With the arrival of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, the OnePlusOne and more recently the iPhone 6 Plus and Nexus 6, it’s clear that big phones are here to stay.
However, there are big phones and then there is the Huawei Ascend Mate 7.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Huawei (pronounced “waa-wei“) is a Chinese company which is known for its range of larger sized smartphones. The Mate 7, which despite its name does not have a 7 inch display nor is it in its 7th generation, is its largest phone to date.
The phone has been on sale in Thailand since the end of last year and the team at ThaiTech were fortunate enough to test the device out for ourselves at the recent Thailand Mobile Expo.
The first place to start with the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is its size. It’s huge but then again with its 6 inch display it was never going to fit in your pocket easily. The device measures 6.2 inches (157mm) long and 3.2 inches (81mm) wide, which even towers above the Google Nexus 6 (also a 6 inch display).
Unless you’ve got hands the size of doors you can forget about being able to use the Ascend Mate 7 one handed.
That said, it’s not all bad. Huawei has been smart with the design of this phone in that whilst it is big, there’s no wasted space, everything has been put to good use, with the brand claiming the screen takes up 83 per cent of the face of the phone.
Taking a closer look at the display and it is not just big in size, it is also full HD, vibrant, bright, is of excellent quality and from our first impressions, stands up against the other flagship devices around the moment.
Another positive about the phone is its build quality. Critics may well be sceptical of a Chinese made smartphone, which would be unfair, but with its all metal case, the Ascend Mate 7 not only feels good in (both) hands but it looks great too.
The other thing worth mentioning is the fingerprint scanner which is located on the reverse of the phone, just below the camera, which is in a pretty handy position, given that this is roughly where your finger sits when holding the device and means that you can easily unlock the phone without having to input a pin code or password.
The Ascend Mate 7 also boasts a 13 megapixel rear facing camera, with 5 megapixels on the front. We didn’t really get chance to test the camera out properly, but the quality seemed to be as you’d expect given the specifications.
One downside of the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is that it runs an older version of Android (Kitkat 4.4.2) which is not so much of a problem, but given that this is meant to be a flagship device, you’d expect a more up to date version.
What was a problem, however, was the Huawei interface which sits on top of the older version of Android. It’s not good, and actually seemed quite far removed from traditional Android.
For example, there is no app tray and and it seemed like you had to swipe more times than you’d expect necessary in order to find the app you needed, which meant it was far from easy to navigate. There also seemed to be more than its fair share of bloatware or pre-installed software, which wasn’t great and made the device cluttered.
The Ascend Mate 7, however, was nice and quick when opening apps and multitasking, which will no doubt be due to its speedy octa core processor. The phone also comes with a 4,100 mAh battery which should promise good battery life.
To conclude, the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 has lots of things going for it. It’s big display is impressive, and it is great for watching videos or gaming. It’s construction is solid and given that the price is around 10,000 baht less than an iPhone 6 Plus, Google Nexus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, it’s a decent option anyone looking for a new phablet.
The downside are that you’ll struggle to use it with one hand, and that Huawei’s version of Android isn’t the nicest out there.
The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is available in Thailand for 16,990 (2GB/16GB) or 19,990 THB (3GB, 32GB).
Huawei Ascend Mate 7 specifications
HiSilicon “Kirin 925” Hi3630 (4x A7 @ 1.3GHz & 4x A15 @ 1.8GHz, Mali T628MP4 @ 600MHz)
2/3 GB LPDDR3-1600, 16/32GB NAND + microSD
6” 1920×1080 JDI in-cell LTPS 373PPI
(H) 157 x (W) 81 x (D) 7.9mm, 185 grams
13MP Sony BSI sensor, F2.0 aperture, ISP 5-piece lens
5MP front camera
4100mAh (15.79 Wh) rated
3.85V battery chemistry
Android 4.4.2 “EmotionUI 3.0”
3.10.33 Linux Kernel
802.11a/b/g/n Wifi + BT 4.0, USB2.0, GPS/GLONASS,
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.