Huawei Ascend Mate7 review

Here's how Huawei's new Android phone measures up

27 Nov 2014

Can Huawei make it in the land of giants?

Huawei’s biggest phone yet packs an impressive screen, fantastically simple fingerprint scanner and bags of power. So can the Huawei Ascend Mate7 really take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Nexus 6?


The best bits

  • Brilliantly simple fingerprint scanner for more security
  • Sleek, compact aluminium design looks stunning
  • Big, clear, colourful screen immerses you in movies
  • Enormous battery lets you stay away from the charger
  • High powered processor blasts through apps

With its fantastic battery and impressive screen, the Huawei Ascend Mate7 is designed to keep you entertained all day. It’s perfect if you love watching movies and playing games on the move.

Simple security

On the back of the Huawei Ascend Mate7 there’s a fingerprint scanner to keep all your private information private. But it works much more simply than other ones. All you need to do is touch it and it’ll recognise your print, wake the phone up and unlock it so there’s no need to push any buttons. And we’ve found it to be really accurate.

Premium design

The Huawei Ascend Mate7’s body is made from aluminium, so it’s cool to the touch and looks really modern. But what we really like is how compact it is. It’s thinner than a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and only very slightly wider and taller, but the screen is even bigger at 6 inches. That makes the Mate7 look especially good from the front because there’s almost no space around the screen.

Surprising screen

We think that big screen is impressive quality too. Whether you’re reading, watching a movie or playing a game, it’s easy on the eye. That’s because things look clear, bright and colourful. Its Full HD resolution gives plenty of detail and the LCD panel that creates the image looks really close to the surface of the screen, which always makes things look a lot better

Plenty of power

Inside the Ascend Mate7 there’s an octa core processor made by Huawei – that’s twice as many cores as most high end smartphones. This stops things slowing down when you run lots of apps in the background. And as half the cores run more slowly than the other half, and the phone can choose which half to use, you use less battery when you don’t need maximum speed.

A decent camera

We’re also impressed by the Mate7’s camera. The photos feel a little dim when the light’s not perfect, but colours are always accurate, which we can’t say about a lot of camera phones. And we really like the all-focus feature, which lets you change where a photo’s focused after you’ve taken it.

The downsides

Huawei has added its own software to Android on the Mate7 and it doesn’t feel particularly easy to use. There’s no app drawer, for example, so every app is on one of your home screens, which can make it feel cluttered. We think the software also looks pretty ugly when you first switch it on, but you can easily change the theme to sort that out.

Our verdict

Overall Huawei’s first phablet will give Samsung and Google some stiff competition. We love the looks and the sense of security that the fingerprint scanner gives you. And the massive 4,100mAh means you can go for days without charging. The Huawei Ascend Mate7 is a great complete package.

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