6 tricky Huawei Mate 9 problems, and what to do about them

Huawei Mate 9 review Huawei Mate 10
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Huawei Mate 9 is a great follow-up to the Mate 8, and potentially a solid replacement for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. Like every great smartphone, however, it has its fair share of issues, ranging from the typical to the more unique. If you’re looking into getting the Mate 9 — or already have one — it’s good to know what problems you may run into and how to address them. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of Huawei Mate 9 problems, with the workarounds and potential solutions you might need to deal with them.

Issue: Overheating and Battery drain

Although the Mate 9 has decent battery life, some users have noticed their battery drains more quickly than expected, even with minimal usage. Some users have also reported instances of overheating, such as in this thread over on the XDA developer forums. Huawei told Digital Trends that it will “provide enhancements” to fix any issues in the next over-the-air update. In the meantime, here are some possible solutions.

Potential solutions:

  • Start by checking to see which apps are using the most battery life. To do this, go to Phone Manager > Remaining, then swipe up on the screen and tap Consumption Level.
  • You can also go to Phone Manager > Remaining > Optimize. Doing so will prompt your phone to check for power consumption issues and optimize your Mate 9’s performance. You can also manually optimize your phone by tapping Items need to be optimized manually.
  • For battery drain, consider enabling the setting that closes apps when the phone is locked. Open Phone Manager > Lock screen cleanup, then toggle the switch next to the apps you want to close. Keep in mind, however, that you will not receive new messages or emails from messaging, email, and social media apps if they’re closed using this method.
  • Users on the XDA-developers forums have suggested that apps such as Facebook and Messenger can cause battery drain and overheating. Try deleting them and check to see if the issue continues. The Exchange and Google Calendar apps have also been said to cause battery drain due to syncing issues.

Annoyance: When using an alternative launcher, device often reverts to default launcher

Like other Android smartphones, the Mate 9 allows users to install new launchers, which changes the home screen and provides more customization options. However, according to this XDA Developers forum post, some owners that use launchers like Nova have found that sometimes the launcher reverts to the default launcher that comes pre-installed on the phone. This occurs after closing an app, and the only way to get back to the alternate launcher is to enable it again.

Workarounds:

  •  Try locking the alternate launcher to the Recent Apps list. If your launcher doesn’t show the launcher settings, switch back to the default launcher. Then, open the new launcher and find the launcher settings — don’t set the new launcher quite yet. Tap Recent Apps and find the settings menu. There should be a lock icon, which will allow you to lock the alternate launcher in place.
  • This problem might be related to Bluetooth. Some people report that the launcher reverts when Bluetooth is turned on.

Potential solution:

  • Launchers like Nova have a setting called Aggressive Desktop. Some users have fixed the reverting issue by enabling this feature.

Problem: Poor Wi-Fi connection or unable to connect to Wi-Fi

A very common problem that people can run into with any smartphone is poor Wi-Fi or a situation in which the phone simply won’t connect. Fortunately, the solutions are the same for the Mate 9 as any other smartphone. Reports on Wi-Fi performance are mixed in this XDA Developers forum post. Some users on the XDA forums have also reported having trouble connecting to 802.11 EAP routers.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone and router.
  • Go to Settings > Updater and check for a software update. If there is one, tap it to download it, then tap Update to install it.
  • Make sure the power-saving feature has not been enabled, as it can interfere with Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Forget the connection you’re already using by going to Settings > Wi-Fi. Afterward, long press your connection and tap Forget. Reconnect to your network, or try another one.
  • Go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Configure and take note of your MAC address. Make sure your router supports it.
  • The Mate 9 has a hard time connecting to 802.11 EAP-enabled routers. If this is your problem, simply change the CA certificate from “Unspecified” to “Do not Validate.”

Bug: No audio controls on lock screen

A few Mate 9 owners on the XDA Developer forums have reported being unable to control their music from their lock screens, meaning they must unlock their devices in order to interact with audio controls. Both the Spotify app and the Google Play Music app have also been said to be missing audio controls.

Official solution:

  • This seems to be a known bug, one that doesn’t have a definitive fix yet. Some have said this particular bug was present on other Android phones and was eventually fixed with a software update. Those currently affected by the problem may have to wait for a future update from Huawei.
  • Huawei told Digital Trends it supports Huawei Music and Google Play Music, but the company may add support for third-party apps in the future, based on user feedback.

Issue: Touchscreen isn’t responding or is inaccurate

Some Mate 9 owners have reported inaccuracies with the touchscreen, specifically along the left and right edges of the display. This leads to situations in which the screen doesn’t respond or items are pressed accidentally. Huawei has a couple of support pages offering several solutions that could help.

Official solution:

  • An update rolled out in late-December that addressed this problem. If you’re still experiencing this issue, make sure you have the latest update via Settings > About phone > System updates.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone.
  • Clean both the screen and your hands. Sweat, water, dust, and other debris can interfere with the touchscreen.
  • If you’re wearing gloves, make sure Gloves Mode is enabled. Go to Settings > Smart Assistance, and toggle Gloves Mode.
  • If you recently applied a screen protector or a case with a built-in screen protector, they could be interfering with your phone’s touchscreen capabilities. Consider removing them and trying another protector or case.
  • Back up your information and data, then perform a factory reset by going to Settings > Advanced settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset Phone.
  • If problems persist, it may be the result of a hardware failure. Reach out to Huawei to repair your phone or get a replacement headset.

Problem: Notifications are not coming through or are delayed

This 16 page XDA Developers forums thread has users reporting they have stopped receiving app notifications, or receive them later than expected. Notification badges still appear on the apps when viewed from the home screen, however.

Official solutions:

  • Like the aforementioned touchscreen problem, an update was released that dealt with this particular problem. Take a look in Settings > About phone > System updates and make sure you’re up to date.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your phone.
  • Check for any updates related to the apps that are no longer pushing notifications.
  • Make sure Do not Disturb has not been enabled. Go to Settings > Do not Disturb and toggle Do not Disturb.
  • Perform a factory reset.