Up to now we've been using the Huawei Mate 9 on pre-release firmware, as we noted in our review. Today, ahead of its December launch in Europe, the global dual-SIM version (the model reviewers currently have) has received a major software update, essentially putting it on retail-quality software.
Notifications now work as they should, and camera performance has been tweaked.
The update fixes a couple of major software issues we pointed out in our review — one having to do with parts of Gmail notifications being shown in white text, making them unreadable — squished. Huawei has also switched back to showing app icons in the top left corner of the screen for notifications, as opposed to just showing a number in the earlier build. (You can still switch back to "numbers" in the notification settings.) Notifications have long been an Achilles heel for Huawei phones, so it's great to see the Mate 9 now having a bug-free notification setup that basically mirrors stock Nougat.
The camera has also seen a few improvements — Huawei has added up to 6X hybrid zoom, and the zoom interface has been tweaked to quickly snap to 2X zoom. In addition to sharper zoomed photos, we're also seeing general improvements in fine detail rendering and color accuracy across the board, as well as in low-light situations (an area where the Mate 9 fell short on the older firmware.)
The new build also bumps Huawei's upcoming flagship up to the 1 November 2016 Android security patch. All in all, it's an important update that makes the phone feel like it's now done and ready to ship. If you somehow already have a Huawei Mate 9, the OTA should be pushing out to your phone today.
We'll be updating our Mate 9 review to reflect these changes in the coming days, so keep watching!
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