Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review of Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G – Is it Good or Bad

As smartphones have become more prevalent among the public, so too has the shift by people towards phones with much bigger screens that before. The result is that phone manufacturer have started to release more and more smartphones with big screens.

As part of this trend, Huawei released the first in a new line of smartphones in 2013, the Ascend Mate. This new series would consist of a type of big-screen smartphone that's popularly known as phablets. These are smartphones with screens that come close to those found on tablets in terms of size. The combination of phone and tablet resulted in the name phablet.

Huawei has now released a new version in the series that is to replace the original Ascend Mate, a smartphone that offered a good combination of price and features. The new phone is called the Ascend Mate2 4G. As you might expect, Huawei has made a number of changes in this latest phablet.

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What is a phablet good for?

A phablet is really just like any other smartphone, except that it's bigger than normal. Anything that you can do with a smartphones, you can also do with a phablet. The extra size allows for the installation of a bigger screen first and foremost and, second of all, a much bigger battery than what's commonly found on most smartphones.

The drawback of phablets is of course their size and weight. The extra bulk can make them harder to handle. If you don't have a pocket that big enough or a bag with you, it can be difficult to find a place to store a phablet during the day. Before buying a phablet, make sure that you can handle the extra size and weight of this type of smartphone.

If the extra bulk is no problem, then a phablet can offer several practical advantages over a normal-sized smartphone:
  • A bigger touchscreen can be better for people with large hands and fingers. Tiny screens can make it hard to press the right button. Since everything can be larger on a phablet, it makes it easier to avoid making mistakes and increases the user-friendliness of the phone.
  • Some people with poor eyesight can benefit from having things enlarged on a bigger screen. On smaller screens, fonts and so on may be too tiny for these people to read clearly. A phablet can help solve a problem in these situations.
  • If, for whatever reason, you need a lot of battery power, then phablets are the answer to your problem. Not only will the phone be available to communicate with other people, but the extra power can be used for things such as entertainment or in the case of the Mate2, to recharge other smartphones that are running low on power.
  • A lot of people will find that big screens are more fun. Whether it's browsing the Internet or watching movies, a big screen brings things to life in a way that small screens cannot. Phablets score better in this regard than smaller smartphones.

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What's new in the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G

For the most part, the Ascend Mate2 4G is similar to its predecessor. There are of course internal improvements in terms of processor, internal storage and so on. However, the two defining features, the large 6.1 inch touchscreen and extra large 4050 mAh battery, make a return. With that said, there are several new features worth noting:
  • As the name implies, the Ascend Mate2 supports the latest 4G LTE cellular standard for the fastest data transfers. The original Mate only has support for 3G standards. The Mate2 is therefore able to make use of the increasingly prevalent 4G LTE networks that carriers are rolling out worldwide. It's also worth knowing that the Mate2 comes in different versions, the MT-L00, MT-L02 and MT-L03. These version are released in different countries and differ mainly in the LTE frequencies that they support. Another difference is in the size of the battery, which can vary slightly between 3900 and 4050 mAh.
  • Speaking about the battery, it allows for a nifty feature that some people might like. The Mate2 can be used to recharge another phone, which is a nice way of making use of the extra juice that the large battery inside the Mate2 carries around. External devices that can be used to charge a smartphone are not new, but you can now do this using only the Mate2 and without the assistance of an external device. If there's an emergency and someone's smartphone runs out of power, you can help this person out by giving him or her just enough power to make it through the day.
  • The new Mate2 is smaller in width and height than the original Mate. It's also thinner, although how much depends on your specific version of the Mate2. Despite the size reduction, the Mate2 comes with a screen that's just as big as the original at 6.1 inch. The original Mate, while not the biggest around, was on the big side for a phone, even among phablets. That bulk can be a nuisance, especially when you have to carry your phone around. The size reduction is therefore a welcome change that may people will appreciate as it makes handling the phone easier, especially for people with smaller hands.
The Mate2 has other smaller changes in other areas, such as the front and rear camera, internal storage and processor.

By author

Comparison of the pros and cons of the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G

In my opinion, like the original Mate, the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G is another good choice for a phablet. It still shares the same drawbacks that every phablet has, although it tries to improve on that by slightly reducing its size. Barring that issue that's inherent to all phablets, the Mate2 has a lot to offer.

The new Mate2 improves on some of the issues that the original Mate had. It now supports the faster 4G LTE networks that are now taking over from 3G networks. It's dimensions have been reduces somewhat to make the phone easier to hold in your hands.

The Mate2 can handle any task that someone might expect from a smartphone. It runs all software apps and the large screen makes it a pleasure to use on a daily basis. The battery ensures that you don't have to watch the battery indicator as closely as you would with smaller smartphones.

The screen still doesn't support Full-HD or resolutions of 1920x1080. Such a resolution could be useful considering the Mate2 has a 6.1 inch screen, but it should not be a dealbreaker. The Mate2 offers a complete package and does so at a relatively low price at around $275 to $300.

The one issue that some people might have with the Mate2 is that it's made by Huawei. People might want to pick a phone with a brand that's better known. However, it's worth pointing out that Huawei is a large company and among the leading smartphone manufacturers, even if brand recognition is still somewhat lagging.

If the brand is no problem, then the Mate2 is certainly worth looking into. It has a lot to offer and doesn't cost that much. If a phablet is what you want or need, the Huawei Mate2 should be on your list of phones to consider.

  • Big 6.1 inch screen gives you more options
  • Will last longer than smaller phones
  • Can recharge other phones
  • Has everything someone could want in terms of features
  • Price is relatively low for what you're getting
  • Bigger and heaver than most phones
  • Full-HD not supported
  • The brand Huawei may turn off some people

Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G
Reviewed by Gadget Revue on June 19 2014
Rating: 4

Comparison of Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G specifications

Name Ascend Mate Ascend Mate2 4G
Brand Huawei Huawei
Type Smartphone Smartphone
Style Bar Bar
Color Black / white Black / white
Dimension 163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm 161 x 84.7 x 9.5 mm
Weight 198 grams 202 grams
Operating System Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Skin Emotion UI Emotion UI
4G LTE (varies) - 700/850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
3G HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CPU Huawei HiSilicon K3V2 Qualcomm MSM8928 Snapdragon 400
- 1.5 GHz 4-core Cortex A-9 1.6 GHz 4-core Cortex A-7
GPU Vivante GC4000 Adreno 305
- - -
RAM 2 gigabytes (GB) 2 gigabytes (GB)
Storage 8 gigabytes (GB) 16 gigabytes (GB)
MicroSD slot Included, 64 GB Max Included, 64 GB Max
Screen 6.1 Inch Capacitive IPS LCD 6.1 Inch Capacitive IPS LCD
- Multi-Touch, 16M colors Multi-Touch, 16M colors
Protection Gorilla Glass Gorilla Glass
Resolution HD (1280 x 720, 241 PPI) HD (1280 x 720, 241 PPI)
Rear camera 8.0 megapixels, LED flash 13.0 megapixels, LED flash
- BSI, f/2.0, 1080p@30fps video BSI, f/2.0, 1080p@30fps video
Front camera 1.0 megapixels, f/2.4 5.0 megapixels, f/2.4
Wireless Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
Connectors microUSB (USB 2.0) microUSB (USB 2.0)
- 3.5 headphone earjack 3.5 headphone earjack
Sensors Gravity Gravity
- Proximity Proximity
- Ambient light Ambient light
- Accelerometer Accelerometer
- Compass Compass
- Gyroscope Gyroscope
Navigation GPS + A-GPS GPS + A-GPS + Glonass
FM radio Included Included
Battery (varies) Lithium-Ion 4050 mAh Lithium-Ion 4050 mAh
Special features - Reverse charging

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