The mate of S is the finest Smartphone that Huawei has built so far, the comparison with design icons such as the iPhone or Sony Z series is easy. But there are a few hooks, as our test shows.
By Huawei’s man now used that many Smartphones are excellently processed and combine elegant design with first class materials. At their new flagship mate S, succeeds the Chinese but to outdo himself once more to a good piece.
The housing consists almost entirely of aluminum, the narrow strip of plastic for the antenna on the back pass so seamlessly into the metal body, that creates the impression, both materials have been inextricably merged.
In a press release, Huawei appealing special manufacturing techniques, sound, as the Chinese have built a space ship: materials were connected to each other by “Nano injection”, the case was processed by CNC grinding with “special diamond technologies”, sealed the surface with special “nanotechnologies”.
Of course the PR Department speaks here in the first place, but between the marketing acid is very clear that Huawei dominated most modern manufacturing processes at the highest level.
Design that is a pleasure
Not only the feel and the processing are world class, also the design. As with the iPhone, the display glass at the edges is rounded, what looks very elegant and soft makes the transition to the housing. The distance from the screen to the edges is also very low, quickly feeling arises that the front is just the screen. This design makes the Smartphone despite 5.5-inch display so compact that you can control it still quite well with one hand.
How close, Huawei has built, shows the comparison with the iPhone 6s plus, which also has a 5.5-inch display, but with 158 x 78 mm and 192 grams is significantly larger and heavier. Because the back is arched, the frame of the Huawei’s is also very narrow – the mate of S is even still thinner than the 7.4 millimetres, we measured. Missing we have actually only an IP certification, which guarantees that the Smartphone is waterproof – in the upper class that creates currently only Sony.
Bright display, no 5-GHz-WLAN
While Sony Z5 Premium for the first time incorporates a 4K-Display, rejects the pixel madness Huawei, and remains at a standard resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That is also sufficient to 5.5 inches, but fonts are just not quite as finely drawn as the Sony model or a Galaxy S6 with 2560 x 1440 pixels. OLED is still convinced all along the line, is located on the bold colors, the intense contrasts and especially the extraordinarily high for this display technology candlepower 428.
The processor Huawei relies on tried and tested: the HiSilicon Kirin 935 is a sister model of the 930er model of the P8, where the maximum clock rate has been increased from 2 to 2.2 GHz. The eight seeds are big for the modern. LITTLE principle of ARM in two clusters groups working on different levels of performance. This ensures a high energy efficiency and at the same time a strong performance. To the side, lush 3 gigabytes of memory are the 64-bit CPU – intensive users, and gamers will be satisfied with what offers Huawei here.
The connection range of NFC over Bluetooth 4.1 to LTE cat 4, everything important is supported in principle. Who’s closer look, missing but a few extras that should be actually granted in this price class. Support for fast Wi-FI is missing in the first place, because the mate S excludes the 5 GHz band. Challenging search also interfaces, such as the qi to the wireless recharge, HDMI (via the USB – interface) or infrared, for example.
Modern surface, hardly any updates
Huawei delivers the mate S with the latest Android version 5.1.1, the proprietary UI Emui was also placed over that in the latest version 3.1. The menu reminds us more of Apple than on Android, because of the usual Google app drawer, which collects all the apps in a separate menu. Instead, they are stored as the iPhone directly on the home screens. There are among other things a backup solution and a telephone Manager with various tools for the optimization of system and storage much of what is on Android, not standard.
Huawei has implemented also control options for apps, no other manufacturer allows at this depth. The user can specify which application should be closed or continue in the background may remain active if the display is deactivated. Just as it is possible to define whether and how an app connects to the Internet (WI-FI or cellular) and informed about new events as they (status bar or lock screen). You have full control, what when sending data.
Another special feature is the speech recognition, which helps to find again the Smartphone. This one must train on only one keyword the mate S, which easily succeed using the corresponding entry in the Setup menu. Then it is enough to call the word into the room and ask: “where are you?”. Then it reports mate S with a vibrating alarm, a ringtone and the response “I am here.” Currently this works only in English. The operation opens immediately and is fun, which is first and foremost to the great look.
Even more: With the modern fonts and symbols, the great software package and clever extras such as the transformation of the fingerprint sensor in a trackpad Emui is one of the best Android surfaces far and wide.
In light of the rich software offer it is however incomprehensible why Huawei is precisely dispensed on an equalizer. However, a much larger negative point is the software support. The Chinese are known to bring, to provide updates as the old prefers new models on the market. The last year’s flagships Ascend P7 and mate 7 run both with the now outdated Android version 4.4. For the manufacturer, this could be a problem, because a customer who is spending 650 euros for a Smartphone is quite permanent updates – Apple’s premium competition finally makes it to Sony.
In the laboratory, the battery life disappointed
The 2014 sister model mate 7 denotes its 4100 mAh powerful battery with a maturity of 10:37 hours in the connect-use mix for more than a year unchallenged at the top of the Smartphones manoeuvres of. According to big expectations on the mate were S. But when his new flagship Huawei goes in the opposite direction and renounced a large energy bars in favour of compact dimensions.
The capacity by more than a third to 2700 mAh reduced, what has correspondingly short conversation and maturities entail: with only 5:56 hours this mate S standing in the premium segment in last place. This Smartphone has every evening on the socket, intensive use it makes to pass out even earlier.
The remaining measurements were fortunately better: the acoustic is very good and the radio properties are at least solid – considering the full metal housing everything else would have been a great surprise.
The camera, Huawei has thought of everything: the cover is bright (f2. 0), the autofocus works fast and an optical image stabilizer helps to compensate for Verwackler. The camera features and picture quality can be well compared to the sister model Huawei P8 . It is no wonder, because Huawei incorporates the same 13-megapixel sensor, Sony’s IMX 278. He impressed with an outstanding sensitivity, so that night shots can even place deer iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 are referenced in the rear seats.
However, the sensor on the mate S has brightened then too much problems with the balance between ISO and exposure time, if the contrast range of a scene is very high, especially bright areas of the image. Still applies: this camera is quite far forward in the League. Also the front camera is top class, the sensor offers a comparatively high with 8 Megapixels resolution and a flash light enables self portraits in the dark. A similar Selfie & accommodation offers currently only the new Moto X style by Motorola.
The camera package is flanked by an intuitive user interface that is unmistakably inspired by the iPhone. However, Apple provides no professional camera, which allows manual adjustments from ISO, brightness and white value. An absolute USP is also the mode of “Light painting”. While the aperture is opened permanently, the viewer can see in real time in the camera preview, as the light changed the subject and press the shutter button at the right moment.
Videos with full HD
In video mode, Huawei sets hardly limits of creativity, there are numerous options and modes, including time-lapse shooting and a Director mode, in which up to three cameras via Wi-FI can be interconnected. The maximum resolution is however limited to 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is too little when you consider that most top models master 4 K. After all: The videos look very nice, is also fast panning the camera not in the knee.
Unlike Apple and Samsung, Huawei placed the fingerprint sensor front under the screen, but on the back below the camera lens. What unusual sounds, goes after the first use in flesh and blood. Firstly, because the detection rate is excellent, on the other hand, because the index finger anyway remains at that position, when you take the Smartphone in hand.
After unlock, the sensor turns into a small touchpad that is cleverly integrated into the operation: If one removes from top to bottom in, the status line will slide downwards, the wiper with your index finger from left to right in the picture gallery shows the next photo. With a tipper on the sensor surface, you can also receive calls or turn off the alarm.
In sum, the mate S leaves a mixed impression. The housing can not only loosely compete with major brands premium models, it even beats them.
But the price is unusually high for a Huawei Smartphone with 650 euro. Apple, Samsung and Sony – play in this League and any weakness will be punished mercilessly. Huawei’s new flagship is disillusioned not only with gaps in connectivity, also the battery life. And on the subject of software support, the Chinese offer currently not more than Regionalliga level. You want to play with the mate top S, but not consistently adhere to the high standards that are there now. That could possibly go wrong – could change as well.
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