Over a year ago, word went round that Chinese device maker Huawei may have been in talks with Samsung to supply it with the company’s signature “Edge” displays which have since adorned the Galaxy S7 Edge and the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 this year. While we haven’t heard much about that rumour since then, we may be about to see it turn out to be true pretty soon.
With the Galaxy Note 7, which before the unfortunate reports of it exploding was regarded by most reviewers as the best smartphone this year, safely out of the picture and Google’s new Pixel devices unlikely to fill that void, it may be Huawei that will do so.
A new leak points to one variant of the upcoming Huawei Mate 9 packing a curved screen. Since the Mate series is essentially Huawei’s own Note-like lineup (gigantic phablets that blur the smartphone-tablet red line while adding a few novelties as key features), the Galaxy Note 7’s misfortunes may have been a blessing in disguise to not just Apple’s iPhone 7 but others like Huawei as well.
Huawei is tipped to release the curved Mate 9, reportedly known internally at the company by its Long Island codename, alongside another “standard” variant going by the codename Manhattan.
The former will, in addition to its curved display, be the more premium of the two devices as the display will have a Quad HD resolution so that it can be used with Daydream VR headsets like the new Daydream View headset from Google. Huawei is one of the few Google Android partners that confirmed that it was making devices for Google’s mobile VR platform as soon as the company announced it at I/O 2016 back in May. The other one is compatriot Xiaomi which is expected to debut a number of devices before we wrap up the year.
Manhattan, the standard Mate 9, will have a full HD display.
According to reliable leaker Evan Blass, the more premium Mate 9 variant’s availability may be limited to a handful of markets including China (spec nation) while the standard variant is the one that will be made widely available. This is not new territory for Huawei. The company made the premium variant of the Mate S available in select markets like the United Arab Emirates when it debuted last year while availing its standard variant which lacked the signature pressure sensitive display that characterized the Mate S Premium globally. It is this variant that made it to Kenya and other markets.
Other specifications of the Mate 9 that we have heard so far like the 5.9-inch display, the Kirin 960 system-on-a-chip, the 6GB variant and dual camera setup are largely expected to remain the same.
Huawei is set to unveil the Mate 9 at a press event in the German city of Munich on November 3rd.