Huawei Mate 7 review: Live Smart, Live Chic

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is Huawei’s first ever flagship phablet. It is ready to go head-to-head with other flagships with its premium build quality, sleek design and features like the fingerprint sensor, a 4100 mAh huge battery, Cat. 6 LTE and more. It was launched last year in October and is available in three colors Obsidian Black, Moonlight Silver and Amber Gold. Let’s get started with the Huawei Mate 7 review and all your questions will be answered as the review unfolds.

Design & Build QualityPerformance & BatteryUser InterfaceCamera QualityFingerprint SensorConclusion

Design & Build Quality

Mate 7 Back - Huawei Mate 7 review

Huawei Mate 7 is nothing short of impressive considering that it’s the first phablet from the Chinese manufacturer. It is almost a bezel-less device resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of ~77.6%. To add to it, Mate 7 has a sleek aluminium body which is only 7.9mm thin. Although it weighs a hefty 185 grams but due to how the device has been designed, it doesn’t feel like it’s that heavy.

In hand, the Mate 7 feels pretty sturdy but at the same time is very slippery, and we have it’s aluminium body to thank for it. Build quality of the Mate 7 is superb when compared to previous Huawei devices but still demands some improvements.

One thing that I’ve frequently noticed is that Huawei’s smartphones are many times inspired from other smartphone makers. For instance, back of the Huawei Mate 7 looks quite similar to the HTC One Max. Also, diminishing edges of the Mate 7 should remind you of the Apple iPhone 5.

Performance & Battery

Huawei Mate 7 comes with a Octa-core processor which utilizes Huawei’s latest Kirin 925 chipset. Like most octa-core processors, Mate 7’s processor actually comprises of two quad-core CPUs. First one is a Cortex-A15 quad-core CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz, while second one is a less power consuming Cortex-A7 1.3Ghz quad-core CPU. It uses the Mali-T628 GPU and has 2 gigs of RAM (or 3 gigs if you have the 32 GB model).

AnTuTu benchmark represents the combined performance of CPU, GPU, RAM and internal storage of the device. Mate 7’s AnTuTu score aligns with that of Snapdragon 801 devices but is still behind Samsung’s Exynos devices. A screenshot of the Mate 7’s AnTuTu benchmark is given below.

AnTuTu Benchmarks - Huawei Mate 7 review

Mate 7 comes bundled with a beefy 4100 mAh Li-Po battery, which according to Huawei should be able to last at least 2 days. Huawei’s claim is no doubt correct but only to some extent. If you use your smartphone too much, you’d probably need to charge your Mate 7 after 1.5 days or so. However it’s a different story for a normal user. Under normal usage, Mate 7 easily lasted a little over 2 days for us.

Battery Test - Huawei Mate 7 review

Camera Quality

Mate 7 Camera - Huawei Mate 7 review

On the back is Mate 7’s decent 13-megapixel camera with single LED flash, for mobile photography. There is also a 5-megapixel front shooter for the selfie fanatics.

Camera UI - Huawei Mate 7 review

Camera interface is pretty simple on the Huawei Mate 7. You can open a menu from the button in the right top corner. From here you can select from on the multiple modes — like Beauty Mode, HDR, Panorama, etc. — that Mate 7 offers. You can also access camera settings from here that allow you to configure multiple aspects of the camera.

Mate 7’s primary snapper takes pretty decent 13-megapixel images. For us, outdoor image quality was pretty good. Images taken outdoors were pretty sharp, had good amount of detail and colors are quite close to real.

Indoor images weren’t bad either. Amount of detail captured is good, images are sharp enough but colors appear to be dull than they actually are.

Video quality of the Huawei Mate 7 has left us double minded. The video sample looked good on the Mate 7 itself but once we saw it on a larger display, we weren’t at all happy.

In the sample video above, it can be easily noticed how the device has been skipping multiple frames while recording. Due to this, it feels as if the video halts and resumes multiple times. At multiple occasions you can also notice how the image looks a bit skewed. These issues could be due to some software glitch in our review unit so neglecting these, the video quality is above average. Quality of the voice recorded is good enough and the camera adjusts it’s exposure in a timely manner as well.

User Interface

Mate 7 comes with Android KitKat v4.4.2 running on it and Huawei’s Emotional UI v3.0 atop. EMUI is a very simple user interface with a flat design and no app drawer like Apple’s iOS.

Fingerprint Sensor

Mate 7 Fingerprint sensor - Huawei Mate 7 review

One thing that Huawei has been greatly marketing about the Mate 7 is its fingerprint sensor. Although this is the first time that Huawei has implemented a fingerprint sensor in one of their smartphones but the implementation is near perfect. Mate 7’s sensor has 360° readability and unlike many other sensors, also works with wet fingers. Another good thing about it is that it only needs a tap to unlock, unlike Samsung’s implementation which needs you to swipe your finger over it.

Setting up the fingerprint sensor on the Mate 7 is a pretty easy task and involves a few easy steps. Simply go to Settings, than choose Fingerprint ID and click on New Fingerprint. From here on a setup wizard will guide you and get your finger enrolled.

Fingerprint sensor setup - Huawei Mate 7 review

Repeat this step as many times as you want to add up to 5 different fingerprints.

Huawei Mate 7 review Conclusion

Huawei with the launch of it’s Mate 7 is all ready to compete with the likes of HTC and Samsung. Huawei Mate 7 has an admirable aluminium unibody, a sleek and almost bezel-less design that would attract many. Despite the 7 in its name, Huawei Mate 7 has a 6-inch (1080p) display with a ~368ppi pixel density, comparable to that of the iPhone’s retina display. Huawei’s solution of the fingerprint sensor is also better than Samsung’s implementation and is comparable to the Touch ID on Apple devices. It works great for things such as screen unlock, app unlock, tap-to-snap pictures and etc.

Huawei’s Kirin 925 chipset on the Mate 7 doesn’t lack in performance and performs great. It might not be as good as the Snapdragon 801 or Exynos 5433 but still outperforms quite a few devices. One thing you need to lookout for is its Mali-T628 GPU which would soon be kicked out of competition due to it’s below par performance. Battery life of Mate 7’s 4000 mAh isn’t exactly extraordinary but you won’t be disappointed.

Camera quality of the Huawei Mate 7 is also comparable to other high-end smartphones. It’s primary 13-megapixel camera is able to capture sharp images with good level of detail and accurate colors. Front shooter can also snap some decent selfies but we suggest to use the beauty mode carefully .

We hope we answered all your questions in this Huawei Mate 7 review of ours. If you still have questions that were left unanswered, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll try our best to answer them.

ABOUT

haseebahmed7
I am a technology enthusiast who has been writing tech blogs for few years now. I come from a Computer Sciences background & have been developing webs, web apps & smartphone apps from a long time. I also develop for White Rabbit & can be reached at haseebahmed (at) rabbit-white (dot) com.
  • http://pakorbit.com/ Muhammad Zohair Chohan

    One of the best smartphones by Huawei!

    • http://haseeb-ahmed.com/ Haseeb Ahmed

      Indeed :-D