The "1-Minute" Review
- 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.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Huawei released the Mate S on September 15, 2015.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Huawei Mate S user manual here.
Huawei backs up the Mate S with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Mate S has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Huawei support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Huawei's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.