Mobile Reviews

Huawei Mate 9 Pro vs HTC U Ultra: two great flagships battle it out for under $770

Huawei Mate 9 Pro vs HTC U Ultra photo

Competition is so fierce in the flagship space. Let’s check out Huawei Mate 9 Pro and HTC U Ultra to find out what makes them tick.

Mate 9 Pro is not new as it has been in the market for a few months now. This flagship has been doing very well in the market, and here are its specs:

  • 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 pixels or ~534 ppi pixel density
  • Metal body
  • Curved display
  • Gorilla Glass 4 protection
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Hisilicon Kirin 960 chipset, Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) processor, Mali-G71 MP8 graphics and 6GB RAM
  • Dual 20 Megapixel +12 Megapixel primary camera, f/2.2 aperture, OIS, 2x zoom, Leica optics, phase detection & laser autofocus and dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 8MP secondary camera with f/1.9 aperture
  • 128GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to 256GB maximum
  • Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery with Fast battery charging
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • November 2016 release date
  • $769 USD price tag

With more flagships turning to providing a Quad HD resolution to their screen, Mate 9 Pro seems to be doing that since last year. Sporting a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen with curved display and wrapped in a metal body, makes it special in the look and feel department.

Regarding performance, you can only expect the best out of its Kirin 960 chipset that is paired with a speedy octa-core processor, great graphics and 6GB RAM.

If there’s something extra special about the Mate 9 Pro, it will be on its camera. Equipped with a dual 20MP-12MP primary camera setup, Huawei has done it before with P9 and P9 Plus; so they already have the experience to make it so much better. You should be getting one of the best camera experience on a smartphone and have so much fun playing around with bokeh effect.

Storage-wise, you should have no problem with it at all. A whopping 128GB internal storage is standard, which you can further expand up to a maximum of 256GB via its microSD slot.

With a 4000 mAh battery powering up the Mate 9 Pro, there should be enough power to supply juice to it for at least a day or two in between charging. Last but not least, it will be running on the latest Android Nougat 7.0 which will further optimise its performance and add in a couple of extra features as well.

Now it is time to greet HTC U Ultra. This big 5.7-inch smartphone is made for the brilliant U. It reflects U beautifully with its sophisticated new liquid surface. It puts U on top, courtesy of a convenient new Dual Display. It listens to U, adapting sound to your unique hearing. It even learns from U, becoming a companion that evolves to get to know you better over time.

That’s the beautiful words taken from HTC’s official website. See the specs below:

  • 5.7-inch Quad HD Super LCD5 capacitive touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 pixels or ~513 ppi pixel density
  • Metal and Glass body
  • Gorilla Glass 5/Sapphire Crystal Glass protection
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 chipset, Quad-core (2x2.15 GHz Kryo & 2x1.6 GHz Kryo) processor, Adreno 530 graphics and 4GB RAM
  • 12MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture, 26mm, OIS, laser & phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 16MP secondary camera with 1080p and Auto-HDR
  • 64GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to 256GB maximum
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery with Fast battery charging
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • March 2017 release date
  • $749 USD price tag

Sporting a larger 5.7-inch Quad HD Super LCD5 screen, U Ultra will bring you a great visual experience with its bigger screen real estate. Not only that, but it also introduces a second screen which gives you the information you need, at your fingertips. The big screen is great for your regular day to day activity, while the new second screen is perfect for fast, convenient access to the things you use the most - like your top contacts, app shortcuts, event notifications and more. You won’t miss out on all the important things in life.

U Ultra will also introduce a new, beautifully contoured, liquid surface that is designed to reflect the best form in you. Hold it up, and you will appreciate the phone’s symmetrical construction and the way it transforms light as you turn it around. To achieve this extraordinary look, HTC developed an entirely new process where colours bond to the glass in multiple layers to reflect light beautifully - adding brilliance and depth from every angle. The glass is then moulded evenly around the sides and edges, using extreme pressure and heat to mimic the natural surface tension of liquid; folding and bending the surface to create a perfect blend of metal and glass.

Performance-wise, the U Ultra is guaranteed to make your experience pretty fast in running just about anything. You can do practically everything with its Snapdragon 821 chipset, a fast quad-core Kryo chipset, great graphics and 4GB RAM.

As for its camera, there may not be much to shout about on the primary camera that is fitted with a 12MP shooter. But on the selfie camera, it gets so much better with its 16MP selfie camera. You should have a great time snapping away selfies.

With 64GB internal storage and the fact that you can easily pop in a 256GB microSD card – storage won’t be an issue at all.

What could potentially be a problem is its rather limited 3000 mAh battery. With such high specs, it might run into issues to power up the device for a whole day; particularly if you are a very heavy user.

Last but not least, good news is in store for the U Ultra comes with the latest Android Nougat 7.0 OS accompanying its release. This could only bring about the latest features and functions, right out of the box which you can immediately tap into.


Huawei Mate 9 Pro is an alternative for those who still prefer the 5.5-inch screen size but is packed with bells and whistles. 5.5-inch Quad HD screen, curved display, metal body, great hardware, great dual 20MP-12MP camera and the latest Android OS combines to give you a great flagship.

Huawei Mate 9 Pro have been around since November 2016 and is available for $769 USD. You can choose from Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold and Rose Gold.

HTC U Ultra will be able to cater to all your needs and more. Great 5.7-inch size with great display, great hardware and great selfie camera is in store for you with this smartphone. Although a rather small battery could limit you just a bit.

HTC U Play is already available for pre-order for $749 USD and is said to be released in March 2017. You can choose from Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, Ice White and Sapphire Blue colours.

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Eza EzamieEza Ezamie
Category: Team WhaTechCompany about: Tech junkie by profession and passionate about anything from the digital world, movies, games and reading. He loves writing and hopes you enjoy his writing as much as he does. Eza, is also known as Don in the virtual world, but don’t him me wrong, he's not a mafia type he's really a nice chap and a devout family guy.
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