Do we have a good one for you today – The venerable Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge takes on the newest Huawei Mate 9. The Galaxy S7 Edge ended up being Samsung’s flagship device in 2016 because of the problems and subsequent withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7. The Mate 9 is a beautiful all-metal device with the general Huawei look with small bezels, curved sides and back, making it comfortable to hold. Both devices are high quality, well-built, and a delight to use. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the Huawei Mate 9 have very little in common. The display on the Mate 9 is 0.4-inches larger; however, the physical size is not very different, but the Mate 9 does weigh 33 grams more than the Galaxy S7 Edge. The displays use a different technology and different resolutions. They both use a different processor and GPU, although in the same league, and they both pack 4GB of DDR4 RAM, both have a 64GB memory option, and both have the means to expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas could not be more different – the Galaxy S7 Edge uses one 12MP sensor, and the Mate 9 uses a 20MP and a 12MP sensor – but both deliver excellent photos. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your device as well as authorizing mobile payments. They both use a non-removable battery, although the Mate 9’s is larger, and both have rapid charge capabilities. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and the Mate 9 has a newer Type-C reversible port for charging and data transfer, while the Galaxy S7 Edge uses the older microUSB v2.0 port.
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.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Released in April, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge would be in our rear view mirrors by now, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note would be the ‘hot’ ticket item. However, once Samsung yanked the Galaxy Note 7 from production, Samsung revived the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge advertising; sales of it took off and carried Samsung through the holidays. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a metal and glass design and even the aged dual-curved screen still looks awesome. How does this aging premium smartphone hold up to the new Huawei Mate 9? Let’s look and see just how they compare to one another.
The Galaxy S7 Edge sports a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED ‘always-on’ display with dual curved edges that give it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 534 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) The Galaxy S7 Edge comes with one of two different processors depending on where you live. In the US you will get the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. Globally, you will get Samsung’s Exynos 8890 octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. The Adreno 530 GPU is paired with the 820 processor, and the Exynos 8890 uses the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU. Both processors will do an excellent job for you. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and offers 32GB of UFS 2.0 memory, with expansion up to 200GB via a microSD card.
Samsung made some surprising moves when it came to their new camera. Rather than going larger (16MP – 21MP) for their primary camera, they went for a new Dual Pixel 12MP sensor. They also increased the aperture to f/1.7, included a faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, LED flash, and OIS. The Galaxy S7 Edge uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a larger f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR for its front-facing camera (FFC) for excellent low-light selfies and video chatting. The battery size increased to a larger, non-removable 3600mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 and quick wireless charging as well.
The Galaxy S7 Edge has a slew of features, such as an ‘always-on’ display that lets you see your notifications without having to turn on the primary display, helping to conserve battery life. The dual curved edges may have lost their ‘wow’ factor, but still add beauty to the phone as well as providing some limited functionality with quick access to several features. Besides the standard Android Pay, you also have the option of using Samsung Pay, which expands your mobile buying power. The Galaxy S7 Edge packs in a heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, quick wireless charging, and IP68 dust and water resistance. The Galaxy S7 Edge measures 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 157 grams and is available in Black, White, Gold, and Silver, costing about $790 – however, bargains and specials are popping up on all carriers.
Huawei Mate 9
Huawei always did like a big screen – sacrificing resolution over the size – and this is where the Mate series comes into play. The Huawei Mate 9 is the newest in this lineup of larger smartphones. Huawei was able to keep the Mate 9 relatively compact in physical size with its large 5.9-inch display by using small bezels. The US version is now official and is on its way later this year. The Mate 9 only comes with a Full HD LCD display resolution and a screen this large would benefit from a higher resolution. Huawei believes a Quad HD display is unnecessary. It has a solid build to it and with its slightly curved edges feels great to hold over an extended period. Let’s see just how it stacks up to the Galaxy S7 Edge.
The Huawei Mate 9 uses a large 5.9-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and only 373 PPI due to its large size. It does run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box on a powerful 64-bit Hisilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor with four cores running at 1.8GHz and four cores running at 2.4GHz. It packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable internal memory. To handle the graphics, a Mail-G71 MP8 GPU provides outstanding performance.
Huawei went all out in the camera area by using dual Leica optics. There is a 20MP sensor for colored photos and a 12MP sensor that shoots strictly monochrome (B&W) photos. The aperture of f/2.2 is rather small, but when you add OIS, 2X zoom, with both Phase Detection Autofocus (FDAF) and laser autofocus, with a dual-tone LED flash, you cannot argue with the results. This setup gives photographers the ability to experiment with some great B&W shots. For the FFC the Mate 9 uses a large 8MP sensor with a f/1.9 aperture and 26mm wide-angle lens for great selfies and video chatting. The Mate 9 comes with a large, non-removable 4000mAh battery with Huawei’s own SuperCharge that will charge your battery from 0-100-percent in only 90 minutes with the provided charger.
The Mate 9 is a beautiful looking smartphone with many good qualities, but like any smartphone, it comes with a wish list. Huawei gives us a large display but only a Full HD resolution of 1080p – for the price it should be QHD. It does have stereo speakers with one set mounted on the bottom of the phone, the second speaker is the earpiece, and they do put out some sweet sounds. It is also disappointing a device at this price has no dust or water protection. The Mate 9 has a rear-facing fingerprint sensor to unlock the device or authorize mobile payments, and the Mate 9 is running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. 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 should be somewhere in the $600 range.
…And The Winner Is…
The Final Word
This was really a tough decision to make. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has better specs than the Huawei Mate 9, but it costs almost $200 more. It has the better (albeit smaller) display, a very capable processor and GPU, a great camera area, wireless charging, the 'always-on' display, IP68 certified water and dust resistance, Samsung Pay, a heart rate sensor, Oxygen saturation monitor, and it can function on all major US networks.
The Huawei Mate 9 is a great device that lacks the QHD resolution and most importantly, it can only be used on AT&T or T-Mobile networks in the states. If it were available for all carriers, it would be an easy pick – but I am choosing it as the winner because of its $600 price tag. It has a large display, a fast processor and wonderful GPU, an intriguing camera area, large battery, and dual speakers. It just seems like too good of a bargain to pass up.