Huawei has launched the Mate 9, a high-spec, high-price smartphone which could see the China-based company square up to market leaders Apple and Samsung.
The manufacturer is making a big play on the handset's processing power, which Huawei said made it the "most powerful smartphone in the world." According to Huawei's testing, software in the Mate 9 performed 80 percent better than major competitors after one year of use.
However, Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, was not overly impressed by these claims, describing the product as merely "another big screen smartphone." But, Mawston, speaking to CNBC on the phone, did concede that the Mate 9 was a "nice incremental improvement" and that the release did a good job of "filling the Note 7 gap, at a lower price point than Apple."
Ben Wood, mobile industry analyst at CCS Insight, viewed the launch more positively, telling CNBC via telephone that it "shows just how ambitious Huawei are," and "reiterates (his organization's) belief that Huawei is emerging as a force to be recognized in the smartphone market."
The Mate 9's other key features include an 8 megapixel camera, 64GB memory and 4 microphones that in combination enable directional sound recording. Unlike the Apple's iPhone 7, the Mate 9 has a headphone jack.
Huawei did not disclose where the device's battery was manufactured; thereby not ruling out that this could be the same as that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which is now notorious for overheating. But, Huawei did stress that the Mate 9's battery had been tested in house, by the manufacturer of the component and in independent research labs.