More than just seeking to “democratize” the dual-camera setup found in a number of existing and upcoming flagship phones, Huawei aims to revolutionize the way people perceive smartphone performance with its high-end Mate 9 and competitive mid-range GR5 2017 devices.

Huawei bravely calls 2017 the “Year of the Dual-Cam,” but there is more than just photography on the table here. New Kirin processors, big batteries with nifty saving and charging features, and quick fingerprint recognition grace both smartphones in an effort to continue its fast-paced growth in the market.

Huawei Mate 9: Born fast, stays fast
Huawei is upping the ante in its flagship segment with the Mate 9 after the success of the P9 and its Mate predecessor. However, the upgrades are far from superficial. This phone runs Kirin 960 under the hood, which is said to be 30 percent faster than the 950 on the previous Mate, and Mali-G71 MP8 to marry speed in computational tasks with strong graphic performance.

Banking further on its motto, the Mate 9 also features Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS), an improvement over the EXT4 system commonly used by other smartphones. This translates to longevity and efficiency in managing files—keeping the Mate 9 as responsive and fast, let’s say, eight months down the line as compared to how it was fresh out-of-the-box.

Another interesting feature of the Mate 9 is its ability to power its 4,000mAh battery to a full day’s charge in just 20 minutes. Huawei guarantees that the phone will not blow up (and obvious jab against Samsung), much less heat up excessively, with its five-gate safety system. This system makes use of different integrated chips in the charger and within the device to regulate charging.

More than that, Mate 9’s quick fingerprint sensor houses a smart—or sly—feature: it can be used to set up two completely different environments depending on which fingerprint you use. This means that some apps and files may be restricted to one environment alone. This feature comes extra-handy because Mate 9 supports two different Facebook and WhatsApp accounts running in one device.

Of course, Huawei would always flaunt its Leica-developed rear dual-camera module as a crowning feature, much like a cherry on top of an already stunning cake. The partnership between the two companies is growing steadily with this second-generation upgrade of the dual-cam setup. From the 12-megapixel RGB main sensor/12-megapixel monochrome sensor tandem in the P9, the Mate 9 sports an upgraded 12-megapixel RGB main sensor/20-megapixel monochrome sensor. The device combines the independent powers of both sensors—the monochrome understanding the subject’s tonality, contrast, and details, and the RGB providing colors that Huawei claims to be “as real as it gets.” As if that isn’t enough, the Mate 9 also offers a Pro Mode where you can adjust settings such as ISO, manual focus, and shutter speed. Plus, it finally has the ability to shoot videos in 4K.

The Huawei Mate 9 is available in concept and dealer stores nationwide for P31,990. Globe also offers this latest Huawei flagship with its Plan P1,499 (with P4,800 cash-out) or for free at Plan ₱1,999. The lock-in period is 24 months.

Punching well above its weight: Huawei GR5 2017
For those who think that it will be long before the dual-cam craze trickles down to the lower segments, think again. Huawei’s new mid-ranger—the GR5 2017—offers the feature for a more pocket-friendly P13,990 price.

Just like the P9 and the Mate 8, last year’s GR5 was well-received by the public and so Huawei would “like to continue the story,” as Huawei Philippines Senior Marketing Manager Corinne Bacani puts it.

The GR5 2017 packs a Kirin 655 octa-core processor couple with an i5 coprocessor for speed and efficiency. Further amped up with a 3,340mAh battery—which is 340mAh more than its predecessor’s—this device promises it can run for up to one and a half days on a single charge even with heavy use.

GR5 2017’s fingerprint sensor also gets a boost: it unlocks the phone in a mere 0.3 seconds, offers 360-degree readability, and recognizes wet fingers.

Finally, this year’s GR5 also sports a similar camera interface and dual-cam setup as the top-range Mate 9. The 12-megapixel/2-megapixel combo of independent RGB and monochrome sensors allow for better tonality, contrast, and focusing. With this technology, bokeh effects (or the blurring of the background while keeping the subject crisp) is as simple as an adjustment on the slider.

The GR5 2017 is targeting millennials and first-jobbers with its competitive price tag. It is also available in concept and dealer stores nationwide.

About The Author

Luigie Hadap

Luigie Pantoja Hadap is a journalism graduate and a millennial teacher who devours tech updates when he gets his hands on them and students when they get too rowdy (luckily they don’t). He lives in the South but enjoys the activity of Manila.