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Huawei Ascend Mate review

Huawei's phablet is unlikely to fend off its similarly sized competitors
Mon Aug 12 2013, 12:03

Product Huawei Ascend Mate
Website Huawei
Specifications 6.1in 720x1280 IPS+ LCD touchscreen, quad-core 1.5GHz Huawei K3V2 processor, 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage with microSD expansion up to 32GB, 8MP rear camera, 1MP front camera, GSM/3G/4G, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, Huawei Emotion user interface, 3000mAh battery, 164x86x9.9mm, 198g
Price £340 SIM-free

CHINESE PHONE MAKER Huawei has seemingly taken the idea of a phablet further with its Ascend Mate smartphone, which hits the handset market with a huge 6.1in screen.

Aimed at those who don't want to pay for both a smartphone and a tablet, the Huawei Ascend Mate does both, and it does it for less than £350. However, with this low price reflected in the handset's performance it remains to be seen whether the Ascend Mate smartphone can fend off its competition in the market. 

The Ascend Mate, despite Huawei's claims, is far too big to be classed as a phone. With dimensions of 163x86x9.9mm, it's nearly impossible to hold the device comfortably in one hand - and those we showed the device to were in disbelief at the handset's size.

Huawei Ascend Mate design

However, those shopping for a Huawei Ascend Mate are clearly after a large-screen phone, and the device is just that. Due to the glossy black front design, the handset gives the illusion that it has an edge-to-edge screen, making it appear more expensive than it actually is, aided by the metallic trim around the edge of the phone.

The back of the device is good looking too, with Huawei opting for a matte black rear that gives the phone an air of sophistication despite its 6.1in screen size.

Given its size, the Huawei Ascend Mate's screen is obviously the handset's standout feature. The 6.1in screen features 720x1280 resolution and a pixel density of 241ppi. That's low compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but given the handset's sub-£350 price it's not really bad.

Huawei Ascend Mate has a 720p HD 6.1in display

With the brightness cranked up to full, the Huawei Ascend Mate's screen is impressively vibrant, with the IPS panel making colours pop and blacks appear deep. Viewing angles are just as good as those on phones that cost a lot more, although outdoor visibility isn't fantastic.

While image quality on the Ascend Mate has proven to be surprisingly good, we found that the screen is difficult to operate. Its size makes it nearly impossible to open apps with one hand, and we often found ourselves stretching our fingers to the limits to play certain games and use apps such as Facebook.

Saying that, the phone doesn't feel too large when held to your face when answering a phone call, especially compared to the Asus Fonepad and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Next: Performance, software.


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