As anticipated, Huawei yesterday announced their new Android smartphones during the 2013 CES in Las Vegas the highlight of the lineup being a 6.1 inch Huawei Ascend Mate which the company tags as ‘Bigger is Better’. The 6.1 inch phone (or micro-tablet for some) is the first of its kind when it comes to size as we are used to seeing 4 inch to 5 inch smartphones and 7 inch mini-tablets. 5 inchers have initially been described as phablets (phones and tablets hybrids) although in the recent times the emergence of more and more 5 inch phones have pushed the sizes further and made 5 inch devices fall squarely under the smartphone category.
The device with a high definition 720p display is the largest smartphone on the market making even Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, which many had described to be a monster, look like a dwarf. The device is run by Huawei’s own 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon processor, 2GB RAM, an 8 megapixels rear camera and a massive 4,050mAh battery to boot. The most intriguing part, the screen, is not a full 1080p HD despite the size unlike its sister’s the Ascend D2 which despite the smaller 5 inch screen, boasts of 1080p display and the same processor but a smaller battery. Huawei claims that the Ascend mate’s battery can power the massive screen for up to 20 hours of continuous use on a single charge.
The Ascend Mate 6.1 comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system with a customized proprietary emotion interface. Huawei says that Android is too complicated to use for first time and novice Android users and aims to make it a lot simpler for them with a simplified and uncomplicated interface. This overlay has tweaks like floating windows to make it simpler for users to run several applications at the same time (almost like the Galaxy Note II), a one-hand control setup that switches from the keyboard to the keypad or alphabet keys to numbers and symbols depending on which hand is holding the device.
Despite the phone’s impressive specs, the Ascend Mate’s performance may not be as good as it’s rivals such as the Note II largely because the processor, manufactured by Huawei themselves, is largely untested and does not run on any other popular devices in the market. Huawei also limited the phone’s specification and made it less powerful than the 5 inch D2 which boasts of a 13 megapixels camera, is water and dust resistant and a screen display density of 443 pixels per inch compared to Mate’s 241 ppi.
Those eager to lay their hands on this device will however have to wait a little longer as Huawei is planning to launch and start shipping the Ascend Mate in China from February. There were no specifics regarding when the two smartphones will be debuting in the North American or the European market though.