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7.6/10
Informr score
The Huawei Mate S currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 22 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • All-day battery life
  • Great camera
  • Vivid display
  • Ample storage
  • Dual-SIM support
  • microSD support

What's bad

  • Dim screen
  • Price
  • 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.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Gearburn

If I didn’t know the Huawei Mate S’s price, I’d say it’s a solid phone. It feels great, looks great, runs like a dream and can cut it with the big boys on the performance and imaging front. But slap that price tag on it, and it’s marketing slogan that only really applie...

- Andy Walker, Gearburn
Tech Advisor

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 ti...

- Lewis Painter, Tech Advisor
PhoneArena

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...

- Chris P., PhoneArena
Mashable

Huawei Mate S is a great Android smartphone — it's beautiful and has every feature you could want — but it doesn't take advantage of its novel pressure-sensing tech, and it's not as cheap as many competitors.

- Stan Schroeder, Mashable
Android Headlines

While the Mate S has been out for just under 2 months now, it already felt dated at launch. Part of this is due to the high price tag and terrible performance for that price, and while the build quality is among the very best in the smartphone world it simply can’t make up for the sluggish beh...

- Nick Sutrich, Android Headlines


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The Huawei Mate S's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a HiSilicon Kirin 935 Octa core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2700mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 2700 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 833 minutes, 583 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Mate S Specs

Overview
Release date September 15, 2015
Regions available United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Yes
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 5.1 Lollipop

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor HiSilicon Kirin 935 Octa core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.35 W/kg
Body: 0.42 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Standard Battery, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 2700 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 686 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 583 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 833 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Luxurious Gold, Titanium Gray, Mystic Champagne, Rose Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm (5.9 x 3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 156 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Glove touch
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Geotagging, Panorama, Self-timer, Time lapse, Burst shot, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD, FLV, RealVideo, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Effects, Front camera flash
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, RealVideo, WMV, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Additional Sensors
- Fingerprint Scanner
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Huawei Mate S Reviews
Where to buy Huawei Mate S
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