Huawei Mate S hands-on
Huawei unveiled today what could be the toughest Android competitor to the upcoming iPhone 6s Plus — the 5.5" Mate S which has a version equipped with a Force Touch display. The pressure-sensitive screen means that the panel distinguishes between a light tap or a harder press, and reacts accordingly, and we are taking one for a spin at the IFA expo for your viewing pleasure.
phone feels slippery to the touch.
We also loved how well Huawei has managed to camouflage the now typical antenna stripes we see with most metal phones, and the company wasted no time trying to point out just how much better those look on the Mate S compared with the iPhone 6 Plus. We kind of agree.
The 1080p Super AMOLED screen panel is tapering to the sides in a typical 2.5D fashion, and is every bit as vibrant and a tad oversaturated as you can expect from a screen with this technology. The viewing angles are extremely wide, and the blacks are deep and real. The screen is also protected by Corning's latest and greatest — Gorilla Glass 4 — so the Mate S enters the still rather elite club of devices offering this newer generation of scratch-protected glass.
Processor and memory
With the Mate S we get the same setup that is on the flagship Huawei P8 — a 13 MP camera in the back with an RGBW sensor, optical image stabilization and dual flash, as well as an 8 MP selfie shooter with the rare front LED flash. The camera has a full manual mode with ISO adjustments, exposure compensation, exposure time, white balance and focusing, as well as things like grid adjustments, and flash-assisted focusing. We found the camera app to be full to the brim with features that are surprisingly easy to find, yet the graphics could be a tad larger for our grubby mitts to press without fumbling around.
All in all, everything about the Mate S feels and touches great, down to the smallest details like directional mics, or dual speakers at the bottom, except for the pricing scheme, which is a bit on the hefty side, unlike the handset.
The 32GB version in titanium grey or mystique champagne will run at 649 euros, while the version with 64GB of ROM will come in "prestige" gold or coral pink, with a 699 euros tag. The 128GB Force Touch version will likely go north of that with at least a hundred, so it might have a steep hill to climb against a similarly priced iPhone 6s Plus, which might very well turn out to be its main and only competitor, because of the pressure-sensitive display. Unfortunately, as to when the Mate S will make its presence known on the market, we just don't know for now.