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Huawei Ascend Mate review

At 6 inches, can we really class this as a smartphone?

Our Verdict

If you love big phones and battery life is a priority, the Mate could be for you. Otherwise, we'd stick to the brands you know for now.

Product features

  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great IPS display
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Decent camera

Against

  • Laggy performance
  • Too big and heavy
  • Low internal storage
  • Bland interface design

Huawei is the epitome of the challenger brand. With a brand name that no one ever pronounces correctly (even a receptionist at the Mate's launch event reffered to the company as 'highway'), the Ascend Mate isn't going to be on the tips of the tongues of many in the market for a new phone.

Huawei Ascend Mate 1

To counter this, Huawei is resorting to headline-grabbing specs and features. There's the 6.1-inch screen, for starters, plus a custom quad-core processor which Huawei is claiming to be fastest in the world. Has we got your attention yet?

With a screen this size, the Ascend Mate truly is a 'phablet', however much you may hate that word. It is more than a centimetre taller than the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and half of a a centimetre wider.

Huawei Ascend Mate 2

It is also a touch heavier, at 198-grams, though for better perspective, compare this to the 130-gram weight of the Galaxy S4. In short: this feels like a big phone to hold and carry around.

Happily, the quality of the 6.1-inch screen makes it feel like the size and weight are a worthwhile trade-off. Huawei opts for a bright IPS LCD display which shows excellent colours and blacks, and has a fantastic viewing angle. Even with the phone titled at acute angles away from your eyes, the images on screen as still clear and colourful.

Huawei positions the power and volume buttons halfway down the side of the handset, and while this might seem unusual at a glance, it is actually the best place for them for when you are holding the phone one handed and hoping to find the buttons easily.

Huawei Ascend Mate 4

There are no hard or soft navigation keys on the handset itself. Instead, Huawei make use of the soft-keys included in the design of the Android Jelly Bean, with Back, Home and Multitasking buttons along the button of the visible screen space.

There is a 3.5mm headphone socket on the top of the handset, across from a micro-SIM slot. There's also a microSD card slot on the side to expand the handset's 8GB internal storage.

Huawei Ascend Mate 6

The back of the phone is covered in a soft-touch black plastic, which feels nice to hold, even though it shows fingerprints over time.

In what may be considered an unpopular move, the Ascend Mate is a sealed handset, meaning you won't have access to the battery.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyAscend Mate
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHuawei
Screen Size15.5 cm (6.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)198 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerHiSilicon
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density241 ppi
Height163.5 mm
Width85.7 mm
Depth9.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time216 Hour
ManufacturerHuawei Technologies Co., Ltd
Product NameAscend Mate Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Product LineAscend Mate
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberAscend Mate
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.huawei.com
Marketing Information

6.1"HD Screen with Highest Screen-to-Body Ratio

A 6.1-inch HD Screen. It offers optimal experience for gaming, reading text-heavy webpages, and also viewing photos and videos. Its compact design with highest screen-to-body ratio is a huge step ahead. We manage to place a very large screen into a small case and thus the phone still fits into your pocket and also gives a comfortable grip.

4050mAh Super Large Battery

Ascend Mate features a 4050 mAh battery and 1.5 GHz quad-core processor. With QPC and ADRX smart power-saving technology, the smartphone provides up to two days of ordinary usage on a single charge. It has the fastest battery charging capability of smartphones in its range, which saves over 30% of battery charging time.