Huawei has launched new large-screened smartphones in the wake of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 disaster; the Mate 9 handsets are among the first to be powered by Android 7 and come in two designs: a model with a 1080p "full HD" display, and a Porsche-branded edition with nearly twice the resolution but one expert said Western consumers were still uncertain about its brand.
Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy said, "Huawei has never been a company to miss an opportunity, and it seems as though it has moved mountains to get the Mate 9 to market as quickly as possible but the phone is not a like-for-like comparison with the Note 7 - for one, it doesn't have a stylus. Huawei's brand also doesn't have the status of Samsung as yet. That's why it seems to be blending its brand with others. So, for the camera, it has partnered with Leica, and for the limited edition model, it has worked with Porsche but Blackberry also partnered with Porsche in the past, and although that generated interest and created a halo-effect for other products, they didn't sell massive volumes."
Samsung scrapped its Note 7 phablets last month after dozens of the devices caught fire, the South Korean company initially thought a battery fault was to blame, and switched its own component for a third-party power cell but the problems continued, and after failing to identify the cause, Samsung halted production and said it was scrapping the 4.3 million handsets it had already manufactured.
Like the Note 7, Huawei's new phones also feature a "supercharging" battery technology that promises to deliver a day's worth of power within 30 minutes and a full two-day charge in 90 minutes. The company's senior product manager, Michael Seitz, told the BBC that the system had been through a nine-month development and testing process and had been checked by an independent research lab.
The Mate 9 phones lack an artificial intelligence interface, like the Google Assistant or Apple's Siri but unlike those handsets, they can be fitted with a microSD card, offering up to two terabytes of extra storage. In addition, they offer an unusual audio facility thanks to four in-built microphones after a recording has been made, an app allows the user to remove one sound source to better hear another and the technology provides a noise-cancelling facility during phone calls, making it easier to have a conversation at a busy location.