The good: Long battery life, Good camera with a wide range of controls, Easy to grip without a case
The bad: Includes excessive apps, Not water and dust resistant, No virtual assistant at launch
Who should buy: Android fans looking for a great large phone with long battery life.
When Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 last September, Android fans looking for a big-screened smartphone were left with few choices aside from Google’s Pixel XL.
Enter Huawei’s Mate 9, which launched in the U.S. in early January. The Mate 9 packs a dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica, a 5.9-inch screen, and a large, long-lasting battery. It’s a more than worthy competitor to similar phones from Apple, Samsung, and Google.
Huawei’s device will also be the first smartphone to include Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in, which will be added through a software update promised to arrive during the first quarter of this year. With Alexa, Mate 9 will be capable of handling many of the same tasks as the Amazon Echo. Users will be able to ask Alexa simple questions, control smart home devices, or even order a pizza with their voice.
Available for $600 through Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and B&H, the Mate 9 is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. Here’s a closer look at what it’s like to use.
How it looks and feels
There’s little that distinguishes Huawei’s Mate 9 from other high-end smartphones in terms of appearance, but that’s not necessarily a negative. Made of metal and glass, the phone looks sleek and is surprisingly easy to grip (the iPhone, I’ve found, sometimes feels a bit slippery without a case.) The borders along the side of the display are also notably thin, allowing for more Read more..