Menu
The Mate S is Huawei’s best-looking phone, but the price is steep

The Mate S is Huawei’s best-looking phone, but the price is steep

The Mate S from Huawei Technologies has a design that rivals any other Android-based smartphone, but the price is equally awe-inspiring.

The Mate S from Huawei Technologies has a metal design that rivals any other Android-based smartphone, but the price is equally awe-inspiring.

The company launched its latest flagship device at the IFA trade show on Wednesday. Huawei has continually been improving the design of its more expensive products during the last couple of years. The Ascend Mate 7 from last year was progress and the Mate S shows it can now compete with any vendors on design.

This year has seen two major trends in expensive high-end Android design; the all-metal look of the HTC One M9 and now the Mate S, or mixing glass with a metal frame, which Sony has stuck with and Samsung has chosen on the Galaxy S6 smartphones and the Galaxy Note 5.

Just like the HTC and Samsung devices, the Mate S isn’t cheap with a price tag at around €650 including sales tax for the standard version. That compares to €599 for the Galaxy S6 from Samsung’s German website.

It’s an emboldened Huawei that's launching the Mate S. The company was the third-largest smartphone maker in the world during the second quarter thanks to strong domestic and European sales that led to an impressive 48.1 percent year-on-year growth, according to IDC.

That success the company hopes it can build on with the Mate S.

The design arguably justifies its cost. But the hardware specification, which includes a 5.5-inch screen with a full HD display, isn’t as impressive. Huawei skipped a 2K screen because it was too tough on the batteries. That may very well be the case, but when competing smartphones have the higher resolution, it can become a problem.

While the size and resolution doesn’t differentiate the screen, the support for force feedback does. Users can press on the screen to zoom in on images and configure their own shortcuts in the two top corners. The screen can also be used as a scale. The use of force touch is expected to be the next big thing in how smartphones are controlled thanks to Apple’s rumored use of the technology on its next iPhones.

The octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor, which has four cores running at 1.5GHz and another four at 2.2GHz, powers the Mate S. There is 32GB or 64GB of storage and 3GB of RAM. The battery has a 2,700mAh capacity, which helps keep the weight down to 156 grams. The fingerprint sensor is placed on the back.

Just like many other vendors, Huawei is betting on camera improvements to get consumers to upgrade. The Mate S has a 13-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. In additional to the usual automatic settings, Huawei lets users manually set ISO, exposure compensation, exposure time and white balance.

The Mate S will be initially available in more than 30 countries including China, Germany, Israel, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa and the United Arab Emirate, but there are no US launch plans. The Mate S will also be available for pre-order in Western Europe on Vmall.eu on Sept. 15.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.​

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments