Huawei has been trying to break into the US market for years, but the current trend towards inexpensive, off-contract smartphones may be in their favor. That would explain why the company stated that it plans to bring the Ascend Mate II to American shores in its CES press conference. This big-screen, mid-range phone has a trick up its sleeve thanks to an oversized battery.

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Let's dive into the specs, shall we? The Ascend Mate II uses a 6.1-inch IPS LCD screen - not bad, especially for those who want a large display. Here's the kicker: it's 720p, considerably lower-resolution than devices like the Galaxy Note 3 or the HTC One Max, and more in line with the Galaxy Mega series. Combine that with the Snapdragon 400 (MSM8928) dual-core 1.6Ghz processor (a 1.6Ghz Huawei model will sub in for the Chinese market), and this seems like a mid-range phone for sure. On the other hand, it's got 2GB of RAM, a 13MP F/2.0 rear camera and a 5MP F/2.4 front-facing shooter, and a downright ginormous 4,050mAh battery. That says "premium."


And that battery isn't limited to powering the Ascend Mate II. The internal removable battery can actually be used to power other mobile devices. We'll have a hands-on later to test this out.

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Other specifications include 16GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot, a 9.5mm body, LTE category 4, and Huawei's highly customized "Emotion" skin on top of Android 4.3. This software can react to some unique gestures, including squashing certain apps to one side or another with a tilt.

Huawei isn't saying when the Ascend Mate II will be available, or on which American carrier it intends to release the device... if indeed they intend to release it with a carrier partner at all. At the CES press conference AT&T was floated as a "compatible" carrier, so whatever happens, a GSM-LTE model is likely.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today launched the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The 4G LTE-enabled smartphone is Huawei's new super performer that gives people around the world more power and a bigger screen to seize opportunities at every moment. With its 6.1-inch IPS screen, long-lasting 4050 mAh[1] battery, and 5-megapixel front-facing camera, HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G is perfect for enjoying more non-stop entertainment and has enough power to watch six downloaded movies or listen to up to 100 hours of music on a single charge.

"With HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G, we are bringing the benefits and convenience of superfast connectivity to people everywhere," said Colin Giles, Executive Vice President, Huawei Consumer Business Group. "HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G is power-packed for the mobile generation who want non-stop entertainment on the go, such as the ability to snap and download photo albums in seconds or use their smartphone as their mobile office."

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G features a powerful quad-core 1.6 GHz processor and a long-lasting 4050 mAh battery to enjoy a half-day of web surfing on a single charge. The smartphone features unique power saving technology that improves performance by more than 30% compared to other smartphones in its class. HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G is 9.5mm slim and its stylish shape and ergonomic casing lets the phone fit comfortably in the palm of the hand.
HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G comes with Huawei's proprietary Emotion UI 2.0.[2] The intuitive user interface features Huawei's One-Hand UI to enable single-handed operation, made easier with HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G's 79% screen-to-body ratio. Its Floating Window function gives multi-taskers access to notes, messages, calendar and calculator at any time, and Huawei's Simple UI aids easy customization, perfect for those who like to keep their homescreen simple. Ensuring convenient use at all times, the smartphone's Gloves Mode functionality supports use when wearing gloves and Driving Mode enables voice activation when on the road.
At 6.1-inches, HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G's large screen is ideal for viewing documents, watching movies or browsing pictures. Spontaneously snap and view photos with HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G's 13-megapixel BSI rear-facing camera featuring 2.0 aperture, enabling crystal clear and professional-quality photos, whatever the occasion. Turn the smartphone around and HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G's 5-megapixel front-facing camera, with vertical panorama and Auto Face Enhancement, broadens pictorial horizons to create a fun-filled 'selfie' experience.
To keep up with today's around-the-clock lifestyle, HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G offers ubiquitous connection. Whether at your desk, on the road, or at home, HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G's lightning fast LTE Cat4 connectivity enables movie downloads in minutes or work file uploads in a flash, with speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Across its range of accompanying connectivity options including WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G offers all-round support.

To add more color and fun to HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G, additional accessories including a Bluetooth earphone, stylish flip cover and colorful external battery packs, are available for purchase.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Ark

    Jesus. With these specs this phone should last like 3 days straight. 720p with 6.1 inch screen is probably awful though

    • mesmorino

      It's not. 720p is not a bad resolution, it just seems that way because it's competition has more resolution. Except, more is not better. It would help if places like Android Police didn't inject their biases with phrases like "here's the kicker", as if 720p is so screen meltingly awful.

      My advice is, go to a store and actually LOOK at the damn thing. If you're happy with it, then it's not bad. If you're impressed with it, then it's very good. It's only bad if you don't like it and even then, it's only bad for *you*

      • estheria

        Chill man. He said "probably".

        I appreciate your very (very) good advice but, geez, it sounds like giving a full presidential speech when someone just ask "how are you". lol xD

      • Ark

        Right, when I posted, I wasn't saying that this is true for me and my opinion, but the Truth and true for all living creatures. /s

        • mesmorino

          Yes, and obviously when *I* posted, I wasn't merely stating my opinion, I was imposing THE Truth for all living creatures. /s

    • Ryan Lindsey

      720p with my 5.5" GN2 is just fine - I actually prefer it sometimes to a higher-density screen, when faced with apps that aren't designed to take advantage of it.

      Does watching a movie in 1080p make it better content than a 720p movie, or even 480p?

      • Cheeseball

        Not content wise, but better in visual quality, especially if you output that movie to a bigger screen.

    • Markoff

      it's almost same resolution as has my 14.1" laptop (1366x768) and I can't honestly say that I would be looking at phone from 2 times shorter distance than i look at laptop, so I don't really understand the obsession with Full HD for small displays

      • Ark

        That is widely regarded as garbage resolution for a laptop (check any laptop review in any site).

        • Markoff

          pardon me that I don't buy new laptop every year and I am satisfied with something which works fine and consider especially Full HD on such small screen as useless, since you have to mess up with fonts to make it readable, I am so sorry to be satisfied with garbage oh might God
          I have two work machines, both with crappy 12-13" Full HD displays and first thing I have to do is set up fonts to 150% to barely see anything, maybe you will understand it one day when your eyes will be fucked up that looking at small display with huge resolution is not the way to go

          • Ark

            I think you're confusing "desirable" with "what you can afford". This is a future phone, I'm saying what I find desirable in a phone. Not "Oh good it's a bad resolution, so the price will be lower".

  • ProductFRED

    Not really something I'd buy, even as an ex-Note 2 owner (S4 now, but LOVED the Note 2). However, after seeing what the Snapdragon 400 can do for battery life in the Moto G, it's pretty obvious that this thing will have crazy battery life, way past what the Note line can do.

  • yankeesusa

    I would have probably given this phone a shot if it had a better screen resolution for the size of it and at dual core it is a little old by now. If this was running kitkat out of the box then maybe i would think about it.

    • OSagnostic

      It's a quad core Cortex A7. Press release has it correct.

  • Jeff

    They need to re-brand like LG did a few years back when the ditched the Goldstar name. Huawei is difficult to pronounce unless you have heard it before and conveys the message "Cheap and Chinese". On the hardware side, they are really starting to produce more desirable products all the time.

    • mesmorino

      It only sounds "Cheap and Chinese" to westernised ears, and mostly American ears at that. And it's no more difficult to pronounce than Hyundai, for example.

    • Ramsey

      No offense, it doesn't sound cheap and Chinese to me. It sounds like a normal company that is international that produces many IT related products. They have an office in Guatemala also (I was about to work with them while I was there). Concerning this phone, it really needs to be a 1080p screen instead of 720p at 6.1 in. to allow more things on the screen at once.

      • vivecuervo7

        I disagree with this - I think if the focus is on battery life rather than the screen itself, it's a smart move staying at 720p. The amount of times I see a new phone with a big screen, a nice big battery, and then a 1080p screen to kill all that extra juice I was looking forward to. Compared to other phones on the market - not so great for marketing, but for someone needing battery life, it's perfect.

      • Jeff

        Working in retail where I demo handsets daily to customers I hear the "cheap and chinese" feedback regarding Huawei from customers daily. The funny thing is that the other king of cheap, Alcatel, does not have the same issue because the name is easy to pronounce and sounds "Murican". I know it isn't PC to say that the brand name sounds cheap, but that is the perception the brand has in America, which is an important market for any electronics manufacturer. Our Huawei rep himself the other day lamented that they have been established as a budget brand in America and that it will be difficult to convince carriers here to carry their high end products when they are trapped in the bargain basement of the the consumers mind. If they were to use a new brand name for their high end products (think Honda and Acura) they may have an easier time breaking the perception barrier. I'm all for great hardware at a low cost and look forward to seeing what they do over the next year.

        • Ramsey

          Yes, I meant to say that in America it probably sounds cheap but not necessarily in all other places. Just like Mesmorino said, "to westernised ears.." Huawei does some nice solid products from what I have seen. They just need to improve on their battery life and this is a good phone to start with.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I'd be interested in something like this with a smaller screen. I am fine with 720 resolution...maybe it's my eyes going bad, but I don't see a huge difference between my old S3 and my new Nexus 5.

    Love that battery, but I just dontnwant to lug around a phone that big.

  • Ray Sunghwa Woo

    It's not definitely the high end phone but a decent phone with huge display. It is probably because with more affordable price model, they can attract more market in China. Not everyone needs the Snapdragon 800, 805 or latest Nvidia chips on their phone but good enough chip to run everyday-apps like text messaging app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and web browser.

    The only reason why I didn't like on Note II when it came out was it had 720p on larger screen. It was their "premium" phone and still chose to have 720p display. If you read books on your phone, you will see the difference of quality on each letter. But for a mid-range phone like this one, it's forgiven and understandable approach.

  • Ringading

    i'm sorry but it looks almost identical so the S4 / Note3 (if you cut off the hardwarebutton)

  • Karthik

    I want to buy this smartphone. But the origin of the brand is stopping me to buy this phone. Nobody can trust China made products. iphone is made in china, but iphone is an American company. Origin of the brand matters. I guess this one better than S4 in some point of view but i dont like to go for this huawei due to their birth place.