Huawei Mate 9 review: The best big Android phone of 2016

The quick take

Huawei has finally come of age — the Chinese company's enormous new flagship phone is a huge leap ahead in software terms — backed up by top-notch hardware and epic longevity.

The Good

  • Top-notch build quality
  • Big, attractive screen
  • Fast performance throughout
  • Great battery life and super-fast charging

The Bad

  • Lower screen resolution than rivals (regular Mate 9)
  • Camera not quite effortless as GS7/Pixel
  • Finicky capacitive buttons (PD Mate 9)

Big deal

Huawei Mate 9 Full Review

With the spectacular failure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 comes an opportunity for everyone else with a big-screened Android phone to sell. A major competitor in the world of "phablets" has been taken out of the game, and China's Huawei stands to benefit handsomely from Samsung's misfortune.

The company's long-running Mate series — itself a reaction to the success of the Note line, back in the day — has carved itself out a niche among consumers who appreciate its metal construction, enormous displays and long battery life.

The new Mate 9 continues the family line — a slightly slimmer, smarter version of last year's Mate 8, with upgraded internals and a new dual camera setup courtesy of imaging partner Leica. Just as important as any hardware upgrade is the new EMUI 5 software, which is the biggest overhaul to Huawei's UI in years, bringing with it Android 7.0 Nougat.

But there's more than one Mate 9 model this time around. Alongside the vanilla 5.9-inch Mate 9 (with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage), Huawei will release a limited edition Porsche Design Mate 9, with a 5.5-inch curved AMOLED display, and a capacious 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

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We've had a little over a week to get to know both the sensible and ludicrous Mate 9 models over the past month. And while it's easy to dismiss the "PD" model as an expensive sideshow, the regular Mate 9 shines through as the best big-screened Android phone of 2016.

About this review

Update: This review was originally published on November 15, 2016, and updated with impressions from finalized software — and our video review — on December 13, 2016.

We're publishing this review after around six weeks with the regular Huawei Mate 9 (dual-SIM, MHA-L29), and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 (dual-SIM, LON-L29). We used both devices on the EE and Vodafone UK networks while in the UK, and on and Vodafone Germany networks while roaming in Germany.

For our first month with the Mate 9, both phones were running pre-production software (build B109SP02). On November 30, we received an over-the-air update to B126 on the regular Mate 9, and B124 on the Porsche Design model, bringing them up to retail-quality software. As promised, we're updating our review to reflect the changes in the final Mate 9 firmware. Before we begin, a few main points on what's changed and what hasn't:

  • Low-light performance in the camera has been significantly improved.
  • The software issues surrounding the notification area (and notification icons) have been fixed.
  • "Ghosting" on the capacitive buttons of the PD model has improved, but we're still seeing occasional missed taps on the home key.

And with that, on to the review!

Press play

Huawei Mate 9 Video Review

It's big

Huawei Mate 9 Hardware

There's nothing unexpected or particularly extravagant about the Mate 9's external design. Most of what makes up the outside of the device hasn't changed a whole lot since last year's Mate 8. However, Huawei has worked to make the phone a little bit more compact and ergonomic — and given the fact that we're still dealing with a gigantic display here, that kind of attention to detail is important.

The Mate 9 is big, but not unreasonably huge.

Huawei Mate 9

The Mate 9's slim profile and equally svelte horizontal bezels combine to make for a 5.9-inch phone that doesn't feel particularly huge. Compared to the Nexus 6P, a 5.7-incher, the Mate 9 is fairly easy to wrangle one-handed. This is a big phone, but not anywhere near as unwieldy as some of its predecessors. (2014's Mate 7 feels comically huge, by comparison.)

The basic physicality of the phone draws from Huawei's established design language. There's a curved unibody, furnished in soft-feeling matte aluminum, broken up by relatively discrete plastic antenna cutouts at the top and bottom.

The top, bottom and sides have a subtle polished effect to them, along with a barely noticeable brushed pattern, and a very slight curve of their own. Despite this, the front and back chamfers make the Mate 9 easy to grip onto, even with its relatively large footprint.

The combination of lustrous chamfers, subtle brushed patterns on the sides, and a softer matte back give just enough visual flair to what might otherwise have been a dull design.

Located right in the middle of that metal unibody is the Mate 9's fingerprint scanner, which is just as fast and accurate as we've come to expect from Huawei. Setup takes around half a dozen taps per finger, and the fingerprint sensor also comes with some neat shortcut gestures, like swiping down to open the notification shade.

Around the front, there's little going on besides a 5.9-inch sheet of 2.5D glass, which tapers into the metal unibody, giving it an organic quality. Despite its mere 1080p resolution, it's actually a fantastic looking panel. Colors appear a little on the cool side by default, however that's easily remedied in the Display settings menu.

Don't worry too much about 1080p at 5.9 inches.

Ideally, I would've preferred Huawei make the jump up to Quad HD here, especially as the smaller Porsche Design Mate 9 manages this resolution without breaking a sweat. But faced with the reality of a 1080p panel at 5.9 inches, I can't say I'm too disappointed. It looks just fine.

The Mate 9's audio capabilities are equally beefy — up to a point. The phone combines a rear-firing loudspeaker with the main earpiece in a dual-speaker setup, similar to the HTC 10 or Huawei P9 Plus. At max volume level, the output is louder than you'd ever want it to be, which is great if you're showing someone a video in a crowded bar. But above around 50 percent volume, playback becomes increasingly tinny, with some distortion creeping in.

Fortunately, we've found that wired audio output is excellent with this phone. The 3.5mm jack (yep, it has one of those) is capable of driving demanding studio headphones with just as much power as the HTC 10.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryHuawei Mate 9Porsche Design Mate 9
Operating SystemAndroid 7.0 with EMUI 5.0Android 7.0 with EMUI 5.0
ProcessorHuawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor
Huawei Kirin 960
4x A73 @ 2.4Ghz, 4x A53 @ 1.8Ghz
Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
i6 co-processor
Display5.9-inch 1920x1080
2.5D glass
5.5-inch 2560x1440
curved glass
Rear Camera20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
20MP (monochrome) + 12MP (color)
Front camera8MP, f/1.98MP, f/1.9
Video4K capture4K capture
Battery4,000 mAh
4,000 mAh
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A
3.5-5V / 5A
9V / 2A
ConnectivityUSB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2USB Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2
Fingerprint sensorYes, on rearYes, on front
Expandable storagemicroSDmicroSD
Dual SIMYes, dual nanoYes, dual nano
ColorsSpace Gray, Moonlight Silver,
Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown,
Ceramic White
Graphite Black
Dimensions156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm152 x 75 x 7.5 mm
Weight190 grams169 grams

As you'd expect from a Huawei flagship, the Mate 9 is packed to the gills with the latest high-end internals from the Chinese manufacturer. The centerpiece is its new Kirin 960 processor, which is the first mass-market chip to use ARM's new Cortex-A73 core design. (A step up from the Cortex-A72s used in the Mate 8 and P9 in terms of both power and efficiency.) The Mate 9 pairs four of these A73s — running at 2.4GHz — with four lower-power Cortex-A53 cores for less demanding tasks. (Once again, Huawei's using a 16nm manufacturing process, same as its Kirin 950-series chips.)

Huawei's also the first big phone maker to ship ARM's new Mali-G71 8-core GPU, with the Mate 9 using the next-gen graphics processor that's expected to feature in the Galaxy S8 next year.

The Mate 9's cutting-edge internals power an experience that's flawlessly smooth.

Between the speedy new CPU, lightning-fast UFS 2.1 storage and an upgraded GPU, the Mate 9 absolutely flies. Performance has been flawlessly smooth during our first week with the phone, whether browsing the web, juggling photos or doing a bit of casual gaming. Even more demanding titles like Asphalt Xtreme were silky smooth.

Huawei was keen to promote its performance optimization tech at the Mate 9's Munich launch event. A combination of machine learning (to work out which apps need the most power) and intelligent resource allocation is supposed to keep the phone running smoothly even after years of use. Obviously we're not in a position to make any kind of judgment after just a month or so, but it's enough to say we haven't noticed any slowdown at all thus far. Everything's been flawlessly smooth, as we'd expect from a high-end Android phone in late 2016.

So far it's a very promising start.

Huawei Mate 9

Porsche Design Mate 9 hardware

The 'Porsche' model really is a completely different phone — at least on the outside.

For all their other hardware similarities, the Porsche Design Mate 9 really is a completely different phone on the outside. The smaller form factor, curved display and pitch-black anodized metal, together with the front-facing fingerprint scanner and capacitive buttons, make it look more like one of Samsung's recent efforts than any previous Huawei design.

But this is more than a Galaxy S7 edge copycat. The left-to-right curve of the display is incredibly subtle — intended to mirror the curve of the metal rear. And the sharper edges of the Huawei device stand in contrast to the GS7's soft corners.

The Porsche Design model's extremely dark anodized paint job also gives it a significantly different in-hand feel. It's a little more fingerprinty than the regular Mate 9, while the surface itself is less slippery in-hand. At the same time, the sharper chamfered edges add not only visual flair, but help by giving you a harder edge to hold onto. Personally, I prefer how the regular Mate 9 feels in my hand, but there's something to be said for the darker aesthetic of the Porsche variant.

The camera modules have also been juggled about a bit too. And around the back, the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner has been replaced by a large embossed Porsche Design logo. (You'll also find some fairly prominent Porsche branding around the front.)

Huawei Mate 9

This isn't as much of a Samsung clone as you might think.

Like the regular Mate 9, the screen in the Porsche Design variant has a fairly cool hue by default. (But just like that phone, you can easily tweak white balance to your own preference.) Aside from that one minor complaint, the curved 2K display looks great. Colors aren't noticeably punchier than the Mate 9's LCD, but the bump in pixel density is appreciated. And it's more than bright enough to see clearly outdoors.

The Porsche Design Mate 9 manages to package all of the Mate 9's cutting-edge tech into a much smaller (or, to put it another way, more "normal-sized") handset. Does it feel like it's worth the €1395 asking price? That's debatable. In a world where attractive metal phones like the OnePlus 3 sell for €450, it's a tough ask. But then, you're missing the point if you think a phone like this has anything to do with value for money. You're also paying for the exclusive Porsche brand, and the jump up to 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

More: Making the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9

EMUI 5.0

Huawei Mate 9 Software

Phone software has long been Huawei's Achilles' heel. If you've read any of our previous Huawei reviews, the whole "great hardware, crap software" thing will be a familiar refrain. With the new EMUI 5.0, based on Android 7.0 Nougat, Huawei promises a brighter, refreshed UI. And with that new version of Android, there's the chance to overhaul traditional areas of weakness for EMUI, like notifications and the recent apps menu.

As mentioned in the intro, the few issues we ran into with notifications in the pre-release software were fixed in the retail firmware, which is great.

Huawei Mate 9

EMUI 5 is a breath of fresh air. It looks — and acts — more like it belongs in the modern Android ecosystem.

With that out of the way, EMUI 5.0 is, for the most part, the huge improvement it needed to be. Most of Huawei's own preloaded apps have been given a complete visual overhaul, with white backdrops, light grey accents and blue highlights. Apps like the dialer, messages app, calendar and settings look more like they belong in the modern Android ecosystem, as opposed to seeming like weird not-quite-right-looking iOS clones.

And the new, darker notification shade, is more customizable than ever, with more icons shown at once than the old grid setup of old.

Aside from the new, optional app drawer (finally!), Huawei's home screen launcher hasn't changed a whole lot. Folders still look a lot like they do on the iPhone, and there's a similar swipe-down shortcut to search apps and other content on the phone. But at least the launcher is fast, feature-filled and highly customizable.

Speaking of which, you can still theme EMUI to your heart's content, only now there are few more limits to what skins can do. For instance, Huawei's own apps, with their new blue-and-white hues, are off-limits. That said, it's a strange point of discontinuity that the default icons for Huawei's own apps don't really seem to fit with its new, flatter, cleaner aesthetic. (In the default "bridge" theme, you're still looking at a lot of embossed, rounded rectangles, which looks a little out of place.)

Huawei Mate 9

The way EMUI looks may have changed, but its expansive feature set hasn't gone anywhere. In fact, finding your way around all that stuff has become a lot easier, with a redesigned settings menu that puts more than 90 percent of features just three taps away. And when you've drilled down into a specific settings menu, a slide-out "hamburger" menu easily lets you hop to another area of the app.

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The battery settings menu is significantly easier to jump to in EMUI 5 — it's now a top-level item, as opposed to being buried three layers down in EMUI 4. And here there've also been some significant improvements. EMUI no longer kills off most apps when you power off the screen. Instead, you have the ability to blacklist individual apps that might be using too much juice in the background, and have them killed off when the screen's powered down. And EMUI will help you track these down by notifying you — though these notifications are a far cry from the constant "power consumption" nags in earlier versions.

EMUI's expansive feature set no longer comes at the expense of a whole bunch of broken stuff.

That's on top of a standard loadout of power-saving options, including ultra power saving mode (for limited functionality only), a regular power-saving mode (which reduces performance) and a low-res mode for additional power savings on longer days. It's a more sensible approach to battery management in a phone which, as we'll discuss later, already has plenty of juice in the tank.

Also new in EMUI 5 is the ability to use multiple accounts with WhatsApp or Facebook through the Twin App feature — something that's achieved by basically running two identical instances of the app at once. It's a niche feature in the West, but something that's sure to be useful in markets where dual-SIM phones are popular.

All in all, EMUI 5 feels more balanced — both visually and in terms of feature set — than previous versions, while also being less at odds with Google's preloaded services. This is by far the most polished software suite we've seen from Huawei.

Huawei Mate 9

Porsche Design software differences

For the most part, the software experience on the more expensive, speccier, Porsche-branded Mate 9 is completely identical to that of the regular model. The biggest difference in day-to-day use has to do with the button setup. The Porsche Mate 9 uses capacitive keys (right now, the home button is a little hit and miss in the current firmware), and thanks to the fact that neither the back nor recent apps keys are labelled (both are just white dots), you can easily swap the order in the Settings menu. It's also possible to disable both buttons and control things by swiping the home key, but we wouldn't recommend doing this.

The two preloaded themes on the Porsche model look tacky. Fortunately, it's easy to download the standard themes from the regular Mate 9.

There are some visual differences too, but these are largely isolated to the Porsche-inspired themes preloaded on the phone as standard. You'll need to grab the regular EMUI themes from Huawei's theme store — and trust us, you'll want to, because the chromed-out Porsche icons used in both preloaded themes are pretty gross.

There's also a "dark mode" under the Battery settings menu, allowing you to save a little juice by switching to an almost completely black UI in Huawei's own apps. (AMOLED screens like the Porsche Mate 9's consume less power when displaying darker colors.)

And elsewhere, the smaller Porsche-branded Mate 9 benefits from slightly higher information density, although UI scaling can also be controlled through the Display settings menu.

So mostly you're just dealing with the same software on a smaller screen, without on-screen buttons.

Huawei Mate 9

Leica camera, v2.0

Huawei Mate 9 Camera

Huawei's partnership with camera maker Leica continues, with a new and improved camera setup in the Mate 9. Like the P9's Leica-branded shooter, it's based around a dual-lens, dual-sensor setup, with an RGB sensor for capturing colors, and a monochrome sensor for enhancing detail.

In the Mate 9, the RGB sensor is a 12-megapixel unit behind an f/2.2 lens — the same as the P9, on paper — with OIS (optical image stabilization). And it's backed up by a 20-megapixel black-and-white sensor, also behind an f/2.2 lens. This setup, Huawei says, allows it to capture clear low-light shots while also picking up enough fine detail to implement a "hybrid zoom" feature.

That's not quite the same as the iPhone 7 Plus's true 2X optical zoom, but it does let you eke a bit more detail out of your shots when shooting at the default 12-megapixel resolution.

A higher-resolution secondary sensor also allows the Mate 9 to generate more realistic bokeh effects in its "wide aperture" mode. We've been seriously impressed with some of the effects we've been able to create thanks to the new camera setup — which includes Kirin 960's new dual ISP, specifically designed to help manage input from two sensors. (It's particularly neat that you can now preview these software bokeh effects in real time through the viewfinder.)

Overall image quality from the Mate 9's unique camera setup has generally been good across the board, with one or two caveats. Photos taken in daylight are usually superb, with colors that appear more muted, but also more realistic than output from Samsung's cameras. In challenging lighting conditions, an auto-HDR mode appears to kick in, significantly boosting dynamic range and producing photos with plenty of detail in both light and dark areas.

Huawei's camera app gives you the option of "smooth colors" or "vivid colors," both of which crank up the saturation to varying degrees. Unfortunately this is accompanied by a weird vignette effect, and as such you'll want to use them selectively. (There's an independent "saturation" slider in the settings menu.)

Update: We noted in our initial review that low-light performance was a little wonky, and as expected, this has been fixed up in the retail firmware. Photos in the dark now approach the level of the Galaxy S7, though Huawei's camera still seems more susceptible to movement in low-light shots than Samsung's. "Pro" mode, which is always a swipe away, lets you manually adjust settings for longer exposures, and using this feature it's possible to get some truly stunning shots.

As far as video goes, it's a similar story — good dynamic range and lifelike colors in daylight, becoming disappointingly grainy in the dark. The Mate 9 can shoot at up to 4K resolution using the h.265 codec — though this comes with the trade-off that very few services know what to do with h.265 footage right now — including the likes of YouTube and Google Photos.

Scaling down to a more reasonable 1080p resolution gets you the option of 60fps recording, along with software stabilization. The Mate 9's stabilization works (and feels) like that of the Google Pixel, with a cropped-in viewport and a tendency towards sometimes jarring pans when moving the camera around. While it was able to smooth out the motion from walking, it doesn't do so as effortlessly as Google's phone.

Charging Mate 9

Epic longevity

Huawei Mate 9 Battery

Huawei's Mate devices have always excelled in battery life, and with a 4,000mAh cell in both Mate 9 models, the spec sheet alone suggests formidable longevity.

Battery info

For the most part, that's exactly what we've experienced in our first week with the Mate 9. The phone never failed to get us through a full day of mixed use on LTE and Wi-Fi, often with more than 50% in the tank by the evening. Even pushing the phone really hard with lots of photography and a little wireless tethering, we never came close to experiencing battery anxiety.

When it comes to numbers, our usage equated to around 25 hours per charge on an average day, with between seven and eight hours of screen-on time. (That's with around a 50-50 split between Wi-Fi and LTE, in areas with reliable LTE coverage.) Of course it's easier to kill off the Mate 9 when using LTE exclusively, especially when juggling between SIMs in areas with patchy cellular coverage. When traveling in areas with less reliable coverage, screen-on time dropped to around 5 hours.

That's still impressive for a modern Android phone — comparable to many of the energy-sipping Snapdragon 625-powered mid-rangers we've tested lately. (Except obviously the Mate 9 is a powerhouse compared to those phones.) For what it's worth, the Mate 9 never skipped a beat even while juggling two SIMs and and constant switching between HSPA and LTE.

You're basically guaranteed a full day of use. And when it's time to charge, the Mate 9 is lightning fast.

As far as the Porsche Design model is concerned, we haven't noticed any major difference in battery life compared to the vanilla Mate 9. It seems any extra battery cost involved in pushing a Quad HD display is offset by the fact that the screen itself is smaller.

Huawei also has a new trick up its sleeve when it's time to charge. SuperCharge is the manufacturer's proprietary charging method, for which you'll need to use the bundled SuperCharger and cable. The firm claims its new 4.5V/5A charging tech is cooler than rival 9V standards (like Qualcomm QuickCharge), and while that comparison depends on a bunch of other factors, we can't argue with the sheer speed of charging.

Below 50 percent, you can practically watch the percentages tick up every minute or so, even while using the phone. Above 70 percent, things slow down somewhat. And above 85, you'll be charging at a more conservative 1-1.5A. As with most quick charging standards, the main benefit is being able to restore a dead phone to a serviceable battery level in a very short space of time. By that measure, Huawei's SuperCharge absolutely delivers. It's just a shame about the proprietary cable requirement.

For what it's worth, we were able to charge at "fast charging" speeds (as indicated on the lock screen) with the Google Pixel's USB-PD brick, as well as the older Huawei 9V fast charge plug. (The Mate 9's lock screen tells you whether it's charging at standard speeds, "fast" speeds, or "super" speeds.)

Huawei Mate 9 series

Great big phone

Huawei Mate 9: The Bottom Line

The Huawei Mate 9 is great big phone in every sense of that term. It delivers the strong performance and epic battery life we've come to expect from the Mate series, in a slightly more compact form factor, with trailblazing internals. EMUI 5 is a big, meaningful upgrade, doing away with many of our pet hates from previous versions of Huawei's software layer. The fact that the Mate 9 launches with the latest version of Android available (to non-Pixel phones, anyway) is also important, meaning buyers won't be waiting months for additional updates.

Huawei finally delivers a software experience that's worthy of its top-notch build quality and silicon.

Huawei has managed to nail performance and build quality just as it has with previous flagships. What's new this time around is a software experience which, for the most part, is worth of the hardware on which it's running. And it should come as no surprise that a 4,000mAh battery guarantees you exceptional battery life, to the point where multiple days per charge are a real possibility.

With the latest software update, the camera can take some great photos, but across the board it's not quite as effortless as the competition. This is the sort of thing you expect when you're paying $700+ for a smartphone. Huawei is almost there, but not quite at the tip-top level of the Google Pixel and the Galaxy S7 when it comes to imaging.

The big question

Should you buy the Huawei Mate 9? Yes

In a world without the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the Huawei Mate 9 is now the best big-screened Android phone you can buy. The fact that Huawei can put out phones of this quality underscores just how far it's come in the past year. Most of that is thanks to the new EMUI 5, which provides a far superior user experience to anything we've seen in earlier Huawei phones. And because the UI is so much improved, the rest of the phone shines through.

See at Jet

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Sounds like a nice phone. Excited for EMUI 5 \o/
  • When is it going to be available in the US? I would love to have the regular Mate 9!
  • Reports at launch said it would be available in online stores in January.
  • I bought Mate 8, after a regular upgrading, the phone started having problem receiving incoming calls, even had no show of any missing calls. I got rid of it, and I love the phone, but if the same problem occurs, it will be another nightmare. Maybe because the phone is an unlocked international version.
  • well you cant expect a phone not meant for the US to work well in the US....
  • If only it worked on Verizon... Same with the OnePlus 3T...c'mon. :/
  • I know, but the V20 is a sweet consultation prize! Plus, I heard bad stuff about the OPO camera
  • I heard very good stuff about OPO price. :-)
  • Of course the price is great with OPO , it's a piece of $hit company
  • That's cause Verizon uses the $hitty CDMA network
  • The camera is great until you start pixel peeping, noisy photos all round. Apparently some of it is supposed to be intentional as some sort of artistic approach by leica, iirc.
  • Hmm a lot of people show the same thing for Pixel pics but I think they look great.
  • EMUI is slowly but surely getting there. Gotta like how they've been paring back the more agregious changes while keeping its featureset. One question about the audio, though. You said it was able to drive a pair of headphones that are hard-to-drive with similar results to the HTC 10. But JCB on Pocketnow noticed that its amp is a bit on the weak side and that the DAC isn't the greatest. At some point, is the difference not-as-apparent?
  • How is the camera compared to the Sony Xperia XZ?
  • ...This is a beautiful phone.
  • What about the Mate 9 Pro? Has it been confirmed yet?
  • Ugh... nevermind found the article about it!
  • Seriously considering this...
  • You and me both. In the back of my mind I'm hesitating and waiting to see what the GS8 will definitively bring to the table; but this phone looks pretty great and I'm willing to give Huawei at least one shot. I've tried HTC (HTC One M9) and currently Samsung (GS6) already and survived with some features I loved and some I didn't as much after all.
  • Mines in the mail. Very excited after watching real camera reviews on it.
  • "Fortunately, we've found that wired audio output is excellent with this phone. The 3.5mm jack (yep, it has one of those) is capable of driving demanding studio headphones with just as much power as the HTC 10." This is in complete contrast to what PocketNow said on their audio review of the mate 9..
  • This phone is very appealing but that price......
  • The $599 compared to the more expensive phones?
  • Well, I have Nexus 6 and need a replacement for it.
    I will give Mate 9 a try
  • I think I would hold out for the Mate 9 Pro.
  • Mate 9 Pro has a smaller screen (5.5)
  • TOO F#$&ING BIG!
  • But that's the point. It's not meant for you.
  • Android Central why didn't you test lowlight using manual controls?? It's the same with the P9 it is average in lowlight on auto but using longer shutter it's amazing
  • Nearly all devices will perform better in M. Nearly all users don't even know how to use it. So it's easy to review Auto.
  • The design of the Porsche mate 9 looks pretty good...far better than the crap vertu pulls out (although that's setting the bar pretty low....)
  • You lost me at 1080x1920 display. Not flagship material without at least 1440x2560, especially at the extravagant price they will be asking.
  • However your eyes will hardly even notice any difference unless you're an eagle.
  • The only reason I want to stick with QHD is for VR. I agree the Mate 9 should have gone QHD. It's the ONLY disappointment, for me.
  • While I see what you're saying, I personally would get much more use out of the better battery life and performance of a lower res like 1080p. Maybe at some point there will be a mobile device that is much cheaper than a phone because its sole purpose is VR gaming? I think that would be a good compliment to a VR enthusiast's ownership of a 1080P phone.
  • Why the obsession with QHD? Screen resolution has never been as important to me as long as its 1080p as QHD is kinda unnecessary and a battery hog unless you have a big battery. QHD is while it looks beautiful, it's mostly superficial. All that matters are the internals and camera are flagship material.
  • These are the same people calling for 4k displays.. There goes that battery life
  • VR (if you care about that)
  • Does the Mate 9 work on T-Mobile? Are there any drawbacks?
  • Provided everything works out with how they are trying to release it in America, hopefully it will be just fine.
  • Does it come with free Adups? Fools....
  • will the Porsche design model work on Verizon? If so, when will that be available?
  • Probably not. I believe that model is $1500 if I'm not mistaken.
  • man that Porsche design phone looks great! and then they throw that "Porsche design" logo on the front... bleh! kills the design IMO I do like these phones, however. May have to try out the regular Mate 9
  • As someone who owns a P9 I can say EMUI isn't that bad and the Mate 9 will be my next upgrade!
  • Such beautiful devices. I want the black Mate9 Pro badly.
  • Any word on release date & pricing?
  • My 6 inch Sony XA Ultra is 1080 and it is a beautiful display. I do think that's about as large as 1080 should go but 6 and under looks great at 1080.
  • The beautiful design.
  • 2 Questions: 1.) Do these have a Dual SIM/microSD tray or dedicated trays/slots for the Dual SIM & microSD? 2.) Are either of these phones Dual SIM Dual Standby or Dual SIM Dual Active?
  • Really nice review Andrew. But I got one question. With a 7.8 mm thin body, and packing a huge 4000mah battery with all that heavy hardware, how does this phone handle overheating? Did you notice any overheating in it during the review period while using 4G or playing heavy games?
  • Great looking phones
  • My OCD would never ever allow me to buy a phone with a logo on the front -- how distracting.
  • Guess you have not seen the images for the S8...we'll miss you.
  • The official images?
  • LG Stylo 2 Plus, free on T-Mobile. Best bang for your buck.
  • I have this phone and it is a very good piece of kit.
  • Did anyone ask the Verizon question yet? Will it work with VZW? Thanks!
  • Could care less about the Huawei Mate 9, it's overpriced for a 1080p screen. One Plus 3T is better value and 1080p on the 3T is fine because of its lower price point.
  • It's a premium phone in every way aside from the slightly lower resolution. And so are other 1080P phones like the Google Pixel.
  • Nicer looking than the Pixel imho... I really like this.
  • I want this phone, but no UK release info
  • Great stuff as alway Alex! I like how you don't knock a device for its large screen and tailor your review to those of us who do like large screens all without talking down to us for liking said screen. Great job, sir. And very much appreciated!
  • Nice review but I was surprised to see the label "enormous" attached to this phone. Surprising when 6 inch phones have been around for a few years now and there are some that are much larger, a few at 6.4 inches and a few at 6.8. Even the Mate 9 is only 5.9 inches, a bit smaller than the 6 inch Mate 8 and 7. The Mate 9's size is only .2 inches larger than the Galaxy Note series at 5.7 inches. Further, Huawei has a good track record of making larger phones as compact as possible. The Mate 9 is actually SHORTER than the iPhone 7 plus and only 1 mm wider! How is that enormous? The iphone 7 plus is 158.2 mm tall while the Mate 9 is only 156.9. The former is 77.9 mm wide while the Mate 9 is 78.9. A number of 5.5 inch phones, other than the iPhone 7 plus, are taller than 156.9. Helps to check the facts.
  • I agree with your sentiments, the phone is the same size ish as the ip7 plus and has the same footprint as the 6P. It's not the monster some would make it out to be. That said I do think that Alex does a good job of mentioning that the phone isn't really THAT big, though a side by side form factor comparison with the 6P or iPhone 7plus that other sites did would have driven that point home much better.
  • Yeah, but if you're going to call this the "best large phone" and directly compare it to the 6P and iPhone 7 things start looking really bad for this device. I'm sorry to say this, but this phone is significantly worse than the Nexus 6, which is 2 years old now. This article seems like a nicely paid advertisement to me, if that's the point just label it as such and we can all move along. Thanks
  • Worse than the nexus 6? Are you high? It has WAY better cameras...that's right, cameras PLURAL.
    It has the best GPU out there, the same rumored to be in the coming S8.
    It has a 5.9 inch screen in the same form factor that other phones with giant bezels only put a 5.7 or 5.5 screen in.
    It has 4gb of RAM
    It has ridiculously fast storage.
    It has an SD card slot. I mean at this point you're either on some sort of vendetta against AC or just really out of touch with reality.
  • Yes, it is a terrible big phone. If it didn't have better cameras and storage than the nexus 6, 2+ years later it would be embarrassing. Same for the GPU. Regarding the screen the Nexus 6 wins, bigger screen, better screen to size aspect ratio, higher resolution. SD card slot, whoopty doo. This phone is crippled by Huawei's overlays and will never be updated. This abomination of phone loses to a 2 year old Nexus 6, and gets absolutely demolished by the 1 year old 6P. Deal with it.
  • You're a complete idiot at this point, Mate 9 screen to size aspect ratio 77.39 %
    Nexus 6 screen to size aspect ratio 74.03%
    Nexus 6P screen to size aspect ratio 71.60% The 6P has a TERRIBLE GPU in it by comparison, is the same size with a smaller screen as well, and here's a newsflash for you, it's made by the same company that made this phone you seem to hate oh so much. System chip wise the 960 destroys the 810, and benches better than the darling 821. The 805 in the Nexus 6 is an antique when thrown into the mix. Your arguments are not only completely false and invalid but laughable at this point. Deal with it.
  • I agree with you. I tried the Mate 7 for a while as well as the Nexus 6. The Mate 7 had much better battery life and I preferred it to the Nexus 6 which I found took forever to boot up. So, if the Mate 7 beats the Nexus 6, then I would surely pick the Mate 8 or Mate 9 ahead of any Nexus phone. Or Pixel for that matter, both of which are way too expensive and have only average battery life. I like phones with long battery life. The Nexus 6p was also a Huawei device but did not have better than average battery life, a deal breaker for me.
  • Oh look, someone working for Huawei got their panties up in a bunch. I must concede, you're right about the screen to size aspect ratio of the mate 9 being better, surprising since I'm looking at the photos and not seeing it but you're right there. The rest of your arguments are moot. Benchmarks don't do much for me when regular performance sucks. It doesn't matter which CPU/GPU you praise, when you'll never see updated software on your device. That being said you're smoking crack if you think the Kirin 960 is better than the SD 820/1. It's coming close, but not really. Anyone buying a non-nexus/pixel phone is an idiot. I understand if you need something like a stylus, but for regular phone usage carry on. This big phone by Huawei is mostly an abomination though. I do hope Huawei is paying you and AC for these types of articles. Carry on now, your pay is well earned.
  • Who let the gimp out?
  • I will make a comment when I have it in hand, from what I have heard from people who owned and still do previous devices the comments were positive.
    Forget the negative have a look at the positive where others offer 16-32 Gbs of storage you now have 64 the screen resolution is not a problem from what I have heard. I have read several if not all reviews with more positives than negatives , I have used xperia and Lg Blackberry have never had a problem with any of them despite the comments , I do love the G5 as it is my daily go to along with xperia. I refuse to purchase sony because of the 5 inch as I prefer to use a larger phone , did not get the Z5 because within a few months the 820-821 processors were going to be release.
    The Huawei Mate 9 from what I've seen would be a great phone, within a few days I would be able to elaborate more, You should put your money where your mouth is.
    You go on to say this phone is worse than the nexus 6 , How do you arrive at your conclusion ??? Most people look at specs and performance in smartphones and getting the job done , have a look at DXOMark where the Camera is rated at 85 where there is still room for improvement with a few tweeks about 4points behind the Pixel, What are you talking about, The OS will do what it is suppose to do ,with satisfaction I will be looking at the mate 10 next year.
    Huawei have come a long way and will continue to improve in the years ahead .
    So far what I see is positive.
  • Nice phone. Huawei, and offshoot, honor, are making some compelling phones. A bad comment, without ever touching, or using it, are weak, it's only rabble. At least the author has it in hand, and used it. I take his word over any stupid, uninformed commenter. Even if there's a bias, he used it for a month, and liked it. If a commentor actually has the phone, that person must like it, I haven't heard any comments, on any website(xda, android police, etc.. about anyone returning it. Huawei phones, are a lot nicer than people think, but you got to see, and handle one first.
  • If that Porsche design phone would work on Verizon wireless I would love it! Although I would probably go with the regular mate 9 due to price and battery life. C'mon folks, make an unlocked phone that's Verizon compatible! Motorola and Apple have done it!
  • Well, your first problem is... Verizon!
  • I looked at the phone's specs, and, except for China, the phone is good only on GSM networks. It is becoming more and more common for smaller manufacturers to forgo CDMA certification. Microsoft, HP & Alcatel have also avoided CDMA variants of their latest offerings. My guess is it has something to do with high certification cost, low sales volume and Verizon Wireless is working on it's next generation carrier.
  • Why is this any better than an s6 Edge plus? Worse camera, worse screen. How can it be called the best?
  • Don't you mean HOW is it better?
  • Does either one of these "mate 9's" have an led light for incoming calls, texts, and emails?
  • I've been using this phone for a month now. My recommendation is to avoid it and I regret purchasing it: - the bootloader is not unlockable (or at least Huawei says it will unlock but refuses to provide any codes and does not answer any emails)
    - the firmware is not totally stable for the camera and other things. The phone sometimes freezes.
    - the battery life is good but not as good as the Mate 8 (which I also own)
    - I don't really trust what the phone is doing in terms of connecting to websites in China Service, security and stability are all very good reasons not to buy this phone, at least at this time. I don't think it comes close to being the best big phone at the moment. Stay away
  • Wait why did you buy the Mate 9? It seems like your concerns stem with the mate 8?
  • Yeah... doesn't make any sense if you had a Mate8 and then got the 9 and talk about security and sending data to Chinese servers?
  • It is a funny comment regarding security when this is coming from a mate 8 owner
  • Then your phone takes a picture of you fapping one out and sends it to the Chinese Military's servers.
  • Anybody know the name of the racing game In the video review at 2:20 ??
  • I believe that it is Asphalt Extreme: Offroad.
  • Excellent! Thank you!
  • Great review chaps! Thank you. Any insider knowledge on when it will be available in the UK? I've learned that '3' will be the carrier here, but they're strangely tight-lipped about when it'll be on sale. Thanks
  • What's the best small android phone?
  • My opinion it is the Galaxy S7.
  • Call me crazy but I think the S7 is more of a mid-sized phone. Maybe the Xperia z5 Compact, not sure there's much else around 4.5".
  • I've been scared of the compact Sonys because of complaints about cracking glass in the Z5 and headphone jacks on the Z3, However, I don't want to risk a botched battery replacement on my elderly dev ed. 2013 moto x, but I'm having to charge twice a day :( I really like my GN 4 but it ends up parked on my desk because of its size.
  • Hello, can somebody help out? I have a hauwei p8 Lite. My child by mistake hid all my apps. Before, i used to have them on the home screen. Now my home screen is clean. How do i get them back. I cant access my contacts,watsupp, facebook,calculator to mention afew.
    Please somebody help.
  • am using the standrad home screen format. Its all clean. not even one thing on
  • Pinch the screen outward with two fingers to get to the hidden icon window. If they did not disable the apps or uninstall them they will be there.
  • It's about $200 too expensive and they don't have any of the cool colors for the US. I'll pass...where is the S8?
  • No its priced accordingly with the specs it has. Its even slightly cheaper than other flagship phones out there. If you want something overpriced look at samsung devices.
  • Samsung is not overpriced when you consider the freebies they offer. I basically got 2 GS7s for the price of one with 2 years free Netflix and 2 GearVR headsets. Also got some free VR games.
  • Are you dumb? That's called a special sale. Apple and Samsung won't just give out something for free if they aren't making money off of it. That alone let's you know they can afford to lower the price of their products
  • This sooo bad. People actually believe they are getting this for free.
  • It is OP and the sales will prove it. It should cost under $500. IMOP
    They are doing nothing but testing the American waters by charging $599.
  • I completely agree with you. Its priced pretty greatly considering the V20 was $650-$830, Note 7 was $850+, pixel xl 128gb is $869, and s7 edge was $750+. No phablets cost $599 now a days.
  • So they waited till 2017 to release a 1080p phone in the USA...? Seriously...?
  • Yeah, and Android Central has somehow become invested in the sales of this phone and keep calling it "the best big phone ever." It's not. Not even close. For $600 USD this thing will not sell. My thoughts:
    - A 1080 screen would be fine on a device that's 5.2 inches or smaller. Anything over 5.5 inches really benefits from a 1440 screen.
    - Mandatory overlays and spyware kill your user's software experience. If you're going to provide such things, make sure it's up to the user to choose to install/use them on your device.
    - Lack of software updates/delays is also another reason not to buy this phone. Otherwise this hardware is nice, but at the price point and with the negatives, it's not "the best big phone ever." Now tell me, how much is AC getting paid for this advertisement content? If it's presented as an advertisement it probably wouldn't bother me as much.
  • I got mine yesterday. Right now i have the pixel xl and the mate 9. I'm def liking the mate 9 more. So many features with the mate 9. The fingerprint scanner is much faster on the mate 9. It charges insanely fast and doesnt get warm when charging at all. Its very snappy and smooth. No lag or stutter what so ever. You really can't tell the screen is 1080p. Gets very very bright and as a nice vibrant color to it. Its nice you can adjust the color temp your self on the Mate 9. I prefer a cooler display. The camera isnt as good as the pixels is in low light but its pretty close. Id say what the pixels camera does better evens out with the extra features and manual controls the mate 9 has. Nice to have an IR blaster again. Our dish network remote seems to chew thru batterys so ill probly use the ir blaster a lot. Nice to have expandable storage. The battery life has been crazy so far. I got 8.5 hours of screen on time thru my first day. The speaker is noticable louder, tho the front firing speaker is a lot less loud than the bottom one. Still nice to have 2. I expected the mate 9 to be thicker than the pixel xl but its actually a bit thinner. or at least feels that way since its tapered on the sides. The mate 9 really isnt much larger than the XL maybe 3mm taller and 1 or 2 wider? idk not a huge difference and the screen is much larger. I think I'm more satisfied and excited getting the mate 9 than the pixel. The pixel is a damn good phone but its a little lacking after the first day. I know the mate 9 wont get updates fast but I feel like if I had to keep a phone for 2 years the mate 9 would be the better phone to go with. The pixel doesnt feel like as much of an upgrade over my nexus 5x. I mean the xl is much better but it doesnt feel new.
  • See, that's very good feedback, good that you're enjoying the purchase. My biggest problem with this device, as well as with the Pixel phones, comes down to price. They are absolutely overpriced. Good devices, but when tags like "the best" get thrown around it really irks me. The best at what? Price/performance? Definitely not. I can point out a number of other issues I have with these phones but it doesn't really matter. In the last couple of weeks I see AC just putting these words together, now they've stuck a direct advertisement for these phones at the top of the site, and there are too many coincidences.
  • Well I've got some bad news for you...The trend on Name brand flagships is the price is going up. The Note 7 was $800+, Pixel XL 128GB $869, LG V20 was anywhere from $650-$830, S7 Edge $750+, iPhone 7 Plus $769+. All phones have cons and pluses. No phone is the best at everything and everyone have likes and dislikes. You just have to find the one with the features you like. This phone coming out at $599.99 no tax if you buy from or B&H photo makes this phone realisticly like $560 before tax like other phones and a final cost of $599.99 if you wanna pretend with tax in a sense. So I think $599.99 for this phone is a great introductory price. Its a wonderful phone for all you get. Maybe in a more saturated chinese phone market out side of the usa where you can get Xiaomi(sp?) Meizu, etc. its higher but they don't sell those in the USA. So huawei priced this phone pretty aggressively for a phablet. Most phablets in the USA are $750+. The oneplus 3 is an exception and the axon 7 but those phones have some drawbacks in example oneplus 3 and axon 7 have average cameras which is a big chunk of a phone choice where the Mate 9s camera is right up there with the iPhone 7, pixel, and S7. I picked the mate 9 because of the wide aperature, 5.9 in screen and 4000mah battery with a great processor in the Kirin 960. Its just everything I preferred. While the mate 9 isnt for everyone, no phone really is. The pixel has a lack of features and is pricy, the S7 has samsungs skin on it and isnt the snappiest at times, the iphone... no explanation needed, LG V20 targets the audio crowd and removable battery crowd. No phone checks all the boxes. Android is really great in a sense that we have choices, in a world without choices can you imagine just the ihpone and pixel? quite boring if you ask me. AC title on this article is really pointing out that they believe its the best big phone as in 5.7+ screen. The S7 edge and pixel xl are more middle size imo. So what other choice do you really have for best big phone? LG V20? nah, Note 7 is dead. While I do agree phones are over priced for brand names, theres always choices like the axon 7 or oneplus but they cut corners. So if you don't want to pay more get one of those. But I agree phone prices are getting outrageous.
  • I'm not sure where the bad news is for me. I'm not the one buying these overpriced POSs. As far as I'm concerned this phone does nothing better than my 3 year old Nexus 6, or my wife's $200 Nexus 5X. The Nexus 6P can be had for a fraction of the price of this behemoth and will still bring certain advantages over it. Lastly, Huawei is not a brand name I care for, not with it's proprietary Chinese hackware and skins on it. The only Huawei I would buy is the Nexus 6P. I'm not arguing that the hardware on this phone is bad, it's actually very nice. Where stuff breaks down for me is the software and the price. I can list items like lack of dual front facing speakers or sub-par resolution on a giant screen, but those are small relative to the first two. If you're looking to justify your purchase that's fine. If you're happy with the phone that's all that matters.
  • >I'm not sure where the bad news is for me. I'm not the one buying these overpriced POSs. So what are you complaining then? lol The Nexus 6 was $600+ when it came out. The Nexus 6P was $500 for 32GB when it came out, $550 for 64GB and $650 for 128gb. The Nexus 5x(I have this phone also) is okay but $200 is what its worth. Small 32GB storage and a small phone that stutters and has a small battery. >Huawei is not a brand name I care for Well you aren't everyone are you? lol. Huawei is 3rd in the world in smartphone sales. >Where stuff breaks down for me is the software and the price.
    To compare, since you do not like the software I'm guessing you do not like Touchwiz on samsung too. So to compare phablets to phablets the Note 7 was $860 when it came out compared to the Mate 9s $599. So I think its priced pretty fairly, I'm sure in the next month or two there will be a sale bringing it down to a very fair $550. The mate 9 also has dual stereo speakers. I too was worried like you that this phone only had a 1080p screen at 5.9 inches but to be honest, youd never know. I have the Pixel XL and the differences cant really be seen. Only differences in color is in blacks. The Mate 9 gets much much brighter in direct sunlight. The Software is actaully pretty damn good. Its not in your face like other skins. EMUI 4.1 was garbage compared to EMUI 5.0. Its lightning fast and pretty much only has features you want like nav bar customization, and battery saving modes. There really isnt much bloat. I cant wait for Alexa to be on this phone. >If you're looking to justify your purchase that's fine. If you're happy with the phone that's all that matters. That's a fair assumption but I'm just enlightening you because you do not own the Mate 9 but you speak like you do lol. I have the Pixel XL and the Mate 9 and coming from a nexus user myself, the Mate 9 really is a treat. I also tried the Nexus 6 for a month that you speak about later in the comments and I can honestly tell you this phone is better in every way with only the dual speakers being slightly better on the Nexus 6 in surround sound, the Mate 9s speakers get much louder. I'm usually only at 30% watching YT videos that I was at 75% on my pixel XL. so that tells you something at least.
  • Also to note. The RGB layout on this LCD screen is much more dense than a typical pentile display that most AMOLED screens use. So Comparing a 1080p LCD panel is closer to a 1440p amoled than a 1080p AMOLED. The Oneplus has a 1080p amoled which you can see the pixels much more evident.
  • Good trolling! I have the Nexus 6P and I had the Nexus 6 which you say you have, I am curious why you bought what was basically the worst ever Nexus phone, I bought it because I had the Nexus 5 which was decent phone but I was never happy with the Nexus 6 which was very disappointing. Secondly you can't buy a new 6P for less than 500.00 which is only a hundred less than the Mate 9 for what is a a phone that is now about 17 months old. I have no idea how good the Mate 9 is but it has gotten great reviews overall and it is at least 200.00 cheaper than any similar phone.
  • @aknotts66 I have mate9 for over 2 months now and i have been thinking to get the Pixel XL too. Good to know from a pixel owner that mate9 is actually not any worse than PXL. So in your opinion what is the lack of Pixel XL compared to Mate9? I heard many reviews say Pixel delivers superior image quality than M9, is that true? I know mate 9 struggles a little in low light condition, but i don't really do photograph at night so i couldn't care less. I must say i am very impressed with the wide aperture feature and overall image quality by my mate9. And i really love the front camera, don't think many phones in the market have better front camera than mate9 except probably Xperia XZ which has wider angle IMO.
  • I think image quality is pretty similar. It might be easier to get a good picture on the pixel and might require more manipulation on the mate 9. Theres a lot more camera features on the mate 9 like manual controls, the wide aperture setting is so fun to use, color shaders, black and white, etc. The Pixel camera just works. Its iphone like in a sense where they design it for no user error.
  • Nothing wrong with 1080p if you don't VR. I've got the LG G Pro 2 and it's a 6 inch screen with 1080p and it looks very nice.
  • I agree. Honestly I thought Id miss it going from my pixel xl to the mate 9 but you really cant tell. I was kinda shocked. I went from a nexus 5x to pixel xl to mate 9. I could see the difference form 5x to pixel xl but to the mate 9 I couldnt. I guess it just speaks volumes on how great the screen is on the mate 9.
  • No it really doesn't. I can tell you that for as long as I've used my 6P, 1440P is only beneficial if you're always viewing super high res images. Which 99% of the time I am not. Games upscale and don't take full advantage of it. A lot of videos only go up to 1080P. The battery on this thing is insane. I would gladly take lower res for that. It doesn't even look all that bad. People exaggerate too much.
  • I don't have the 9, recently bought the 8 (3 months ago). Had the Mate2, for close to 3 years. NEVER HAD AN ISSUE with it.
    I didn't opt for the 9, because I'm a cheap skate. When the 9 was close to release, the price on the 8 dropped, so I got one.
    The version of OS doesn't concern me, since I don't play games, download every new app. My phone is a tool. I use it a LOT
    on voice, 5-6GB LTE data, lots of photos, text, email, web. The phone is ROCK SOLID! If the 9, is as good as my Mate2 and Mate8
    are, it will be a hit for Huawei. If they want it to go over well in the USA, they need to PROMOTE IT!
    People in the states, for better or worse, just coming off of the "you have to get your phone from a carrier" contract crap the past
    few years, are conditioned to think you still must "get your phone from a carrier". Walk into a carrier store, and all you see are iphones
    and Samsungs, save for an HTC or LG here and there. Unless these "outsiders" start promoting them in the USA, they will never be able
    to break the Apple/Samsung stranglehold.
  • This article was written 2 months ago based on pre-production software. It said it was to be updated when the final software was released, expected to be 2 weeks. The phone has now been released. Where is the update, particularly bearing in mind MIUI 5 and the things that were going to be fixed like notifications?
  • I'm Just An Average Hard Working Below Middle-Class American The Only Thing I Can Afford Is An Unlocked LG G3 GSM Phone From or, Must Be Nice Being Able To Afford These Top Tier Cellphones, One's I'll Be Enjoying 2-3yrs Down The Road...LOL
  • Mine arrives today! I only wish their upcoming fast charging for car was available.
  • I love this phone! I bought the champagne gold Chinese 6GB/128GB model, and it's the best mobile experience I've had. Although it had the Google Play Store installed from the factory, I did run into an issue with installing some larger apps. Turns out I needed to enable storage permissions, as I documented on my blog over at @
  • Good review of a fairly good phone. But I have to disagree with the conclusion. I bought this phone and returned it. 3 main issues. First was EMUI. Ick. But you can work around most of that. 2nd is the screen. It's not the nice hi-res screen you would expect from a flagship. 1080p? Meh. And the last was the deal breaker. This phone only works on AT&T and T-Mobile. Both networks are a bit spotty in places (ie my house!) so WiFi calling is an absolute MUST HAVE for many users. The Nexus, Pixel and iPhone phones all have it but the Mate 9 doesn't. Huawei suggested I use Skype?!?! No thanks. My phone has to have WiFi calling. So it's back to my trusty Nexus 6 for now. If you want a big phone, the 6P is a steal. It's comparable to the Mate 9 in many regards, even given it's age. Based on WiFi calling alone the 6P is a better all around choice for many users. If you can't make a call on the phone who cares how big the battery is or how good the camera is?
  • The latest 6P update has battery life ruined, I wonder if they fixed that.
  • Battery life hasn't been good for me. It dies when I leave it overnight and can barely get 3h SoT anymore.
  • I'm hearing issues with Huawei phones and Android Auto as in total incompatibility at the moment - can the author confirm?
  • Should I get the Honor 6X for $200, or this phone for $500, or the OnePlus 3T for $440?
  • This if the size doesn't bother you, otherwise the 3T.
  • Best phone I've ever had. and I've had a ton. I switched off of the Pixel XL for this one and loving it. Great feel, great horsepower (get the 6GB version), great battery. I think I'm Huawei for life (love my wife's Nexus 6P too, though it's a bit smaller)
  • what is Pixel XL lack of compared to mate 9?
  • "We've had a little over a week to get to know both the sensible and ludicrous Mate 9 models over the past month." Huh?
  • Two things not mentioned.
    1 Feb 2017 and it still hasn't got the December security update to Android. Or at least, very few have, by the XDA forum. Mine is still on November and says it is up to date when I tried to update it. My UK version (only just released) bought last week came with a very outdated virus database on the pre-installed Avast, which DID NOT auto update as it was supposed to. I had to trigger a manual update.
  • Isn't it about time you updated your review to reflect the release software?
  • I bought this phone in Dubai last november and have never received any OS update (still on 7.0 / EMUI 5.0) or security patch (currently is Oct 1). What is the release update?
  • I bought this phone in Dubai last november and have never received any OS update (still on 7.0 / EMUI 5.0) or security patch (currently is Oct 1). I heard new updates has been released in Jan, has anyone received?
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