Huawei Ascend Mate Review
First thing you notice about Huawei's Emotion UI overlay on top of Android 4.1.2, is that it does away with the archaic app drawer, and centers everything around the homescreens. The widgets are compact, with minimized border distance, so you can fit a lot of them on one screen. The apps are neatly tucked into categorized folders on the next screen, the third houses the apps you download, and so on.
Another great feature is the ability to hide and show the on-screen navigation bar at will, with a small arrow on the left, and flicking your finger up from the bottom of the screen, whichever app you are into.
The other nice idea are the so-called Profiles, with their own switch in the notification bar toggles. A ring dialer appears when you press it, and you can choose from several presets like Work, Home, Sleep, Normal, Outdoors and so on. Each profile can have a smorgasbord of settings for everything – from sounds volume through display options to connectivity choices, and you can add and tinker with your own, or make them automatically swap at a given time.
There's an abundance of launcher themes as well, plus ways to customize your current theme manually. In short, the Ascend Mate is graced with a neat and functional Emotion interface that would barely make you look for another launcher in the Play Store.
Processor and memory
The upside of the "mere" HD resolution is that there aren't as many pixels to push for the GPU, and a second-gen homebrew 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 processor is powering the handset, which puts it somewhere in the golden middle of benchmarks.
The subjective feeling when strolling the interface or going in and out of apps is that the chipset is fast enough, and we didn't notice lag or stuttering. Huawei has had the decency to put 2 GB of RAM into the Ascend Mate, but only provides 8 GB of internal storage, only three of which are user-available, but there is a memory card slot for expansion, so no biggie.
|Quadrant Standard||AnTuTu||GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)||Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
|Huawei Ascend Mate||5195||15615||n/a||1626 / 469|
|Samsung Galaxy Note II||5806||18295|
|LG Optimus G Pro||12239|
The downside of homemade chipsets us that the processor might not support instructions optimized for the more popular chips like Qualcomm's Snapdragon family or Samsung's Exynos, so benchmark apps that are written to use Qualcomm's set of instructions might be an issue. We ran GLBenchmark, for instance, and the phone froze midway, then reset iself. We ran it for a second time, and the handset froze completely, going into a coma for a few minutes and no key press or combination of keys could take it out, until it resurrected from the dead all by itself after pressing the power key for the umpteenth time.
Internet and connectivity
The default Ascend Mate browser is pretty barebones as interface, but renders pages well, and has the added benefit of supporting sideloaded Adobe Flash, so you won't be left out when you come across a piece of the Web which needs Flash to run. Needless to say, browsing on the 6.1” display is a joy, despite the average pixel density, due to the sheer screen size.
The phone is pentaband HSPA phone, meaning that it supports all major frequency bands, so you can use it on both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, for example, as well as Europe and Asia for international travelers. Huawei touts that the dual-antenna design supports high power data transmission and is optimized with ratio combining methods to increase network reception by up to 2.5dB, hence provide an increase of 20 to 30% of overall network coverage.
There is also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and FM radios, plus Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA wireless streaming. The bottom port is regular microUSB, no additional MHL functionality.
1. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1619; 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: 311; 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: 103; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
nexus 7 is not a phone. U cant call.
Largest phone is asus Fonepad. 7inch.
15. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
20. SleepingOz (unregistered)
23. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)
24. GTR722 (Posts: 236; 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: 311; 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: 3011; 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: 311; 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: 3011; 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: 311; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
but you always have to comment on a bitchy way
25. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3011; 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: 311; 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: 3011; 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: 5404; 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: 2126; 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: 2126; 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: 20; 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.