Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 vs Huawei Ascend Mate

Introduction and Design

“Who let the dogs out?” That's the song that should be humming in the background while you pick and choose between the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, or the Huawei Ascend Mate.

The two phones with largest screens so far, at 6.3, and 6.1 inches, respectively, are in fact quite different when you start to dig into the details, so which one is for you? Read on to find out...


There is nothing compact or ergonomic in phones of this magnitude, unless we add the obligatory “for the screen size” reinsurance quote.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 looks more polished, with slimmer chassis and appealing cover pattern. The Huawei Ascend Mate is chubbier, and its body looks more roughneck, thanks to the coarse side rim and the basic quality soft-touch plastic on the back. It is, however, shorter and more narrow than the Mega 6.3, due to the slightly smaller screen, but still every bit as unwieldy to handle as Samsung's monstrosity.

Perhaps a bit less unwieldy, especially with bigger hands, as the thicker body and the soft-touch plastic actually allow for a firmer grip and more solid feel. The narrower chassis also makes for easier operation of the power/lock key, which on the Mega 6.3 is too thin and with a very shallow travel, like the volume rocker against it. To do simple thing, like pulling down the notification bar, or pressing the back key on both phones, you'd have to use both hands.


The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has, you guessed it, a 6.3” display diagonal, and the LCD screen sports 720x1280 pixels of HD resolution, just like the Ascend Mate. Huawei's phone has a slightly smaller, 6.1” screen, with respectively a tad higher 241ppi pixel density, versus the 233ppi on the Mega 6.3. The pixel densities are enough for decent readability, especially since these phones would be held further from your face than usual due to their screen size.

Viewing angles are also quite good on both phones, with contrast and brightness shifting significantly only at extreme angles. Both handsets provide settings to adjust the screen tones – Samsung has its Dynamic, Standard and Movie modes, while Huawei simply put a slider that goes from warm to cold colors and in-between.

The all-important screen brightness is a tad higher on the Mega 6,3 – around 450 vs 400 nits for the Ascend Mate – but its screen reflectance seems to be higher than on Huawei's phone, which makes it less visible outside in bright sunlight.

Interface and functionality

Samsung's Nature UX on top of Android 4.2 is full to the brim of features like Smart Stay or Air View, as well as gesture navigation, which you may or may not use at all. It, however, sports the best way to multitask on Android – the multi-window mode of Samsung, which splits the screen in two, letting you run any two apps at once – a feature that comes very useful on such a giant display.

Huawei's Emotion UI is coated over Android 4.1.2 and keeps it simpler, even getting rid of the app drawer once and for all, shifting focus to the homescreens, where compact widgets can be arranged closely to fill the vast screen real estate, and tucking the apps in categorized folders on other screens. We can't say we missed the ragtag app drawer at all, but Huawei's fresh ideas didn't dry up here.

The Chinese introduce the smartest way to navigate with on-screen buttons we've seen yet, letting you hide the navigation bar in any app with a small arrow on its left, or flick it up with your finger when you need it. This allows you to take advantage of the whole screen area in apps other than the video player and the gallery – a better way to do it than Google's stock Android.

Huawei also supplies a nifty way to quickly load profiles with a jog dialer that can switch between Sleep, Home, Work, Normal and so on modes. Within them you can arrange screen brightness, sync and connectivity options to your heart's desire, and even schedule them for exact times. All of these above, together with the numerous themes available for the Emotion UI, make it one of the most simple yet functional manufacturer launchers we've seen yet.

Processor and memory

Huawei put its own K3V2 quad-core chipset in the Ascend Mate, clocking it at 1.5 GHz. Samsung used off-the-shelf Snapdragon 400 with two cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. Qualcomm's chip in the Mega 6.3 demonstrated to be faster in synthetic benchmarks, though that doesn't translate into more fluid interface performance or faster app loading than the Ascend Mate. The one hiccup we had with the Mate is that it couldn't run GLBenchmark, which is optimized for Snapdragon and Exynos chipset measurements, rather than the exotic Hi-Silicon K3V2 concoction.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.36828133922980 / 25 fps2000 / 698
Huawei Ascend Mate519515615n /a1626 / 469

Huawei has put 2 GB of RAM in the phone, while Samsung makes do with the odd gig and a half, and it also sports different internal memory options, having 4/8/16 GB versions, while Huawei supplies 8 GB. Both handsets provide a memory card slot, though, so no worries about storage expansion.

Internet and connectivity

We can't complain at all from browsing on those huge screens. Rendering is fast, letters look larger at the same zoom level from the same distance, and both default browsers allow you to sideload Adobe Flash and play the respective content if you come across some while surfing.

The Hauwei Ascend Mate flaunts a faster 42.2 Mbit/s HSPA+ radio, whereas the Mega 6.3 makes do with a 21.1 Mbit/s, though it would be great if your carrier can provide even half of that in reality. The phones have Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and DLNA radios.

Samsung has put the fastest Wi-Fi/ac standard in its phone, though such routers and connections are yet to make it mainstream. It also provides an MHL port for wired connectivity, while Huawei placed a regular microUSB at the bottom of the phone.


The phones have 8 MP rear cameras with LED flash next to them. Samsung's camera interface provides more shooting modes, like Best Face, Sound&shot, Drama and so on, though Huawei covers most of the basics, too, including HDR and Beauty shot.

Pictures come out too soft from the Ascend Mate, almost everywhere in the frame but the center. The phone measures for an accurate white balance otherwise, and has a natural color representation. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 produces a tad oversaturated photos, which, however, look sharper and more appealing. It has a stronger LED flash, too, while the Ascend Mate struggles to illuminate the scene properly even from about five feet.

Video is recorded with 1080p resolution and 30fps by both handsets, and runs fluid with no skipped frames or excessive artifacts. The Mega 6.3 tends to oversaturate the colors in the footage, just like it does with the still shots.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Sample Video:

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Huawei Ascend Mate Sample Video:

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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Indoor Sample Video:

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Huawei Ascend Mate Indoor Sample Video:

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Huawei has one big advantage here, as it has put two noise-canceling mics top and bottom, which, due to the large distance between them, can record very clean and strong stereo audio, similar to the Nokia 808 PureView.


Samsung's Gallery app is more versatile than Huawei's, providing a split-view mode and numerous editing options, whereas the Ascend Mate has a simple tiled layout and more limited actions for altering your photos on the handset itself.

In the music player app Samsung also sports an advantage with its numerous equalizer presets and sound modes, to which Huawei responds only with a button for turning Dolby Mobile's faux surround sound on and off. The Dolby regime, however, does make for a very audible difference in sound strength and fulness, and the Ascend Mate also sports an excellent clean loudspeaker to pump out those tunes through.

All popular video formats, including DivX/Xvid/MKV footage, can be played on the handsets without a hitch, and at Full HD resolutions at that.

Call quality

The Huawei Ascend Mate sports much better call quality, both in the earpiece, and through the microphones, than the Galaxy Mega 6.3. Voices come loud, but very clean and without any distortion, and the two noise-canceling mics do a stellar job at relaying our voices to the other end strong, clear and true-to-timbre, while hissing and artificial notes can be heard from the Mega 6.3.

Battery life

The Huawei Ascend Mate struts the largest battery capacity in a phone, at 4050 mAh, leaving Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 with the “modest” 3200 mAh. Huawei claims two days of battery life with normal usage, which is excellent, yet both manufacturers haven't yet taken out the official talk time measurements for their gigantic handset.


If you are not too much into looks, and we'd imagine anyone who voluntarily accepts to carry such phones with them, wouldn't be into the aesthetics side of it, the Huawei Ascend Mate is the better handset here. It excels or is on par in almost every objective category that matters, like outside visibility, call quality, sound recording and battery life.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has the word “Samsung” going for it, and the immediate brand and developer awareness it brings by just looking at the rounded shapes and the familiar Nature UX interface. It also takes sharper pictures and has a stronger flash than the Huawei Ascend Mate, but that's about it, plus it costs more than Huawei's giant.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 vs Huawei Ascend Mate:

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