Top 5 tips and tricks for the Huawei Mate 9

The Huawei Mate 9 is a great phone — one of Huawei's best phones yet. (Go read our review!) If you're looking to take advantage of discounts in Europe and the U.S. over the next few months, you'll want to know what to get to know your phone's most important customizations options, tweaks, tips and other tricks.

We've been using the phone over the past month, and we've rounded up the top five essential options you'll want to check out the day you get your device.

1. Enable the app drawer

Huawei Mate 9 app drawer

By default, the Huawei Mate 9 doesn't have an app drawer. And that's OK, because unlike earlier Huawei phones you can easily enable it in the Settings, giving you a place to store less-used apps without cluttering up your home screens.

The settings changed involved is quick and simple, and we've got step-by-step instructions linked below!

More: How to enable the app drawer on the Huawei Mate 9

2. Use 'View Mode' to see more on-screen

Large, medium, small

Left-to-right: Large, medium and small view modes.

Right out of the box, the Huawei Mate 9 offers a fairly large, magnified view of all your content and apps. If you prefer higher information density, as we do, you'll want to change your "view mode" setting, which lets you alter how

You've got three settings to choose from, and you'll need to reboot to apply changes to your view mode.

More: How to change display scaling on the Huawei Mate 9

3. Explore the dual-camera's depth effects

The Huawei Mate 9's dual camera setup lets you add lots of unique depth effects to your photos, using the secondary sensor to judge how far away your subject is and filling in the blanks with computational magic. The Mate 9's dual ISP setup helps to simulate the lens blur effect of a DSLR, and it does a surprisingly good job.

Aperture mode

To enable "wide aperture mode," simply tap the aperture icon in the viewfinder. From there, you can control the size of your virtual aperture using the controls on the right side of the screen.

Best of all, you can alter this setting after the fact, because all the depth information is saved along with the photo. Simply find your photo in the Gallery app and tap the aperture icon.

Sample photo

4. Set up fingerprint and gesture shortcuts

The Mate 9's fingerprint sensor is good for more than just securing your phone. Go to Settings > Fingerprint ID to enable a bunch of handy shortcuts, including swiping down to show the notification shade, swiping sideways to scroll through photos, or touch and hold to answer calls.

The Settings > Smart assistant > Motion control menu is home to even more optional gestures, including flip to mute — and various knuckle gestures for taking screenshots, recording the screen and enabling split-screen multi-window mode.

5. Customize your icons, wallpaper and theme!

Huawei's software may have changed beyond recognition, but you can still theme EMUI to your heart's content. Go to the Themes app to download additional styles and icon packs from Huawei's online storefront, or simply switch to one of the six preloaded styles.


It's worth remembering that you can mix and match themes, wallpapers and icon packs. Simply select the theme you're currently using, then tap the Customize button at the bottom of the screen.

How will you customize your Huawei Mate 9? Shout out in the comments, and remember to hit up our full review for more info.

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.

  • You guys must have different mate 9s or the international ones because the USA ones do not have theme stores like you show. Just the preloaded themes. The Featured and top sections aren't on the US L29 versions.
  • Yep, US version comes with app drawer out of the box.
  • Unfortunately the US Mate 9 or any Huawei/Honor device in the US doesn't come with the EMUI theme store. If you want themes, you have to manually download them and apply them :(
  • Do you have a moment to explain the theme manual download? I'm looking to do just that.
  • You can go to the EMUI website and it'll have a "Themes" section. Just download the theme and move the "hwt" file to the hwthemes folder and there you go. Next time you open the Themes app, it'll be there.
  • Thanks man! So busy today havent had the chance to figure that out.
  • Just know what these themes put the stupid "squircle" background on all the non Huawei apps as well, ugh. It looks pretty horrible Haha At least it did it with the few themes I downloaded.
  • Or go to XDA and download really nice themes from there made by good people for free. You apply them the same way. :)
  • That will break EMUI