Huawei announces Ascend Mate 2 4G: same size, different feel

Huawei has announced a very iterative update to the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate which was unveiled a year ago at CES 2013. The world’s number three smartphone manufacturer in volume shipments, Huawei is trying to attract more thrifty customers to its largest smartphone line.

The successor, aptly-titled the Ascend Mate 2 4G, shares the same 6.1-inch screen size and 1280×720 pixel resolution, but ups the quality of the IPS panel, adding a layer of Gorilla Glass on top. Similarly, the chassis is more solid, with metal accents and a squarer design to go along with the faster 1.6Ghz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and 13MP rear camera with an f/2.0 lens for excellent low-light shots. The device sports a 5MP front-facing camera for extra-sharp selfies, and includes the ability to take “Panoramic Selfies,” which sounds exactly the same as regular panoramas but with a front-facing camera.


The company is also touting a bonus feature: the device’s huge battery can be used to charge other devices. Along with a 4,050mAh cell that promises 12 hours of continuous surf time over LTE and two days of generalized use, the Ascend Mate 2 ups the speed ante with support for 150Mbps LTE-Advanced in select countries. While it’s unclear whether the just-announced version will be out-of-the-box compatible with any Canadian networks, Huawei may choose to bring the device to our fair country in the coming months.

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 2.48.48 PM

Sporting Android 4.3 with Huawei’s Emotion 2.0 overlay, the Ascend Mate 2 has been optimized for one-handed use, with first-party apps shrunk down to a smaller scale to accommodate users’ thumb movements. Still, the Ascend Mate 2 is still a very large smartphone, weighing in at 202 grams with a thickness of 9.5mm, and will likely appeal to a niche market when it is released later this year.