- Andrew Hoyle , Cnet
Though Huawei's flagship Mate S has classy looks and a great camera, you can find better-performing top-end phones for less money elsewhere.
- Gary Sims , Android Authority
With a great design, a top class display and an excellent fingerprint reader, Huawei proves it has what it takes to build a true flagship device.
- All-day battery life
- Great camera
- Vivid display
- Ample storage
- Dual-SIM support
- microSD support
- Dim screen
- Pressure-sensitive display is gimmicky
- Below-average gaming performance
Once an unknown Chinese phone maker, Huawei has quickly built a reputation for quality in their Mate series of phones. The Mate S is the first Android handset to bring pressure sensitive touch to the market. But with the price rivaling--and even exceeding--the price of some flagship phones, does the phone offer enough to warrant your money?
Reviews are rolling out and we’re scouring the web to see what people are saying. Let’s take a look!
Reviewers loved the thin, aluminum unibody design of the Mate S. Nearly all commented on the bevelled edges and tight construction. AnandTech noted, “the 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 front make for a very comfortable and ergonomic grip.” Later, they praised it further, calling the Mate S “by far Huawei's most premium device to date and I consider it to be even among one of the best built and solid smartphones I've used.”
The rear of the phone also holds a fingerprint scanner equipped with swipe gesture functionality. Expert Reviews UK put this feature through its paces and declared, “In most cases, each action worked perfectly fine and it made the phone easier to use single-handedly.”
Flipping around to the front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen made by Samsung. Reviews on the display are great with endless comments on contrast, vivid colors and sharp details. One area of concern for some reviewers was brightness. If you use your phone often in bright lighting, you might have trouble with this screen.
Powered by an octa-core 2.2GHz Kirin 935 processor, the phone received mixed reviews for performance. On everyday tasks, such as checking email or browsing the web, reviewers noted no issues. However, the moment you crank up a game performance dips compared to other phones at similar prices. Expert Reviews UK noted, “The Kirin 935 may have great CPU performance, but its GPU is decidedly poor compared to its Qualcomm-based rivals.”
Another area of contention was the interface on the phone. Huawei’s Emotion UI makes substantial changes to how Android worlds. Mashable summed it up by calling it, “Android with an iOS feel.” While a matter of personal preference, most reviewers were quick to love or hate it.
You’ll find plenty of storage space to keep all of your apps, games and media at hand with models ranging from 32GB to 128GB of internal storage. Should you need more room, you can pop in a microSD card--though keep in mind this will disable the second SIM slot.
The phone’s 2700mAh might seem low by current standards but reviewers had no problems with battery life. Phone Arena tested the phone and said, “On the whole, we managed a single day of usage no problem, and day-and-a-half every now and then.”
If you love to take pictures with your phone, reviews indicated the Mate S is up to the task. Both the 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens with flash received great reviews. Mashable declared that the cameras are “up there with the best of them.” PC Advisor UK said, “Overall, we were quite impressed by both the forward-facing and rear-facing cameras, both in terms of quality and capture time.”
If you opt for the 128GB model, you’ll also find Android’s first pressure-sensitive display technology. Unfortunately, reviewers found that while it was fun and accurate, there was little actual functionality to feature.
Overall, the biggest issue reviewers have with the Mate S is the price. AnandTech sums things up well saying, “The Mate S is an extremely attractive device that easily holds up to the competition in terms of design and build-quality. Unfortunately the Mate S was launched a at a very high MSRP.” Mashable concurred, saying, “From what I've seen, it's worth the money, but I'd be lying if I said there are no cheaper options out there, with similar specs.”
Reviews (7.6/10 Avg. rating)
Touch made irrelevant
beautifully designed but doesn't perform as well
The Huawei Mate S is a very promising phone. Its design is beautiful, it’s lightweight and it fits perfectly in our hands despite the 5.5in display. The custom Android UI takes some getting used to, but it offers something different to the standard Android experience with the inclusion of a timeline-based notification centre and knuckle touch control. The cameras are impressive, but they aren’t quite as high-end as Huawei has made them out to be. The only real let down - aside from the huge delay in actually being able to buy one - is the graphical power, as benchmark results pu... Full review
It could have been a darn good product for a hundred less
Unfortunately, it's impossible for us to recommend the Mate S, and that's actually kind of frustrating — it has the bearing of a competent top-shelfer, but falters in way too many categories to pull off the needed performance. Software, in particular, along with system performance, definitely leave more than a little to be desired, and areas such as the camera and battery life are only kind of close — but not all the way there. The display, too, could use some work, though at least you can tweak the white balance to better the image. So, just a pretty face? No, that's unfair. Bu... Full review
There’s just too many better phones on the market for this price
The first Android with '3D touch' has plenty of power
Quality hardware, but some unnecessary features
Extremely attractive device that easily holds up to the competition in terms of design and build-quality
In the end I'm not sure if that was all that great of a decision for costumers as the Mate S carries a lot of the more crippling aspects of previous Huawei flagships. The big "killer" feature of the Mate S was supposed to be the touted force-touch capability, but with that variant of the phone not being released until next year it leaves the rest of the lineup with sort of a lack of direction and purpose. A SoC is crucial to the performance and efficiency of a device and HiSilicon's offerings were simply not as competitive compared to chipsets from Qualcomm or Samsung. I can't help but thin... Full review
Crammed with cool tricks
Excellent design & build but sub-par display resolution
A beautifyull made but ultimately average handset
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
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