Details of the Huawei Mate 9 have been trickling out over the past month, but today brings a tantalizing piece of news. According to well-known leaker Evan Blass, reporting for VentureBeat, the phone may come in two variants — a flat-screened model, code named Manhattan, and a curved-screen variant, code named Long Island.
Pictured above, both the flat and curvy Mate 9 models look familiar — the top row is essentially a more svelte Mate 8, while the bottom row is the spitting image of a Galaxy S6 edge+, right down to the front-mounted home button. Blass reports that the curvy Long Island variant will include more premium specs — a QHD resolution, compared to Manhattan’s 1080p, and Google Daydream VR support. Blass says that Manhattan will be released internationally, including the United States, while Long Island “may be restricted to Huawei’s native China.” But if this is true, it’s not clear how Daydream would function in China, given that Google services are blocked in the country.
What’s more, the inclusion of Daydream support suggests at least one of the phones might mean it ships with Android 7.1 out of the box — however that remains to be seen.
Either way, a proper U.S. launch for such a high-profile Huawei device would be a huge deal for the manufacturer, especially if it has any major carrier partners onboard. The dramatic failure of the Galaxy Note 7 could give Huawei a chance to woo buyers looking for a big-screened alternative.
We’re expecting to see the Huawei Mate 9 for the first time at the launch event on November 3 in Munich. Specs reportedly include a new Kirin 960 processor, using powerful, efficient new ARM Cortex-A73 cores, up to 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Huawei’s dual-camera setup from the P9 is said to return, now with 20-megapixel sensors behind f/2.0 lenses.