Huawei Mate 9 Pro Review: The Magician: Telephony, Apps

By 09:40 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


The Mate 9 Pro's dialer shares a common interface with the contacts app. There are no groundbreaking features here, and nothing missing. A nice touch is that when making calls on speakerphone, you can have a 120-degree directional limit for the microphone meaning unwanted side noises won't be picked up.

Smart dialing • contacts • in-call interface • directional speaker • omni-directional speaker

The dual-SIM settings menu lets you rename cards, disable them from software and select which one does calls or data by default. The interface leads us to believe that while 4G may be limited to just one card, both acquire 3G connectivity in addition to 2G, which the specs don't indicate.

The interface is not ideal in that dual SIM settings is in one menu, while the mobile networks are in a different one, and you may need to do a small back-and-forth to set things up precisely to your liking - say limit the primary card to 3G. 'Primary' as in the default card that gets 4G connectivity - you choose that in dual SIM settings. Then in the mobile networks section you acquire to pick the preferred network type, but only for this primary card - the other one makes do with the rest of the available radios.

Dual-SIM settings


Knowing the excellent loudspeaker loudness, we got from the Mate 9, we expected the same with the Pro flavor, and we got it. The Mate 9 Pro posted very high numbers in all three of our tests, securing an Excellent mark. Not only that, but it sounded clear and distortion free even at maximum volume.

The Mate 9 Pro, just like the Mate 9, actually has stereo speakers, sort of. The earpiece doubles as left channel, when the phone is held in landscape, and it does create a stereo effect even though the earpiece is quieter than the main speaker. When in portrait, there is no such channel separation, and instead, the earpiece is used as a tweeter, while the main speaker outputs the mid and low frequencies. Unfortunately, the drawback of this implementation is that there is an annoying pautilize in sound playback every time you switch the phone's orientation.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score

Huawei Mate 8 67.8 65.8 66.6 Below Average

Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus 65.0 68.2 70.8 Average

OnePlus 3T 61.0 69.3 78.3 Good

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 70.0 69.1 71.8 Good

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 68.3 72.2 72.9 Good

Huawei P9 Plus (stereo) 66.9 70.0 76.9 Good

LG V20 68.2 68.6 80.9 Good

Huawei Mate 9 Pro 67.2 72.4 79.5 Very Good

Huawei P9 Plus (regular) 71.7 73.7 81.3 Very Good

Huawei Mate 9 Pro (stereo) 67.6 74.2 91.7 Excellent

Huawei Mate 9 83.1 74.5 85.0 Excellent

Pre-installed apps

The Mate 9 Pro ships with WPS office, which can be used for some basic document editing on the go. It can handle text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations as well as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. It can also export to PDF.

WPS office

Huawei has bundled the Mate 9 Pro with its Health app, which tracks steps and calculates calories burnt, but can also supposedly count the number of floors you've climbed.

Health app

You also have a ton of basic tools preloaded, including a proper file manager, compass, sound recorder (with pre-sets for directional recording taking advantage of the multiple mics), and flashlight.

Very fine file manager • voice recorder

The bundled Smart controller app has a large database of devices with pre-loaded IR commands, and in less than a minute we had a TV and a set-top box set up and operational via the smartphone.

Smart controller makes utilize of the IR emitter



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