Do we have a good one for you today – the new Huawei Mate 9 goes up against the new Huawei Mate 9 Pro. As you can tell by their names, both of these devices have many similarities, but also a couple of major differences. The design will hit you first – the Mate 9 is your typical Huawei all-metal device with the fingerprint sensor located on the back, while the Mate 9 Pro uses the dual curved display with the fingerprint sensor on the front…ala Galaxy Note 7. The Pro version is also metal, but has a more brushed look and feel. The first thing you will spot are the differences in their displays – the Mate 9 has a 5.9-inch LCD Full HD display while the Mate 9 Pro uses a smaller, 5.5-inch display, that is both AMOLED and Quad HD. The price is also different, but the Mate 9 Pro is only about $100 more than the Mate 9. We are looking to find out which device offers the best bargain and performance. Let’s compare what they have in common first and then we will look at each device in more detail to pick the winner in this comparison.
The Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei Mate 9 Pro have several things in common. The display on the Mate 9 is only 0.4-inches larger, and the physical size is not very different, but the slightly larger Mate 9 does weigh in at 21 grams more than the Huawei Mate 9 Pro. The displays use different technologies and different resolutions. They both use the same Hisilicon Kirin processor and Mali GPU. They both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM and both have a 64GB memory option with the means to expand their memory via a microSD card, although the Mate 9 Pro has 6GB/128GB model as well. The primary camera areas are identical as is the front-facing camera (FFC). Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments – however, the Mate 9’s is located on the back, and the Mate 9 Pro’s is located on the front. The Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro each have dual stereo speakers, and both have identical large, non-removable batteries with rapid charge capabilities. They both are running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. They both come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, an IR Blaster, and both use the newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below, and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Huawei Mate 9
Huawei loves a big screen device as long as it uses a Full HD resolution, citing that Quad HD is not necessary and only uses up your battery life. The Huawei Mate 9 is the newest in this lineup of larger smartphones with an almost tablet-sized 5.9-inch display. Even with this large display, Huawei was able to keep the Mate 9 relatively compact by using small bezels and placing the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. There is an official US version on its way later this year that will work on all the major US carriers. It has a solid, all-metal build to it and with its slightly curved edges feels great in hand. Let’s see just how it stacks up to its brother, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro.
The Huawei Mate 9 sports a phablet-size 5.9-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and only 373 pixels-per-inch (PPI) due to its tablet-size screen. Huawei chose their powerful 64-bit Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 2.4GHz for its brains and to handle the graphics, Huawei included the powerful Mail-G71 MP8 GPU. The Mate 9 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card.
Huawei likes a good camera on their smartphones and on the Mate 9 (and Pro) they used dual Leica optics for the primary camera with a 20MP sensor for colored photos and a 12MP sensor that shoots strictly monochrome (B&W) photos. Surprisingly Huawei used a smaller aperture of f/2.2 but added OIS, 2X zoom, both Phase Detection Autofocus (FDAF) and laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. Together they work to give you some great pictures, along with some great software. Some photographers are into black and white photos, and the secondary lens will give them the ability to experiment with some great black and white shots. The Mate 9 uses an 8MP sensor on its FFC with a f/1.9 aperture and 26mm wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. The Mate 9 packs a large 4000mAh non-removable battery along with Huawei’s own SuperCharge to charge your battery from 0-100-percent in only 90 minutes.
With all of the Mate 9’s good qualities, it’s a shame Huawei did not add any Hi-Fi circuitry to enhance the sound, especially when it has dual speakers. With a display this large, Quad HD makes a difference, but Huawei seems to shy away from them. It is also disappointing a device in this price range has no dust or water protection. The Mate 9 has a rear-facing fingerprint sensor to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Mate 9 is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, so there is no waiting for that update. The Mate 9 measures 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, weighs in at 190 grams and comes in Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White, and Black. Its pricing is about $600.
Huawei Mate 9 Pro
Huawei took a good thing – the Mate 9 – and made it better in their Mate 9 Pro edition. They did away with the huge display and opted for something just a tiny bit smaller although not by much, made it AMOLED, and added Quad HD resolution. The Huawei Mate 9 Pro is the newest rendition of the Mate 9 lineup, and except for the change in display, including a dual curved design, and the design of the outside, it is very much a Mate 9. The design is very reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 7 with its curved display and front mounted fingerprint sensor. The Mate 9 Pro is a GSM phone, so it will work on AT&T or T-Mobile. It has a solid, all-metal build to it with a nice brushed backing and with its slightly curved edges feels great in hand.
The Huawei Mate 9 sports a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a generous 534 PPI due to its smaller display and higher resolution. Huawei put in the same powerful 64-bit Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 2.4GHz and the Mail-G71 MP8 GPU. The Mate 9 Pro packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of expandable internal memory via a microSD card. There will also be a 6GB/128GB model out soon.
The Mate 9 Pro uses the same dual Leica optics for the primary camera, as does the Mate 9. There is a 20MP sensor for colored photos and a 12MP sensor that shoots strictly monochrome (B&W) photos. Huawei used a smaller aperture of f/2.2, rather than a larger f/1.7 or f/1.8, but with the added OIS, 2X zoom, both Phase Detection Autofocus (FDAF) and laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash, they work together to give you some great pictures. The Mate 9 Pro also has some great software to use with your camera. The B&W lens will allow you to take some interesting shots – for those that like experimenting with B&W photography. The Mate 9 Pro also uses an 8MP sensor on its FFC with a f/1.9 aperture and 26mm wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. The Mate 9 Pro uses the same 4000mAh non-removable battery along with Huawei’s own SuperCharge to charge your battery from 0-100-percent in only 90 minutes.
As with the Mate 9, the Mate 9 Pro does not include any Hi-Fi circuitry to enhance the sound of its dual stereo speakers. We are glad to see that Huawei is not afraid to use a Quad HD display, and an AMOLED one at that. The Mate 9 Pro also has no dust or water protection. The Mate 9 Pro has a fingerprint sensor on the front to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. The Mate 9 Pro is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The Mate 9 Pro measures 152 x 75 x 7.5 mm, weighs in at 169 grams and comes in Haze Gold or Titanium Grey. Its pricing is about $690 for the 4GB/64GB variant and $775 for the 6GB/128GB model.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
The only winner had to be the Huawei Mate 9 Pro. The Mate 9 Pro may have a smaller display, but it is AMOLED, and it is Quad HD in resolution - those two factors alone make it worth the extra $100 that it costs. The dual curved edge display makes the Pro look so much nicer than the Mate 9, and you may disagree, but many prefer the fingerprint sensor on the front. That ends needlessly having to pick up the device to turn on the display. The top bezel on the Mate 9 Pro is slightly larger, which is most likely to give balance to the top and bottom bezel on the phone.
If you must have the bigger display, then the Mate 9 is for you, but for a really exciting experience and better looking device, the Mate 9 Pro is the way to go.