The Ascend Mate is one of those phones that pushes the imaginary boundaries of what we define consumer technology devices. It's a phone at its core, but it is built like a little tablet; a mini iPad mini, if you will.
What we liked
If you are going to make a phone with a 6.1-inch screen, you're going to want to make sure it is a good screen. Huawei does this, delivering solid IPS LCD technology with great viewing angles and good colour. It could be at a higher resolution, but we didn't find any problems with the current pixel count.
The battery life is also a big boon for the industry, it's been a long time since we seen phones last as long as the Mate does. If you need a phone like the Energizer Bunny, this could be the handset for you.
What we didn't like
We really wanted to love the Mate. It has all the right-sounding specs, we love big screens and we can't help rooting for the underdog. But the performance problems are a big downside for us. All of the major Android phone makers have ironed out the laggy bugs in their systems now, and people expect a silky-smooth user experience. The Mate does not deliver this.
And, as much as we are loathed to say it, we think the Mate is too big and heavy to be lugged about all day long. We do love big phones, we have a real soft spot for the Galaxy Note, but the Mate is just a step too far towards tablet territory.
There is definitely a market for the Ascend Mate, but we don't belong to it. If you are someone who doesn't mind using two hands to hold a phone, someone who carries their handset in a bag anyway, then it could be the phone for you. You'll be rewarded with amazing battery life if you decided to choose a Mate.