Apart from those minor issues, Mate 9 is a fun phone to daily drive, especially its dual Leica lens back camera. As with its predecessors like Huawei P9, the Mate 9 allows you to take excellent bokeh blurred photos in its Aperture mode. If there’s one reason to buy this phone for its camera, the Aperture mode is definitely it. While Mate 9 suffers in low-light performance in comparison to flagships like Pixel or S7 Edge, its Aperture mode during mid-to-good lighting makes up for it as you get nice DSLR-like photos, especially for portraits. Video recording is decent with excellent stability with OIS but quality again seems to suffer.
Mate 9’s has a whopping 4000mAh battery and boy, battery life is indeed excellent, one of the best I have tried. While its 5.9-inch screen may scream short battery life, its mammoth-sized battery certainly makes up for it and I’ve had zero issues in terms of battery. And yes, its Ultra Power Saving mode can really get you many hours of extra juice on just 5% of battery life.
And yes, Mate 9 comes with IR blaster, meaning you can control your TV and other home appliances easily. I also dig the fact that this is also fully compatible with Peel Smart Remote app on the Play Store. This is also the world’s first smartphone with Amazon Echo’s Alexa built-in. Now, I was not able to test it out yet as Huawei will push out an update to activate it but when they do, I will certainly have a video on that.
Overall, who is this Mate 9 for? I would say it is for those of you who really want to get the biggest 5.9-inch smartphone with excellent performance, battery life, and can live with its 1080P resolution. While I am not the biggest fan of 1080P on 5.7-inch screen or anything bigger, after using the Mate 9 as a daily driver for almost a month, it is definitely usable.
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