Our Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3 comparison review takes an in-depth look at the differences between these two big Android phones, to see which is best for you in terms of specs, camera tech and other features.
Huawei just launched the massive Mate 9 handset over in Munich, boasting a mighty 5.9-inch Full HD screen. You get premium performance and an impressive dual-lens Leica camera, plus some other seriously top-end specs, making this a definite alternative to the doomed Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
So how does the Huawei Mate 9 compare with another big-screen Android phone from 2016, the OnePlus 3? The OnePlus 3 is by far the cheaper handset, but is it as good? Here’s our full Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3 comparison review so you can see which is best for you.
Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3: Specs at a glance
|Phone||OnePlus 3||Huawei Mate 9|
|Screen resolution||Full HD 1920×1080||Full HD 1920×1080|
|OS||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820||Kirin 960|
|MicroSD?||No||Yes (Up to 2TB)|
|Rear camera||16-megapixel||12-megapixel & 20-megapixel|
Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3: Design and features
When it comes to design, the Mate 9 and OnePlus 3 aren’t too dissimilar. Both handsets here are proper hand-fillers, from the 5.5-inch OnePlus 3 to the enormous 5.9-inch Mate 9, so one-handed use is tricky to say the least.
Still, they’re both solid, rugged mobiles, with a metal unibody that can put up with some serious scratching. You get a choice of two colours with the Mate 9 (silver and white or dark grey), while the OnePlus 3 comes only in silver.
Neither phone is water-resistant, but they do both boast impressively fast fingerprint sensors for quick and convenient security. You also get a microSD memory card slot in the Huawei Mate 9, so you can expand the on-board storage. That’s something you don’t get in the OnePlus 3, so you’ll have to make do with the 64GB of built-in space.
Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3: Screen and media
Both phones here pack a mighty Full HD screen, which makes for crisp and clear visuals. If you want a handset for watching a bit of Netflix etc on the commute, then either will satisfy.
The Mate 9’s 5.9-inch IPS LCD display is of course a little bigger and not quite as vibrant as the OnePlus 3’s 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, which produces really punchy colours. But you can manually adjust the Mate 9’s display so the colour warmth and so on matches your own personal preference.
You get 64GB of storage space with both of these phones, which is plenty to carry around a decent-sized media collection. As mentioned before, the OnePlus 3 doesn’t support microSD memory cards, so you’ll need to backup your photos and other bits every so often to avoid filling that storage space up. Thankfully the Mate 9 does support microSD, so you can expand up to a whopping 2TB.
Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3: Cameras
The OnePlus 3 packs a 16-megapixel rear camera which can snap sharp photos in most conditions. In low light it struggles a little, with a fair amount of grain creeping into shots, but otherwise you can expect plenty of detail, even when viewing back your images on a big screen.
However, although the OnePlus 3 can shoot up to 4K resolution video, we found that our home movies were a little shaky and ugly at times. Audio also suffers, sounding tinny and echoey at times.
Check out our full OnePlus 3 camera review for samples and more.
The Huawei Mate 9 goes one step further with a dual-lens Leica camera. The 12-megapixel and 20-megapixel lenses work together to produce incredibly sharp and detail-packed photos, with true-to-life colours. You can also expect some lovely bokeh (arty background blur) when shooting your subject up-close.
And this is the first Kirin-led Huawei phone to boast 4K video recording – we’ll be bringing you our full Huawei Mate 9 camera review soon, so you can see how good it is for yourself.
Huawei Mate 9 vs OnePlus 3: Performance and battery life
There may be a bit of a price gap between these two handsets, but the OnePlus 3 and Huawei Mate 9 both deliver best-in-class performance.
Huawei has stuffed its exciting new Kirin 960 processor inside the Mate 9, backed by 4GB of RAM. Early tests show that this phone is a beast, able to power through apps and memory-hogging games with nary a stutter in sight. Likewise, the OnePlus 3 is just as speedy as most super-expensive flagship phones, thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 820 chipset and a whopping 6GB of RAM.
The OnePlus 3 also greatly impressed us with its excellent battery life. Not only does the battery take well over a day to drain, but the Dash Charge tech allows you to fully charge it again in just over an hour. All while the phone stays pleasingly cool.
With Huawei’s own ‘Super Charger’ (which comes bundled in the box), the Mate 9 can recharge almost as fast as the OnePlus 3. Just half an hour at the plug gives you over 50 per cent charge, while the battery hits full capacity in around an hour and a half.
However, we’re yet to fully test the Mate 9’s battery life. So check back soon for our full review to see if the Mate 9 can beat the OnePlus 3’s day and a half of use between charges.