Phone Comparisons: Huawei Mate 9 vs ZTE Blade V8 Pro

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Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the new Huawei Mate 9 goes up against the new ZTE Blade V8 Pro. 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 front of the Blade V8 Pro looks like a Samsung Galaxy S7 and the faux leather back will remind you of the Galaxy Note 3. The first thing you will spot are the differences in their display sizes – the Mate 9 has a 5.9-inch LCD Full HD display while the Blade V8 Pro uses a smaller 5.5-inch display. Another area that has a huge gap is in the pricing with the Mate 9 about $370 more than the Blade V8 Pro. We are looking to find out which device offers the best bargain for specifications 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 ZTE Blade V8 Pro have several things in common. The display on the Mate 9 is only 0.4-inches larger, which makes the physical size is very close to the Mate 9 weighing at only 5 grams more than the Blade V8 Pro. The displays use the same LCD technology and FHD resolutions. They both have the means to expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas are identical in that they use dual cameras, but a different setup and they both use an 8MP 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 Blade V8 Pro's is located on the front. The Mate 9 has dual stereo speakers but the Blade V8 Pro, with one speaker, has the better sound technology. Both have large, non-removable batteries with rapid charge capabilities. They both come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and both use the newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer.

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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.

Specifications

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Huawei Mate 9

Huawei loves big screen devices, and the Huawei Mate 9 is the newest in this lineup of larger smartphones with an almost tablet-sized 5.9-inch display. While the screen is large, 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 – in fact; it is the same physical size as the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. We are looking forward to the 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 comfortable when held for long periods. Let's see just how it stacks up to the ZTE Blade V8 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 does not like to use QHD displays, as they believe them to be unnecessary and a drain on the battery. For the processor they chose their powerful 64-bit Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core model with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 2.4GHz 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.

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Huawei likes to put a good camera on their smartphones, and the Mate 9 is no exception. It uses 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. It is surprising that Huawei used a smaller aperture of f/2.2, but the 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, and the added software allows the user to have some real fun with their photos. 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 larger 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 a display, this large, Quad HD really does make 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. 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 of its dual speakers. 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.

ZTE Blade V8 Pro

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 ZTE came out with another terrific mid-range device at a bargain price. The Blade V8 Pro is available now in the US only through retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Newegg for the sum of only $230. While it has a metal frame, the back is plastic with faux leather that has a diamond style pattern that offers a firm grip that is comfortable to hold. You will not find a QHD display at this price, but you will find a dual camera setup with some interesting camera software. ZTE includes a Snapdragon processor, an Adreno GPU, and expandable memory. Let's see if it has what it takes to stand up to the more expensive Huawei Mate 9.

The Blade V8 Pro sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display, giving it a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 401 PPI. It uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor (MSM8953) clocked at 2GHz and an Adreno 506 GPU to handle the graphics. The Blade V8 Pro packs 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of internal memory that is expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.

The camera area on the Blade V8 Pro includes dual 13MP primary cameras that have bokeh, monochrome, and monocolor modes. They use Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and a dual LED flash that has seven levels of brightness. Those features will open up a new world for the user to experiment in B&W or Monocolor photos with some interesting outcomes. The FFC uses an 8MP sensor to capture selfies for social media or to handle a video chat. A 3140mAh non-removable battery powers the device and uses Quick Charge 2.0 for quickly charging the battery. ZTE claims the Blade V8 Pro will last you the entire day on a full charge.

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The ZTE Blade V8 Pro comes with some nice features for a $230 device. While it is now available in the US, it will only work on GSM networks, such as AT&T or T-Mobile. It has a fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the front, and it will unlock the device, or you can authorize mobile payments, including Android Pay. ZTE packed in Hi-Res Dolby audio for listening through the earphones. It has two grills at the bottom end of the device, but only the left one has a speaker – it would be so much nicer if they would have included two speakers. The 3.5mm earphone jacket is on the top of the phone. The Blade V8 Pro measures 156 x 77 x 9.1mm and weighs in at a hefty 185 grams. It is available in our favorite color, Black and costs about $230.

…And The Winner Is…

The Final Word

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It was a no-brainer choosing the $230 ZTE Blade V8 Pro as the winner of this comparison. The Blade V8 Pro just offers a great value in the smartphone market and in particular against the Huawei Mate 9. It has a decent size display with same resolution giving it a higher pixel density. It may have a plastic/faux leather backing but still provides a solid build. It has expandable memory, Hi-Res audio, and a dual lens camera for less than $250. It is certainly not without its faults (every phone has them), and one would be that it only shows up with Android Marshmallow, and another is that it only works on GSM networks, leaving Verizon and Sprint users out in the cold.

The Huawei Mate 9 is an excellent device and has a larger display and dual speakers. It has an extra GB of RAM, dual cameras, bigger battery, comes bearing Android Nougat, and an IR Blaster. However, with an FHD display, no sound enhancements for the dual speakers, and no water protection, and a $600 price tag, I find it to be overpriced.

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