What do you call it? the king of Phablets? or a compressed tablet! Whatever you name it, Huawei is calling it the Ascend Mate which comes with a whooping 6.1 inch touchscreen and a gorgeous design. Although the large screen, the company couldn’t bring a 1080p display to it and the screen limits the display to 720p, which brings it to around 241 PPI. We spend a good time with the Ascend Mate and played around to check whether its worth the hype – and the thoughts would go both the ways. The display although vibrant and good, isn’t the best out there as there are better appealing displays with smaller screen sizes, but Huawei isn’t giving your hands or pockets a heavy weight to hold as the phablet still is quite light, thanks to the plasticky body of the Ascend Mate.
We initially criticized Huawei for not taking in mind, the size of the screen and the usability issues that could happen when someone wants to use the phone with a single hand. But they have taken care of it, with the Single-hand UI which would make the keyboard or phone keypad smaller and pushed to the particular side where your hand is trying to type. This is to tackle the problem of large screen where your single hand cannot reach at all the corners.
The Ascend Mate isn’t strong and heavy just externally, as it is power-packed by the Hi-Silicon 1.5 GHz Quad-core processor and it runs the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS within itself. Being almost 10mm in thickness, 9.9mm to be precise, the Ascend Mate isn’t really heavy at 198 gm and there’s no lag we could see while multitasking on the phablet. And just like Samsung, the makers of the Ascend Mate are integrating their own tweaks to the software to make it more interesting and user-friendly for the users. These tweaks and additions include the Guiding Wizard which he heard about, from one of Huawei’s representatives there but we couldn’t find an actual demo of the same, although they say its an augmented reality combo bringing high-speed look up for the places and word translation through smart reading.
Huawei Ascend Mate Hands-on Video
There’s something called as the Emotional UI that this phablet has got, which would make itself understand your need, and help you adjust a lot of options, and even the entire settings area in the notification panel can be changed. And surprise, there’s no Play Store in the Ascend Mate. We searched for it through many ways, but in vain. And what you finally find is an App Installer that is located in the tools folder which does the similar job like the Play Store, so Huawei has attempted something like the Samsung App Store, something different from the Android Play Store which all phones come with, by default.
Overall the Android 4.1 looks pretty great with a few tweaks that we noticed, and you will have to see yourself using two hands together a few times as the Single hand UI won’t be useful everywhere, especially when you are playing games or trying to use any heavy full-screen apps in the landscape mode, and unless you have long fingers, you will need two hands for the easy usability.
The camera is another excellent improvement from Huawei’s side, as the capturing on the 8-megapixel Autofocus lens with the HDR looks pretty great and the video capturing is possible at 1080p HD quality, while this quality is supported only with the video playback as the actual display of the Ascend Mate is 720p. There’s even a front camera included in the Ascend Mate, decent enough at 1-megapixel for the video chatting.
One of the best and biggest specification in the list is the battery, which is a whooping 4050 mAh capacity one, leaping ahead of one of the best battery powered devices, the Galaxy Note II from Samsung which has a 3100 mAh battery. An hour of usage, multitasking, web browsing and camera capturing drained just around 9% of the battery, and we had not set any battery saving options so there’s a lot to expect from the battery of the Ascend Mate, and hope Huawei doesn’t disappoint in the long run.
We were very eager to find when the device would be available in the market, but the company says it is aiming an International launch and this is in talks with the US carriers, so we could be expecting this device to be shipped before the 2nd quarter of 2012, and only then the pricing can be confirmed.