Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 phablet lands in Malaysia

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Shortly after launching its flagship mid-range smartphone, the Honor 6, Huawei is giving phablet fans something to cheer about — the new Huawei Ascend Mate 7.

The Ascend Mate 7 was launched internationally just last month after impressing consumers at IFA 2014 in Berlin. Malaysia is one of the first few markets to receive the new flagship phablet.

This isn’t my first time with the device, having had a hands-on experience with it several weeks ago courtesy of Aman Firdaus, founder of Amanz.my. Some media globally were seeded the device at IFA 2014.

Hey, good looking

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ascend Mate 7 is its striking good looks. OK so its design cues seem familiar (hint: HTC One M8 and HTC One Max), but make no mistake, it’s a good looker in every sense of word.

Build is top notch, the 6-inch display encased in a durable aluminium alloy chassis. The Ascend Mate 7 weighs in at 185g and is just 7.9mm thin.

A large, super bright 6-inch Full HD display is at the front, and a fingerprint sensor sits below the rear 13MP rear snapper.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

The power of 8

Huawei has the advantage of producing own chips, and just like the Honor 6 and the excellent Ascend P7, the Ascend Mate 7 also features the octa-core Kirin 925 processor.

The Kirin 925 is made up of four large A15 1.8Ghz cores and four smaller A7 1.3Ghz cores. By intelligently using cores based on app requirements and power needs, the chip can better optimise power usage.

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Huawei claims the Ascend Mate 7 can save up to 50% in power consumption on apps. For more demanding applications like 3D games, the chip can switch to larger A15 cores.

The chip is mated to a super fast Mali T628 GPU and comes bundled with 2GB or 3GB of RAM.

One of the key features of the Ascend Mate 7 is support for LTE Cat 6, which can give users theoretic speeds of up to 300Mbps.

Camera optics are an essential part of a modern day smartphone, and in this aspect, the Ascend Mate 7 delivers. The rear shooter is a fourth generation Sony Exmor RS 13MP with BSI and f/2.0 aperture. The front is 5MP for some super sharp selfies.

The single-touch fingerprint sensor on the back of the device can be used to unlock the phone, as well as launch different apps. You can pair up to five fingerprints

If you’re power hungry like me, then the Ascend Mate 7 should satisfy all your demanding power needs with its whopping 4,100mAh battery.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Standard or Premium? Take your pick

There are two variants available: Standard and Premium.

Standard gives you 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, while the Premium equips you with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. Storage in both models can expanded to up to 64GB via microSD.

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Standard gives you two colour options: Moonlight Silver and Obsidian Black (sounds very sci-fi-like) and Premium will gave a single Amber Gold option.

What’s interesting about the Premium version is that it’s dual-SIM slot doubles up as a microSD slot. I first saw something similar with the new OPPO N3. If you choose to run with two SIMs then you’d not be able to use it for memory expansion. SIM1 supports 4G LTE, while SIM2 up to 3G.

The Ascend Mate 7 runs Android KitKat with Huawei’s snazzy Emotion UI 3.0.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Pricing and availability

The Standard retails at RM1,799 and the Premium is priced at RM1,999. Both will be available from 14 November onwards.

Customers who purchase the new device are entitled to a free Smart Cover (worth RM128), whilst stocks last.

For full specifications and additional info, visit Huawei.

Intial impressions

My first hands-on with the Ascend Mate 7 several weeks ago, was a positive one. I remember telling Aman that I was very impressed with the build quality, and it felt really good in the hands. While I feel the fingerprint sensor is gimmicky at best, I can tell that Huawei’s throwing everything it can at its flagship tablet.

Emotion UI 3.0 looks great and performance overall is top notch.

At RM1,800, it’s not cheap considering the competition out there. However, if money isn’t an issue, what you will get is a premium smartphone with plenty of punch.

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