Huawei's indomitable quest for world domination continues this week as it has announced its latest oversized flagship, the Mate 9, would be coming to the U.S. on January 6 for a very agreeable $599 through various online retailers including Amazon and Newegg.
The phone, which has been available in parts of Europe and Asia since December, has been met with considerable praise, with our Alex Dobie saying, "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.
One thing that wasn't included in the previously-released versions of the Mate 9 was Amazon Alexa support, which will come in a forthcoming update to existing devices, and will be preloaded on new ones. Alexa will be included through an app, making it possible to communicate with the service the same way one would an Echo speaker or a smart refrigerator. Huawei isn't saying in which countries the Alexa update will roll out, but given that Alexa is only officially available in a handful, the selection will likely be small.
The Mate 9 will be available starting January 6 at Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy and B&H Photo in Space Gray and Moonlight Silver models.
At the Mate 9 announcement in Las Vegas, it was said that Leica, the famous camera company with which Huawei has an ongoing relationship to improve mobile photography, will open an "innovation center" at its German campus and, employing several Huawei engineers to improve the camera hardware and software experience in smartphones.
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