Looking around the world, it’s not hard to see the impact of the phablet, because if you fancy a big phone, that option is now there for you. These larger screened smartphones are basically the equivalent to having a tablet you can keep in your pocket or handbag, and we see them everywhere now.
And once you’re with one, it’s hard to go back to a smaller screen. Sometimes bigger is just better.
Huawei knows this all too well, and has been producing big-screen smartphones since 2013 when it first unveiled the “Mate”, a large 6.1 inch smartphone that came with an Aussie name.
Back then, it felt like Huawei’s Mate was little more than a big experiment, arriving with mediocre performance and no 4G, but yet still offering that big screen with a huge battery, two of the main features people go for phablet-style devices.
Since that first release, Huawei has evolved the Mate, and in 2014, we saw a solid example of the Mate in the Mate 7.
We’re still not sure where the “7” came from (because it wasn’t the screen size), but it didn’t matter because in the Mate 7, Huawei had matched great mobile technology, a surprisingly powerful home-built processor, a lovely screen, metal body, and a pretty top notch fingerprint scanner for $699.
And it wasn’t just GadgetGuy’s writers that were enthused by the Mate 7, with Huawei selling over seven million handsets for this phone worldwide, helping to push the company into the number three spot for worldwide phone sales, just behind Apple and Samsung.
Now, however, the Mate is back, as Huawei taps a greater understanding for hardware and matches it with some of what it has learned from the partnership with Google to result in a new Mate.
This time we’re talking about the Mate 8, and again, we’re not sure where the number is from. Technically, this is the fourth-generation of the Huawei Mate handsets, not the eighth, so we’re a little confused.
There’s also no eight inch screen here, with Huawei sticking with another 6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) display, a little lower than the Quad HD screens we’ve come to expect, but still offering a Retina-busting 368 pixels per inch.
Huawei isn’t just making it the same screen, though, improving the technology with a newer style of In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen (NEO-IPS) with a higher level of contrast and better viewing angles.
Inside the phone, there’s more homebuilt goodness, making this phone a little different from the ordinary template you see on smartphones.