Having announced the Huawei Mate 9 flagship smartphone back in November last year, Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei is pushing hard to beat the Mobile World Congress rush of smartphones by officially launching the phone in Australia on 7 February.

Huawei Mate 9

The Mate 9 makes some pretty significant updates under the hood compared to the currently available Huawei Mate 8, most notably a new Kirin 960 processor that — on paper, at least — looks like it'll be more than competitive with the current state of the art from Qualcomm and Samsung. Compared to the last-gen chip, it's 40 per cent more powerful at processing and 180 per cent more gutsy in the graphics department.

The Mate 9 also inherits the Leica-branded dual-lens camera from the Huawei P9, although in this phone it's an over-under setup rather than side by side. Both cameras have the same focal length and f/2.2 lens, but one uses a 12-megapixel colour sensor and one uses a 20-megapixel monochrome setup. We've used and loved the simply laid out Leica-themed camera app from Huawei in the past, and it continues to feature prominently on the Mate 9.

The Huawei Mate 9 will be available for $999 locally, and available through retail partners, Optus, Vodafone, JB Hi-Fi, and Harvey Norman.