Oh man, here we go. Phablets are no longer no longer constrained to limits of being under half a foot. Huawei's new Ascend Mate is an unprecedented 6.1 inches. It's been around before, but now it's official. Cower in fear beneath its all-encompassing shadow.
Aside from its ludicrous 6.1-inch, 361 ppi display, the Ascend Mate has a 4050mAh battery and a 1.5GHz HiSilicon K3V3 quad-core chip, both of which it will need to handle that wild screen that makes up 73 percent of the whole device. It runs Android Jelly Bean and is also functional even if you're wearing gloves, has built-in augmented reality navigation capability and split-screen multi-tasking.
In hopes of making calling more possible without holding the thing up to your face, the Ascend Mate has dual microphones, one on each end, to facilitate hands-free talking whenever possible.
Huawei's positioning the device to replace your laptop, ereader, phone and tablet, billing it as an all-in-on machine. It'll be available in China starting late this month and will roll out to "other markets" in March. So far, markets seem to be agreeing that bigger is better, and if there's a limit, the Ascend Mate could be the one to find it. Stay tuned for updates on Australian availability.
It's impossible to understate how honkin' huge this thing is, as far as phones are concerned. It's pretty easily held in a moderately sized male hand, but its size just makes things look kind of weird. It's definitely a two-handed device; you can't hope to touch more than half the screen if you're just using the thumb of your holding hand. The "one-hand UI design" helps to make things a little more possible, but there's still a lot of real-estate you just can't hit. All in all, it feels nice and solid, but it's just so ludicrously huge to even think of as a phone.
Technical Specifications • Operating system: Android 4.1 • User interface: Huawei Emotion UI • Camera: 8.0-megapixel AF rear-facing camera with HDR, and 1.0-megapixel HD front-facing camera • Video: 1080P video recording and video playback • Screen: 6.1-inch HD IPS+ 1280 x 720 LCD touchscreen with Corning® Gorilla® glass • Display: DLNA, Huawei AirSharing • Weight: 198g • Dimensions: 163.5 mm x 85.74 mm x 9.9 mm (6.5 inches x 3.4 inches x 0.4 inches) • Processor: 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260 • Battery: 4050 mAh (typical) • Standby time: up to 9 days on WCDMA • Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR • Network: supports UMTS bands 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz; GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz • Audio: 3.5 headset connector • Supports: Gyroscope, GPS/GLONASS • Compatibility: supports AVI, MPEG4, mp3, AAC+, Enhanced AAC, and reading and editing Microsoft Office and Adobe documents through WPS Office • Pre-installed games: Dungeon Hunter 3 • Colors: available in Crystal Black and Pure White