Yesterday at a CES press event, Huawei announced their biggest — no, THE biggest — smartphone to date. A 6.1-inch display-touting Jelly Bean smartphone running the company’s custom Emotion UI. The Ascend Mate, which makes the 5-inch Ascend D2 (also announced yesterday) look tiny by comparison, is quite the hefty handset, and we got a chance to go hands-on at last night’s Digital Experience show.
Now, I’m a pretty big dude, but one of the first things I noticed (other than the pretty spectacular 720p display) was just how large this device really feels. At the same time, however, it’s surprising how it doesn’t feel nearly as large as say a Nexus 7, despite featuring a screen only an inch smaller. All that being said, big hands or not, the Ascend Mate is not the sort of phone you can easily operate single handed.
Otherwise, Huawei’s latest was plenty impressive. It does no disservice to the Chinese company’s recent product lineup featuring handset such as the Huawei P1 and Huawei D Quad. Unlike those handsets, however, as of now the Ascend Mate doesn’t feature the option to switch between stock Android and Hauwei’s Emotion UI.
While that feature on previous releases was absolutely killer, what Huawei has done with their custom overlay is pretty impressive. It runs nice and smooth on the phone’s quad-core processor (developed in-house by Huawei) and features a few intriguing enhancements, including the ability to manually hide or show Jelly Bean’s software navigation buttons.
Other features include an 8MP and a big 4000 mAh battery, providing plenty of flexibility. And flexible this device is, pushing the boundaries of the “phablet” category right up to its limits. Now the only question left is when we’ll see the border completely dissolve. Who knows, next CES we could be seeing a 7-inch device parading as an Android smartphone.