During its press event at this year’s IFA trade show held in Berlin, Germany, Huawei officially introduced its newest flagship device, the Mate S smartphone. The handset is a successor to the Ascend Mate 7 smartphone (featuring a fingerprint scanner), which the Chinese phone maker released the previous year.
Huawei’s Mate S still retains the metallic appearance of its predecessor, but while the Ascend Mate 7 sported a 6 inch display screen, the Mate S now features a 5.5 inch display screen. The decision to lessen the size just a bit may be a strategic move on the part of Huawei, especially in positioning its latest flagship device as an answer to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.
The Mate S’ 5.5 inch display screen features a resolution of 1,080 pixels and is made of 2.5D fourth generation Gorilla Glass. This is supported with a 13 megapixel camera on the rear side and an 8 megapixel camera on the front side. The rear side camera comes with optical image stabilization. Also on the rear side is an enhanced fingerprint scanner.
Speaking of the fingerprint sensor, the one on the Mate S phablet has improved fingerprint detection, with recognition speed boosted by 100 percent, making swipes to certain directions easier especially in triggering specific results. For instance, apart from just unlocking the device, the fingerprint sensor can be used to scroll through alerts with a vertical swipe, navigate through images with a horizontal swipe, take calls, and even get selfies.
Design wise, the Huawei Mate S has a distinctly curved metal design, which was intentional in trying to allow mobile users to grasp and operate the device better. Those who are expecting the usual Android shortcut keys should note that these are now hidden in the magic bottom of the device just beneath the display screen (but this only applies to the 128 gigabyte Force Touch edition of the handset though). At the base are the twin speakers which surround the micro USB port.
As explained by Richard Yu, the chief executive officer of Huawei, during the company’s press event at the IFA trade show, the Mate S might look similar to the iPhone 6 Plus but is actually thinner (by approximately 0.5 millimeters). Also, the Mate S is said to charge up to twice as fast as the iPhone 6 Plus.
With regards to features, the Mate S has a few that might appeal to mobile users. For example, the Knuckle sense 2.0 lets users drag their knuckles down a page in order to grab a long screen capture, or scrawl letters in order to launch certain apps, e.g. the letter M for music or the letter C for camera. Also, the new Force Touch display screen allows users to zoom in photos or view produce photo previews while they are exploring their image gallery.
The Mate S will be made available starting in September (preorders begin on Septebmer 15th) in two editions -- the standard version (3 gigabytes RAM, 32 gigabytes storage) in mystique champagne or titanium gray color, and the premium version (64 gigabytes storage) in prestige gold or coral pink.
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