The Huawei press conference at International CES 2014 was the most focused press conference that I attended that day. Their target? The high-end Android device market. With that aim in mind, they announced a very impressive device – the Ascend Mate 2 4G, a successor to the Ascend Mate device that they had announced last year.
This device marks the entry of Huawei into LTE enabled devices market. The Ascend Mate 2 boasts of some powerful specs and impressive features that can give the device the kind of launch that Huawei might be looking for. I had the opportunity to take a close look at the device at their CES booth.
Ascend Mate2 4G in Pics
The Mate2 is a large device, though it does not seem that big in the hand. The bezel is quite thin and placing it on the fingers, I was able to reach across the screen with the thumb.
On the top front side, you have the speaker grille and a 5MP camera with an 88 degree wide-angle camera that is capable of taking panoramic photos.
The UI has a feature called as the ‘Suspend Button’ that can be dragged anywhere on the screen where it just hovers. If you press and hold over it, it pops out the buttons for Home, Back, Recent Apps, Lock Screen and something that looks like a broom.
This last option runs a cleanup on the services and apps running in the background, frees up memory and gives you a toast notification about it. Just tap on the suspend button, that now has a cross on it, to close the popped up buttons.
On the back there is a 13MP Sony BSI Rear Camera with a 28mm wide-angle lens. It is capable of recording 1080p full HD video recordings with DTS sounds. It also has the option to add audio to the photo and use another Mate2 to remotely take a photo.
The device is not the thinnest in the market, but is pretty slim at 9.5 mm and weighs about 202g. It has a steel rim along the sides while the back and the bezel are made out of a smooth and shiny plastic-feeling material. It may be a bit slippery though.
Well, yeah, your phone may sometimes slip out of your grip. That’s why they also introduced a line of cases for the device. Take your pick.
Ascend Mate2 Specs
Here are the major specifications of the Ascend Mate2 device:
Size: 161.0mm X 84.7mm X 9.5mm
Display: 6.1 inch IPS screen with 1280 X 720 resolution
Processor: 1.6 GHz Quad Core processor
Memory: 2 GB RAM with 16GB on-board storage
OS: Android Jelly Bean
Camera: Front – 5MP / Rear – 13MP
Battery capacity: 4050 mAh
What makes Ascend Mate2 Stand out?
The Mate 2 is an interesting device. It is not the most powerful one on the lot when it comes to the processing power or even if you consider the display, there are other devices that offer a better screen resolution and a richer display.
At 6.1 inch, the device is large but boasts the best-in-class screen-to-body ratio of 79%. It is compatible with all the mobile networks and is said to be extremely efficient at power consumption while using 4G, given Huawei’s knowledge about LTE networks.
It also has a large battery at 4050mAh that should last most users for over 2 days with average-to-heavy usage. Huawei has taken effort to make battery life better by using LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) display technology as well as Content Adaptive Brightness Control for the screen.
The device is unique in its capacity to act as a backup battery for other devices – it can charge other devices via the micro-USB port. That is definitely a first in the smartphone lineups.
I like my phones decent-to-large sized. As an HTC One user, I value the look and feel of the device, but the overall usability of the device is the primary deciding factor. The Ascend Mate2 made me think about my next phone, and though I liked the look and feel of the device, actual performance testing needs to be done before I can come to a decision.
Anyways, with MWC due next month, we may be in for some surprise from HTC or Samsung. The announcements of LG G Flex and Sony Xperia Z1s along with the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G have already heated up the competition. 2014 has just begun, and I feel it’s going to be an exciting year to be an Android user.