Huawei bets on “seven” at IFA with the G7, Mate7

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If big phones are your thing, you’re in luck, as Huawei updates its Ascend G series with a 5.5 inch model, and a 6 inch Mate to go along with it.

It’s a little past the middle of the year, and that must mean it’s time for a refresh of phones. Samsung did it last week, as did Sony and Motorola, with Nokia chiming in too, and now it’s time for Huawei to get its hands dirty with a couple of refreshes.

First on the update schedule is the Ascend Mate which sees a few changes and the addition of a number.

While a brief update earlier on that we never saw allowed Huawei’s phablet to be released as the Mate2, another update this year will see it skip a few models and be called the Mate7, although it won’t be getting the 7 inch screen to accompany the name change.

No, the 6 inch screen size sticks and even gets slightly reduced, as Huawei updates the 6.1 inch HD display to a 6 inch Full HD in the new model, packing in 368 pixels per inch, higher than the iPhone’s Retina-grade screen, and working alongside a Huawei-made eight-core processor made up of two separate quad-core chips.

A metal body is also being embraced here, as is the latest in 4G LTE connectivity, with Category 6 supported here, a technology that isn’t even running in Australia yet, and will — when it is setup — achieve download speeds of up to 300Mbps.

“Today marks the arrival of our fastest and most compelling big-screen smartphone experience for consumers,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group.

“It’s a symbol of our relentless commitment to ‘Make it Possible’ for people everywhere to enjoy our premium quality products,” he said, adding that ”Huawei Ascend Mate7 actually leads the big-screen pack with smarter performance, impressive power efficiency, and outstanding convenience with its superior single-touch fingerprint technology.”

The last one is of particular note, and the Ascend Mate7 joins Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung’s Galaxy S5, and HTC’s One Max (2013) to reintroduce the fingerprint back into the smartphone, missing until Apple brought it back last year.

While there hasn’t been much use for the technology outside of unlocking the smartphone, paying for apps, and using your PayPal account, Huawei plans to embrace the technology to let people log into guest accounts using fingerprints, as well as improve recognition conditions with wet fingers and rain no longer expected as an obstacle.

Android will be running here, and Huawei expects to have two versions of the phone, with a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage as the base model, as well as a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage model for people keen to spend a little more.

But it’s not the only Huawei handset to see a new design applied, as the Ascend G range of products sees a design different from the plastic handsets they normally have.

For the G7, the Ascend moves to a metal body, and not just a plastic body with a metal strip around the edges like the G6 had. We’re told that the metal body is made from one piece and is a unibody, like the HTC One M8, except made for a mid-range audience, and with several colour options, including silver, grey, and gold.

Inside this metal body won’t be one of Huawei’s own chips, but rather a Qualcomm Snapdragon, with the 410 peeking out, a new version of the Snapdragon 400 that has been in use since last year, with the newer Adreno 306 GPU replacing the 305. These mid-range innards will accompany 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, microSD slot, Android 4.4 “KitKat,” Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Category 4 LTE, GPS, and a 3000mAh battery, as well as two cameras, with a 5 megapixel front-facing shooter and a 13 megapixel camera on the back.

And this will all be covered by a 5.5 inch high definition display, taking on mid-range plastic big phones with its mid-range metal finish.

“In a market flooded with mid-tier smartphones that have a plastic look and feel, Ascend G7 stands out with its beautifully crafted, elegant metallic design,” said Huawei’s Richard Yu. “The vibrant 4G LTE-enabled Ascend G7 has been created for consumers around the world to ‘Make it Possible’ to embrace their individuality and live life their own way.”

Neither of the handsets have prices or release dates in Australia, but when Huawei tells us something concrete, you can be sure that we’ll let you know.