Hands on review: Huawei Mate S

Huawei Mate S

Huawei fans out there are probably aware that the Chinese company is hosting a press event this evening (30th September) in Dubai where it will (most likely) announce the arrival of the Mate S in the region. I could have my invite revoked for mentioning that, since what’s launching is supposed to be top secret, but come on Huawei — we all know it’s the Mate S.

Having spent a fair amount of time at the Huawei stand playing with its new products at IFA, here are my first impressions of the 5.5-inch device. I managed to wrangle out a little less than an hour with the phone, so this is a first glance at the Mate S. A full review will follow soon.

In terms of design, it comes off as a mash-up between the HTC Max and the HTC M7, which isn’t necessarily a bad  thing as both phones are quite good-looking. The Mate S runs on a quad-core Kirin 935 processor made by Hisilicon, a Huawei-owned company, and features 13MP rear and 8MP front camera with all the bells and whistles. The device will also weigh approximately 156g — somewhere between the weight of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

One thing you need to know is that this phone, which is the top-of-the-line 128GB edition, boasts of a little feature called Force Touch. Sound familiar? Huawei’s Force Touch was announced before the Apple 6S, and impressive as it might be, it still has a way to go as most of its features are limited to the gallery and camera. That being said, Huawei’s Force Touch is absolutely amazing in spite of it being first-gen tech, offering smoother navigation and the option to turn your smartphone into a portable weighing scale by placing small objects on the device’s screen.

Another feature that will have everyone going crazy is the awesome fingerprint sensor, which will also feature in the Honor 7. Located at the rear of the device, the sensor also allows you to pull down and interact with your notification bar, answer calls, use it as a shutter button, swipe through your gallery, with a few other features too. Basically, it doubles as a mini track pad, which is pretty cool. Huawei’s stepping up.