With all the attention focused on
handset maker Xiaomi and its cheap yet remarkable phones, it is easy to
forget that it is not the only China brand in the smartphone space.
Huawei, the other name in the Chinese smartphone arena, hopes to remind everyone of that with its Ascend Mate 7 phablet.
Gone are the trappings of budget devices, as Huawei appears to have
poured much effort into creating this particular phone. Maintaining
good aesthetics is not new to Huawei. With the MediaPad X1, it had
already shown off its ability to craft a tablet in a metal shell last
The Ascend Mate 7 has an aluminium alloy body that is light and cool
to the touch. Given the 6-inch screen, one would expect some unwieldy
heft but the company has shrunk the bezel and produced a thin and
The full high-definition screen is a delight to view. While it lacks
the colour brightness of Samsung's Amoled displays, details are sharp
enough and impressive for a large display.
But the phone's most impressive feature is the fingerprint sensor, something only Apple has managed to work into a phone.
Located in the rear, just under the camera lens, the sensor works as
well as the iPhone's, if not better. There is no need to wake the phone
first, as a tap on the sensor wakes the phone immediately.
Storing a fingerprint is also just as easy, as multiple taps on the
sensor will record and store it. There is no need to use one hand to
hold the phone, and another to swipe or press a finger against the
For those able to hold the phone with one hand, positioning the
sensor in the rear means it is finally possible to use the sensor and
then use the phone with one hand, without repositioning the device.
Performance-wise, the phone uses Huawei's own chipset. In the Antutu
Benchmark test, it clocked 43,697, better than last year's LG G3
(35,497) flagship phone, but below that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Though it has a 13-megapixel camera, the images lack the vibrancy of
the original. In low light, the phone's software attempts to sharpen
the final photo. This takes about one more second to complete, but the
final shot does look better.
Because it is quite large, it can be placed on a couch or table so
you can watch videos. Positioning the speaker in the rear is,
therefore, something that its designers might want to relook.
Processor: Huawei Kirin 925 CPU, 4 x A15 1.8GHz quad-core, and 4 x A7 1.3GHz
Display: 6-inch full high-definition IPS, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, 368ppi
Camera: (Rear) 13MP CMOS rear-facing camera, (Front) 5MP CMOS
Memory: 16GB, microSD (expandable up to 32GB), 2GB RAM
Operating System: 4.4 KitKat
Value for money 4/5
Battery life 5/5