Huawei Mate 9: Rumors, news, and release date

Christian de Looper

The Huawei Mate 8 was launched at the end of last year, and it seems as though the company is now prepping the launch of the Mate 9.

There are plenty of rumors about the new device floating around, and while nothing is official, the Mate 9 is shaping up to be quite an interesting phone. Here’s everything we know about the Huawei Mate 9 so far.

Specs

Design is important enough, but what really matters is under the hood. Reports indicate that the specs of the Mate 9 will make the device a worthy successor to the Mate 8.

Most recent reports, which come from a leaked promo on Weibo, suggest that the Mate 9 will be a pretty powerful device indeed with a Kirin 960 processor, which will be HiSilicon’s latest processor. Not much is known about the chip at this point, but it will likely feature four Cortex-A73 cores along with four Cortex-A53 cores.

Related: Everything you need to know about Google’s Huawei-made Nexus tablet

The camera will also be a highly powerful one, according to the rumor. In fact, it will boast two massive 20-megapixel sensors. It’s unknown why there will be two sensors and if one of the sensors will be monochrome, as was the case in the dual-sensor in the Huawei P9. The most recent leak from Weibo also suggests that the Mate 9 will have Leica branding, as the camera company’s logo can be seen between the dual lenses. Reports suggest the camera will boast an aperture of f/2.0.

Previous reports, which accompanied the picture leaked on Weibo, claimed to show what some of the phone’s specs are. For example, the phone features a 5.9-inch display, which puts it well and truly in phablet territory. That display will have a full HD resolution.

This leak confirmed that the device will feature a Kirin 960, which will be coupled with options for either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The phone will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat.

Interestingly enough, early specs that were leaked also line up with an unmarked GFXBench log. If the log is indeed for the Mate 9, the phone will include a 12MP sensor for the rear-facing camera, and an 8MP shooter for the front-facing camera. Of course, this conflicts with the most recent reports, so it’s possible that the unmarked device on GFXBench isn’t the Mate 9 at all.

Design

The Mate 8 was a very well-designed phone, with many praising the great design. But will the Mate 9 live up to the Mate 8’s success?

As mentioned, number of specs were leaked via a promo image on Weibo. That image also shows off the design of the device, confirming that it will feature a dual-camera setup with a vertical layout.

mate-9-leaked-promo
mate-9-leaked-promo

The promo pretty much confirms earlier leaked images we got of the device, which appeared to show the phone earlier in development. One leak, which comes from Chinese social media site Baidu (and which has since been deleted) clearly show a Mate 8-like look with a nice-looking camera module. While a previous leak suggested that the camera did not have the Leica branding on it, the most recent set of images from Chinese social media website Weibo show that Leica branding is indeed present.

Another interesting leak is a picture that was posted on Weibo that appears to show a prototype of the phone. The leaker claims that the leak is of the shell of the Mate 9, and while the design could certainly evolve over time, if accurate the shell gives us at least a few details about what to expect from the phone.

huawei mate news
huawei mate news
huawei mate news
huawei mate news

For example, this leak also shows a phone with a dual-camera setup — perhaps the one sensor will shoot in color and the other in monochrome, as is the case on the Huawei P9. Apart from that, the phone features a fairly minimalist look, with a speaker grille on either side of the USB port that’s located on the bottom.

Release date

So when will we finally get our hands on the new phone? While some speculated that the device would make an appearance at IFA in Berlin a few weeks from now, it now looks as though Huawei is going a different route. Reports suggest that the Huawei Mate 9 will be unveiled at 2 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Thursday, November 3.  The phone will likely be available for purchase a few weeks after that.

Article originally published in August 2016. Christian de Looper also contributed to this report. Updated on 09-29-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added launch date of November 3.