Huawei Ascent mate 7 review

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Another phone which was brought into the smartphone world’s attention with large screen being its core attractiveness to the 2015 consumer is the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. This 6” phone (yes, standing at 6” it is bigger than both Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4) though made by a Chinese company, may boast more features and there is definitely more than meets the eye.huawei ascent mate

Yeah… it’s really huge…

…and may be a tad uncomfy for those with smaller hands, but Huawei’s Emotion UI has made the usage experience of this phone really pleasant, especially with the utilization of a fingerprint scanner similar with the one that comes with the HTC One Max. The phone’s physical touch and feel is also more than pleasant with its sleek metallic design, following the trend of having metallic build in flagship smartphones these days. The buttons are also neatly placed at the side with both the power and volume rocket buttons being on the right side of the phone, which may be more convenient for holding the phone with only your right hand. Capacitive keys as seen on the HTC One M7 or the OnePlus One are absent on this phone and are on-screen instead. It is opined however that Huawei has taken the right step in omitting it as we can see from the phone and its photos having on-screen buttons on 6” screens does somehow make things look neater and more well balanced in aspect ratio.

Specs

Referring to the specs, this phone sports an 8-core processor that is the HiSilicon Kirin 925 with 1.8Ghz Cortex-A15 in its first 4 cores and 1.3Ghz Cortex-A7 in the last 4. Along with it comes the Mali T-628 graphics processing unit with the option for 2GB or 3GB of RAM (depending on whether you choose to purchase the 16GB variant or the 32). If you’re feeling that 2GB of RAM would suffice, the 16GB variant is recommended as the phone also comes with an SD card slot for both variants. Although by now it is obvious that us consumers must not only be sold on the specs and benchmark results alone, we must also take into consideration the real world performance of it. From our experience, though the phone does not sport a Snapdragon processor as did most of the other mainstream flagship phones (and the hipster OnePlus One) it does feel like the Kirin 925 processor is catching up with what would be expected of a Snapdragon processor. The phone handles smoothly on almost any task and does not have issues on multi-tasking either.

Battery

As expected of the size, this phone is able to sport an extremely huge battery capacity that is 4,100mAh. It is important to note that it is non-removable, though. Basing on actual usage data of it, the battery can easily pull through a day and a half of heavy usage before needing a full charge, which is a really good thing. It also appears that unlike most other metallic phones, this phone seems to not be as prone to overheating.

Software

Keep in mind though, similar to Xiaomi’s UI, it does not come with an app drawer, every app installed has to be on your home screen. Not a bad thing, in my opinion. I’m seeing a higher redundancy for the need of an app drawer in my life these days. The Emotion UI comes with plenty of neat features that comes in surprisingly handy with a screen size that big. Its features include dragging down from the top in gallery to pull down a camera viewfinder to take photos.

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Speaking of photos, the 13MP back and 5MP cameras in this phone is quite okay. I say okay because it is not the best but it’s definitely worth the penny spent on this phone. As manufacturers now realize the need for higher definition self-portrait cameras, the 5MP front shooter does a decent job in taking selfies though you might come across the either pleasant or annoying (depending on the individual) baby-face feature that can be turned off. As for the 13MP shooter, its HDR feature does not really make too much of a difference when compared to the similar features of other phones. However on regular shooting sessions it fares better than other 13MP cameras, though it’s mostly the matter of opinion as some people prefer brighter images with warmer or colder tones. The night photos taken with this phone has been rather okay as well, with less than average amount of noise.

night photos

Night photos? Meh… it’s okay.

Price

All things considered, this piece of flagship technology by Huawei deserves more recognition than the rest as this is one of Huawei’s first attempts on entering the flagship battlefield. Its software features have been rather solid and really user-friendly with extremely decent performance though lacking in camera quality. However with the modest price tag of RM1,700 and above, it’s a rather good deal, especially if you can’t afford the iPhone 6 Plus.

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