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CNET First Look
Ginormous Huawei Ascend Mate is crazy-bigThis huge 6.1-inch phablet may not be the best handset around, but for now, it's certainly the largest.
-There are phablets and then there are tablets. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. This is the Huawei Ascend Mate. It is a 6.1-inch screen smartphone. It's unlocked here. I've got it running on AT&T's network and I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this phone. First of all, the size which is just completely unignorable. You can tell us about the size of my hand. It's really big. I think it's a little awkward to hold with my hands mostly because these edges here are really sharp, so-- Although, there's a little bit of a curve to the back, gripping it I definitely feel the size when I'm holding it. I think it makes a little awkward when I'm trying to focus on a photo and when I'm trying to type. There are, however, options in here so you can select one-handed operation, say if you're on a bus or something holding on with one hand you can technically use the phone and the keyboard with one hand. The screen has a 720p HD resolution. That's a little surprising 'cause for this size I'd expect 1080p HD. It looks bright and fine, but it definitely won't be as crisp as may be other phones of this size. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the OS here, and on top of that, you've got Huawei's Emotion UI, sort of a new one that they unveiled at CES. I actually really like it. One thing that's interesting about it is that you've got these main icons down below. You've got your static icon that you don't have an app tray. Instead, it's more like iOS, you have to scroll to get your apps. I really like some of the features. I do like the default look. You've got a lot of Tools grouped into folders already for you. One thing that's a little surprising now is when you download a new app that will populate on another page, not below so if you're not expecting that you might be a little a bit surprise or wondering where you're apps with. Themes are another great part of the interface. It really lets you customize by choosing from among any number of displays. I think that it makes using this device a lot of fun. The phone has an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. It's got a front facing camera 2 that captures 720p HD. Rear camera captures 1080p HD video. Thought the camera quality really left a lot to be desired, there's a flash that helped, but it's not as good as other phones. The Huawei Ascend Mate is unlocked global device so prices and availability are gonna vary by market. My favorite part of this phone is definitely the Emotion UI, but I think that there are better Huawei phones out there and frankly there are better phablets too. Again, I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. You can check out my full impressions at CNET.com.