HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Smart Phone – $299 Free & Clear Super Phone Review

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HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 4G Smart Phone

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Color Options

Up until recently there were only a handful of smartphone manufactures that offered great phones in the United States. HTC, LG, Samsung are probably the biggest, or at least most popular Android based smart phone companies state side. HUAWEI is a company that is new to the states, but is no newcomer to the world of smart phones. HUAWEI has been big across the seas for quite some time now. Today we are fortunate enough to look at the first Smart phone from HUAWEI to hit state side, the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2. The Ascend Mate2 looks like your typical (if there is such a thing) smart phone, but one of the biggest advantages to the Ascend Mate2 is the price. For only $299 you can purchase the Mate2 free and clear of a contract!

The question that I’m sure is popping into your brain right now is, what kind of a smart phone can you get for only $299? For starters, it’s not tied to a specific network so that means that it is an unlocked phone that should be able to run any SIM card and being a 4G phone it’ll have plenty of network speed for ya. At the heart of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 2GB of RAM to back it up. When it comes to internal storage, the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 isn’t lacking as it has 16GB available with the option to run a micro SD card to expand on the internal storage.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 isn’t exactly a small phone, it measures 161.0mm x 84.7mm x 9.5mm (6.3″ x 3.3″ x .374″) and weighs ~202 grams (7.13 ounces). The Ascend Mate2 features an IPS screen and measures 6.1″. The resolution isn’t as high as you may expect though, as it is only a resolution of 1280 x 720. For some that may be to low, but I had no issues with it.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

Taking a closer look at the top edge of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 we can find the speaker and of course the front facing camera. The Camera on the front of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is a 5mp camera which is more than enough for skype or various other chatting apps.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

If you’re looking for a significantly higher resolution camera, look no further than flipping the Mate2 over. The camera on the back of the Mate2 is a 13.0 megapixel camera with maximum resolution of 4208 x 3120. Just below the camera lens is a LED flash to be used with the camera in low light areas.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

Taking a look at the edges of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2, they are kept clean, with very little going on with them. This is the left edge of the phone if you’re looking at the screen, there are no buttons along this edge of the phone.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

The top of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 features the typical 3.5mm audio jack for a set of earbuds or hands free device.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

The right side of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is where we’ll find all of the buttons. The smaller button on the bottom is the power button that will also lock the screen. The larger button is the volume button. I wasn’t wild about having both buttons on one side, as there were a couple times that I meant to adjust the volume and instead I put the Mate2 to sleep. It took a little getting used to, but ultimately I stopped putting the phone to sleep (mostly).

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

Rotating the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 around to the bottom edge, here we can find the MicroUSB port used to connect the Mate2 to a computer or charge the device.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

The battery in the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is built into the device and is rated at a capacity of 4050mAh.


With the back of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 opened up, the micro-SD card slot and SIM card slot are easily accessible to us.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Specifications
  • Height
    • 161.0mm
  • Width
    • 84.7mm
  • Depth
    • 9.5mm
  • Weight
    • 202g
  • Black/White
  • 6.1-inch IPS Screen
  • HD 1280 x 720
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core CPU
Operation System
  • Android Jelly Bean OS
  • RAM : 2GB
  • ROM : 16GB
  • Model MT2-L00: GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS (B1/B2/B5/B8); TDD LTE (B41(2535~2575MHz))
  • Model MT2-L02: GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); TD-SCDMA (B34/B39); TDD LTE (B38/B39/B40/B41(2575~2635Mhz))
  • Model MT2-L03: GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); UMTS (B1/B2/B4/B5); LTE (B2/B4/B5/B17)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n/ with Wi-Fi Direct support
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • MicroUSB (High Speed USB)
  • Gravity
  • Acceleration sensor
  • Light sensor
  • Gyroscope
  • Proximity
  • Compass
  • OTG
  • Rear camera
  • Camera resolution: 13.0-megapixel
  • Front camera
  • Camera resolution: 5.0-megapixel
  • Audio encoding:MP3, WMA2~9, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+,MIDI
  • Audio file formats:MP3, MP4, 3GP, WMA, OGG, AMR, AAC, FLAC, WAV, MIDI
  • Video encoding:MPEG4, H.264, H.263
  • Video file formats:3GP, MP4, WMV, RM, RMVB
Emotion UI
  • Emotion UI 2.0
  • Capacity: 4050mAh
In the box
  • Phone (with built-in battery) x 1
  • Charge Adapter x 1
  • USB Cable x 1
  • Safety Information x 1
  • Warranty Card x 1
  • Quick Start Guide x 1

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Retail Packaging & Bundle

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Retail Packaging

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 comes in a sleek looking box that gets the job done. About the only details on the front of the packaging are the branding/name, and the 4G LTE logo and the ‘Make it Possible’ slogan.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Retail Packaging

Opening up the package for the Ascend Mate2, it’s clearly a very large phone! Inside the package the Ascend Mate2 isn’t going to be shifting around, it’s packed nice and tightly in its box.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Retail Packaging

Packed next to the phone is the charger and USB cable. Those are the only accessories that come with the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2, with hands free becoming the standard these days I would have liked to see a basic set of earbuds and mic to be included. Then again if you’re using a highend phone like the Ascend Mate2 you’ll likely be getting yourself a nice bluetooth unit.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Android Software – EmotionUI

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Emotion UI Interface

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 uses Android 4.3, aka Jelly Bean with a custom interface called EmotionUI. The EmotionUI interface is developed by HUAWEI for the exclusive use on their products. According to HUAWEI it may be the world’s most emotion system.

“Emotion UI is a Huawei developed, Android based man-machine interaction system for smart terminals. With Emotion UI, everything is easy to find, easy to enjoy, and easy to share. You can enjoy the vivid display and have fun customizing your phone. Customizable Home screens, applications, and easy switching between themes. “


Looking at the various screens from the main interface of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 it may not do justice to the ease of use. I had very little trouble adapting to the Ascend Mate2, nor did I have any issues finding anything that I was looking for while searching through it.


Using the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2, I had no issues navigating through any of the settings on the Smart Phone. Everything was easy to find and readily available.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 CPU Performance Testing & Battery Testing

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Processor Performance Testing:

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 LG G2 NVIDIA Shield Google Nexus 7 ASUS MeMO Pad 7
Android Version 4.3 4.4.2 4.4.2 4.4.4 4.4.2
Antutu 4.5.1 21906 29060 38022 21137 29993
Quadrant 2.1.1 11394 20382 18520 5551 17623
SunSpider 1.0.2 954.0ms 537.6ms 504.6ms 1115.9ms 656.8ms
BrowserMark 2.1  1140 1288 1627 1055 1495
3DMark IceStorm Unlimited  4840 11808 16179 10804 13484
3DMark IceStorm Extreme 2906 10077 Maxed Out 7667 6212
Vellamo Metal 910 1411 1373 955 1151
Vellamo Multicore 1321 1721 2236 1409 1424
CF-Bench 18803 25979 76184 15009 29921
GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex Onscreen 610 (10.9FPS) 1343 (24.0FPS) 1964 (35.1FPS) 915 (16.3FPS) 1537 (27.5FPS)
GFXBench 3.0 T-Rex Offscreen 319 (5.7FPS) 1262 (22.5 FPS) 1266 (22.6FPS) 914 (16.3FPS) 952 (17.0FPS)
BaseMark X 4566 19861 20804 13070 13351
Higher Scores are better in all but SunSpider, Lower is better there

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 isn’t the fastest phone that has come across my test bench, but it did a fair job holding its own on most of the benchmarks. The Ascend Mate2 is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor while the LG G2 is powered by a 2.26GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor. In addition to the 660MHz difference in the processor speed the processor generations definitely made a difference in the benchmark scores. The Snapdragon 800 series has an Adreno 330 GPU while the 400 offers an Adreno 305 GPU.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Battery Performance Testing:




The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 battery performance had a decent score of 610 (10.9FPS). Looking at the performance graph of the results, the Mate2 performance stayed flat throughout the test. The is indicative that the cooling inside the Mate2 is sufficient to keep the 1.6GHz quad-core processor cool during long strenuous work loads.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 Camera Performance


The rear camera on the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is a 13 megapixel camera, which is pretty much par for the course these days. I was out at one of the local places and really thought the flowers had some great color. I took a handful of pictures and I was happy with the quality. Each of the pictures of the flowers came out nice and sharp with great coloring.

Peppers are always bright and colorful, the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 had no issues capturing the varying shades of peppers

Taking the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 down to the river for a few pictures out in the daylight and I continued to be happy with the camera.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Smart Phone Review

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 smart phone was a joy to work with. Since HUAWEI is new to the states, I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I took the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 sample on with an open mind. I took a quick look at the specifications for the Mate2 before I got my hands on it, just to have an idea of what to expect. Ultimately I don’t think the specifications really do the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 justice. For only $299 without a contract you’re getting a smart phone with a 6.1 inch screen, 1.6GHz quad core processor and 16GB of internal storage.

One thing that was a little tough for me was the sheer size of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2. I’m not a very tall guy, and I don’t have the biggest hands out there and the Ascend Mate2 is by no means a small phone. With a screen that measures 6.1 inches corner to corner it is really on the border of being a tablet. I know the term Phablet comes to mind as the Mate2 really does push the size limits of being a phone. I know a few guys that have phones this size and they love them, they did mention that it took some getting used to. While the size certainly isn’t a deal breaker for me, it’s something to keep in mind if you don’t have ginormous hands.

I don’t want to say that I’m disappointed by the performance of the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2, because I’m really not. It may not be as fast as I hoped for, but then again I like to have the fastest products available at the time whether I need them or not. The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor which is a very solid and very capable processor. The Snapdragon 400 processor is available up to 1.7GHz, the Ascend Mate2 has one that clocks in at 1.6GHz. The LG G2 I have in the charts is using a later generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor that’s coming in clocked at 2.26GHz, there is definitely some performance differences between the two phones. Though when it came to using the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 it was always very responsive and I never had to wait on it to run anything.

HUAWEI Ascend Mate 2 Camera

I don’t think it will be long before point and shoot cameras are obsolete, the cameras on phones are quickly becoming better and better quality. I was impressed by the quality of the pictures that I took with the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2. All of the pictures that I took with the Ascend Mate 2 were taken with the settings left untouched and each of the pictures I took came out nice and sharp, and all of the colors were nice and bright!

The HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 may be a little on the hardware light side compared to some of the flagship products like the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, or HTC One, but the price easily reflects that. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is currently available for $597.99 without a contract on Amazon, the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 is only $299 without a contract. I could certainly survive with an extra $300 in my pocket. I’m sure there are those that will disagree with me, as there are sure some features that the S5 has that the Mate2 does not, but that is going to depend on if you need those extras. Hardware features aside, the HUAWEI Ascend Mate2 also comes with a 2-year warranty should you run into any issues! HUAWEI may be new to the states, but they aren’t a newcomer to the game and I don’t doubt that they will be here for the long haul!





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