Hands-on Review: Huawei Ascend Mate Smartphone with 6.1-inch Display

Huaiwei Ascend Mate
Huaiwei Ascend Mate

Huawei Ascend Mate 6.1-inch Android smartphone has been officially launched in Malaysia on 30th May 2013. Read on for LiewCF hands-on experience with Huawei Ascend Mate smartphone.

Huawei Ascend Mate is one of the Huawei flagship smartphones in 2013. At first glance, you will notice that it is larger than any other smartphone in the market.

The 6.1-inch HD IPS+ screen resolution is 1280×720 pixels (aspect ratio 16:9). It is a surprised that Ascend Mate — with its large screen — does not follow current smartphone trend to use Full HD resolution (1920×1080).

I don’t feel Ascend Mate is a smaller tablet, thanks to its 16:9 aspect ratio? According to Huawei, Ascend Mate has highest screen-to-body ratio of 73% than other smartphones which “Maximizes viewing pleasure for emails, documents, video or games”.

Ascend Mate with curved back is nice to hold. It is not as big and heavy as I thought a 6.1-inch smartphone is. The body is not metal but doesn’t feel like cheap plastic. The white model has glossy back, while the black model is matted back.

Huaiwei Ascend Mate (Black and White)
Huaiwei Ascend Mate (Black and White)

With big size, Ascend Mate build-in a big 4050 mAh battery “allowing for two days of usage on a single charge”. You can use an optional USB OTG cable to charge other smartphone using your Ascend Mate!

Huawei Ascend Mate is powered by Huawei’s own processor 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260, wtih 2GB RAM. In my hands-on experience, the performance was good. Apps launching and pages scrolling are smooth.

By using Huawei own processor, Ascend Mate is able to have dual WiFi antenna and support 5 frequency bands, plus optimized for network reception and battery life. However, Ascend Mate does not support 4G LTE.

Huaiwei Ascend Mate - floating windows and minimized keyboard a
Huaiwei Ascend Mate – floating windows and minimized keyboard a

Ascend Mate features a Easy Panel which looks like iOS’ AssistiveTouch button on screen. Tap it and you have access to commonly used tools: notes, messages, calculator and video playback, which will open as floating windows (except messages). It reminds me about Sony Xperia mini apps, except that Easy Panel’s tool cannot be minimized to screen edge.

For those like to use smartphone with one hand, Ascend Mate also has a “One-hand operation” feature which will align a minimized keyboard to left/right side so that you can type with one hand.

One thing about Huawei Ascend Mate that disappointed me is the available storage space. It has total 8GB but Android operating system already used about half, left 4.68GB for apps, pictures, music, etc. The demo unit I tried has only 2.38GB available free space.

Huaiwei Ascend Mate - free available space
Huaiwei Ascend Mate – free available space

When asked during Media Q&A, Huawei answered that can be solved by supporting 64GB microSD card. But it is not an ideal solution, since most apps cannot be installed (nor migrate) to external storage. Photos will be saved on internal storage first, too. I understand that Huawei wants to keep the Ascend Mate’s price competitive but, as a “flagship” smartphone, it should have at least 16GB storage.

Huawei Ascend Mate (Black & White models) is now available in Malaysia and is retailing at RM1599. No telco plan.

Huawei Ascend Mate photo gallery

[Huawei Device Malaysia]

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