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Huawei Ascend Mate Review

Huawei Ascend Mate

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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Interface and functionality

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.

Emotion UI is overlayed on top of Android 4.1.2 on the Huawei Ascend Mate - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Emotion UI is overlayed on top of Android 4.1.2 on the Huawei Ascend Mate - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Emotion UI is overlayed on top of Android 4.1.2 on the Huawei Ascend Mate - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Emotion UI is overlayed on top of Android 4.1.2 on the Huawei Ascend Mate - Huawei Ascend Mate Review

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.

You can hide and show the on-screen navigation bar at will - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
You can hide and show the on-screen navigation bar at will - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
You can hide and show the on-screen navigation bar at will - Huawei Ascend Mate Review

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.

Profiles - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Profiles - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Profiles - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
Profiles - Huawei Ascend Mate Review

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.

There's an abundance of launcher themes - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
There's an abundance of launcher themes - Huawei Ascend Mate Review


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 default Huawei Ascend Mate browser - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
The default Huawei Ascend Mate browser - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
The default Huawei Ascend Mate browser - Huawei Ascend Mate Review
The default Huawei Ascend Mate browser - Huawei Ascend Mate Review

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.

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PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display6.1 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (241 ppi) Super IPS+ LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260, Quad-core, 1500 MHz
2 GB RAM
Size6.44 x 3.37 x 0.39 inches
(163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm)
6.98 oz  (198 g)

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