When you look at the Smartphone market, right now itís dominated by Samsung and Apple. Things are going great for them but if you were to ask them what competitor they fear most Iíd bet you their answer would Huawei. Not HTC, LG or Sony.
I mean eventually Smartphones will reach a point where companies canít keep charging up to $800 a phone. If that ever happens there will be a big race to the bottom to see who can make the best, cheapest phone. If that happens many people figure Huawei will be in a good position.
While they donít compete at the very top of the market, many people donít realize but Huawei actually makes really good affordable Smartphones. The Y300 I tried a while back isnít going to win ďPhone of the YearĒ but for what it costs itís an amazing deal.
Now we have the Huawei Ascend Mate. Itís a phone with a 6.1Ē phone that only costs - wait for it - $400 off contract. At $400, itís not going to have going to have specs like the LG G2/Galaxy Note 3/Sony Z1 but for what it costs you get a get a pretty good deal.
With a 6.1Ē the Mate should be awesome at media consumption. If youíre sitting on the train, there arenít many phones which are better than the Mate for watching and streaming videos - Right? Letís check it out:
Huawei has found a pretty good niche for the Note. At $400 off-contract, or $99 on a 2 year with the $40 a month, plan it doesnít really have any competitors. There arenít that many phones with huge 6Ē+ screens on the market and the ones that come close cost significantly more. About the only one that comes to mind is the Samsung Galaxy Mega and maybe a used Note 2.
vs Samsung Galaxy Mega:
While theyíre not really competitors, the Mate is only available from Wind, while the Mega from the incumbents. Indeed, the Mega costs $150 more, off-contract.
Still, the Mate has a 6.1Ē display while the Mega has a 6.3Ē, so given the lack of competition theyíre currently your only choice if you want a phone thatís bigger than 6Ē, unless you want go spend $800 on a Sony Xperia Ultra Z.
Looking more closely at their specs, the Mate has a quad-core processor (vs dual core on the Mega). Then again, according to the benchmarks and the seat of my pants the Mega feels a little faster and smooth.
Other specs include 2GB on the Mate vs 1 of RAM and the Mateís 4050mAh (yes, bigger than many tablets) vs 3200mAh battery.
As far as storage goes, the Mate only has 8GB vs 16 on the Mega. While you can always add a MicroSD to the Mate (my 64GB card works just fine), some things like certain apps and movies purchased from Google Play will only fit in main storage.
The Mega is also blessed with LTE support while the Mate isnít. This wonít matter if you use the Mate on a carrier with no LTE (like Wind). If you are on a carrier with LTE it can make a difference depending on how congested HSPA is. You also get Android 4.2 while the Mate makes do with 4.1.
vs Galaxy Note II:
While the Note II has been around for a year, you can probably one up for around the same price as a Mate.
The Note IIís screen is substantially smaller, 5.5Ē vs 6.1Ē, on paper theyíre quite similar; quad-core processor, identical screen and camera resolutions, 2GB RAM and Android 4.1.
Performance wise, theyíre quite similar.
Between them, the Mate has the screen and battery size advantage. The Note II has itís S-Pen stylus.