Giving up my phone for two weeks to review the Ascend Mate was initially no easy feat. Adapting to its huge dimensions of 163.5mm x 85.74mm had both its advantages and challenges.
Compared with the Samsung Mega and Note, as well as Lenovo’s K900, this phone category, labelled as ‘Phablets’ is popular with designers that want to see a clear visual when working on graphics and play video games, but can also be quite beneficial for a business user when checking e-mails.
Screen-to-body ratio is at 73 percent, which the company boasts is the highest in the industry, and the 6.1-inch high definition LCD screen maximises the viewing of emails, documents, videos and games. But the high resolution 1280 x 720 t does not render colour as nicely as its competitors.
The first thing I noticed when I held it is the solid grip on the crystal black version of this phone. It feels like a high-end piece of hardware and immediately got the sense of its durability.
Although it is a bulky device, weighting a solid 198g, the Ascend Mate is still slim, stylish and fits comfortably in a single hand, measuring 9.9mm at its narrowest part.
The “One hand operations” option in the settings makes it easy to reach key aspects of the menu. This operation switches the keyboard to one half of the screen and moves the dialing screen to the corner as well. You can indicate which hand is your dominant one and the unlock operation will appear on the indicated corner.
Surprisingly, the large screen does not seem to be affecting its battery life. Its endurance is quite impressive and the phone offers very advanced options to regulate battery consumption, such as displaying how much running connections and activities are consuming your battery life.
The battery life lasted me three days with a single charge. The phone features a 4050 mAh battery and claims a standby time of up to nine days. It is non detachable, but there are hidden slots placed on the sides of the device where you can insert the micro sim and memory cards.
The “Magic Touch” feature enhances the screen’s responsiveness. The Android widgets on the home screen enable you to have all your favourite options and applications handy. While the control centre scrolls down from the top with a single touch to give you easy access to reach vital setting and options, such as GPS, Wi-Fi, brightness controls, profiles and auto- sync.
The phone’s operating system is a custom version of Android jellybean 4.1, which gives you access to Google play and numerous applications and content. You can feel the power of the 1.5 GHz quad-core Intel Processor as you switch through applications.
Although, 1.5 GHz is standard in today’s smartphones, the fact that the latest generation quad-core Hi-Silicon processor is powering such a large screen so smoothly is an accomplishment within itself.
Themes are very easy to switch and update. You can give your phone a continuous facelift with the large variety of choices it offers, each radically changing the look of the interface without the need to download anything.
It was fun experimenting with the panoramic mode, filters, facial recognition and distortion functions. The 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR, and 1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera offer effective stabilisation and auto focus functions.
This phone offers a supercharged entertainment, communication and creative experience, and is a step in the right direction in Huawei’s efforts to boost its game in the smart phone market after dominating telecom infrastructures.