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Hands on: Huawei's Ascend Mate

updated 11:42 pm EST, Wed January 9, 2013

Electronista handles Huawei's huge handset

Huawei is at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, as you might have guessed, and they're showing off their Ascend Mate phablet. The 6.1-inch Ascend Mate -- that is: six and one-tenth actual inches -- showed up on video late last year, but it sort of had to be seen to be believed. Topping even Samsung's Galaxy Note II, does the new Ascend Mate's extra girth give it an edge over other phone-tablet hybrids?

You'll notice two things upon first picking up the Ascend Mate: it is huge and it is light. It's deceptively, pleasantly light. But, again, it is huge. As you may remember from our review of the Galaxy Note II, we're fans of the large screen on that device. The Ascend Mate, though, is approaching the size of Google's Nexus 7 tablet, making us think it's probably a bit past the upper limit for how big a phablet should be. Whereas the Note II slips pretty easily into a pocket, it's a bit hard to imagine the Ascend Mate doing the same.

The Ascend Mate is easy on the eyes, though, with its plastic chassis coming in both glossy white and matte black. And it's really fast, zipping through transitions, which should be no surprise, given its quad-core 1.8GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. With a 4000mAh battery, Ascend Mate owners are going to see long hours of use.

So the Ascend Mate is definitely a niche handset. It's got a big, beautiful 1080p display and powerful internals, meaning it should be future-proof for some time. Lacking the smaller form factor and S Pen functionality of the Galaxy Note II, though, we're not sure whether the Ascend Mate's greater size and screen resolution will be enough of a selling point to put it over other competition.

by MacNN Staff



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