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Review Huawei Ascend Mate Smartphone

Manuel Masiero (translated by Ellen Rockett), 06/19/2013

Big, bigger, Huawei Ascend Mate. Although officially a smartphone, the Huawei Ascend Mate could pass easily as a tablet with its 6.1-inch display. But as the test shows, the XXL phone has quite a bit more to offer than just its imposing screen.

For the original German review, see here.

Although the Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100’s exactly 5.55-inch display looked impressive enough, the Ascend Mate from Huawei goes above and beyond in this respect and thereby easily leads in the category of XXL smartphones: The Ascend Mate is equipped with an impressive 6.1-inch IPS+ LCD display (15.49-centimeters), which, although not equipped with Full HD resolution, can display the "small" HD resolution of 1280x720. The choice of case colors available is simply black, like our test device, or white – buyers must do without the colorful shades offered by the competition’s products. The usual price paid for the Huawei Ascend Mate is currently around 400 Euros (~$521).

Huawei’s Ascend Mate uses, as with their previous Ascend G615 and the Ascend D1 Quad XL, their own HiSilicon quad-core K3V2 processor, this time with a higher clock speed of 1.5 GHz. The operating system in use is Android OS version 4.1 Jelly Bean, which makes it the most current. Altogether the benchmarks have the makings of a convincing entrance. Our test will also soon show that the Ascend Mate shines in many regards, despite the few weaknesses that it carries with it.

Case

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

The Huawei Ascend Mate is equipped with a huge 6.1-inch display.
The Huawei Ascend Mate is equipped with a huge 6.1-inch display.
The case back is made of matte black rubberized polycarbonate.
The case back is made of matte black rubberized polycarbonate.

With its considerable display size, the test subject set not only the new record for measurements (163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 millimeter) but also for weight of a smartphone (198 grams). With close to a centimeter in thickness, the Ascend Mate is no lightweight, but nonetheless carries well in the hand. In direct comparison to similar large tablets it can be seen that the test subject is, with barely a centimeter thickness, in fact flatter than others such as the Asus Fonepad ME371MG (10.4 mm) and the Google Nexus 7 (10.5 mm).

A large amount of the successful surface feel is due to the matte polycarbonate finished case back with a prominent surface, which gives a secure grip for fingers and at no time gives the feeling that the XXL smartphone would slide out of the hands. Due to its large size, the Ascend Mate still requires both hands to use.

The build quality of the Ascend Mate leaves as little to be wished for as the smaller and already-tested devices from Huawei: Ascend G615, Ascend G600, and Ascend D1 Quad XL. The casing is as steady as a rock: neither pressure nor torsion attempts could impress the smartphone, or elicit any sounds to indicate the materials were strongly stressed. Only with exposure to high force could the case be minimally twisted, and only then the case back side could be twisted no more than approximately one millimeter.

The Ascend Mate’s non-removable battery provides another record value at 4,050 mAh, which gives hope for a long-lasting battery life. The large display could put a stop to that hope however, as it would take up a serious portion of the device’s total power consumption. Also contained in the case is a 1.0 megapixel resolution front camera as well as an 8.0 megapixel main camera on the back.

Features

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

As already indicated at the beginning, the Ascend Mate uses the house brand HiSilicon quad-core K3V2 processor, with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz. The CPU assists the “16-core GPU” Vivante GC4000, combined with an opulent 2 GB RAM as well as 8 GB of internal storage, which can be extended to 32 GB via the Micro-SD slot.

The native resolution of the 6.1-inch display is 1280x720 and therefore no larger than similarly-sized smartphones, although the Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 (5.5-inches, 1280x720 pixels) provides another option. A look at the world of tablets also shows that the resolution of the Mate fits the usual mold: Asus Fonepad ME371MG (7-inches, 1280x800 pixels), the Google Nexus 7 (7-inches, 1280x800) or the Samsung Note 8.0 Tablet (8-inches, 1280x800). Only the Apple iPad Mini (7.9-inches, 1024x768 pixels) falls at a somewhat lower resolution than the others and has a 4:3 rather than a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio.

The setup of buttons and cables is not surprising – all the important elements are available, and there are no prominent features. On the right side of the case are the on/off buttons and directly underneath, the volume controls. On the left side is the Micro SD port and on the top are a Micro SIM port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the bottom edge of the Ascend Mate are the microphone and the Micro USB port.

Left: Micro SD port.
Left: Micro SD port.
Right: volume control, on/off button.
Right: volume control, on/off button.
Top: 3.5 mm headphone jack, Micro SIM port.
Top: 3.5 mm headphone jack, Micro SIM port.
Bottom: microphone, Micro USB port.
Bottom: microphone, Micro USB port.

Software

The OS used is Google’s operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Also installed is Huawei’s new graphical user interface EmotionUI, which should make use and app management of the Android device easier.

Communication & GPS

The Ascend Mate complies with all major 2G and 3G mobile communications standards and is also equipped by Huawei with an NFC module which is to be expected in this price range. Thanks to the Intel XMM 6260 platform, the Huawei can handle UMTS Network HSDPA speeds up to 21 Mbit/s and thereby allows speeds similar to DSL. HSUPA provides up to 5.76 Mbit/s. The Wi-Fi module is configured for radio connection according to the standard 802.11 b/g/n and in the test provided continually stable performance and worked without unplanned connection interruptions. Bluetooth is supported by the test subject in the version 4.0+EDRGPS, A-GPS, and Glonass sensors are also integrated for precise location determination, which work smoothly under open sky, and fast orientation was also possible at the testing location inside closed rooms.

Cameras & Multimedia

The Huawei Ascend Mate includes a 1280x720 pixel resolution front webcam (1.0 MP) and an 8 megapixel main camera with autofocus as well as an LED flash. Both cameras can also shoot 720p format videos. The quality of the front camera leaves something to be desired in capturing both still and moving images because the capture is disrupted by heavy image noise, and due to the low resolution is only appropriate for video chats at best. Somewhat better is the 8 megapixel main camera, which still would not win a photo prize even in ideal lighting conditions. Photos appear at times with too pale colors, sometimes with too much contrast, and despite the autofocus and LED flash generally do not appear particularly sharp and are disrupted by image noise. A whole range of smartphones show examples of better performance, including the Apple iPhone 5, the Google Nexus 4 or the Nokia Lumia 920. In direct comparison however, the Ascend Mate does not do so badly and shoots thoroughly usable photos.

8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
8 MP camera Huawei Ascend Mate.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57.
Apple iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5.
Apple iPhone 5.
Google Nexus 4.
Google Nexus 4.
Google Nexus 4.
Google Nexus 4.
Google Nexus 4.
Google Nexus 4.
Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokia Lumia 920.
Nokia Lumia 920.


Accessories & Warranty

The package of the Huawei Ascend Mate includes a compact power adapter, which connects to the included Mini-USB cable. Also included are a quick-start guide and a standard stereo headset. Further accessories are not currently offered by the manufacturer. Huawei provides the Ascend Mate with a warranty of 24 months. An extension of the warranty is not available.

Input Devices & Usage

Use of the Ascend Mate is performed easily through a virtual QWERTY keyboard - as long as the input is of web addresses or short texts. Due to the large display, even in vertical orientation the individual buttons are displayed at a comfortable size, and of course even more so when the screen is turned horizontally.

Huawei has covered the basics with the touchscreen: the display reacts without noticeable delays to the input, the automatic orientation of the display takes place quickly, and the fingers glide comfortably without resistance across the glass surface. There are also no complaints with the three soft-touch buttons at the bottom of the display or the physical buttons like the on/off button or the volume control, which respond equally reliably. Overall, the result is an agile interface for the Ascend Mate without any critical snags.

A marketing promise by the name of “Magic Touch” is something we couldn't quite reproduce. According to Huawei, interaction with the smartphone display should also work while wearing thick leather gloves, for example. For this purpose there is a separate "Gloves Mode" Android setting, which is deactivated by default. During the test and with the gloves function activated, we could navigate the Android menus with neither leather nor thick fabric gloves, although under these circumstances fine motor skills fall by the wayside. Ultimately it comes down to which gloves and under what circumstances whether the exact inputs are possible. Occasionally the display surface had to be really pressed for the test subject to react, which significantly raises the fail rate of inputs.

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

The 6.1-inch IPS+ LCD has a resolution of 1280x720.
The 6.1-inch IPS+ LCD has a resolution of 1280x720.

The 6.1-inch display of the Huawei Ascend Mate is protected from damage by a Corning Gorilla Glass surface and successfully withstood every gentle scratch test. The resolution is classical at 1280x720, although one could have expected the largest smartphone yet to have a higher resolution.

With an average luminance of 471 cd/m², the Ascend Mate achieves an excellent result and thereby leaves the competition in the smartphone and tablet camp almost completely in the dust. Only a few devices like the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity arrive at a higher amount (534.6 cd/m²). Neither the Apple iPad Mini (337.7 cd/m²) nor the now second-largest smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note II (230.3 cd/m²) get close to the Huawei. Only the Samsung Tablet Note 8.0 manages a value nearly as good, with 449.2 cd/m². Greater orders are hindered only by the 0.6 cd/m² properly high black value of the Ascend Mate, which results in an average contrast ratio of 825:1.

474
cd/m²
451
cd/m²
457
cd/m²
472
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
456
cd/m²
505
cd/m²
476
cd/m²
450
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 505 cd/m²
Average: 470.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 495 cd/m²
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 825:1

Our measurements with a colorimeter and CalMAN software confirm the blue overtones typical of LED smartphone and tablet screens. Even the Huawei Ascend Mate proves no exception: its bluish colors vary the greatest from the sRGB color profile. In addition, the test subject cannot display the gray tones with low saturation optimally. In the end however, there are no large abnormalities to cause us to criticize any further. However, the color display is not one of the shining features of the Ascend Mate. In this respect, the really good example is the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Color rendering
Color rendering
Color fidelity
Color fidelity
Grayscale
Grayscale
Color saturation
Color saturation
The Huawei Ascend Mate in use outdoors.
The Huawei Ascend Mate in use outdoors.

Due to its very bright display, the Ascend Mate is very good for outdoor use. The shiny screen surface and the not completely optimal contrast are a little distracting, but do not impair the outdoor suitability decisively.

Viewing angle of the Huawei Ascend Mate.
Viewing angle of the Huawei Ascend Mate.

The IPS panel of the Huawei smartphone makes sure that colors barely pale even with extreme viewing angles, and even the contrast and brightness survive. Of course at very extreme side views the colors do pale slightly, but in practical use that does not really play a role.

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

Smartphone and processor are both from the same manufacturer: Huawei uses the quad-core CPU HiSilicon K3V2, comprised of the four ARM Cortex A9 processors, in the Ascend Mate. With an active CPU core, the processor achieves a clock speed of 1.5 GHz, and with four simultaneously active cores, 1.2 GHz. The HiSilicon K3V2 is paired with the Vivante GPU GC4000 – a combination which not only sounds good, but also in practice hits the gas pedal equally with applications and games.

Since the Ascend Mate serves both the smartphone and tablet camps with its huge display, we compared it to devices in both domains. Against synthetic 3D benchmarks, the test subject showed similar performance to the Asus Fonepad ME371MG, the Google Nexus 7 as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 – the differences in performance were relatively small.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
4232 Points ∼3%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2235 Points ∼1% -47%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
3523 Points ∼2% -17%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3326 Points ∼2% -21%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
4075 Points ∼1%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2042 Points ∼0% -50%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
3118 Points ∼0% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2794 Points ∼0% -31%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
4894 Points ∼3%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3335 Points ∼2% -32%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
6466 Points ∼4% +32%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
9972 Points ∼6% +104%
Epic Citadel
High Performance (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
40.5 fps ∼67%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
53.2 fps ∼88% +31%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
53.6 fps ∼88% +32%
High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
38.6 fps ∼63%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
51.2 fps ∼84% +33%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
39.2 fps ∼64% +2%
AnTuTu Benchmark v3 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
14746 Points ∼41%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7930 Points ∼22% -46%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
12703 Points ∼36% -14%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
16783 Points ∼47% +14%
NenaMark2 - --- (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
59.9 fps ∼89%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
35.9 fps ∼53% -40%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
55.6 fps ∼83% -7%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
57.1 fps ∼85% -5%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
58 fps ∼86% -3%
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
1557 Points ∼11%
Apple iPad mini
SGX543MP2, A5, 16 GB SSD
750 Points ∼5% -52%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
573 Points ∼4% -63%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
1599 Points ∼11% +3%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
1896 Points ∼13% +22%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2146 Points ∼15% +38%

Against the browser benchmarks, the Ascend Mate showed the best performance by far with Mozilla Kraken V1, but in further investigation with Octane V1 and Google V8 Ver.7 had to surrender to both Samsung tablets, the Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 and Galaxy Note 8.0, which in this case were somewhat faster. Nonetheless, no delays surfaced in the test of surfing the web, downloading, or searching the Google Play Store.

Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
24703.6 ms * ∼14%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
18646.2 ms * ∼11% +25%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
22014.4 ms * ∼13% +11%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
1373 Points ∼6%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1607 Points ∼7% +17%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
1313 Points ∼6% -4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2145 Points ∼9% +56%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
1502 Points ∼8%
Apple iPad mini
SGX543MP2, A5, 16 GB SSD
852 Points ∼5% -43%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1647 Points ∼9% +10%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
1236 Points ∼7% -18%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
2390 Points ∼13% +59%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2425 Points ∼13% +61%

* ... smaller is better

Finally, the reading and writing performance of the smartphone: Even here, the Ascend Mate is equivalent in many areas to the chosen competition models. Overall, the data operations of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 still succeed the best.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
35.25 MB/s ∼13%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
37.46 MB/s ∼13% +6%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
16.87 MB/s ∼6% -52%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
29.66 MB/s ∼11% -16%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
38.99 MB/s ∼14% +11%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
7.43 MB/s ∼10%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
6.51 MB/s ∼9% -12%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
5.22 MB/s ∼7% -30%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.32 MB/s ∼10% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
17.04 MB/s ∼23% +129%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
6.75 MB/s ∼19%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
7.55 MB/s ∼21% +12%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
4.76 MB/s ∼13% -29%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
7.74 MB/s ∼21% +15%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
11.13 MB/s ∼31% +65%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Ascend Mate
GC4000, k3v2 Hi3620, 8 GB SSD
0.5 MB/s ∼3%
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
SGX540, Z2420, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.22 MB/s ∼2% -56%
Google Nexus 7
GeForce ULP (Tegra 3), 3, 8 GB SSD
0.28 MB/s ∼2% -44%
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB SSD
0.56 MB/s ∼4% +12%
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0
Mali-400 MP4, 4412 Quad, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1.47 MB/s ∼10% +194%

Games

The CPU/GPU team also assures that the Ascend Mate plays HD Video smoothly and provides sufficient support for current games. The test subject also had no problem with the graphically demanding titles. The games ran smoothly on the large screen and could be played perfectly by touchscreen as well as position and acceleration sensors.

Speech Quality

One can hardly believe it, but mobile phones were at one time used for nothing but phone calls. The Ascend Mate has not forgotten this and serves this purpose with a decent speech and hearing quality. That does not necessarily apply to the other end. While the speech quality in reception from another mobile device functions well, it declines if the receiving end is on a landline. In this situation there was also occasional soft background noise in the test conversation.

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

Temperature

The temperature changes of the Ascend Mate are confined to a narrow area, as long as the device is idle. Then the front side of the device heats to about an average of 30 °C and the back side stays cool at 28.7 °C. When under full workload the temperature on the top side of the display rises up to 47.4 °C, which leaves the average temperature at 37.1 °C.

This rise in temperature can be clearly felt, particularly when one makes a phone call and holds the device too close to the ear. As the processors of the Ascend Mate were just highly praised above, the rather strong temperature increase to more than 47 °C with long phone calls could become uncomfortable.

Max. Load
 43.6 °C34.1 °C30.9 °C 
 47.4 °C35.2 °C31.5 °C 
 45.7 °C34.0 °C31.1 °C 
Maximum: 47.4 °C
Average: 37.1 °C
30.3 °C33.5 °C40.7 °C
29.5 °C32.6 °C42.9 °C
31.1 °C35.6 °C47.8 °C
Maximum: 47.8 °C
Average: 36 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38.6 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The Huawei giant's stereo speakers supply a good sound during telephone calls and are sufficiently loud. However, when it comes to playback of music, there's no joy due to the rather tinny sound pattern. The mids sound faded, the highs mostly shrill, and trying to hear the bass tones is ineffectual. The included stereo headphones provide a significantly better sound quality, since the integrated and already-activated sound profile Dolby Digital Plus in the default settings is responsible for good audio.

Energy Management

Wie wir testen - Akkulaufzeit

Power Consumption

The power consumption needs of the Huawei smartphone are more demanding than those of other devices. Thus the Ascend Mate uses between 2.1 and 3.9 watts when idling and 10.7 watts at full use. These values do not drag the judgment further because the test subject has a lithium-polymer battery with an enormous capacity of 4,050 mAh. With so much endurance, the Ascend Mate can redeem itself for drawing somewhat more power than others in the same comparison category. A small point of critique however, even when turned off we were able to measure 0.3 watts of power use, which slow as it may be, will eventually drain the battery.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.3 / 0.8 Watt
Idle 2.1 / 2.4 / 2.9 Watt
Load 7.4 / 10.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The high capacity of the battery is also reflected in a very good charge time: The maximum possible battery life, measured with our test settings (minimal display brightness, all power-saving features turned on, only Wi-Fi on), runs for a tremendous 23 hours and 22 minutes. The Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100, until now the largest smartphone, could only achieve 14 hours and 36 minutes. In the Wi-Fi surfing test with a display brightness of 150 cd/m², the Ascend Mate could still reach a good 12 hours and 4 minutes. Under full load, the battery of the test subject still lasted 3 hours and 29 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 22min
WiFi Surfing
12h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 29min

Verdict

Wie wir testen - Fazit

With a 6.1-inch display, the Huawei Ascend Mate is the largest smartphone yet to run our test course. With its imposing screen diagonal, the price of about 400 Euros (~$521) is not draining at all for such a device. The Ascend Mate is so impressive through its very high luminance, which very few other smartphones can overtake and which allows users to use it outdoors in spite of the reflective IPS panel. In addition, there is the large viewing angle of the display and its precise and speedy reaction. In spite of its huge measurements, the case of the Huawei is very stable and allowed practically no twisting or deforming.

As it is equipped with 4.1 Jelly Bean and thus a current version of Android, the user can classify the Ascend Mate as either smartphone or tablet, since it can be used for either. Those who like to play smartphone games will be pleased with the powerful quad-core processor, and the large screen is ideal for watching HD videos. In addition, the Huawei is also fast in web browsing - for example, it can support up to 21 Mbit/s over UMTS network.

In the end, there are only two areas where the Huawei smartphone is not so impressive. Those would be the completely average image quality of the integrated cameras and the occasional soft background noise that we heard when phoning a landline, regardless of where we were standing. Altogether, the Ascend Mate imparts a really good attitude and is a looker with definitely more to offer than just a large display.

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Specifications

Huawei Ascend Mate
Processor
HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620 1.5 GHz
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3
Display
6.1 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, IPS, HD IPS+ Panel with Corning Gorilla Glass, glossy: yes
Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB 
, 3.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm combo, Card Reader: Micro SD Slot, Sensors: position sensor, speed sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, compass, gyro sensor, temperature sensor,
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0+EDR Bluetooth, GSM Quadband 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS Quintband 850/900/AWS/1900/2100 MHz
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 163.5 x 85.7 ( = 0.39 x 6.44 x 3.37 in)
Weight
200 g ( = 7.05 oz) Power Supply: 40 g ( = 1.41 oz)
Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 4,050 mAh
Price
400 Euro
Operating System
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Additional features
Webcam: 1.0 MP front, 8.0 MP rear, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: virtual, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
With a diagonal screen size of 6.1-inches (15.49 centimeters), the Ascend Mate is currently the largest smartphone.
With a diagonal screen size of 6.1-inches (15.49 centimeters), the Ascend Mate is currently the largest smartphone.
In spite of the mega-display, the Ascend Mate is only 9.9 millimeters high and very sturdily built.
In spite of the mega-display, the Ascend Mate is only 9.9 millimeters high and very sturdily built.
The Ascend Mate is well-made in all respects.
The Ascend Mate is well-made in all respects.
Very bright, large viewing angle: the IPS panel impresses in testing in almost all respects.
Very bright, large viewing angle: the IPS panel impresses in testing in almost all respects.
6.1-inches versus 4.3-inches: right, the Ascend Mate, left, the Sony Xperia L (soon to be tested).
6.1-inches versus 4.3-inches: right, the Ascend Mate, left, the Sony Xperia L (soon to be tested).
The case is quite flat at 9.9 millimeters. In comparison: Sony Xperia L at 12.9 millimeters thickness.
The case is quite flat at 9.9 millimeters. In comparison: Sony Xperia L at 12.9 millimeters thickness.
On the front side of the polycarbonate case is a 1.0 MP resolution webcam.
On the front side of the polycarbonate case is a 1.0 MP resolution webcam.
On the back side of the case is an 8.0 MP main camera including integrated autofocus and LED flash.
On the back side of the case is an 8.0 MP main camera including integrated autofocus and LED flash.
A glass cover protects the Ascend Mate reliably from scratches.
A glass cover protects the Ascend Mate reliably from scratches.
The strong reflections are not corrected by it, but due to the high luminance of the screen, the Ascend Mate is well-equipped for use outdoors.
The strong reflections are not corrected by it, but due to the high luminance of the screen, the Ascend Mate is well-equipped for use outdoors.
Huawei officially offers the Ascend Mate as a smartphone.
Huawei officially offers the Ascend Mate as a smartphone.
The Micro SD slot allows the addition of up to 32GB of storage space.
The Micro SD slot allows the addition of up to 32GB of storage space.
In the packaging of the Ascend Mate hide...
In the packaging of the Ascend Mate hide...
...a modular power supply, a micro-USB connector and stereo headphones.
...a modular power supply, a micro-USB connector and stereo headphones.
The EmotionUI user interface makes the operation and app management of the Android device simple.
The EmotionUI user interface makes the operation and app management of the Android device simple.
The LC display can accomodate up to ten fingers.
The LC display can accomodate up to ten fingers.
Just 8 GB of phone space is tight. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean siphons off half of that in factory settings.
Just 8 GB of phone space is tight. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean siphons off half of that in factory settings.
Input on the virtual keyboard takes place easily due to the screen size, particularly in the horizontal orientation.
Input on the virtual keyboard takes place easily due to the screen size, particularly in the horizontal orientation.
Even at the highest workload, the Ascend Mate lasts a whole 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Even at the highest workload, the Ascend Mate lasts a whole 3 hours and 30 minutes.
For example, 3DMark 2013 shows the good performance of the Ascend Mate.
For example, 3DMark 2013 shows the good performance of the Ascend Mate.
Geekbench 2 also attests to the Ascend Mate's high performance.
Geekbench 2 also attests to the Ascend Mate's high performance.

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Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Price Comparison

Pro

+Very large 6.1-inch display
+High-quality workmanship
+Very bend and torsion resistant
+Precise and bright touchscreen
+Large viewing angle stability
+Up to 21 Mbit/s in UMTS network, supports LTE
+Good performance for games and applications
+Very good battery life
 

Cons

-Reflective surface
-Image quality of cameras only average
-Occasional quiet extraneous noise while phoning with landlines
-Moderate speaker sound

Shortcut

What we liked

The 6.1-inch very bright screen, with the Ascend placed between the smartphone and tablet camps. Huawei sells the test subject officially as a smartphone.

What we missed

A better quality main camera. A resolution of 8 MP isn't everything – the Ascend Mate doesn't take bad photos, but the competition can often take better. Really good camera modules are found in the Apple iPhone 5 and the Google Nexus 4.

What amazed us

The perseverance of the Ascend Mate through the test day. Powered by the 4,050 mAh battery, the smartphone emerges as a genuine endurance runner. That is all the more impressive since the XXL display certainly diverts a certain amount of the available power.

The competition

Apple iPad Mini
Asus Fonepad ME371MG
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100
Samsung Note 8.0 Tablet

Ratings

Huawei Ascend Mate
08/05/2013 v3
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
86%
Keyboard
61%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
40%
Weight
100%
Battery
98%
Display
85%
Games Performance
35%
Application Performance
50%
Temperature
72%
Noise
100%
Add Points
80%
Average
75%
86%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Huawei Ascend Mate Smartphone
Author: Manuel Masiero, 2013-06-19 (Update: 2013-06-27)