- Might be too large for some consumers
- Confusing UI
- Suffers from bloatware
The phablet market is quickly becoming the preferred design of most phone manufacturers and Huawei is adding yet another one to the mix with the release of the Ascend Mate 7. In order to compete with the top three smartphone manufacturers, Huawei has taken steps throughout the years to improve their phone design and that trend continues with the Mate 7. Experts consider it to be the best built and designed smartphone in the Huawei lineup to date. The chassis is made almost entirely of aluminum save for the plastic covers at the top and bottom of the device. Despite its large size – 6.2 inches tall and 3.2 inches wide – critics found it fairly comfortable to hold thanks to the curved back and matte metal.
Thanks to the slim bezels, the 6-inch, 1080 display takes up a majority of the face of the phone. The full HD resolution offers a pixel density of 367ppi, which is higher than the iPhone 6. As expected, it provided reviewers with crisp icons, clear images and sharp text. Besides this, the Mate 7 also comes with IPS-Neo technology, which is advertised as having better viewing angles and contrast than its competitors. Hands-on testing confirm this claim as experts were wowed by the viewing angles and deep blacks with Anand Tech adding, "…this is one of the deepest blacks I've come to meet in a device."
It isn't just the display that is powerful and large. The Mate 7 comes equipped with an octa-core processor made up of 4 x 1.8GHz and 4 x 1.3GHz cores and 2GB of RAM. This provides it with plenty of power but only when it's needed. In essence, during more basic tasks it will only access the 1.3GHz quad-core processor and then kick in the faster ones once tasks require more power. While it might not have scored high in certain benchmark tests, reviewers did not experience any lag, crashes or stutters during their hands-on testing regardless of what tasks they were performing. To offset the 8 processors and HD display, Huawei has included a 4,000mAh battery. Battery draining tests clock it in at around 17 hours with real life tests backing this claim. On average, critics were able to get 2 days of battery life of moderate usage.
As an Android device, the Huawei does run Android OS; however Huawei has customized it so much that experts found in practically unrecognizable and not necessarily for the better. Many found the interface to be clunky with many unnecessary features, otherwise known as bloatware. Still, the phone comes with up to 32GB of internal memory so consumers still have plenty of space to download apps they want.
Stuck to the back is a 13MP camera. While experts would not name it a class leader, it performed well in almost every area. Experts were able to take images with crisp details, bright and accurate colors and even saturation even in lower light settings. As well, they add that it is quick to focus and take pictures so they never worried about missing a great a shot. The camera comes with various features such as HDR mode, panorama and various filters like vintage and "nostalgia" to give your photos more character.
For the Mate 7, its biggest issue is its large size, but critics were able to overlook this due to its excellent overall performance. Pocket Lint states, "…the Mate 7 is a contender for best on the market, no doubt about it." CNET adds, "…It's a well-crafted handset and doesn't at all invoke the Chinese knockoff image that many might associate with the brand."