CES 2017 is a hotbed for technological innovation, and you can be sure that there are plenty of new releases to keep news chasers on their toes. Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer, is in with a shout thanks to the announcement of the already available (in select regions) Huawei Mate 9. What makes the Huawei Mate 9 special? It will arrive with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant pre-installed, for starters.
The $600 price tag attached to the Mate 9 certainly places it in the high end market, where it will be available for purchase from the likes of Best Buy, B&H, Amazon, and Newegg this January 6 onward. It would be the inclusion of the Alexa virtual assistant that has got tongues wagging, and for those who already own the Huawei Mate 9, fret not -- you will be able to obtain the very same Alexa virtual assistant via an Over The Air (OTA) update.
This particular handset has been out for slightly more than a couple of months already, and it has picked up a number of more-than-decent reviews. For instance, the presence of not just one, but two cameras located at the back of the Huawei Mate 9 provides you with more options when it comes to snapping photos that have a more professional look to it, including the much vaunted bokeh effect. We are talking about a pair of Leica-branded cameras here. The first is a 20MP monochrome lens, while the other would sport a 12MP RGB lens, letting one capture detailed and vivid photos. Not only that, those who are starting to make the migration to a 4K ecosystem can revel in the fact that the Mate 9 also does capture video in 4K.
As for the other hardware specifications on the Huawei Mate 9, let us have a quick refresher. There is the 5.9-inch Full HD display that is certainly bright enough to function under most circumstances without requiring you to squint. After all, it has been touted to be rated at more than 600 nits. There is also the Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core processor that runs proceedings smoothly from under the hood, aided by the Mali G71 MP8 graphics processing unit (GPU) and accompanied by 4GB of RAM. Just in case the 64GB of internal memory is not good enough, there is also the option to increase the amount of storage space by another 256GB via a microSD memory card.
A small fingerprint sensor helps it to keep up with the latest security features in comparison to its peers, and tips the scales at 0.41 lb. The 4,000 mAh ought to be enough to help see you through the day, although power users might still want to bring a powerbank along on your travels. Last but not least, there is also a USB-C port located at the bottom to help keep it future-proof, at least for a while.
Now that it even comes with Amazon’s Alexa right out of the box, the Huawei Mate 9 can be seen in new light, especially when it is more affordable compared to the likes of the Pixel and Pixel XL, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The question now is, where do we go from here with Alexa on our smartphones? Will we see similar alliances in the future for other models or makes?