Remember the Mate 9? And the Porsche Design Mate 9? Oh, and don’t forget the Mate 9 Pro for China… Well, the Mate 9 now has another….mate: the Huawei Mate 9 Lite. As you might expect from the name though, don’t go expecting a similar specs sheet compared to the larger Mate 9 family. In fact, don’t go expecting pretty much anything to be the same.
The Huawei Mate 9 Lite specs include a 5.5-inch Full HD display, so it’s smaller and lighter than the regular Mate 9. It is powered by an octa-core Kirin 655 chipset with four high performance cores clocked at 2.1 GHz and four energy-sipping cores clocked at 1.7 GHz, so it’s also weaker than the regular Mate 9.
There are two variants listed on Huawei’s website, a 3 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage model and another with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Both of these options come with a 3,340 mAh battery and are running EMUI 4.1 on top of Android Marshmallow, giving them an older version of Huawei’s interface, an older version of Android and a smaller battery than the larger Mate 9.
On the camera front you’ll still get that fancy dual-camera setup we know from the other Mate 9 options, but it lacks the Leica branding. Depending on how cynical you are though, you may not think that means you’ll miss out on anything. Resolution-wise, those cameras drop to 12 MP and 2 MP each, with an 8 MP selfie camera up front.
There isn’t a price listed yet and we don’t know if the Mate 9 Lite will be restricted to a Chinese launch or if it will also come to global markets. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out, but considering the very short list of similarities the Mate 9 Lite shares with its flagship namesake, this phone is a Mate 9 in little more than name.
How do you feel about ‘lite’ phones that water down flagship specs? Should they just be called something else?