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CNET First Look
Huawei's Mate 9 is a big-screened beastThe Mate 9 has a 5.9-inch screen, dual-lens camera, a powerful processor and a battery that will outlast most of its high-end phone rivals.
Giant screen, dual lens camera, and a battery that'll outlive the competition. With the Note 7 out of the running, Huawei's Mate 9 is looking like a worthy contender. The design is sleek and simple, but it's not all that different from the Honor 5X, it's older and more affordable sibling. All metal, soft curves, and a fingerprint scanner on the back Its most glaring feature is that massive 5.9 inch screen with barely there bezels on the sides. And though it does manage to fit a large screen into a relatively compact body, one handed operations prove nearly impossible. My other minor complaint was its 1080p resolution which on a screen this massive won't look quite as crisp as other high end phones. The ample real estate also means more space for the battery and this one doesn't disappoint. It'll get you through the day charge to spare or just plug it into the USBC port to get a full charge in less than two hours. Sadly, no wireless charging. Above the fingerprint scanner, the dual lens Leica branded camera that we first saw on the P9 with a few more bells and whistles. One is a 12 megapixel color sensor, and the other is a 20 megapixel black and white shooter. This means more information for the phone to work with, when processing each image, and more shooting options for you. So many in fact, that it's hard to find them all. Swipe right for modes, left for settings, or swipe out from the arrow icon for pro tools. And then you have the static icons opposite the shutter. This includes a blurred background effect similar to the one found on the iPhone 7 Plus. On the front camera option with a wider angle lens for selfies. The specs under the hood are just as impressive. While we prioritized speed, and performance on this phone with an opticore processor, 4 gigs of ram, and a smart algorithm intended to optimize performance over time based on usage. It's still running its Emotion UI over Android Nougat but this version seems less intrusive and more customizable. It comes with 64 gigs of onboard storage and an SD card slot. If you're looking for a big screen Standard phone, the Mate 9 is the solid pick. But if you want top of the line eye candy, you might be better off waiting for the Mate 9 Pro with the higher resolution display and the sleek curve screen reminiscing of the late Note 7 at a slightly higher price. [SOUND]