If the confidence and pride exuded by Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu are anything to go by, the launch of the Mate 9 will prove to be a pivotal moment in the company’s history.
More a triumphant declaration of intent then a straightforward presentation, the function at the Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim in Germany found the Chinese telecommunications giant aggressively shaping its future.
Before an enthusiastic audience of more than 700 journalists and industry insiders from more than 20 countries, Yu demonstrated his new product with aplomb.
“In developing the Huawei Mate 9, we started with a simple question – how can we improve every element of the smartphone experience?” said Yu.
“A fast and functional smart-phone is just the beginning, users also want a gorgeous design and intuitive features. So we have created two new editions at the forefront of hardware and software innovation. The result is a device that is breathtakingly new, inside and out.”
Yu also announced more exciting news in the form of a tie-up with one of the world’s most exclusive automobile brands, resulting in the limited-edition Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9.
He said that speed, simplicity, symmetry and organic harmony were key in coming up with this collaboration.
Like the Huawei P9/P9 Plus launched earlier in the year, one of the most celebrated features of the new smartphone is the camera design.
The Mate 9 features twin cameras from continued collaboration with German camera company Leica, which gives this phone a big edge over the Mate 8.
The second generation Leica dual-lens camera is made up of a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with an improved image fusion algorithm.
The RGB sensor captures true-to-life colours, while the monochrome sensor captures intricate details and depth for a “Leica look”.
Leica optical designer Dr Benjamin Duck said, “The Leica look is mentioned often, people think it’s mysterious. It is to me too, after seven years. It is a result of chaining sensors, dynamic range, signal to noise ratio and algorithms. But you can’t reduce the look to numbers, they are only guidelines. We recalibrate and change, as a very natural look is the aim.”
Other key features include a Kirin 960 chipset, which Huawei is touting as the world’s highest performing smartphone processor.
The new user interface, EMUI 5, makes it possible to access over 50% of the smartphone’s functions with just two taps, making it easier than ever to operate the phone.
Also a new SuperCharge feature enables the Mate 9 to be fully charged within 20 minutes, giving it enough power to operate the phone for two days.
“We are introducing more colour options, including Space Grey, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White and Black,” said Yu.
For those confused about the differences between the P series and the Mate range, the director of global product marketing for Huawei consumer business group Clement Wong said, “The target audience is very different. For the P series we had celebrities like Scarlett Johansson to help market it to those who are into fashion and lifestyle. The Mate is designed as a business tool with bigger battery and big display.”
The Mate 9, which has a 5.9in screen will come with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The Porsche Limited Edition has a 5.5in curved Amoled display, and comes with 6GB RAM and 256GB storage.
The Mate 9 is expected to go on sale in Malaysia before the end of this month.
Huawei also launched the Huawei Fit, a fitness wearable featuring heart rate monitoring, automatic step counting, sleep tracking and support for multi- sport activities.
Founded in 1987, Huawei has grown into a powerhouse of global information and communications technology, with a presence in over 170 countries.
It currently occupies the third largest smartphone share worldwide behind Samsung and Apple.
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