Device reviews
    31 March 2015


    Why Huawei?

    Maybe you can’t pronounce it, but cellphone fundis insist you’ll like it: it’s the shiny new Huawei Ascend Mate 7. AMANDA TREMEER reviews it.

    Swapping from, for instance, a Samsung S5 Mini, to the new Huawei Ascend Mate 7 feels a bit like coming home and finding that someone has put an IMAX cinema where your TV used to be. This phone is huge.

    You almost certainly won't be using this phone with one hand – which doesn't bother everyone, of course. A nice feature is the fingerprint sensor, which is handily positioned on the back. This makes it very easy to reach with the index finger of the hand you're holding the phone in. 

     If you're a diehard phablet fan whose screen mantra is 'the bigger the better', then get yourself one of these immediately. You'll love it. 

    Big screen experience

    At 6 inches, it’s bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, one of 2014's most popular phablets, which comes in at 5.7 inches. It’s also significantly bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus, which is a comparatively teensy 5.5 inches.

    The screen resolution is pretty good too – and it’s fantastic for watching videos. The pixel density is decent, at 368PPI (less than the iPhone’s 401PPI, seeing as we making comparisons, and also less than the Sony Xperia Z3 at 424PPI).

    Slick design

    What is particularly lovely about the Mate 7 is the slim, sexy aluminium body, with a thin bezel that means the whole phone is pretty much all screen. It’s aimed squarely at the high-end market, and it certainly looks the part.

    Huawei made a name for itself in SA with the P6, a sleek and beautiful smartphone with great features for a very attractive price. Although the brand is not as familiar to us as Samsung or LG, Chinese company Huawei is the largest telecomms manufacturer in the world.

    Let's talk about price

    If we’re talking budget, the Huawei Mate 7 is a similar price to the very well reviewed Sony Xperia Z3. The big selling point of the Z3 is that it’s waterproof, and sports a 20.7MP camera. In that department, the Huawei doesn't compete – its camera is 13MP, although its 5MP front camera beats the Sony's 2.2MP. That said, the Mate 7 still takes fantastic photos, as you'd expect from a high-end device.

    Battery life

    Another selling point of the Mate 7 is the long-lasting battery, which makes it a good choice if you do a lot of work on the go. This baby won't let you down, and the giant screen does of course make answering emails and editing a bit easier. 


    One downside of this trendy looking smartphone is that it's running Android KitKat, and not the latest version. Huawei has added their own skin to the phone though, which defaults to a swish-looking gold that's pretty easy on the eye and had our graphic designer swooning. 


    Buying this phone is a little bit like buying a pair of jeans: first of all, you have to decide if you care about the label. If you're a loyal Sony, iPhone or Samsung user, you may take some convincing to swap to a brand with a little less cachet. But if all you care about is quality and features, this could be the choice for you. 

    Ultimately, however, it's about fit. If you're a diehard phablet fan whose screen mantra is 'the bigger the better', then get yourself one of these immediately. You'll love it.