Huawei Mate 9 Review: Display
Author:Soomal
Source:eng.soomal.com

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Huawei Mate 9 released at the end of last year, we did not intend to test this smartphone, but thanks to a young wealthy reader providing one for us. Huawei Mate 9 adopts a 5.9-inch IPS FHD display. Who is the display screen provider? Mr. Yu Chengdong (Richard Yu), CEO of the Huawei Consumer BG, revealed that JDI, Sharp and LG are providing.

As a flagship, the fact that Mate 9 insists a FHD display is a little disappointing, as it is a flagship model. By now, QHD AMOLED/IPS-TFT displays are popular among hi-end Android smartphones. A 5.9-inch FHD display still owns 371 PPI, which is still acceptable. Huawei retains the better 5.5-inch QHD edge-curved AMOLED display to the latter Mate 9 Pro, which we are testing now.

Except the hardware, the internal color management also influences the display directly. Color accuracy and luminance accuracy, each stands for the ability to display standard color gamut and right value for every color throughout its entire color space, are the majority testing standards for display. By now, only Samsung, Apple and Microsoft are providing refined color management in their flagship models, Huawei is not included. Mate 9 runs on EUI system based on Android 7.0, and it provides settings to modify color temperature and tone for users to adjust to their flavor. Also, Mate 9 provides eye comfort mode for text reading and night using, just like Huawei P9. The ¡°Increase Readability in Sunlight¡± was tucked away under Developer Options.

Display Mode Cold Warm Default
Brightness cd/m2 521 560 560
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.10 2.09 2.10
Average Color Temperature K 8366 6975 7870
Average Luminance Error 7.06 6.29 5.96
Comparision Huawei Mate 9 Huawei P9 vivo Xplay 6 Moto Z Standard Mode iPhone 7 Plus Samsung S7 Edge Standard Mode
Brightness cd/m2 560 421 316 339 525 349
Grayscale (Gamma 2.2) 2.10 2.2 2.01 2.16 2.21 2.12
Average Color Temperature K 7870 7906 7517 6854 6794 6415
Average Luminance Error 5.96 4.35 6.18 2.74 1.95 2.13
Display Mode Cold Warm Default
Color Gamut (sRGB) 125.69% (about 98% DCI-P3)
Average Color Error 6.7 5.24 5.66
Max Color Error 11.32 9.44 9.38
Comparision Huawei Mate 9 Huawei P9 Manual Mode vivo Xplay 6 Moto Z Standard Mode iPhone 7 Plus Samsung S7 Edge Standard Mode
Color Gamut(sRGB) 125.69% 130.07% 141.19% 109.12% 101.45% 103.60%
Average Color Error 5.66 4.23 7.75 2.38 1.69 1.74
Largest Color Error 9.38 7.67 9.89 4.18 3.08 2.73
  • Max Screen Brightness (cd/m2 or nits): The maximum brightness one screen could reach, without considering glass quality, algorithm or dynamic adjusting. Over 500 cd/m2 can be used under strong light, below 400 cd/m2 will be to use.
    Gamma 2.2: Gamma value is the key factor in contrast display. Our eyes do not perceive light the way cameras do. Under sRGB, if the gamma value is 2.2, the tonal range is just what human eyes receive. Lower than 2.2, the contrast will go down, otherwise, it will go up. Except the gamma value, we have to see form the picture if the red, green and blue curve overlap, if not, different color contrast will be different. The value between 2.1 to 2.3 is qualified for display, while if the value is below 2 or over 2.4, the contrast will be lower or higher than standard.
    Average Color of White: The average color temperature in degrees, D65 with 6500 K is the standard color of White for most Consumer Content and needed for accurate color reproduction of all images. Higher than 6500K will tend to be cold, otherwise will be warm.
    Color difference: A measurement used to indicate how much a color deviates from standard. The higher the ¦¤E, the more inaccurate the color. This is because the human eye is only capable of detecting color difference at certain thresholds. It is hard to detect if average ¦¤E is below 5, less than average 3 ¦¤E and less than 5 ¦¤E is excellent, the smaller the ¦¤E is, the better the color is. Between 5 to 10 ¦¤E is detectable, over 10¦¤E is significantly detectable.
    Color Gamut(sRGB): The specific range of colors that one device is able to display. Our test is based on sRGB. If wide-gamut device is tested, Adobe RGB or NTSC gamut will be noted for reference. Display with over 90% will be enough for everyday use, higher than a certain percentage will not affect using experience significantly. However, photo playback requires precisely range, 10bit video requires wider gamut.
    Restricted by our devices, we will not test the viewing angle. On average, more than 30 would bring over 50% brightness loss.

From our quantitative result, Mate 9 has a similar display performance with LG G5 SE, while G5 SE has a higher QHD resolution display. They also share the same problem, for example, their default color temperature is similar, a little cold, over 7800K, which affected their color and luminance accuracy result in 6500K. They also have larger color gamuts, larger than the widely-used sRGB, Mate 9 reaches 125 percent of the sRGB color gamut, closer to the DCI-P3 wide color gamut. However, the colors on Mate 9 are over saturated when viewing pictures online, and we felt some crashing when using some warm-color Apps. We tested Huawei P9 in our Chinese website, some readers are doubting if adjusting the setting could optimize the display performance to make the color and luminance more accurate. However, we cannot find such a point.

To further illustrate, we will compare Mate 9 and P9¡¯s Gamma 2.2 graph in default, warm, and manual adjusting. In ideal display Gamma curve, the red, green and blue curve should keep coincident and in the middle, if any curve deviants, that stands for the color trend of the display screen. We can find a coordinate in P9 to match the Gamma 2.2 graph, and the color and luminance accuracy is also better at that point. However, we cannot find such a coordinate in Mate 9, if you can find one, please contact us, we will complement this review.

OK, after glanced the color performance of Mate 9, we believe you are more concerning about the experience in daily use. Mate 9 enhances its maximum luminance compared with Huawei P9, from 420cd/m2 to 560cd/m2, which helps it with visibility to use outdoors in sunlight, whether viewing websites or taking photos. If you upgrade from P9 or Mate 8, you should be satisfied with this max luminance performance.

OK, after glancing the color performance of Mate 9, we believe you are more concerning about the experience in daily use. Mate 9 enhances its maximum luminance compared with Huawei P9, from 420cd/m2 to 560cd/m2, which helps it with visibility to use outdoors in sunlight, whether viewing websites or taking photos. If you upgrade from P9 or Mate 8, you should be satisfied with this max luminance performance.

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