Huawei's latest Mate is a definite step up from the last

IFA 2014 At its Berlin press conference, Huawei made the new Ascend Mate 7 official. And honestly, we're pretty impressed. Need more? OK, sure. It's a 6-inch, 1080p, octa-core phone constructed from a single piece of aluminum. It's got a 13MP camera round the back where you also find a single-touch fingerprint scanner with big claims behind its accuracy and its speed.

We've got one in for review right now, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks. But while we're here in Berlin we had to crack open the box and take a quick look.

As we already mentioned, the Mate 7 is aluminum right through. A single – albeit large – piece construction, and it's really, really nice. It's slim, too, so despite its size it doesn't feel particularly unwieldy to hold and use. There won't be any one-handing going on here, but it's not as large as it might have been with that 6-inch display.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

That in part is due to the 83% screen to body ratio. The side bezels on the Mate 7 are virtually invisible while the top and bottom are used for things such as the earpiece, selfie camera and the Huawei logo. But as LG has done with phones like the G2 and the G3, Huawei has packed a ton of screen into a device that feels a little smaller than the display size would have you believe.

The display is a Full HD, 1080p panel, no QHD craziness here. But it's perfectly OK. The colors are bright, text is sharp and all in all it's a pleasure to look at. The Ascend P7 that came earlier this year had a display that surprised us a little with its quality, and the news is every bit as good here.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

So, coming to the fingerprint scanner. Huawei CEO, Richard Yu, made a big deal of this during the introduction, particularly by claiming its faster than Apple's Touch ID. That's another post for another day but Huawei has one-upped Samsung on in the fingerprint scanning arena. It's a single touch scanner which means you can unlock your phone from screen off and locked just by placing your finger on it.

And it works. So far accuracy has been almost perfect, and with full 360 degree recognition you don't even have to be that accurate with your own finger placement. Unlocking takes about a second, but it's certainly fast enough, and the placement of the scanner has to be given some praise. Much like LG seems to manage with its back buttons, Huawei has positioned the fingerprint scanner in pretty much the ideal location to land your finger on it every time you pick up the phone.

A couple of other things worth noting at this early stage. The software has had another redesign, we're now up to EMUI 3.0 and while the homescreen is basically the same as the P7 – no app drawer, still – elsewhere throughout the phone there's a definite minimalist feel. The camera also seems pretty good so far, though we're going to have to spend a lot more time shooting pictures with it to get a real feel for it. The P7 camera was excellent so we're hopeful.

We'll be posting a full review of the Mate 7 in the coming weeks.


Reader comments

Hands-on with the 6-inch Huawei Ascend Mate 7


Seriously ? In these days and time, you are still excited to be the first to comment? .... Sad, sad, sad!!


Build quality so much better than the Note 4. Because a metal band makes it all better. Pfff

Posted via the Android Central App

The Galaxy Note 4 trumps this thing so badly it's criminal. But yes the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 pimp slaps any silly Lg G3 so easily it's comical.

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Since you are constantly calling other people cheap and can't afford "real devices" why don't you try buying an mate 7 as your backup phone to your new note 4 your getting that way you can give other companies a chance they might surprise you. If you would have stuck with HTC and the evo line you would have never given Samsung a chance but since you did you fell in love with the galaxy note line which I do agree with you the note 4 is absolute beast of a phone but maybe give another OEM a chance if you can afford it why not get different phones from different vendors?

Posted via Android Central App

Good job huawei. I also Like their new processor thats also in the honor 6.

Ita a beast for sure!

Posted by my G3 or my 1+

Okay AC, when was the last time you saw a phone completely (keyword here) uninspired from another phone in the past. All this "Looks Like HTC" "Looks like an iPhone" should really stop.

Monster phone, bit too big for me. *sighs*

Posted via Android Central App

I sure hope this comes to the U.S.A. I absolutely love my Mate 2 and this would be a GREAT update. For the right price, I'd be all over it.

Hope to see this in the states! Had my Mate2 for about 8 weeks, LOVE IT! 2-3 days battery life is AWESOME!

What about the software ? Will it get Android L and the other upgrade after ? Are the actual product from Huawei upgrading from whatever version of android they were to 4.4.4 ?
Apart from this question this is a really beautifull phone, can't wait for your review !

I would drop my Galaxy S5 in a heat beat if I could pick up one of these on Verizon. but I fear that the only chance of getting one of these is to go to another smaller carrier.

Huawei always comes up with unpredictable products. best in its design. This will be my next phone to replace my 3 years old Ascend D2. Ill give 9 out of 10