Huawei Ascend Mate: A specifications review
Huawei launched its 6.1-inch Ascend Mate in India with a price tag of Rs 24,900. As of now, the Ascend Mate is the most expensive smartphone that the company has in the country. Be that as it may, the competition that the smartphone will face in that price category from international competitors like Samsung and LG is considerable. What will set the Ascend Mate apart is the kind of specifications that it brings to the table. And it looks like Huawei has put just the right mix in the bag with this smartphone. Let’s take a closer look at the specifications.
OS – Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
The Ascend Mate comes to the market with an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, which shouldn’t clog up the RAM performance while ensuring a lag-free software experience. The phone will also feature Huawei’s home-grown Emotion User Interface, which suggests applications intuitively and has intelligence guidance for entry-level users who are getting used to the interface.The interface seems to lack an app drawer though.
The company has included most of the stock Android apps while tweaking them here and there. The lockscreen seems pretty cool, though, as it functions like a circle with shortcuts functioning around the four points of the compass. Users can simply unlock the phone by swiping southwards, while the camera can be accessed by swiping north, messaging by swiping to the east and the call log can be accessed by swiping to the west. Users can opt for the standard Android lockscreen options if they want to. The other features the UI comes with includes an inter-changeable upper area of the phone, which normally displays the date and time but switches to reflect music player controls when users are in the music player mode.
The Ascend Mate comes with a 6.1-inch screen and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Cellular Connectivity – 3G and 2G
The phone features GSM for 2G network as well as Intel’s HSPA+ chip, which should definitely deliver high-speed 3G internet. Users can also use GPRS/EDGE if the need arises.
Display – 6.1-inch 720p display
The Huawei Ascend Mate comes with a 6.1-inch LCD display that supports 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. This works out to about 241 ppi, which is a good deal when you look at the price tag of the smartphone. The phone protects the display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The display sports IPS, which should ensure that the colours come out well balanced while still providing a good performance.
Form Factor– A big phablet
The Huawei Ascend Mate measures 163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm, which makes it big, even for a phablet. The dimensions show the smartphone to be a bit thick around the waist. Overall, the Ascend Mate looks a bit boxy, which may make it a bit uncomfortable to handle. The matte finish on the back is a bonus, though. The bezel footprint of the smartphone has also been reduced, with the display covering most of the phone.
Technically, the phone can be used with one hand. However, with a 6.1-inch display, and weight of around 200 g, the Ascend Mate may take users some time to get used to. An interesting thing to note here is the fact that all the Android controls are onscreen only, which can be accessed with an auto-hiding navigation bar. The Mate will be available in stores and online retailers in Crystal Black and Pure White colours.
Wi-Fi – Everything that you might need
The Ascend Mate comes with all the connectivity options users might require by supporting dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n of Wi-Fi. Adding to that, it comes with support for DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi hotspot, which lets users use their phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot – a common feature in most Android phones now.
SoC – 1.5GHz Huawei K3V2 (Quad-core)
The Ascend Mate features a Huawei K3V2 chipset with a 1.5GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon CPU. The K3V2 processor is based on the ARM Cortex-A9 MP Core and comes with four 64-bit A9 cores. In addition to that, the K3V2 chipset also packs 16 GPU cores, which gives better performance than the Galaxy Nexus or the Transformer Prime when you look at the benchmark scores. The K3V2 processor has also been featured in other Huawei offerings like the Ascend D1 quad as well as Honor 2 Android phones, which have got fairly good reviews in the market for over-all performance. The smartphone supplements the processor with 2GB of RAM, which should give lag-less performance.
Cameras – 8MP sensor with LED flash and 1 megapixel front-facing camera
The Ascend Mate features an 8 megapixel camera on the back, which is similar to the cameras that the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 or the Note 2 sport. The camera can shoot images of up to 3264 x 2448 pixels and comes with an autofocus feature supplemented with an LED flash. The camera will also provide Geo-tagging, face detection and HDR. The video aspect of the smartphone also seems fair, as it can shoot up to1080p@30FPS. The smartphone will also come with a 1 megapixel front camera, which can shoot up to 720p@30FPS. The low specification of the front camera could be chalked up to cost-cutting efforts in the over-all production of the phone.
The Ascend Mate comes with an 8MP rear camera and a 1MP front camera
GPS – A-GPS sensor
The Ascend Mate supports A-GPS. GLONASS seems to be missing from the specifications, though.
Sensors and miscellaneous
The sensors being featured include the usual suspects – accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass sensors. The smartphone also comes with Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, LE and EDR for interfacing with other devices. Among the miscellaneous features, the phone features a microUSB v2.0 port as well as USB On-The-Go.
Battery – Li-Ion 4050 mAh
With a big screen and a high-end processor, it was necessary for Huawei to give the Ascend Mate a battery which would provide enough power to last through the day. The company has obliged by bringing the smartphone with a Li-Ion 4050 mAh battery. This is definitely one of the largest batteries seen in a smartphone so far. A drawback here is the fact that the battery is non-removable.
The bottom line
There is no doubt that the Ascend Mate is a force to be reckoned with. With the massive screen, reasonably powered CPU and a powerful battery, the phone should definitely find takers in the market. The price of the phone is pretty good for the features you can get. The phone will come in direct competition with the Samsung Mega 6.3, the Note 2 and the soon to be launched LG Optimus G PRO. The Ascend Mate does a bit better than the Mega 6.3, which features a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor.
The phone doesn’t quite keep up though when you compare it to the Note 2 or Optimus G PRO, which sport a 1.6 Exynos GHz quad-core processor and a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 respectively. Another point that may work against the Ascend Mate is the Android 4.1 OS, which can’t quite compare to the Jelly Bean 4.2 being offered by phones in the market. Another factor that might make it lose out on users is the sheer size and weight of the phone. However, Huawei may have got that part of the market covered with the Ascend P6, which was launched in London yesterday, and might see an entry soon into Indian markets.[source:tech2]