Huawei is a Telecommunications Company that has been involved in the manufacturing of mobile phones since 1997. It’s presence in Nigeria has become increasingly popular over the years as it works with most local telecommunication networks to provide better service to their customers. Huawei is also the largest telecom infrastructure maker in the world bringing its A-game in a big way with the launch of it’s flagship phone the ‘Mate 7’.
Two versions of the Mate 7 were launched internationally in 2014 one that has a 2GB RAM & 16GB in-built storage, and the other a premium version with 3GB RAM & 32GB in built storage. Only the premium version that comes in a gold finish has been launched and being sold in Nigeria.
The Huawei ‘Mate 7’ is a new class of Android device that should be on any smartphone shopper’s list. After using the Mate 7 in the last few weeks it stands out as one of the best built Android smartphone I have ever used and one needs to touch and feel it’s amazing features to appreciate it’s worth. The ‘Mate 7’ commands respect and from a hardware design perspective, this phone is unparalleled.
The body of the phone is an all aluminum uni-body design that is similar in some ways to the HTC One M8 and weighs 185g and 7.9mm thin. The phone has an impressive 83% screen-to-body ratio and looks quite attractive.
The Mate 7 features a small notification LED in the top speaker grill for alerts and charging status. The LED does not look loud as many other Android phones. That’s smart. Its headphone jack is on top of the device with the microUSB port for data transfer and charging at the bottom, a volume rocker and the power button on the right side. It has a Two SIM card slot positioned on the left side (SIM 1 slot is for a microSIM, SIM 2 slot is for either a nano sim or a microSD card).
The Huawei Mate 7 features a 6.0-inch standard 1920 x 1080 368 ppi Full HD display screen which delivers a great viewing experience from photos and HD video watching to playing graphically intense games. The viewing angles of the “Mate 7” are much improved and probably one of the best in terms of LCD displays. Users who plan to read or surf the web a lot on the Mate 7 will also enjoy very crisp text and image dispaly.
In a side-by-side comparison, the Mate 7 display delivers a viewing experience that rivals the iPhone 6 plus .
Huawei has employed a HiSilicon Kirin 925 octa-core chipset inside the Mate 7. There is a quad-core Cortex-A15 clocked at 1.8GHz alongside a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex A7. processor with 3GB of RAM which makes the phone remarkable in performance.
The Mate 7 is also capable of handling day-to-day tasks like navigating Android and switching between apps without lag. Touching the capacitive home and back buttons deliver instant results. Testing the Mate 7 on Etisalat and Glo service providers gave good network connections.
The Mate 7 features a 4100 mAh battery that is more than capable of powering it for 2days when charged fully and it takes just 3 1/5 hours to fully charge. It also works as a power bank as the phone can also be used to charge other devices. [Editor: During the review period, it was observed that the Mate 7 was not able to charge all phones. It could not charge the Samsung GALAXY A5 for instance]. Users that wish to stretch the battery longer can turn on power saving mode to reduce CPU usage, turn the display down, as well as limit vibrations and data connectivity.
We observed that the battery life of the Mate 7 is one of the best in the market right now and one of the best we have ever used, trumping the Samsung GALAXY S6 Edge. The superb display and function of the Mate 7 doesn’t stop the battery life from being outstanding.
The Mate 7 features a 5-megapixel front facing camera for video calling and good ‘selfies’. At the rear is a 13-megapixel camera that can handle your daily photography need. One can get very good levels of detail in sunlight, but the low-light photos can do better.
Huawei Mate 7 features all the standard HDR, panorama and beauty mode, as well as All-Focus for post-focusing your shots. You can use a double press of the volume down button to launch the camera app when the screen is turned off. You may also use your voice to activate the camera or fingerprint scanner pad to shoot a picture as well. The Mate 7 rear camera also records 1080P HD video.
The front facing 5-megapixel camera lens is wide-angled which allows users to capture group photos with more than just two users, without the need to cram together.
The fingerprint sensor located at the back of the phone just below the rear camera on the Mate 7 is unique. And has the ability to read ones fingerprint within a second (and it quickly becomes addictive. Switching to other phones I was subconsciously looking for the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone) and requiring a touch input rather than swipe. The fingerprint can be used to awaken the phone instantly from stand-by without having to hit the power switch first.
Huawei keeps the data from the fingerprint sensor encrypted and on the device. The fingerprint can also be used to open certain files and apps, although the information is never passed to third parties.
Software and Apps
Huawei installed it own custom interface on top of Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat platform running on the Mate 7. The EMUI 3.0 comes preloaded and there are some significant visual upgrades over previous variants.
EMUI brings some heavy visual customizations and for anyone used to Android, there is nothing to indicate you are using Android 4.4.2 KitKat. One can choose a different Theme and have almost every aspect of the skin redesigned. Several themes are included with more available for free download
One of the biggest Mate 7 software features is the Phone Manager, it allows you prevent certain apps from chewing up your data allowance and sucking down your battery. We love the apps consumption details provided by the Mate 7 and figured how to use this to prolong how long the phone lasts on a single charge.
Is the Mate 7 Worth It?
The Huawei Mate 7 is one of the best built Android smartphone I have used in recent time, and with the Huawei EMUI 3.0 on board it delivers an equally well-tuned software experience. The Mate 7 is not as expensive as most high-end smartphones in the Nigerian market but it surpasses most of them in quality, style and delivery. This device has proved to be is fascinating, little wonder Huawei spent so much time talking about the engineering behind its construction.
Smart shoppers should check out the Huawei Mate 7 which is currently selling for N108,000 in some shops online and offline in Nigeria.
This article was contributed by Henry C. Collins who is an IT Consultant and also a senior writer at Phone Shoppers Publication he has always been fascinated by tech. With contribution from my humble self.