Huawei is attempting to break into the phablet marketplace with the release of the Mate 9. This new phablet contender is intended to compete with the likes of the iPhone 7 Plus; the obvious market-leader in this niche. However, Huawei will also be more realistically pitching itself against the likes of Google, with its Pixel XL device yet to achieve the sort of cultural prominence with which we associate the iPhone range.

iPhone 7 Plus
Image taken by Sheeraz Raza for ValueWalk

Thus, it is interesting and informative to compare these three devices, so here is a rundown of the relative merits and specifications of the three phablets.

Weight

The Google Pixel XL is marginally the lightest of these three devices at 168g. The iPhone 7 Plus weighs 188g, while the Huawei Mate 9 is extremely slightly heavier at 190g.

Display

It is notable that the Huawei Mate 9 boasts the largest display of the three devices, with a 5.9-inch screen having been included. Both the iPhone 7 Plus and Pixel XL come complete with 5.5-inch displays, meaning that the new Huawei release will exceed them slightly in size.

However, this is not the case when it comes to resolution, with the Pixel XL sporting the best resolution of the three devices. Google has armed the Pixel XL with a quad HD display, while both the iPhone 7 Plus and Mate 9 have full HD resolution.

This naturally means that the pixels per inch rating of the iPhone 7 Plus is superior to the Huawei device. But the best screen of the three is probably included in the Google handset, considering the superior resolution.

Processor

The Huawei Mate 9 also impresses in the processor department, delivering two bundles of quad-core units. These are clocked a a fairly impressive 2.4 GHz and 1.8 GHz, meaning that the Mate 9 packs quite a punch. Indeed, Huawei claims that “the CPU delivers the best multi-core performance among all smartphone SoCs, while reducing power consumption by 15 percent”.

However, the iPhone 7 Plus complete quite favorably here, with its quad-core 2.23 GHz processor performing extremely ably. When one considers the unique combination of proprietary hardware and software delivered by the iPhone series, this arguably even gives Apple the edge over Huawei.

iPhone 7 Plus vs. Google Pixel XL vs. Huawei Mate 9 specs

pixel_comp

Meanwhile, the two dual-core processors included in the Google Pixel XL mean that this is probably the weakest of the three handsets in this department. Google would be advised to furnish future versions with more powerful processors, particularly if it continues to deliver the sort of increased screen resolution that the Pixel XL has been armed with.

Memory

The iPhone 7 Plus has been provided with less memory by Apple than the other two devices compared here. Both the Google Pixel XL and the Huawei Mate 9 are armed with 4GB of RAM memory, with the Apple device having one GB less than this.

Storage

Apple has been particularly concentrated on delivering lots of storage options for consumers in the most recent iPhone releases, and consequently the iPhone 7 Plus is available with 32, 128 and 256GB storage options.

Neither of the other two devices get anywhere near the premium iPhone 7 Plus in this department. The Huawei Mate 9 is only available with 64GB of storage, meaning that there is absolutely no choice for consumers with this smartphone. However, eventually the Porsche Design Mate 9 will be available with 256GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, Google offers a 128GB version of the Pixel XL, but there is currently no 256GB model of this smartphone.

Camera

The iPhone 7 Plus is notable for being the only smartphone produced by Apple featuring a dual-camera setup. This gives it an obvious advantage over the Google Pixel XL, which does not feature a dual-lens camera. However, the Apple device has a minor advantage over the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of megapixel rating, with its 12.3-megapixel primary camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera superior to that of the iPhone 7 Plus. While megapixel rating is only one aspect to take into consideration when assessing photographic quality, the fact remains that the iPhone 7 Plus features a 12-megapixel main camera, with a 7-megapixel front-facing snapper.

Again, the Huawei Mate 9 is particularly impressive in this department, featuring a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera, with a more than adequate 8-megapixel snapper at the front.

Huawei Mate 9
Image: Huawei

Battery

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus has the smallest battery of the three devices, once more underlining the fact that Apple faces challenges in this department. The standby and talk time delivered by the phablet is significantly less than that of the Google Pixel XL, with the latter coming with a larger 3,450 mAh battery.

However, again it is likely that the Huawei Mate 9 will perform in superior fashion to either the Google or Apple offerings, with this new smartphone being armed with a 4,000 mAh battery. Huawei has yet to confirm the talk time capabilities of this smartphone, but it seems that it should be at least the equal of the Google Pixel XL.

Operating System

The iPhone 7 Plus runs on iOS 10 and the Pixel XL on Android 7.1 Nougat. The Huawei Mate 9 will run of Android 7.0 Nougat when it is released, but future Android updates are likely.

Pricing

In the United States, the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus retail at exactly the same price point, with the 32GB versions of both handsets available at $769, with the 128GB model $100 more than this figure. Apple also offers the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus at a retail price of $969.

At present, the pricing for the Mate 9 in the United States has not been confirmed, but it is known that it will retail at €699 in Europe. This would suggest a very competitive price point, considering that the current exchange rate would indicate that this would make the RRP around $775.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that fans of Android devices will be eagerly awaiting the release of the Huawei Mate 9 based on the outstanding specs that it boasts.