Huawei Ascend Mate review

Huawei Ascend Mate with Android 4.1.2 and Emotion UIWhile the Huawei Ascend Mate impresses in some areas, it's unlikely it will be able to fend off Samsung and Sony in the phablet market. 
Good screen, great battery life, affordable price tag
Only 8GB storage, can be laggy, uncomfortable to hold, Emotion UI is overbearing
Overall Rating:
3 Star Rating: Recommended
Price: £340.00
Manufacturer: Huawei
 Processor: Quad-core 1.5GHz Huawei K3V2 processor
Display: 6.1in 720x1280 IPS+ screen
Storage: 8GB internal storage, 2GB of RAM
Camera: 8MP rear-facing camera, 1MP front-facing camera
Connectivity: 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900; 3G HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100; 4G LTE (market dependent)
Operating system: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Emotion UI
Dimensions: 164x86x9.9mm
Weight: 198g


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 ticks both boxes 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 anyone we showed the device to was 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 matt 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 to answer a phone call, especially compared with the Asus Fonepad and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.


The Huawei Ascend Mate matches its high-end competitors on paper when it comes to performance, featuring a Huawei quad-core 1.5GHz K3V2 processor and 2GB of RAM.
While that sounds pretty impressive, we did notice quite a few issues with the handset's performance. While general performance wasn't bad, with the phone offering smooth transitions between homescreens and quick loading times, it didn't prove to be great at gaming, with Temple Run 2 appearing jumpy and at times unplayable due to slow frame rates.

We experienced the same kind of issues when trying to tweak the handset's homescreens and browsing the web, with the handset often appearing to crash and not responding to touches. However, it's possible that this will be sorted in a future software update.

The Huawei Ascend Mate scored a reasonable 16,281 in an Antutu benchmark test, meaning it's faster on paper than the Ascend P6, although not quite as speedy as its HTC and Samsung rivals.


The Huawei Ascend Mate runs Google's Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, although this is barely unrecognisable thanks to Huawei's heavy customisation of its Emotion user interface (UI).
Those who like a vanilla Android experience and are considering buying this phone simply shouldn't, and those who have read our Huawei Ascend P6 review probably already know what we think about the firm's custom UI.
 Huawei has turned Google's mobile operating system on its head, ditching the app menu entirely with all applications laid out across the handset's homescreens and frustratingly hidden in different folders.
The lockscreen has also been entirely changed, with Huawei allowing users the option to swipe in four different directions to open different apps. We're not huge fans of this, however, as we often found ourselves opening the camera app when simply trying to unlock the handset.
Huawei Ascend Mate lock screen
Once it's unlocked, the main homescreen is filled with Huawei's 'Me' widget, although we didn't find ourselves using it much and promptly removed it from the main screen.
Huawei Ascend Mate with Android 4.1.2 and Emotion UI
Aside from the performance issues, it's extremely easy to customise the Huawei Ascend Mate. Huawei's Themes app is preinstalled and lets users pick from a number of different interface designs, and once you've learned your way around the phone it's simple to pick and choose what fills your homescreens.

Huawei unlike Samsung hasn't gone overboard with preloaded apps, instead providing the handset with all of the basics, such as an office suite, weather and note-taking apps. There's also an app called Airsharing that allows you to push the handset's display to a TV, if the 6.1in screen isn't big enough.

Next: Camera, battery and storage--V3
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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

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