A big deal: Huawei's Ascend Mate 7 reviewed
4.1Overall Score

Price (RRP): $699
Manufacturer: Huawei

Fancy a big phone with a huge price? Huawei may have the handset for you, and it may even have a leg up on quite a few of its colossal competitors.

Features

Huawei’s latest handsets is the Mate 7, a big phone that joins Huawei’s “Ascend” range of phones, and aims to deliver a phone for people who value the word “value,” and who demand quality but don’t necessarily want to fork out the high prices many smartphones ask for.

As such, the Ascend Mate 7 relies on home-grown technology that can deliver similar specs to the big phones, with a Huawei oct-core chip made from two quad-core bits of silicon, pushing out processor speeds of 1.3 and 1.8GHz, similar to what Samsung does with its chips in Galaxy Tab products like the Galaxy Tab S.

This is paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, though microSD can expand this thanks to a very unusual microSD slot that you might be able to take advantage of, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Google’s Android 4.4 “KitKat” arrives on the Ascend Mate 7 out of the box, decked out with Huawei’s Emotion UI version 3.0, an Android overlay designed to look like it’s had a sprinkling of Apple’s iOS applied to it.

Connections for the Ascend Mate 7 arrive in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with support for A2DP and LE (Low Energy), as well as GPS, Near-Field communication, and 4G LTE working over Category 6 technology making download speeds as high as 300Mbps with the technology also compatible with Category 4’s 150Mbps technology, too.

Cameras look to be fairly reasonable, too, with a 13 megapixel rear camera found on the Mate 7, while a 5 megapixel front-facing camera is there for selfies. For video capabilities, you’ll find that both the front and rear cameras can handle 1080p Full HD.

Huawei has also done something interesting with the SIM card slot, or rather “slots” as we should say, providing access for two SIM cards with the Mate 7 using either a microSIM tray and/or a nanoSIM tray that sits inside of the microSD tray.

Because of this dual-card tray, you’ll find you can have a rather unusual set of combinations, with a microSIM and microSD working in the phone, a microSIM and a nanoSIM, or just a nanoSIM and no microSD, making it a handset with a rather unique set of connection options, and one that may affect how you upgrade the memory of the handset.

It also arrives with a fingerprint scanner on the rear side of the handset for unlocking the smartphone.

All of this sits under a 6 inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen sporting the Full HD resolution of 1920×1080, and relying on a pixel clarity of 367 pixels per inch, a little over 40 higher than what the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 display.

The chassis for the body is also mostly metal, as Huawei relies on aluminium for 95 percent of the phone, the rest generally being the glass covering the screen, with Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 protecting that display.