The Huawei Ascend Mate 2, announced today at the 2014 CES, is the upgraded version of their Ascend Mate – which took a bow at last year’s CES, although the bump up in specs are fairly innocuous.
One of the biggest upgraded features is the radio, which is now capable of LTE Cat 4 downloads (with theoretical maximum 150Mbps speeds) by utilizing two carrier signals simultaneously. The Ascend Mate 2 also features the same 4050 mAh battery as last year’s model. While the battery spec hasn’t changed, the new model has the ability to use its extra juice to charge up other phones and tablets, Mophie style.
Both cameras take a big jump up with the rear camera leaping to 13MP and the front facing hitting 5MP with some additional features such as an expanded angle shots and vertical panorama shots. The 6.1-inch IPS panel display with 1280 x 720 resolution remains the same, but the new panel is LTPS-based versus the older amorphous silicon manufacturing technique. The quad-core SoC has been bumped up to 1.6Ghz but comes in two flavors:
The Chinese market will get Huawei’s internally sourced HiSilicon Cortex-A9 chip, while the rest of the world will get Qualcomm’s MSM8928 Snapdragon 400 chip.
Android 4.3 is pre-loaded, and is topped with Huawei’s Emotion UI 2.0, which includes some handy features that focus on the difficulty of using such a huge phone with one-hand. In particular, there’s a reduced-size keypad that can shift to one side so everyone who isn’t in the NBA can make a call with one hand.
The joy of all this screen real estate has a downside, as this phone weighs in at over 7 ounces. System memory is an adequate 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage with support for an additional 32GB via the microSD card slot behind the removable back panel. Despite the removable back, you still don’t get access to the device’s battery.
Details on pricing and availability are scarce although hints have been dropped that AT&T and T-Mobile are likely candidates as a carrier and that the Chinese version is slated to launch towards the end of Q1 2014.