Jun 12 AT 1:55 PM Dima Aryeh 6 Comments

Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G first impressions

Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G

The Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G is Huawei’s latest device and the first that will go on sale on GetHuawei.com. It’s a very large, mid-range device that has some impressive features and some crazy claims. But does this phone perform well enough to justify its $299.99 price tag?

I’ve had the Ascend Mate2 4G for less than a week, but I’ve already got a good grasp of it. I’ve put it through the paces, including downloading large files and taking plenty of photos. However, my time with it isn’t over and I have plenty more work to do before I write the full review. For now, here are my first impressions of the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G.

I’ll admit, when I first had the device introduced to me, I was a tad disappointed. The processor is a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, a mid-range chip that I had no previous experience with, and the giant 6.1-inch display only had a meager 720p resolution. However, the other specs were pretty impressive for the price:

  • 6.1-inch IPS display at 1280×720
  • 1.6GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • 2GB RAM, 16GB memory with microSD slot
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 5MP wide angle front facing camera
  • 3,900 mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • 161mm x 84.7mm x 9.5mm, 202g

The main focus of the Ascend Mate2 4G has been its battery life. The 3900mAh lithium polymer battery outclasses most other smartphones, including the high-end Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (which has a 3200mAh battery). Huawei calls it the “weekend battery” due to its longevity. In fact, Huawei is so confident about the battery life of this device that it allows the Ascend Mate2 to charge other devices using a special cable. Yes, this phone has enough juice for two.

During my time with the Ascend Mate2, its battery life simply blew me away. I’ve never had an issue with battery life with the Note 3, always making it through a full day without needing a charge. However, the Ascend Mate2 goes 2 days every single time. In fact, I almost got through a third day. This is with heavy use, totaling 8 1/2 hours of screen on time. That’s seriously amazing.

In terms of performance, the Ascend Mate2 does very well. Despite having a Snapdragon 400, it keeps up with my uses. Whether multitasking, watching videos, playing graphically intensive games or just speeding through apps, the device performs very well. Of course, you’ll notice some lag here and there, but the overall experience is smooth and pleasant.

On paper, the Ascend Mate2′s display is its weak point. The large size coupled with such a low resolution sounds like it would be pretty bad. Surprisingly, it’s not very noticeable that it’s such a low resolution. Since the display is so dang huge, I don’t bring it close to my face and I don’t often see individual pixels. Do I wish it was 1080p? Oh yeah. It would help greatly in fitting more on the display. However, the resolution is surprisingly decent and the screen makes up for its shortcomings with its impressive brightness and responsiveness to touch.

Since this isn’t a full review, I’ll save some stuff for later. However, this should give you an idea of how I’ve been doing with the phone as my daily driver. I’ve been enjoying it a surprising amount, happily using it instead of my higher-end Note 3. The battery life especially gets me. If you have anything you want me to go over in the review, or you have any questions, leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter!

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Bart

    @Dima: Very nice write-up. I was actually considering it for my wife except that she wouldn’t life a 6″ display. The 5.7 on the Note3 is too big in her estimation. But the mid-range processor, screen rez and other things wouldn’t be an issue for her. The price is definitely “just right” for what I’d like to spend. Unfortunately, I think she’s leaning toward the Galaxy S5.

    • Bart

      Sorry, the chemo got my brains & hands out of sync. Meant: “she wouldn’t like a 6″ display.”

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Yeah it’s definitely not easy to handle. I have large hands and can barely reach the back button. The Note 3 is kinda one handed for me, this is definitely not. Hopefully Huawei releases more devices in the US!

      Also, have her think twice about the Galaxy S5. After two weeks, it slowed down on me BAD. In two weeks it became slower than my Note 3 did in six months.

  • gregg jarrett (drunk)

    6.1inch display? i dont wanna hold a smartphone the size of an asian cogg….no thanks

  • andrew white

    I still have the first Ascend Mate and has proven to be a good backup device.
    Photos with its lower level camera were ok and the lack of ram (1GB) made running multiple apps a little difficult.
    It was $400 retail in Australia which was a fairly high price.
    I hope the $299 quoted here for the new model is actually close to the mark even though it has better cameras and more ram.
    This device is competing with a number of last seasons now discounted powerhouse
    flagship models

  • Rajib Chandra Basumatary

    Good Noon

  1. @Dima: Very nice write-up. I was actually considering it for my wife except that she wouldn’t life a 6″ display. The 5.7 on the Note3 is too big in her estimation. But the mid-range processor, screen rez and other things wouldn’t be an issue for her. The price is definitely “just right” for what I’d like to spend. Unfortunately, I think she’s leaning toward the Galaxy S5.

    • Sorry, the chemo got my brains & hands out of sync. Meant: “she wouldn’t like a 6″ display.”

    • Yeah it’s definitely not easy to handle. I have large hands and can barely reach the back button. The Note 3 is kinda one handed for me, this is definitely not. Hopefully Huawei releases more devices in the US!

      Also, have her think twice about the Galaxy S5. After two weeks, it slowed down on me BAD. In two weeks it became slower than my Note 3 did in six months.

  2. gregg jarrett (drunk)Guest 12 months ago

    6.1inch display? i dont wanna hold a smartphone the size of an asian cogg….no thanks

  3. andrew whiteGuest 12 months ago

    I still have the first Ascend Mate and has proven to be a good backup device.
    Photos with its lower level camera were ok and the lack of ram (1GB) made running multiple apps a little difficult.
    It was $400 retail in Australia which was a fairly high price.
    I hope the $299 quoted here for the new model is actually close to the mark even though it has better cameras and more ram.
    This device is competing with a number of last seasons now discounted powerhouse
    flagship models

  4. Rajib Chandra BasumataryGuest 12 months ago

    Good Noon