Huawei Launches Mate 9, Calls It 'Most Powerful Smartphone In The World,' Looks To Take Slice Out Of Apple's Market

Darien Cavanaugh

Chinese tech giant Huawei officially launched its new Mate 9, a "a high-spec, high-price" smartphone, earlier this week, Justina Crabtree reports for CNBC.

The much-anticipated launch "could see the China-based company square up to market leaders Apple and Samsung," Crabtree writes.

The phone comes with a 5.9-inch HD screen, putting it in the same class with the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

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As the Inquisitr previously reported, Samsung recalled all of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sent to retailers after learning of numerous reports of the devices smoking or catching fire. The fire hazard stemmed from faulty batteries, but attempts to address the issue failed, leaving Samsung out to dry on a product the company had invested billions of dollars in and hoped would become their new flagship device.

Like Huawei, Samsung had aimed to edge in on some of the smartphone market currently held by Apple.

"The manufacturer is making a big play on the handset's processing power, which Huawei said made it the 'most powerful smartphone in the world,'" Crabtree writes, referring to the Huawei Mate 9.

Ben Wood, a mobile industry analyst at CCS Insight, told CNBC the launch of the new smartphone "shows just how ambitious Huawei are," and "reiterates (his organization's) belief that Huawei is emerging as a force to be recognized in the smartphone market."

CNet also gave the phone a positive review.

"I've not been too keen on Huawei's software before now because it changes so much of the stock Android interface that it ends up feeling quite bloated and sluggish," the reviewer noted, before moving on to the more positive elements.

"It's been toned down somewhat this time round, which I'm hoping will make for a more pleasant experience when using the thing. At its core though, it's running the latest version of Android Nougat."

"While one 12-megapixel sensor takes photos in color, there's another 20-megapixel sensor which is specifically designed to only shoot in black and white," the review reads.

"I was really impressed with the P9's black and white shots — they were rich, detailed and with a really satisfying contrast. I'm hoping for similar results from the Mate 9."

— Android Central (@androidcentral) November 6, 2016

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, told CNBC the Huawei offering is nothing but "another big screen smartphone." He did acknowledge that the new phone is a "nice incremental improvement" that may do a good job of "filling the Note 7 gap, at a lower price point than Apple."

Crabtree noted that the Mate 9's other "key features include an 8 megapixel camera, 64GB memory and 4 microphones that in combination enable directional sound recording."

Users annoyed by Apple's decision to abandon the headphone jack on iPhone 7, forcing them to purchase Apple AirPods that are much more expensive than regular headphones, will be happy to know that the Mate 9 has a headphone jack.

The Mate 9 is expected to retail for around $777, before any discounts that retailers or service providers may offer, according to Entrepreneur.

It will be interesting to see if Huawei can make much headway in the U.S. market, where Apple and Samsung have maintained a fairly tight grip. Again, Samsung's recent colossal mishap with the Galaxy Note 7 may present an opportunity for Huawei to move in.

[Featured image by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]

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