Huawei has a flagship to suit all tastes. The smallest is the P9, next in line is the larger P9 Plus, with the Mate 9 the largest of the three.
The two P9 devices are almost identical, the Mate 9 is a much larger and different proposition. However, there are similarities – and, indeed, differences – between all three that might sway your decision on which to buy.
How does the Huawei P9 compare to the Huawei P9 Plus and the Huawei Mate 9? Read on to find out.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Design
- P9 is the smallest and lightest (145 x 70.9 x 6.95mm, 144g)
- P9 Plus is the middle size (152.3 x 75.3 x 6.98mm, 162g)
- Mate 9 is the largest and heaviest (156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, 190g)
The Huawei P9, P9 Plus and Mate 9 each offer full metal bodies, with glass fronts. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the rear of each, along with a dual camera setup (more on that later – it’s slightly different in the Mate 9).
The P9 is a little smaller and lighter than the P9 Plus, as you would expect, measuring 145 x 70.9 x 6.95mm and hitting the scales at 144g. The P9 Plus measures 152.3 x 75.3 x 6.98mm and weighs 162g, meaning it is almost identical in slimness but a little larger elsewhere. The Mate 9 shakes things up with its 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm frame and 190g weight – making it the biggest and heaviest of the three by some margin.
The P9 comes in four colours, comprising Rose Gold, Prestige Gold, Titanium Grey and Mystic Silver, with a P9 Deluxe model available in Haze Gold and Ceramic White. The P9 Plus comes in four colours, comprising Haze Gold, Quartz Grey, Rose Gold and Ceramic White. The Mate 9 comes in Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, Ceramic White options – although only the white and grey (with a black front) will be available in the UK.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Display
- P9 has 5.2-inch, 1920 x 1080 LCD display
- P9 Plus has 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 AMOLED display with Force Touch
- Mate 9 has 5.9-inch, 1920 x 1080 LCD display
The Huawei P9 comes with a 5.2-inch Full HD LCD display that delivers a pixel density of 424ppi. It offers a 96 per cent colour saturation and 500nits brightness, along with a 1.7mm bezel.
The Huawei P9 Plus ups the size slightly to 5.5-inches, but it sticks with a Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 401ppi meaning images should be crisper on the smaller handset. Huawei opted for a Super AMOLED display for the P9 Plus, however, which should mean colours are richer and more vibrant.
The P9 Plus’s display is also a Force Touch display like the top-of-the-rangeMate S. It will offer two levels of pressure sensitivity and there will be 18 native apps supporting the feature, along with a pop-up shortcut menu.
The Huawei Mate 9 goes bigger still, with a 5.9-inch display, but again sticks to the Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 373ppi. For those after a higher resolution display, you’ll need to look at the Porsche Design Mate 9.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Camera
- All three devices offer dual 27mm f/2.2 Leica lenses
- All three devices offer one 12MP RGB colour and one monochrome sensor
- Mate 9 adds optical image stabilisation, increases monochrome resolution to 20MP
The Huawei P9 and Huawei P9 Plus both offer the same camera capabilities with the exception of one extra feature on the P9 Plus.
Both have dual rear cameras comprising two 12-megapixel sensors, one of which is colour and the other monochrome. They also both come with laser-assisted AF on the rear, Leica technology – including standard, vivid and smooth film modes – as well as full manual control. Both optics are 27mm f/2.2 equivalents.
The Mate 9 takes that concept and keeps it much the same. It’s got the same two 27mm lenses and the same colour and monochrome sensor idea – only the mono sensor is 20-megapixels this time so it can be used for digital zoom and mapping extra details onto colour images without excess degredation. Another big change in the Mate 9 is that both cameras offer optical image stabilisation, hence the protruding vertically-stacked bump on the rear.
The front snappers on all devices is an 8-megapixel sensor, but the P9 Plus offers laser autofocus for selfies too, while the P9 doesn’t.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Hardware
- Powerful P9 and P9 Plus feature octa-core Kirin 955 chipset, Mali-T880 GPU
- More powerful Mate 9 features octa-core Kirin 960 chipset, Mali G71 GPU
The Huawei P9 and the Huawei P9 Plus both come with the octa-core 64-bit Kirin 955 chipset. The company claims this processor is 100 per cent faster than the P8 and offers a 125 per cent improvement on 3D graphics.
The Mate 9 is the more advanced of the three devices, with the latest Kirin 960 chipset and Mali G71 GPU. The company claims this processor is 180 per cent faster than the Kirin 950 and three times superior to the Mate 8 in the graphics department.
The G71 is the first ARM chipset that supports Vulkan rather than OpenGL, which fundamentally changes the platform – hence the improvement.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Battery and storage
- P9 has 3000mAh battery, USB-C charging (9V-2A)
- P9 Plus has 3400mAh battery, USB-C charging (9V-2A)
- Mate 9 has 4000mAh battery, USB-C charging (SuperCharge 4.5V-5A)
The P9 is available in two models, one of which has 32GB of internal storage with 3GB of RAM, while the other has 64GB of internal memory and 4GB of RAM. Both come with microSD support, USB Type-C and a 3,000mAh battery.
The P9 Plus on the other hand only comes in one model, which offers 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. USB Type-C and microSD are both on board again, but the P9 Plus has a slightly larger battery capacity at 3,400mAh.
The Mate 9 is only available in one model (ignoring the special edition Porsche Design anyway), which offers 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM, microSD slot (or dual SIM), USB Type-C for SuperCharge speeds and a huge 4,000mAh battery capacity. The SuperCharge technology ups the current to 5A when safe to do so, for extremely speedy recharging at the plug.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Software
- P9 and P9 Plus run EMUI 4.1 reskin (over Android 6.0)
- Mate 9 runs EMUI 5.0 reskin (over Android 7.0)
The software experience on the P9 and P9 Plus will be largely the same in that they both launch on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s EMUI 4.1 skin over the top.
There will of course be a few extra features on the P9 Plus thanks to those that come with the pressure-sensitive display but on the whole, these two devices will offer a very similar experience in terms of interface.
The Mate 9 launches on Android 7.0 and Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 reskin over the top. That adds some fun features such as dual messenger apps – WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger – if you use multiple SIM cards, plus a cleaner and whiter overall appearance. There are floating docks and one-handed modes too, to make using the large 5.9-inch screen’s real-estate that much easier.
Huawei P9 vs Huawei P9 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Conclusion
The P9 and the P9 Plus are almost identical aside from a couple of differences. The P9 is smaller, lighter and has a sharper display but it has less RAM and storage in its standard model and a smaller battery.
The P9 Plus offers a larger screen with pressure sensors, a bigger battery capacity, more RAM as standard and it offers AF on its front-facing camera, as well as stereo speakers.
The Mate 9 is a whole different proposition in our eyes. Its burgeoning 5.9-inch screen means it’s a shade larger than both other devices – although only a small amount larger than an iPhone 7 Plus – but remains manageable enough. It’s the more powerful of the three devices, thanks to a great CPU and GPU combination, plus that 4000mAh battery should last for a couple of days if its anything like its Mate 8 predecessor.
The P9 is cheaper option, starting at £429/$543.5, while the P9 Plus will set you back €749 (or around £579 – but it’s not widely available in the UK). The Mate 9, despite being the largest, sits in the middle of the other two with its €699 price tag (there’s no official UK price or release date, but we expect the phone to arrive in November 2016).