By 2 November 2016 | Categories: news


Tomorrow, 3 November to be more precise, Huawei is expected to unveil its latest flagship phablet, the Mate 9, in Munich Germany. If the Chinese manufacturer does indeed showcase the Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro as being rumoured at the moment, there will be an added degree of pressure for it to deliver, especially as Android fans are hankering for an alternative to the recently laid-to-rest Galaxy Note 7

Having reviewed the Mate 8 earlier in the year, there is certainly scope for Huawei to offer a device capable of competing with the Galaxy Note range. To that end, we've identified five elements that the Mate 9 needs to feature, in order to be a worthwhile successor to the Note 7's vacant throne.     

1. More powerful chip

Huawei's flagship devices have never felt underpowered, but when it comes to benchmarking, the HiSilicon chipsets on offer always seem to be a step slower than Snapdragon and Exynos ones. For the Mate 9, the HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor will be doing the heavy lifting, according to t reports.

Revealed a couple weeks ago, the Kirin 960 has so far outdone the Apple A10 and Snapdragon 820 offerings on the multi-core aspect. Coupled with Cat 12 LTE, the Mate 9 will shape up nicely if it does indeed boast the Kirin 960.  

2. Trim the dimensions

At 6", the Mate 8 is certainly on the large side. But for many phablet users, anything north of 5.7" can prove unwieldy at times. The Mate 9, is reportedly going to feature a 5.9" display, which only shaves off a minimal amount. Ideally, something closer to the 5.7" mark would be better. That said, having a device at that size, would likely interfere with the current P9 Plus phablet that Huawei has in its stable.   

3. Get it Leica certified

This element is perhaps the most likely aspect of the Mate 9 that'll be announced on 3 November. Huawei recently partnered with Lecia to produce cameras for their high-end devices, starting with the P9 and P9 Plus. The Mate 9 will also sport a similar dual camera setup as the P-range of flagships, particularly as leaked images of the device's back cover have already surfaced.

Whether or not it will sport the same dual 12 MP specifications as the P9 and P9 Plus remains to be seen. But if Huawei can integrate something close to, or even better, it will certainly be a feather in the Mate 9's proverbial cap.    

4. Think about a stylus

At the moment, only a handful of devices have opted to integrate a stylus into the design and functionality of the phablets. The Note range famously had the S Pen, which was one of its most enriched aspects, so doing something similar for the Mate 9 would be a smart move by Huawei in our opinion.

When you’re working on a 6" (possible 5.9" given reports) screen, trying to multitask can prove hard at times. Having an able stylus in hand alleviates this issue, and certainly improves the overall user experience, at least where the Galaxy Note was concerned. 

5. Make the price right

This is one area that's rather contentious, especially as recently poor Rand-Dollar exchange rates have affected the prices of technology across the board. The previous flagship phablet cost around R13 000 for the 32 GB model. If Huawei could match that, or indeed drop down to the R12K mark, it would make the Mate 9 all the more enticing. Hopefully though, the rumoured Pro model with curved display and greater RAM, will not prove too pricey either.

To see whether any of our five things get featured in the new Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro, follow us at @TechSmartMag, as we'll be on-hand in Munich for the launch event on 3 November at 15:00 (SAST).


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