Review: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 – Large & In Charge!

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We’ve finally got our hands one of the most anticipated Huawei devices to date – Ascend Mate 7! A special thanks to Huawei South Africa for giving us this privilege to run wild with this powerful beauty!

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So let’s get started, knowing it’s a “Huawei”, we may not take it as serious as we would take other brands such as Apple, Sony or Samsung but we should brush away the stereotype that Huawei isn’t a competitive brand. I will guarantee you, once you’ve had a taste of the Ascend Mate 7 – you will not only realize how much of quality and performance this device boasts but also, it’s right up there competing with the best devices out there!

We will begin with the display, the device has a 6-inch FHD IPS in-cell 1,920 x 1,080 pixel screen! With only a 92.5mm waistline, you will be pretty pleased when you place this next to the iPhone 6 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Absolute Elegance!

The performance is pretty spectacular. An intelligent Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor has been used in the Ascend Mate 7 bringing to you a 1.8GHz quad-core Cortex A15 along with another quad-core Cortex A7 clocked in at 1.3GHz. They both work in conjunction, giving you a very optimized performance, very similar to what you’d be expecting from any high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The battery! Yup, it’s the topic everyone speaks about when it comes to smartphones in this day and age. Well, with the Ascend Mate 7, you should be very happy even though it’s a non-removable battery just like the iPhone 6 Plus. The Mate 7 includes a long lasting 4100 mAh Battery with 3 different modes (normal, smart and ultra-power saving) to optimize performance. Something to take into consideration is that, the Galaxy Note 4 battery is just 3220 mAh while the iPhone 6 Plus battery is just 2915 mAh.

In terms of Hardware, the device seems really solid and powerful. The device connectivity is amongst the fastest with LTE Cat6 – Allowing you speeds up to 300 Mbps, that is HD movies downloaded in less than half a minute!

The MicroSD expansion does help increasing the included 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, which also determines the RAM you get, with 2 GB of 3 GB of RAM available depending on which option you choose.

Just like the usual smartphone features like Bluetooth and NFC, you get a standard high-end hardware package under the hood. Battery life proved to be worthy of the big phone stereotype, with the large 4,100 mAh unit, mentioned above, surviving two days before clocking out with above moderate usage. Even if the screen-on time was doubled, a solid day and a half of very heavy usage would still be possible.

There’s a bit of a surprise coming from Huawei with this device! If you turn the phone over, and look at the back, guess what you see? A Fingerprint Reader! I repeat, A Fingerprint Reader! The Ascend 7 requires a touch input rather than swipes while its setup looks very familiar to that of iOS. What makes the fingerprint reader on this device so nice is the fact that once set up, you can use it at any time to unlock the phone. Even from the prone standby position, just holding a finger to the area for a second will wake and unlock the device, making access that much easier. Security aside, if it takes much longer to use my finger to unlock my phone, I’m probably not going to use it, which has happened with other devices, but is absolutely not the case with the Ascend Mate 7. Just about everyone can stand to learn a thing or two from Huawei’s great implementation.

The camera, boy oh boy, more good news for you! 13 megapixel at the back, another 5 megapixel at the front. There is a very nice quick-shot feature where you can quickly double tap the volume down button in order to get a really quick shot off. It’s definitely more about speed than quality in this instance, a 1.2 second capture time! Meanwhile, the front camera includes beauty mode found on the current crop of “selfie” camera apps, bringing real time blemish hiding. For a better looking self portrait, a small box appears on the top left to help you actually look in the lens’ direction.

In terms its GUI (Graphical User Interface), a very simple interface, with really sweet useful additions:

  • One hand interface that can be moved around by holding a finger down on the screen and tilting the phone left or right.
  • A button made just for bringing down the notification shade became an immediate and lasting addition.
  • Mirror for checking yourself
  • Magnifier that will use the rear camera to make small text easier to view.
  • Gallery where you can drag down to open a quick camera interface
  • Notification dropdown, which has a nice way of presenting your received notifications.

Elements within the Emotion UI of this amazing Huawei device look like what we will find in the Android 5.0 Lollipop release. This is theme-able through a built-in application, however, only a limited number of themes are available at the moment.

Retail Pricing in South Africa looks to be around R8000 – R9000 which is not bad at all considering what’s under the hood! Final thoughts… Really powerful device, runs very smoothly. Definitely worth the price & 9/10 from me! Great stuff Huawei!

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