The Huawei Mate 9 turned out to be the biggest surprise from last year. Huawei had made a big and beautiful phone that was fast and had an excellent camera with a long battery life. So how do you make it even better? By releasing a Pro version that's even nicer to look at, has better specs and retains the camera and battery life of the original.
Calling the Mate 9 Pro a souped up version of the Mate 9 would be wrong. Although it shares many internal components with the Mate 9, overall, it’s a very different phone. Even when you place the two next to each other, they don’t necessary look like they belong to the same family of devices. Where the Mate 9 had a towering look with it’s huge 5.9-inch screen, the Mate 9 Pro appears much more refined- with a smaller 5.5-inch screen that conveys a very “let’s get down to business” look. Its smaller size (152 x 75 x 7.5 mm) also makes the Mate 9 Pro much easier to handle with one hand.
Huawei is releasing the Mate 9 Pro in the UAE in two colors- Haze Gold and Titanium Grey. I received the latter and it looks stunning with a black front and a purplish-grey brushed finish on the back. It's a bit like the Galaxy S7 edge from the front and the HTC M8 from the back- a combination of two class leading phones. On the left you have the SIM card tray which can take a couple of nano SIMs, however, unlike the Mate 9, you cannot expand on storage using a MicroSD card. For most, this should be ok considering the Mate 9 Pro comes with 128GB storage built-in.
On the right, you have the volume buttons as well as the power button with a slightly different texture to easily distinguish it, while below the phone sits the 3.5mm audio jack and a USB Type-C port. The back of the phone still holds the dual Leica camera with a dual-tone LED flash and the top retains the IR blaster for controlling home devices.
The Huawei Mate 9 Pro can easily go down as one of the best looking phones from recent months, however it attracts fingerprints very easily and is on the slippery side. While I didn't drop the phone during the few days of testing, it has almost slipped out of my hands a couple of times. Huawei does bundle a cover with the phone to keep it protected from such mishaps. My only complain about the design is that it’s not water/dust proof.