera which, like the P9, features pro features such as wide aperture and refocus options to get the best out of your photos. Further features include ‘Privacy space’ – one touch protection of private contacts, photos and apps, and 4-microphone recording – fully directional, adaptive, and noise cancelling.
So that’s two out of three, the third device on your Huawei shopping list? The Huawei Fit – a fitness tracker with real-time heartrate monitor; six days’ usage on one charge; scientific coaching; and real-time notifications, which is water resistant up to 50m. It has 1.04” Memory LCD 208*208, 200PPI screen, with 6-axis motion sensor, cap sensor and ambient light sensor.
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 (limited edition) – 6GB + 256GB: €1395
Huawei Mate 9 – 4GB + 64GB – (expandable with microSD): €699
Huawei Fit: €199
Jon Collins’ in-depth look at tech and society
Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond