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Welcome to the 2013 Huawei Ascend Mate review. Released in early-2013 this is the highest spec mobile phone we’ve seen from the company. The Ascend comes with a quad core CPU along with a bright 6.1 inch screen and hence competes with the Galaxy Note II for your dollars.  However Hauwei Ascend Mate has a killer low price outright purchase price of less than $400 which makes it very tempting! In fact we declare the Ascend mate the best value outright mobile phone you can buy at time of this review!

In terms of construction the Huawei Ascend is nothing special but it is well put together. It’s straight edges and solid plastic means it looks business like rather than bargain basement or cheap. The rubberised back and assumed Gorilla glass screen lifts the look feel.  In terms of internal hardware the Ascend packs the industry standard sensors. The best part is the usefully large 6.1 screen only those who have really bad eyesight will need glass to read.

In terms of use the Ascend Mate is smooth 99% of the time as per any Android based phone. We didn’t spot any customised widgets but there did not appear to be any obvious additional modifications or apps to write about. Huawei claims to have implemented their only menu system which can be seen in the selection of icons and short cuts. The inclusion of a fully functioning Word, Excel and Powerpoint editor helps too!

The nearest competitor is the Samsung Galaxy Note II which is a great phone and still out specs the Huawei but it’s also over $100 more. We don’t think the price difference is worth it since you would not notice any speed difference! If you where comparing it against the older Galaxy S3 this would probbaly be a closer match bar the much nigger screen.

In the end after testing so many Andriod based phones there are very few models that inspire us to do a write up, so thankfully the low priced large screen Ascend Mate was a revelation. All that said Nokia is leading a resurgence in it Windows 8 phones which are just as good as any iPhone or Android it just doesn’t have an App store to match and the Nokia still does not have a 6.1 inch screen. If you want the cheapest big screen mobile phone on the market in mid 2013 without sacrificing much then the Huawei Ascend Mate is the phone to get – easily.

Side note: Andriod OS development is progressing along very nciely and approaching genuine desktop OS status even though it is for tablets and mobile phones – watch out Microsoft. Unfortunately the only issue for all Huawei phones is the lingering doubt as to weather it has hidden tech that the military in China can use for whatever purpose. Since the phone has a customised CPU one can wonder what else they have customised. (Nokia managed to hide an FM radio in their Windows phone afterall.) Since Hauwei has reportedly direct  links with China’s top military hence politicians in a ‘opaque’ way does not help its corporate image. Lack of corporate transparency in 2013 does not help the brand image no matter how good the tech is!  regardless this doesn’t really bother us since all governments spy on us anyway as proven by Wikileaks and other individuals. We lost privacy once the Internet became commercialised! So don’t let that stop you from buying one.

What really annoys all of us is stupidity of the patent wars in particular Apple’s patent on bouncing screens and shock – curved rectangles. The fact that you can actually patent them is also pathetically sad and shows the complete lack of common sense in the legal system and points to greedy lawyers and excessive corporate greed especially by Apple – more than anything else. By all means protect your overall designs but customers are not stupid and want choice and fair prices. (We love Apple products by the way – just don’t like how they’ve become evil Corporates.)

Specifications

  • Hauwei Ascend Mate
  • Network
    Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
    Quad-band 3G 850/900/1900/2100
  • Design
    Touch screen
  • L163.5 x W85.7 x D9.9 mm
  • Weight 198 grams
  • Display/s
    6.1 inch 1,280 x 720 AMOLED
  • Camera
    8MP auto-focus
    LED Flash
    2nd forward facing video call camera 2MP
  • Video Camera
    1080p high definition 30FPS main video camera
  • Connectivity
    Wi-Fi
    Bluetooth V3
  • CPU
    1.5 Ghz Quad core
    Separate Graphic CPU
  • Memory
    1Gig RAM
    Up to 8Gig for user
    Up to 64Gig micro-SD expansion
  • Features
    A-GPS, Compass, Proximeter,Gyroscope, Accelerometer
    FM Radio with RDS
    Ring tones: MIDI, MP3, Video, vibration and others
    AndroidApp store
    Samsung App store
    Free Google Navigator (requires data plan)
    Dolby Digital
    Music and Media player
    MS-Word, Excel and Powerpoint, PDF, ZIP compatible
    Organiser/Calendar
    SMS, MMS, IM, Email
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Li-Po 4050 mAh battery
    Up to N/A hours Standby
    Up to N/A hours Talk Time
  • Price history
    Under $400 AUD August 2013 (Outright)

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