The last Ascend Mate from Huawei was an interesting device with an affordable price point, but you had to make some sacrifices to get comfortable with that sweet phablet-y goodness. It was only 720p, had an older processor, and the storage was lacking. The newly announced Ascend Mate7 is a big phone with many fewer sacrifices.

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The specs are a lot more presentable this time around. Here's what we've got to work with.

  • 6-inch 1080p LCD
  • Octa-core Kirin 950 processor (1.8GHz + 1.3GHz)
  • 16/32GB of storage
  • 2/3GB of RAM
  • 4100mAh battery
  • LTE Cat6 connectivity
  • 185g, 7.9mm thick
  • 13MP f/2.0 camera (rear), 5MP (front)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Android 4.4 with EMUI 3.0

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So clearly this isn't going after the entry level crowd like the last Mate. The specs aren't quite top-of-the-line, but it's a competitive device. That 4100mAh battery will certainly be nice, and the frame is mostly metal. You might be wondering about the new octa-core Kirin chip. It's running four Cortex-A15s and A7s in a big.LITTLE configuration like Samsung's Exynos chips. If it works well, that would be a big step up for Huawei in the performance department. There's also a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone that you can just press—no swiping required.

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The Huawei Ascend Mate7 will be out in Q3, but it will come with a higher price tag. It'll be €499 for the 16GB variant with 2GB of RAM and €599 for the 32GB device with 3GB of RAM. Full PR is below.

Berlin, Germany, September 4, 2014: Huawei today launched Ascend Mate7 at Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) 2014, featuring a big 6-inch screen with FHD display for enhanced entertainment viewing, a slimmer 7.9mm body for increased comfort, a more powerful octa-core chipset for superior performance, and a longer-lasting 4100 mAh battery. With new single-touch fingerprint technology and EMUI 3.0, Ascend Mate7 dials up the mobile experience to make it easier for users to live life to the fullest. Ascend Mate7 is the latest big-screen smartphone from Huawei as it showcased its big ambitions as the number three smartphone vendor in the world.

“Today marks the arrival of our fastest and most compelling big-screen smartphone experience for consumers. It’s a symbol of our relentless commitment to ‘Make it Possible’ for people everywhere to enjoy our premium quality products,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “Huawei Ascend Mate7 actually leads the big-screen pack with smarter performance, impressive power efficiency, and outstanding convenience with its superior single-touch fingerprint technology.”

Smart Performance

Boasting octa-core architecture, Ascend Mate7 has an intelligent Huawei Kirin 925 processor made up of four large A15 1.8 GHz and four small A7 1.3 GHz chipsets which are activated in different configurations depending on the power needs of a specific app or function so the smartphone can be smarter with power management. Ascend Mate7 saves up to 50% of the battery by automatically using smaller A7 cores to power standard apps that consumers use at least 80% of the time, and kicking in the larger A15 during high-performance use such as gaming. The processor will also automatically activate additional cores when it detects that 85% to 95% of a single core’s processing capability is being used.

Ascend Mate7 is possibly the market’s first 6-inch smartphone with instant single-touch fingerprint access to put an end to password fatigue. It enables users to unlock the phone at least 80% faster than devices that use a slower sweeping recognition option. Located on the back of the handset and measuring 9.16mm x 9.16mm, the reader supports up to five sets of different fingerprint records which can be allocated to normal and guest modes, so a user can switch modes to enhance protection when securing private folders, applications, or payment information. It has a higher 508PPI ratio for enhanced reader accuracy so there’s no need to swipe repeatedly before being able to unlock the device – even with wet fingers or under light rain conditions. ARM TrustZone also stores encrypted data of the fingerprint within the chipset for better protection by SecureOS, and prevents direct access by third-parties.

Featuring the fastest LTE Cat6 connectivity with download speeds of up to 300 Mbps, Ascend Mate7 enables HD movies to be downloaded in less than 30 seconds. Running on a high density 4100 mAh Li-Polymer battery, Ascend Mate7 managed to fit a huge battery in the slim body for more than two days of non-stop normal use. With Huawei’s proprietary power-saving technology, Ascend Mate7 provides three power saving modes – normal, smart, and ultra power saving.

Style and Substance

A rare find for smartphones of this size, Ascend Mate7 is made up of more than 95% metal and features an interior structure made of a strong aluminum alloy for superior heat reduction. At only 7.9mm slim and weighing 185g, it has an ergonomically curved back for easier operation with just one hand and an ultra-narrow 2.9mm bezel that delivers a compelling screen-to-body ratio of 83%. Ascend Mate7 comes in three chic colors, moonlight silver, obsidian black and amber gold.

With a 6-inch FHD in-cell LTPS display that consumes less power and JDI Nega-NEO technology for an impressive 1500:1 high contrast ratio, Ascend Mate7 delivers incredibly sharp images. It has a 13MP rear-facing camera to capture better party photos in low lighting with Sony’s 4th generation BSI sensor and f/2.0 aperture. In addition, the 5MP front-facing camera adopts the industry-leading 5P non-spherical lens for higher definition and less image distortion.

Intuitive Simplicity

Ascend Mate7 will launch with EMUI 3.0, the new version of Huawei’s intuitive user interface that makes it easier to operate with one hand and features a brand new look across the entire software interface. The new timeline design is used extensively throughout for enhanced consistency and usability across various apps. In addition, it actively addresses daily needs intuitively through practical and visually appealing design details, such as the convergence of key smartphone functions call, contact, and messaging, that can now be easily switched between with a single horizontal swipe.

Availability and Accessories

The recommended retail price of standard Huawei Ascend Mate7 (2GB RAM and 16GB ROM) is 499 euros, while that of the premium Huawei Ascend Mate7 (3GB RAM and 32GB ROM) is 599 euros. It will be available in more than 30 countries/territories including mainland China, Hong Kong, UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain from Q3 2014, with other markets to follow. Accessories include the new UltimoPower Active Noise Cancelling Earphones that reduce noise by 15-30db and features for the first time, a self-charging internal battery when connected to a smartphone and two hours of use when connected to other devices, as well as leather cases and a charging stand that converts the smartphone into a digital photo frame.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Brad

    Too lazy to google... but I'm assuming no US?

    • jonathan3579

      I sent them a tweet and they said there's no current plans for a US release. However, they did note it has full T-Mobile and AT&T band support.

      • Brad

        Well, shit. I just happen to be on T-mobile... Full enough that LTE is supported?

        • jonathan3579

          Yep! It even has HSPA+ on AWS to boot. It doesn't get any more T-Mobile friendly than that.

          • ProductFRED

            The Ascend Mate 2 is available on Amazon unlocked specifically with all US LTE bands (for AT&T and T-Mobile), so this must be their new strategy.

          • jonathan3579

            I'm just confused why they'd make a whole site for the Ascend Mate 2 (gethuawei.com) to sell to US customers but leave this device out with "no plans" for a US release. It can't be that difficult to deliver stock through there.

        • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

          If you live close to a Canadian border and don't mind the trip, you can get them from Wind. Wind usually carries their devices.

          • Brad

            Thanks for the heads up... I'm not TOO far from a couple of borders... It might be worth the drive vs shipping one in

      • Jane Seymour

        that was all I needed to know... t-mobile bands.

  • BAM1789

    Are they Android Version confused?? Android L Nav keys?

    • Jay T

      Huawei is moving up in the world!!!

    • james fuston

      I'll laugh if it turns out those buttons really are placeholders, but wahway really launches with those icons.

  • shamatuu

    Why can't this come to the US?.

  • Doakie

    Sort of want.

  • Captain Canada

    Really want to know how the fingerprint sensor performance compares to TouchID

    • jonathan3579

      I'm wondering the same. The most interesting thing to me that's not mentioned here is that you don't even need to turn the screen on to unlock the phone with it.

      • Kylecore

        This screen off unlock feature is in most highend phones now, just traded my HTC One M8 for an LG G3 and both have a "tap to turn on/unlock" while the screen is off.

        • jonathan3579

          You missed what I'm saying. You can unlock the phone by placing your finger on the scanner without the screen being on unlike the iPhone which requires you to turn the screen on first.

          • Kylecore

            That i did sir, my apologies. Thought you were just talking about unlocking the phone with the screen off :P

  • Giziguzio Papajuzi

    I wonder why is it named Ascend Mate7 if the screen is 6 inch? You added inches to CPU cores and then got an average of 7... somethings, Huawei? Just joking, this looks very well. Small bezels, metal frame, decent specs what else could you want from a phone? Maybe apart from Note-esque stylus but that's not essential.

    • Fatty Bunter

      It's 7 because the last digit in all the serial numbers is 7.

  • Đức Thành

    That looks rather nice, I must admit. Except for that logo placement, of course.

  • Mark Washington

    Come on Sprint replace my HTC One Max

  • Brandon Franklin

    Awsome! Won't be long now till I can buyinvent(?) My backpack protective case to carry my "phone" in. I'd imagine another 3 years and we'll up to a 22" screens on these devices. Can u just imagine all that screen real estate! Now we just need people to get over the whole pocketable device fad and OEMS can get back to innovating. Kudos huawei!

  • Godspoken

    I like the back fingerprint sensor. MUCH better than Samsung's from the look of it, though of course it's going to depend on the software backing it. Touch ID is lightyears ahead of most fingerprint scanning software I've come across.

  • _black_

    No one cares about your china crap, Huawei.