We had the opportunity to go hands on with the latest product from Huawei Mate S at IFA 2015 in Berlin and here are our impressions on the device.
The Mate S has a design that is quite reminiscent of the HTC One range of devices, particularly, the M7. It looks almost identical to the M7 with it’s curved back and the antenna cutouts at the back. The phone does feel quite good to hold and is easy to handle despite being a 5.5″ device. The primary reason for this is the slim profile and the curved back. The soft matte touch finish at the back helps improve grip as well.
The display is a 1080p 5.5″ AMOLED panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. It looks really beautiful as it had great contrast and the colours were vibrant. The 2.5D glass also felt great to use as it was quite natural when we swiped across the screen. The sharpness too is more than enough and we were glad they didn’t include a higher resolution screen especially considering the 2700 mah battery that it packs. We are quite skeptical about its battery life unless Huawei has managed to really optimise it.
The Mate S comes in 2 variants. A regular device with 32GB and 64GB capacities and a Luxury edition with 128GB capacity. All three capacities support microSD cards through a hybrid SIM slot that accepts two SIM cards or one SIM card and microSD card. The Luxury Edition also comes with additional Force Touch ability for the display. The technology is the same as the one that is rumoured to be coming with the next generation Apple iPhone 6S/iPhone 6S Plus. It basically allows the user to access certain functions of the smartphones based on the amount of pressure applied onto the screen. For example, tapping the screen on a photo would bring up options to share, edit, view details etc of images. However if you press the screen with pressure, it will enable a zoom preview of the image and again based on the pressure, you can zoom in or out of the photo.
The performance on the Kirin 935 processor was peppy and smooth. We didn’t observe any overheating or lag during our time with the device and the 3GB of RAM seemed to handle multi-tasking well. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back which is much more sensitive and easier to access than other fingerprint sensors at back on most phones.
The phone has a 13 Megapixel camera at the back with a dual-tone LED flash and OIS. The front camera is an 8 Megapixel unit with LED flash. Both the cameras seemed to perform well and had fast autofocus in the short time that we spent the device. We will let you know more about the camera quality in detail soon with our review.
Overall, the smartphone seems like a powerhouse and the force touch feature seems interesting. As of now, it seems limited to a few of Huawei’s own applications but we hope they open it up for 3rd party applications to make use of as well in the future. We look forward to reviewing the device and will be sure to let you know more about the phone in detail very soon.