• Our Huawei Ascend Mate 2 review

    As a Phone:



    Sound quality is good balance between clean (processed) and harsh (neutral sounding). Maximum earpiece volume is below average. The speakerphone maximum volume is also below average which is puzzling. I assume that its easier to make a larger phone louder.

    RF performance is very good.

    Included is a large 3900mAh battery. It will last the full day for pretty much anyone and depending on how much you use your phone, a second day for some too.

    Connectivity:

    • 802.11AC
    • 2.4/5Ghz WiFi
    • LTE: Band 2, 4, 5 and 17
    • LTE Cat 4 support
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • No NFC


    I’m not sure how it goes in the US but most phones sold here in Canada that support LTE show ‘LTE’ when they’re connected to a LTE network. The Mate 2 just shows ‘4G’ when it has an LTE connection.

    Conclusion:



    Overall I really liked the Huawei Ascend Mate 2. While it’s $399 ($299 in the US) price tag doesn’t have high-end pretensions - it’s a solid, well rounded phone.



    The ergonomics are almost perfect for a phone of its size and it doesn’t really have any glaring weaknesses. I like how Huawei includes 2GB of RAM - a feature that isn’t very common at its price point.

    A 6.1” phone does take some getting used to but once you do, it’s a very intuitive device. The 1280x720 may make some people think twice. But remember, the Mate 2 has a big display which you’ll naturally hold a little further away. When you do that the lower resolution isn’t a big deal.

    I’ll be honest, I really like the Mate 2 and despite it’s mid-range specs, I thought it was more than the sum of its parts. I’d give it 4 out of 5 Howies but I have to take off half a Howie because the earpiece and speakerphone aren’t loud enough and because the microphone is appalling when you’re recording video.

    3.5 Howies out of 5.

    Pros:
    • Large screen
    • Long battery life
    • Screen


    Cons:
    • Quiet earpiece
    • Quiet speakerphone.
    • Microphone sounds weird and picks up a lot of handling noise when recording video
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Huawei Ascend Mate 2 review started by howard View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. kav2001c's Avatar
      kav2001c -
      Would have loved to see how the Mate 2 compares to the Mate
      If any improvements over older model or even if battery lasts longer
    1. RSX's Avatar
      RSX -
      Howard, is there an issue for your Mate 2 when you turn on and off the wifi? On my Mate 2, whenever i turn off the wifi and i checked the battery stats, The wifi stays on despite turning it off. The only solution to fix it is to turn on airplane mode and turn it back off.
    1. Frankie500's Avatar
      Frankie500 -
      Howard

      So even with a screen over 1/2" bigger and thus a lower PPI than the Note 2, the Mate 2's display looks better? Is that your assessment?
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Frankie500 View Post
      Howard

      So even with a screen over 1/2" bigger and thus a lower PPI than the Note 2, the Mate 2's display looks better? Is that your assessment?
      Yes, because it's brighter and works better outdoors.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSX View Post
      Howard, is there an issue for your Mate 2 when you turn on and off the wifi? On my Mate 2, whenever i turn off the wifi and i checked the battery stats, The wifi stays on despite turning it off. The only solution to fix it is to turn on airplane mode and turn it back off.
      I'll try this tomorrow and report back.
    1. dc2000's Avatar
      dc2000 -
      I've been on the fence on this device..

      Wish it was $299 and not $399... everywhere else has it for 299.
    1. kav2001c's Avatar
      kav2001c -
      Quote Originally Posted by dc2000 View Post
      I've been on the fence on this device..

      Wish it was $299 and not $399... everywhere else has it for 299.
      Just take a quick trip to the States to get reduced price
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by RSX View Post
      Howard, is there an issue for your Mate 2 when you turn on and off the wifi? On my Mate 2, whenever i turn off the wifi and i checked the battery stats, The wifi stays on despite turning it off. The only solution to fix it is to turn on airplane mode and turn it back off.
      I have this problem too. But when the WiFi is off (even when the power manager says it's on), I'm not able to get online via WiFi.
    1. RSX's Avatar
      RSX -
      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      I have this problem too. But when the WiFi is off (even when the power manager says it's on), I'm not able to get online via WiFi.

      Strange, doesn't seem to happen on mine with the issue you have.

      Thanks Howard, I sent a message to the people at Huawei Usa about the issue already. Hopefully they will fix this problem with the Kit Kat upgrade. On their Huawei blog, they confirmed that the Mate 2 will be upgraded to Kit Kat.
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Great review, as usual, Howard
      If you really wan't a phablet on the cheap, even cheaper than this one, try out the Blu Life View. It's got a huge 1280x720p 5.7" screen, has a 12mp rear/5mp front camera, is running 4.2, has a good sized battery(I get over a day of usage easily), Quad core MediaTek processor, and is built really well for the low price of around $200.00-220.00US. It's also a dual sim phone for those who need that function. The drawbacks are only 16GB of ram/1GB rom, no sd slot and the battery is as fixed as the Mate's is. But if you use cloud storage, the lack of an sd slot isn't that bad, and at least the battery is a good one with above average life. It's also strictly 4G, no LTE here, but it's really fast on T-Mobile's network. For the money, it''s a sweet phone I'll do a video/ written review of it next week and put it up on here if anyone is interested.
    1. flyguyset's Avatar
      flyguyset -
      Great review Howard! The specs for the price for this phablet is an amazing value. In real life, price is always a factor, so it's great that you compared it to similarly priced phones off contract.
    1. dc2000's Avatar
      dc2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kav2001c View Post
      Just take a quick trip to the States to get reduced price
      I can't :'(
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by dc2000 View Post
      I've been on the fence on this device..

      Wish it was $299 and not $399... everywhere else has it for 299.
      no need to take a trip, it is $299- here as well via CanadaGsm http://www.canadagsm.ca/products-Hua...-4G-61-Phablet
    1. X-Nemesis's Avatar
      X-Nemesis -
      After seeing the Mate7 from IFA, I'm going to hold out for that but the Mate 2 really does look like quite a phone for the price. Only thing I've picked up though about the 7 is that the outdoor performance with the 1080p screen isn't as bright as the 2 so that may come into play.
    1. nelly_85's Avatar
      nelly_85 -
      Quote Originally Posted by X-Nemesis View Post
      After seeing the Mate7 from IFA, I'm going to hold out for that but the Mate 2 really does look like quite a phone for the price. Only thing I've picked up though about the 7 is that the outdoor performance with the 1080p screen isn't as bright as the 2 so that may come into play.
      Also the price point will be much higher than the current price on the mate 2.
    1. FormerSlacker's Avatar
      FormerSlacker -
      Quote Originally Posted by howard View Post
      I have this problem too. But when the WiFi is off (even when the power manager says it's on), I'm not able to get online via WiFi.
      Wifi is reported as "on" if "scanning always available" is selected, but it's actually powered down and passively getting network info. That behaviour is normal. Maybe it's that.
    1. FormerSlacker's Avatar
      FormerSlacker -
      Quote Originally Posted by ijcy View Post
      no need to take a trip, it is $299- here as well via CanadaGsm http://www.canadagsm.ca/products-Hua...-4G-61-Phablet
      Is that retailer reputable?
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by FormerSlacker View Post
      Is that retailer reputable?
      Of course, they have been on the Marketplace here for years AFAIK.
    1. Frankie500's Avatar
      Frankie500 -
      "6.1” 1280x720 LTPS display
      Gorilla Glass 3 covered display
      1.6Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 GPU
      2GB RAM
      16GB Storage
      MicroSD slot
      13 megapixel rear camera
      5 megapixel front facing camera with 88 degree field of view
      3900mAh battery
      Android 4.3
      LTE
      6.3 x 3.3 x 0.37”
      202g"


      The specs from Huwei's site don't mention anything about "Gorilla Glass 3 covered display", only says the display is Gorilla Glass.

      http://consumer.huawei.com/en/mobile...mt2-l03-en.htm

      P.S. I've read reviews that claim both the screen and back-cover on the Mate 2 are fingerprint magnets and hard to clean. Even for the price this would probably be a deal breaker for me as I hate with a passion shiny greasy/smudgy-prone plastic back covers, they should be outlawed!
    1. ijcy's Avatar
      ijcy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Frankie500 View Post

      P.S. I've read reviews that claim both the screen and back-cover on the Mate 2 are fingerprint magnets and hard to clean. Even for the price this would probably be a deal breaker for me as I hate with a passion shiny greasy/smudgy-prone plastic back covers, they should be outlawed!
      Well i think that it doesn't matter to most people as they slap on a screen protector and a cover/case of some sort as soon as they get their phone.
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