Home Your Tech Mobility Huawei’s super-smart phablet-phone, a 6.1-inch sized screamer!

Huawei’s super-smart phablet-phone, a 6.1-inch sized screamer!

Although the old adage that it matters not how big it is, but how you use it, remains as true as ever, Huawei’s 6.1-inch sized phablet ascends the top of the screen-size stakes, a screen that for most of the public remains to be seen.

Huawei has a new, not-so-little mate that has, in one fell swoop, ascended atop the totem pole for super-sized smartphone screens on fantastic phablets.

Yes, while Huawei makes no mention of the word phablet, an Android 4.1-powered with a 6.1-inch IPS+ 1280x720 Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen, which is even bigger than the Note II’s 5.5-inch screen, is definitely sitting well within phablet territory – especially when the Ascend Mate can make GSM/3G phone calls, unlike the iPad mini.

Coming to market in China first this February (2013), with other territories unmentioned but presumably due to see a rollout to the US and other countries sooner rather than later, Huawei has naturally taken advantage of the massive CES 2013 expo in Las Vegas to broadcast its news.

Perhaps not so mindful of the fact that size can be irrelevant, depending on what you do with it, Huawei happily boasts that the super-sized Ascend Mate is “proof that bigger is better”, although perhaps not if you’re trying to squeeze your Mate into your pocket.

Packed with Huawei’s own 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 4050mAh battery, an 8 megapixel rear camera and 1 megapixel front camera, 1080P video playback, DLNA, Huawei Airsharing, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G (UMTS), 2G, GPS, Glonass, Bluetooth 4 and plenty more, including being available in black or white, Ascend Mate is clearly more than powerful enough to handle today’s technological tasks.

The CEO of Huawei’s “Consumer Business Group”, Richard Yu, stated that: “The HUAWEI Ascend Mate breaks barriers to deliver a supercharged entertainment, communication and creative experience for all your personal and professional needs. The HUAWEI Ascend Mate is an industry-leading smartphone and showcases our innovation as we continue to make great technology available to more people globally.

Huawei says its Ascend Mate has a “screen-to-body ratio of 73%”, making it “the highest in the industry”, to “maximise your viewing pleasure for emails, documents, video or games”.

There’s also technology that sounds inspired by Nokia’s moves in the same direction – a “magic touch” capability for the screen that “provides enhanced screen responsiveness even with gloves” – something sure to please those wearing gloves in China who are rich enough in China to buy the Ascend Mate in the first place – and sure to please others in cold parts of the world where this feature would be greatly appreciated.

Just “6.5mm at its narrowest part”, Huawei says the Ascend Mate is “designed to fit comfortably in a single hand” – something we’d certainly like to evaluate for ourselves whenever the Ascend Mate makes it to Australian shores.

Huawei also boasts of battery supremacy, stating the Mate has “up to two days of ordinary usage on a single charge” thanks to new power-saving technologies, while also having “the fastest battery charging capability of smartphones in its range”, something that “saves over 30% of battery charging time”.  

A “dual-antenna design” is also nicely highlighted, promising “an increase of 20 to 30% of overall network coverage”, achieved by supporting “high power data transmission” which is “optimised with maximum ratio combining method to increase network reception by up to 2.5dB”.

Dual-microphones help with noise reduction, Dolby sound is built in, recordings are done in stereo, an “augmented reality” navigation program is built in, a “smart reading” function gives access to dictionaries and a “swift uploading” feature promising 2-3 times faster Wi-Fi uploads of content you’re sharing to online services.  

No prices are listed, and there’s no word as yet of global availability beyond China in Feb 2013, but as the world’s largest smartphone phablet (at least for the time being), we can only imagine Huawei will have more to share once the tech-loving expo madness that is any CES is over.

Here are the tech specs Huawei has shared for now:

- Operating system: Android 4.1

- User interface: Huawei Emotion UI

- Camera: 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR, and 1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera

- Video: 1080P video recording and video playback

- Screen: 6.1-inch HD IPS+ 1280 x 720 LCD touchscreen with Corning Gorilla glass

- Display: DLNA, Huawei AirSharing

- Weight: 198g

- Dimensions: 163.5 mm x 85.74 mm x 9.9 mm (6.5 inches x 3.4 inches x 0.4 inches)

- Processor: 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260

- Battery: 4050 mAh (typical)

- Standby time: up to 9 days on WCDMA

- Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR

- Network: supports UMTS bands 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz; GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

- Audio: 3.5 headset connector

- Supports: Gyroscope, GPS/GLONASS  

- Compatibility: supports AVI, MPEG4, mp3, AAC+, Enhanced AAC, and reading and editing Microsoft Office and Adobe documents through WPS Office

- Pre-installed games: Dungeon Hunter 3

- Colours: available in Crystal Black and Pure White


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.