Jan 09 AT 4:09 PM Sean Riley 28 Comments

Hands-on with the Huawei Ascend Mate


Our first impression of the Huawei Ascend Mate at its unveiling two days ago was that it was a great big beast of a phone. When we finally got our hands on it yesterday, we were in no way shocked to find that there’s no magic that makes a 6.1-inch phone anything less than enormous.

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The general styling is vaguely reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy Note, although to be fair, that is largely attributable to the fact that the Note II is the only real frame of reference for a phone this large. The device is pleasant enough to hold, but the sheer size of the phone renders it unusable as a typical phone and pushes you into two-handed operation. No doubt, that will be a deal killer for some. As a Note II owner, this is exactly what concerns me with the idea of the Note III ratcheting things up to 6.3-inches.

As you’ll see in the video, the phone’s quad-core 1.4 GHz processor keeps Jelly Bean and their Emotion UI overlay running smoothly. If we have any MIUI fans out there, the Emotion overlay has that kind of feel to it with no app drawer and the ability to completely tweak the interface with different themes.

While the 720p resolution is perhaps a bit of a disappointment, on a screen this size it shouldn’t be a concern for anyone that hasn’t spent considerable time with the Droid DNA.

Still no word on pricing or availability, and that’s likely the biggest concern; the 800 pound gorilla that is Samsung will no doubt be barreling down the pipeline with the Note 3 before long.

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    Do you want a 6.1″ beast in your pants?

    • Adryan maldonado


    • Avis

      Phablets, half Tablets, are obviously not designed to go in your pocket just like you wouldn’t put a normal tablet in your pocket.

    • ihatefanboys

      Already have a 6.5 beast in my pants, so why would i wanna downgrade….lol

      • Camo

        That’s not what she said :/

    • American TRAITOR idol Lance Armstrong

      LOL, of course its a black beast, the white version is smaller

      • tom Jefferson

        The black one is a lot stupider though and has to have a lot more support from fat white girls.

    • Jorge Eslava

      I wish I could upvote your comment but for some reason I can’t do that while at work.

  • ihatefanboys

    Was there really that little from other companies at CES that this phone gets the only 2 posts over the course of the day…..Nothing about the GS4 or anything from HTC……or is it just too early in the week ?

    • co.ag.2005

      These are announced at other events, not CES IIRC.

    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      CES has been pretty lame this year. So, yeah…

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      GS4? It’s January man. Samsung does their own Press Conferences for important products…that probably won’t happen till AFTER MWC. . . . .And HTC isn’t even at CES.

  • Deeds

    Phones almost the size of the Nexus 7. Soon there won’t be a difference other than cellular voice

    • thel0nerang3r

      I don’t see why the Nexus7 shouldn’t have voice capabilities. Would be great if you could take the SIM out of your phone and use the tablet (3G version) and keep the phone functionality… it’s not for everyone, but that’s why there is also a wifi only version.

  • SGB101

    Love the device, DO NOT like the iSO skin!

    • donger


  • gothicdude

    Atleast should have come with a 1080p display.

  • nivekkev

    Will have to see this one in person, I am all for the bigger screen but at the same time if it is going to be my phone, I need to be able to slide it into my pocket. What happens when you put a case on this thing, how much bigger will that make it? The Note II fits in my pocket with not much problem, case and all.

    I am also kind of suprised that none of the other Phablet phones coming out have some form of pen or stylus. Guess I have just gotten used to mine all over again..
    (haven’t seen the video yet, they are blocked on the computers here at work) May watch it on my phone when I get off in case I missed something…

  • Ardrid

    This screen size war is really starting to annoy me. When is it going to be enough? When does these stop being phones and start officially becoming tablets? We’re now only 0.9″ away from a Nexus 7; are we going to have an 8″ “phone” next year?

    I would much rather see manufacturers stick to 4.3″ – 4.8″ and focus their efforts on display quality, resolution, and clarity.

    • co.ag.2005

      I agree

    • hurracayne

      I agree, I think the whole big phone thing is going to be like the big SUV trend of a few years ago. Hopefully things will go back to a reasonable 4″ -4.3″ Smart phone.

    • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

      You have much to learn, young one. I just carry a 24″ touchscreen monitor on my shoulder like boomboxes of the 90s. Evolve or die!

  • nsnsmj

    I have no problem with big phones (like 5″ or 5 1/2″), but this is just too big. Not only that but the skin on this is a straight up iOS ripoff.

  • Jdub

    Anyone who buys this is a complete buffoon….

  • Eugene

    i’m a tall guy and still the screen is too big for me, here is a on-screen size demo
    it’s huge !

  • masterpfa

    Overall I like this phone.
    Screen size, great, form factor acceptable, running Jelly bean 4.1. But personally not keen at all on the UI (but nothing a 3rd party launcher cannot sort out hopefully). Just would have been nice to see a full 1080p screen on something of this size, but obviously Huawei have their reasons.

  • Cubby frazier

    Um its a phone, its entertainment, it enhances, thats
    why we purchase anyways, i was at ces when it was unveiled and its big but so is the note, i have the ascend 2 and im getting it as soon as its for sale, hurray for huawei, phablets are whats happening, get down or drown you and your little phone!

  • killer

    I bought this yesterday. Im impressed.