Let’s Review This Huawei Mate 9 Pro – Flagship phones give manufacturers the chance to showcase their latest technology, and since they attract attention and generate buzz, they help raise brand awareness. For Huawei, currently the world’s third largest smartphone producer by market share, its Mate series of phones is that the pinnacle of what the corporate has to provide. And though the Mate 9, the successor towards the Mate 8 that many of us checked out in-depth last year, packs some high-end hardware, Huawei recognizes it will take greater than a powerful spec sheet to succeed the premium smartphone battle ; it requires to supply complete experience and image that suits the phone’s premium price.
Performance and responsiveness are essential for just about any phone, but essential for any flagship such as the Mate 9. Making its debut within the Mate 9’s aluminum chassis is HiSilicon’s new Kirin 960 SoC. The four ARM Cortex-A72 CPUs inside the Mate 8’s Kirin 950 happen to be replaced by four of ARM’s latest Cortex-A73 CPUs. The plus-one change in model number is deceptive, however, because usually there are some significant differences between the 2 cores. The A73 actually belongs to a special processor family, using its roots going to the A17 instead of branching out coming from the A15 / A57 / A72 genealogy. Perhaps one of the obvious differences between the 2 different microarchitectures is really a reduction in decoder width : The A72 includes a 3-wide decoder as the A73 is 2-wide. Despite what appears to become a reduction in capability in writing, ARM claims the A73 still offers better performance and efficiency in accordance with A72 on a single process and frequency. Four Cortex-A53 cores complete the large. LITTLE CPU configuration.
The Mate 9’s CPU cores reach higher peak frequencies than those inside the Mate 8 too, however the differences are small. The A53 cores obtain a negligible increase from 1. 80GHz to 1.84GHz, as the A73 cores reach as much as 2. 36GHz versus the 2.3GHz to the Kirin 950’s A72 cores. It’s interesting that Kirin 960’s A73 cores are clocked less than the Kirin 955’s 2.5GHz A72 cores, especially considering that ARM targets a peak frequency of 2.8GHz on 16nm (the Kirin 960 uses TSMC’s 16FFC FinFET process ). Using the Kirin 960, HiSilicon is much more focused on reducing power consumption (and freeing up thermal headroom to the GPU ) rather than chasing maximum CPU performance. Still, driven by A73’s other advantages, particularly the improvements towards the memory subsystem, the Kirin 960 should still show a little performance gain in accordance with Kirin 950 / 955.
Perhaps the most important criticism of past Kirin SoCs were their seemingly underpowered GPUs. While Qualcomm pushed the performance and power envelope using its Adreno GPUs, and Samsung added eight- or twelve-core configurations of ARM’s latest Mali GPUs to its Exynos SoCs, HiSilicon’s Kirin SoCs made due with smaller four-core Mali configurations. Peak performance significantly trailed its peers, but Kirin’s lower power consumption limited the results of thermal throttling (a big problem to the faster GPUs ). Ultimately, performance was “good enough” for almost all of cases.
The Mate 9’s Kirin 960 SoC marks a radical shift in HiSilicon’s GPU philosophy. Not just will it utilize ARM’s latest Mali-G71 GPU driven by all-new Bifrost architecture, however it steps as much as an eight-core configuration running at a powerful 900MHz—the same peak frequency used from the Kirin 950 / 955’s much smaller GPU. The mixture of additional cores and architectural improvements give the Mate 9 a big peak performance advantage during the Mate 8’s Mali-T880MP4 GPU, paving the way in which for new capabilities for example VR.