The Key Specifications...
- 6" Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display with 368 ppi pixel density
- HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor (4 x 1.8 GHz + 4 x 1.3 GHz + 1 x 230 MHz)
- 2 GB RAM (Standard Edition) / 3 GB RAM (Premium Edition)
- 16 GB internal storage (Standard Edition) / 32 GB internal storage (Premium Edition)
- Micro SD card slot
- 13 MP camera with 1080p video recording
- 5 MP front camera
- 4,100 mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat with EMUI 3.0
Metal Body with Full Glass Front - Worth at its Price Range
The unit I'm reviewing is the standard edition, which means it has 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. The front is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass and the screen-to-body ratio is at 83%, plus its bezel is pretty narrow, but one-handed operation is a problem with its huge 6" display.
The back looks familiar, really, it looks like HTC One Max. Below the camera lens there's a fingerprint scanner that can recognize up to 5 fingerprints. Unlike the One Max, there's only a single speaker located at the back instead of two at the front.
The phablet is very thin at just 7.9 mm, there are Micro SIM and Micro SD card slots at the left side. The standard edition supports single SIM only, whilst the premium edition comes with dual SIM slots, the second SIM slot is also a Micro SD card slot for the premium edition.
The right side has volume and power buttons, just as usual. The buttons feel good to press and premium, the power button comes with circular spin cut design too.
6" Full HD Display with 83% Screen-to-Body Ratio
The Ascend Mate7 has a 6" Full HD display with the pixel density of 368 ppi. The display looks great with nice color saturation. You can actually adjust the screen temperature depending your own preference. Smartphone display now a day surely has wide viewing angle, even Sony had did it, so there's no exception for Huawei.
HiSilicon Kirin 925 SoC with 8+1 Architecture
Powering the Ascend Mate7 is the company home-made HiSilicon Kirin 925 octa-core processor with 8+1 core architecture. There are 4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 cores, 4 x 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 cores and a 230 MHz core.
To me, I would always prefer a 64-bit Qualcomm processor, because the HiSilicon Kirin processor doesn't perform as what I expect. I would have prefer the performance of the Ascend G7, which powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor.
Quadrant Standard - 11,113
AnTuTu Benchmark - 43,908
EMUI 3.0 - Same As The Ascend G7
Much like the Ascend G7, the Ascend Mate7 also runs on EMUI 3.0 based on Android 4.4 KitKat. Nothing much special on the Ascend Mate7, it's all same as the Ascend G7 but there are some minor differences.
The default theme is different from Ascend G7, however you can always download the themes from the theme store, that's what Chinese manufacturers love to do so. Besides that, the Ascend Mate7 also comes with one-handed UI. The Android navigation buttons will move to the left or right depending on which hand you are using.
Sadly, the Ascend Mate7 doesn't have double tap to unlock the screen and those motion gesture features like the G7, but it does come with a 360-degree fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor can recognize up to five fingerprints. However, the downside is you can only unlock the screen, access safe and access app lock with your fingerprint. What I think is Huawei should get used on its fingerprint sensor with even more features such as launch the entire app with the entire fingerprint.
EMUI 3.0 will actually fool you with a thought of the device is running on Android 5.0 Lollipop, judging from the Android navigation buttons below. However the Ascend Mate7 is actually running on Android 4.4 KitKat and it should be upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop in the future. You can actually change the position of the navigation buttons or add a new button to slide down the notification able with just one touch.
13 MP Camera Fairly Disappointed
The Ascend Mate7 packs the same 13 MP camera and 5 MP front camera as the Ascend G7. The camera interface looks like Apple iOS camera, but the rotation performs weird as some of the icons like settings won't rotate to landscape when you are holding in landscape mode, even in the settings.
Colors are accurate however the details are pretty soft. Besides that, the noise level is fairly high and it didn't perform as it should be as its price range. Huawei always did a great job on macro shoot, however if you are the one that always shoot far object, the Ascend Mate7 may disappoint you. At the end it actually depends on your own, uploading image to your social media account shouldn't be a problem.
4,100 mAh Battery is a Beast
Now the performance and camera didn't perform as well as it should be, but the battery is a different story. We already know that the Ascend G7 has a decent battery life, and the same goes to the Ascend Mate7.
For heavy usage, you should get more than 8 hours battery life. Based on my test, I was able to get more than 8 hours battery life with more than 6 hours screen on time. The Ascend Mate7 is able to get a day battery life if you are a moderate user.
There are two editions for the Huawei Ascend Mate7 - Standard Edition and Premium Edition. The standard edition supports single SIM and is priced at RM 1,799, whilst the premium edition supports dual SIM and is priced at RM 1,999. What I have to say is the Ascend Mate7 really feels good on hand and its battery life is long lasting. However the price is a little bit too high judging from its performance. So, it's all up to you.
- Premium build quality
- Narrow bezel
- Impressive battery life
- Unimpressive performance
- Disappointing camera
- Price tag is slightly too high