Huawei Mate 9 phones unveiled after Note 7 meltdown

This is the second time Huawei has used Leica-branded camera equipment in its phones

This is the second time Huawei has used Leica-branded camera equipment in its phones

The Mate 9 handsets are among the first to be powered by Android 7 and come in two designs: a model with a 1080p “full HD” display, and a Porsche-branded edition with nearly twice the resolution.

The Chinese company says it has also tackled smartphones’ tendency to slow down over time.

But one expert said Western consumers were still uncertain about its brand.

“Huawei has never been a company to miss an opportunity, and it seems as though it has moved mountains to get the Mate 9 to market as quickly as possible,” said Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy.

“But the phone is not a like-for-like comparison with the Note 7 – for one, it doesn’t have a stylus.

“Huawei’s brand also doesn’t have the status of Samsung as yet.

“That’s why it seems to be blending its brand with others.

“So, for the camera, it has partnered with Leica, and for the limited edition model, it has worked with Porsche.

“But Blackberry also partnered with Porsche in the past, and although that generated interest and created a halo-effect for other products, they didn’t sell massive volumes.”

Explosive fault

Samsung scrapped its Note 7 phablets last month after dozens of the devices caught fire.

The South Korean company initially thought a battery fault was to blame, and switched its own component for a third-party power cell.

But the problems continued, and after failing to identify the cause, Samsung halted production and said it was scrapping the 4.3 million handsets it had already manufactured.

Note 7
Samsung has said its Note 7 recall will cost it at least £4.4bn ($5.4bn)

Like the Note 7, Huawei’s new phones also feature a “supercharging” battery technology that promises to deliver a day’s worth of power within 30 minutes and a full two-day charge in 90 minutes.

The company’s senior product manager, Michael Seitz, told the BBC that the system had been through a nine-month development and testing process and had been checked by an independent research lab.

“It keeps really cool in your hand even while recharging,” he said.

Huawei battery
Huawei says its “supercharging” battery technology has gone through rigorous tests

Several analysts have suggested Huawei is best placed to benefit from Samsung’s setback.

Apple underestimated demand for its largest model, the iPhone 7 Plus, leading to a backlog in orders.

And Google has acknowledged having a similar problem with its Pixel XL phone.

It has also locked itself into exclusive deals with single operators in the US, UK and Australia – struck before the Note 7 fiasco – which will limit sales.