Huawei’s latest flagship Android smartphone is here, the Mate 9. With that new hardware, Huawei has also updated its software skin, EMUI. We’ve seen this skin of the company’s other devices such as the Mate 8, Honor 5X, and Honor 8, but with the Mate 9, we get our first look at Huawei’s take on Android Nougat…

EMUI 5.0 is the latest version of Huawei’s software skin, and it’s built directly on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. Just like in previous versions, EMUI 5.0 is your traditional Chinese skin. That means heavy changes to core Android, no app drawer on the homescreen ─ at least not out of the box, and a plethora of built-in OEM apps. With the Mate 9 however, it feels like things have toned down just a bit.

The new UI feels less like a direct rip of Apple’s iOS, and more like Huawei’s own creation. You can see where Nougat influenced Huawei’s design decisions, and everything feels in place with this new UI. Is it perfect? Of course not. This is still one of the heaviest Android skins on the market, but Huawei is definitely easing up a bit, and I hope that continues.

Our full review of the Huawei Mate 9 is coming soon, so stay tuned for more…

Oh, and did I mention there’s an option for the app drawer now?

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Ben Schoon

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