Huawei Mate S – Spoiled the design
DIMENSIONS: 149.8 x 75.3 x 7.2 mm (5.90 x 2.96 x 0.28 in)
WEIGHT: 156 g (5.50 oz)
SCREEN: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors - 5.5 inches
RESOLUTION: 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
PROCESSOR: HiSilicon Kirin 935 - Quad-core 2.2 GHz & quad-core 1.5 GHz
RAM: 3 GB
MEMORY: 32/64/128 GB + microSD, up to 128 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
SOFTWARE:Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop), planned upgrade to v6.0 (Marshmallow)
CAMERA: 1/2.6" sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
* Primary: 13 MP, f/2.0, 28mm, OIS, autofocus, dual-LED flash
* Secondary: 8 MP, f/2.4, 26mm, LED flash
BATTERY: Non-removable 2700 mAh battery
• Force Touch
Huawei Mate S
Everyone was convinced that 2015 would be a good year for Huawei and its devices have confirmed that indeed the Chinese manufacturer has matured: the Honor range grows and reference terminals this year have been at a good level, even though they are not yet where but they want to get. We saw it with the P8 before and now with Huawei Mate S.
Last year the Ascend Mate 7 pleasantly surprised us. It was a phablet with very good ideas and competitive hardware, little rough in design, but effective in use. Huawei has taken note of this and as the P series has decided to remove the polish Mate Ascend name and leave a terminal that advances in many ways and back in a few.
From year to year, renewals are usually discrete hardware unless there has been some significant progress among semiconductor manufacturers. This year has been particularly interesting and the changes we see are fairly predictable but well-targeted.
This was a natural evolution where Huawei once again committed itself in the SoC architecture. A model that was already seen in some models like P8 but all of them, so if we compare this model with others, we see that there is a slight improvement.
Huawei is not encouraged currently to jump to a higher resolution. This time, they were also betting on AMOLED panel with PenTile matrix which is impossible to see with the naked eye.
This year’s Huawei Mate S, as the P8, is playing the trump card design as one of its most characteristic elements and it is true that it does very well, that translates into some compromises.
Huawei wanted to spoil the design and the S Mate has achieved that. It is a phone that comes very well by the eye. It is able to convey elegance and sturdiness at the same time. It is fine, but it does not feel that it will break at the first opportunity.
Comfortable in the hand, the metal of the back just slips and does not convey a cold feeling when we catch it. It doesn’t overheat when it is at full capacity because more heat is distributed along the surface in plastic phones. The material holds up well every day moving it from side to side while the metal tends to make a little dirt and grease. That’s nothing that cannot be removed with a cloth and unscratched.
On the front, we find a 2.5D glass that protects the screen. It’s subtle but attractive touch to the mobile element when we pick the frames. When off, the feeling that the front space is maximized. The truth is that they have done a great job but once we turn it on, we see vertical black lines. They are not wide but Huawei plays a little cluelessness to homogenize better screen and body.
The weight ratio size leaves a very light hand terminal. Compared to the Mate 7, it seems as if they polished all the rough it was to get out from under the Mate S. This adds much more comfort and ease of use with one hand, but to get well at all points have to use both.
Mate S joins the selected club; it has few representatives, the AMOLED. After years with IPS LCD, this time, they have decided to bet on this technology, knowing that the quality of such panels is on a very good level, even though with some failures here and there.
AMOLED always pulls out the same questions: ‘’ is it PenTile?’’ – Yes. ‘’Is it noticeable?’’ – No. Not using it on a daily basis or by looking at the details.
The color temperature is well balanced and only a slight deviation is noticed toward the blue when we turn at angles where the screen will not normally use the phone. In front, there’s a correct white balance where besides the great brightness of the panel, it makes the device screen look very well.
The contrast is large and takes advantage of AMOLED screen to display a large color space to reach the pure black in each tone. The brightness is used very well outdoors: the screen looks perfectly on the direct natural light and also the front glass is very thin and hardly produces reflections.
Indoors, with a little brightness, it is more than enough to see the screen without straining your eyes, something that is appreciated when facing the battery consumption. One of the common problems with recent AMOLED is the appearance of spots on the screen.
Force Touch could have been one of the great strengths of Huawei Mate S but it has only introduced into the model with more memory. While acknowledging a pressure level less than the 3D Touch Apple would have been a good opportunity for the Chinese manufacturer was to get positioned better against other Android handsets. That did not happen this time.
Kirin 935 and was seen earlier this year in the P8 but only in some selected markets. After testing and comparing it with the 930, we can see that both synthetic tests and in everyday use there are no major differences.
Mate S is scored well but still some way off the Snapdragon 810 and Exynos 2.1. Despite being down here, the numbers are still very good but showing that Kirin has to improve road ahead if they want to lead in processor area.
Something very interesting was the choice of the GPU for Mate S, a Mali T628 MP4. Huawei has surprisingly decided to put a component of two years that we have seen in other terminals as MediaPad X2 and M2 and Xiaomi Redmi 2A among others. It may seem a trivial decision but that explained why this phablet 2015 will choke some tasks.
Let us now see things from the critical aspect: the battery. From one year to another it has lost 1,400 mAh. It is the price we pay for caring more about the design, especially wanting it to be slim and light. Meter 4,100 mAh in a body of 7.2 mm thick and 156 grams is not viable.
With the Mate 7 without making excessive mobile phone use, we could reach two days without problems. With the Mate S, we know that we have to recharge it before it reaches the night.
The base model of the Mate S has the 32GB capacity. As users, we have 24GB that we can use however we want. That’s quite enough for the start and we always have the possibility of using a microSD to relieve heavy files such as photos and videos.