Huawei is one of the biggest telecom companies in the world, and the Ascend Mate, the company’s flagship device in India, is one of the biggest phones you’ll see. At 6.1-inches, it towers over the Samsung Galaxy Note, or the Lenovo K900, and if you’re planning on buying it to use primarily as a phone, for voice calls, then it’s a terrible idea. Think of it as a small tablet with a call function though, and it looks a lot more promising.
It’s a simple looking device and it won’t win any awards for design, but it looks good in a quiet fashion and feels comfortable to hold. Operating it with one hand is difficult though—Huawei’s custom interface has some workarounds for that, but it’s still uncomfortable.
The screen is huge, and it’s running at the relatively low resolution of 720p. On paper that’s a bad combination, but when you’re actually using the device, it looks good. The screen is very clear, and text is easy to read. In terms of colour reproduction, the Huawei Ascend Mate seems much more natural than competing devices, and for tasks such as watching movies, it was a good option.
It’s also a pretty powerful device—it has got a 1.5Ghz quad core CPU with 2GB of RAM, and the interface is smooth and there were no apps that tripped it up either. It’s not the most powerful handset out there but you probably won’t even notice. The battery life is excellent, it easily lasts through a full day’s use, which is a big selling point.
The interface takes some getting used to—it’s Android, but there are tweaks. No app drawer for one thing—so all your apps land on the home screen, just like an iPhone. It also has a floating calculator and notes app, like the Galaxy Note 2. Huawei hasn’t been shy about taking inspiration where they found it, but the end result is quite user friendly.
Huawei have done a great job with the overall experience of using the Ascend Mate. Its size and weight make it an uncomfortable phone though. If you’re planning on using the device mostly as a tablet, which also makes calls, then it’s a great option, but if you’re making a lot of calls then it’s best to avoid this one.