Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Barring the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, the Huawei Ascend Mate would have been in a league of its own. The League of Extraordinary Diagonals, that is, as the phone sports a monster 6.1” display. Huawei's largest handset, however, certainly has enough going for it to set it apart from Samsung's Goliaths, like stereo sound recording and the largest battery ever placed in a smartphone – a capacious 4050 mAh unit.
Thanks to the on-screen navigational buttons, it also sports "a screen-to-body ratio of 73% – the highest in the industry," though the Sony Xperia ZL would beg to disagree.
Are these making it a better handset than the other big-screen lover dream phones, like the Mega 6.3, Note II or G Pro? Read on our review to find out...
In the box:
- In-ear stereo headphones
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
The phone can be considered compact for its screen size, thanks to the on-screen navigation buttons, and the 163.5 mm x 85.7 mm x 9.9 mm (6.5" x 3.4" x 0.4") chassis. It is quite shorter and more narrow than the Mega 6.3, but still feels no less awkward to hold than Samsung's largest, despite the tapered back that goes to mere 6.5mm by the edges. Thankfully, the obligatory one-hand phablet UI is here, too, cramping the keyboard and dialpad left or right so you can reach them with your thumb without being Shaq, aiding one-handed usage.
163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm
6.98 oz (198 g)
167.6 x 88 x 8 mm
7.02 oz (199 g)
151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm
6.44 oz (182 g)
150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm
5.64 oz (160 g)
You can compare the Huawei Ascend Mate with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Build quality is decent, but the choice of plastics feels a bit cheap – the soft-touch coating on the back is very grippable, so it does the job, but its quality doesn't leave the same premium feel that other such soft layers leave in the hand. Same goes for the rim surrounding the sides, which has a coarse-feeling surface, aiding the grip further, but spoiling the looks somewhat. Huawei says the phone has a dual antenna design, and there are two notches cut in the side rim, which could mark an external antenna design, like on the iPhone and Nokia Lumia 925.
The side rim is also interrupted by protective flaps in the same color, which cover the microSD and SIM card slots, as the phone is unibody, with sealed battery compartment. The power/lock key on the right, and the volume rocker underneath it are well-situated, and easy to feel and press, with good tactile feedback.
The whole front is recessed quite a bit, leaving a protective frame around the display part, so as it doesn't scratch when placed face down, or doesn't shatter into pieces from the slightest contact with the ground.
Apparently Huawei couldn't ring the manufacturer which produces Full HD displays at that size, and had to make do with 720x1280 pixels HD resolution for the 6.1” IPS screen, which still leaves it at a decent 241ppi pixel density. The screen also sports the "Magic Touch" tech, allowing you to use it with gloves on, which can be turned on and off from the settings menu, and it works as advertised, allowing you to answer a call with your mittens on, for instance.
The color representation can be changed with a slider in the display settings menu, too, ranging from warm to cold, and is set in the middle by default, though the difference is mild unless you are a screen purist. Being an IPS display, the Ascend Mate panel flaunts very good viewing angles, with only a shift in brightness and contrast at extreme angles.
Peak brightness is about 400 nits, the LCD average, meaning that you will have issues outside under direct sunlight, though the phone sports pretty good coating, diminishing the unpleasant effect of mirror reflections when a light source falls on the screen directly.
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1. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1618; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
Wow....I bet huawei are pis*ed sammy took their worlds biggest phone crown away from them....anyway would never really buy a phone over 6inches so no point in my eyes...
7. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
How is Huawei pissed off?
Ok Samsung Galaxy Mega is bigger than this but Ascend mate specifications are better than Mega
10. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
he is talking about size not specs. This phone was the largest.........until Samsung released the Mega 6.3
which means Samsung took "The Largest Phone" crown away from Huawei
14. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
Nexus 7 has GSM. Nexus 7 takes the lead.
Xperia Z ha GSM. Z takes the lead.
19. sinple (Posts: 87; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
nexus 7 is not a phone. U cant call.
Largest phone is asus Fonepad. 7inch.
15. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
23. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
24. GTR722 (Posts: 209; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
Look at all the Samsung fans unliking your post...lol A Mate is clearly superior to the 6.3 Mega....and PA...if this phone have 73% and ZL 75% of screen size ratio....
2. chrislars (Posts: 77; Member since: 11 Apr 2013)
That's a fair rating. Seems like its built solid.
8. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
4. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
I still prefer the Note II, this is just way to large. It's not a phablet it's a tablet
I'm waiting for the Note III..Samsung will manage to make it compact.
11. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Typical Samsung fanboy's comment!
"It also sports a screen-to-body ratio of 73% – the highest in the industry"
It is already compact! Jezz...
12. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
I never understand your comments,...
first you were an Android fan,, now you love Apple? your profile pic says it all...
18. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Profile picture can mean anything. It's doesn't necessarily show my support for an OEM or an OS.
Remember the ad? It was funny right? I picked what defined it best, that's all. If you've known me well, i've never been an avid supporter of Apple.
22. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
but you always have to comment on a bitchy way
25. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Lwalzz....keep analyzing all my comments.
I'd rather comment bitchy than comment like a hardcore fanboy.
26. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
I'm not a hardcore Samsung fanboy..
I mean I do love all Android phones... but you know Samsung is my favorite.. It's like football..
You love many football players but you have a special place in your heart for Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because they are the best...
27. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
I'm not actually refering you as the hard core Samsung fan....just replied in accordance to the 'bitchy' comment you mentioned. Peace
5. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4812; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Nice phone but it's too big! 6 inch can't even fit in my pocket!
13. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
It is not for kids.
6. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Not bad. If it lands around €400 where the excellent Oppo Find 5 is, it's another well-priced top phone for your choice.
9. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
BTW mate, I think the PA test unit's camera is broken, I looked up other samples in disbelief of the terrible focus/lens and other results seem to be okay.
21. NIK01 (Posts: 15; Member since: 29 Apr 2013)
ratio of 73%??
you should regard that is has no buttons neither the sony.
the on-screen-buttons downsize the real screensize for about estimated 0.2" and the ratio therefore too downsized.
the samsung 6.3 is bigger AND has off-screen-buttons, so the added difference screensize is maybe about 0.4". conclusion: 2mm more width and 3mm more height is more than OK, imho.
there is ONE advantage concerning on-screen-buttons: if you are using a mouse or trackball as I do.
regards from germany,
28. techsurround (Posts: 3; Member since: 20 Nov 2013)
Now get the Huawei's latest upcoming Glory 4 leaked specs at Wirews tech magazine.