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Huawei Mate 9 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: not always better

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The Galaxy S7 Edge is available now for about $600, while the half-a-year younger Mate 9 costs around $800. For this price you have more internal memory with the Huawei device, and it is considerably larger.

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5.5 against 5.9 inches difference is quite visible. / © AndroidPIT

In terms of design, a comparison between the Mate 9 Pro and the Galaxy S7 Edge would be more appropriate on both sides, due to them being the same size and having dual-edge design. 

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The dual-edge sides are distinctive. / © AndroidPIT

The Mate 9 is considerably larger at 5.9 inches. It has the distinctive dual-edge sides, which makes the profile narrower and the display appear larger in proportion to its overall size. Another important difference in the build quality is the splash protection: the Galaxy S7 Edge can survive a bath, while the Mate 9 is not IP-certified.

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Aluminum and an ergonomic feel for both, but only the the Mate 9 has an IR blaster. / © AndroidPIT

Both devices have an aluminum unibody. The Galaxy S7 Edge is protected against impacts and scratches with Gorilla Glass 4, whereas the Mate 9 is protected with Gorilla Glass 3. This is supposedly offers better against scratches but, nevertheless, Huawei still sticks a film on the glass.

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The Samsung display has a finer resolution. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung has installed a super AMOLED display in the Galaxy S7 Edge, which provides higher values with contrast and sharpness. The Huawei display, however, is visibly brighter and produces a cleaner white.

The main difference between the two devices is the VR optimization: Samsung provides VR glasses with some of its mobile bundles. Huawei has stated that the Mate 9 is Daydream-ready, but we have our doubts on whether the full-HD display is really suitable for VR fun.

  Huawei Mate 9 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Model: Huawei Mate 9 G935F
Manufacturer: Huawei Samsung
Dimensions: 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 190 g 157 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.9 in 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (373 ppi) 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 20 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED LED
Android version: 7.0 – Nougat 6.0 – Marshmallow
User interface: Emotion UI TouchWiz
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB 32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Sorry, not yet available! Samsung Exynos 8890
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.4 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
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The Mate 9 accepts up to two SIM cards, depending on the version. / © AndroidPIT

The Mate 9’s dual-SIM version is available in the United States as the MHA-L29. The S7 Edge, on the other hand, is only available as a single-SIM device. That said, with both of these smartphones you can insert a MicroSD card, which will allow you share your photos or MP3 files.

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The battery life on both devices is good, and each will provide about one and a half days. These are first-rate devices for heavy mobile users, as the Mate 9 or S7 Edge can handle even the hardest eight-hour days. In the case of the Mate 9, however, such a glowing review only applies to the single-SIM mode. Both smartphones offer a high-speed recharge mode; the Mate 9 can be recharged quickly with USB Type-C compatible standard chargers.

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Huawei uses the contemporary USB Type-C port. / © AndroidPIT

The sound quality on the Mate 9 is outstanding. On the one hand, the two housing speakers have the option of producing a two-way system in the vertical or a stereo system in the horizontal format. On the other hand, the quality of the noise reduction system for calls is above average. Even in noisy places with music or on the station platform with loudspeakers and arrival noise, you’ll be able to hear as clearly as if you were taking the call in your office.

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Cameras vs. camera: Huawei’s dual concept is asserting itself – almost. / © AndroidPIT

Huawei has the potential to make a real impact with its Leica dual-camera, but only if the software would not constantly make the pictures worse when it tries to improve them. The wide aperture mode produces visibly unrealistic blurring, and the post-processing of conventional snapshots also stands in the way of you being able to get perfect results. Having said that, the Mate 9 does produce better pictures and is more fun for semi-professionals thanks to the Pro Mode as well as the RAW output.

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Nougat – beautiful and good, but… / © AndroidPIT

By default, the Huawei Mate 9 software is more modern than the Galaxy S7 Edge. The latter is nevertheless safe, thanks to monthly security updates. New Nougat features are available only with the Huawei device, as the Chinese manufacturer has tried to optimize its use of the available Android software.

Thanks to machine learning optimizations, the system is able to recognize which apps and features you use the most and will store these in its memory. Additionally, the memory is continuously tidied up and any apps you are not likely to use are removed from the system.

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Side note: the fingerprint sensor in the Mate 9 works faster. / © AndroidPIT

Unfortunately, Huawei still goes too far with its optimizations and isolates itself – but only in a few areas. In some cases notifications will not arrive and you won’t be informed about incoming messages. Huawei is continuing to work on improvements, as we were promised in our interview.

Against the Mate 9 the Galaxy S7 Edge looks old

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Conclusion

Prior to the release of the Mate 9 this comparison, as we previously stated, is only provisional. In reality, the Mate 9 should have been positioned against the Note 7. As the latter is no longer available, the Mate 9 was promoted as the best alternative to this device.

The Mate 9 Pro, thanks to its dual-edge design, better resolution and more internal memory, could become the sharpest competitor of the S7 Edge. It would then also be in direct competition with the Mate 9.

What would you choose? Would you prefer to go with the Galaxy S7 Edge or would you consider the Huawei Mate 9 as your next smartphone? Let us know in the comments below!

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