The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 looks like any other phablet, but its long-lasting battery can do one thing its competitors can't: it can charge other devices.
Let's start with the basics. The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 is huge. Unless you're Shaq, you will need to hold it with two hands. It has a 6.1-inch 720p resolution display (downgraded from 1080p), 1.6GHz Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card to 32GB) and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It also has a pair of really nice front and back cameras: 5-megapixel front camera with f/2.4 aperture and a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture. Can anyone say high-resolution selfies?
Those are some fine and expected updates to a year-old device, but the real killer feature on the Ascend Mate 2 is its insane battery life. While the Ascend Mate 2 retains the same whopping 4,050mAh battery as its predecessor, battery life has improved tremendously thanks to power saving options from the lower-resolution display. Huawei claims the Ascend Mate 2 can get up to 60 hours of mixed usage (that includes a good chunk of standby time), which should theoretically mean you'll be able to go up to two days without having to plug it in. The only real smartphone we can think of that even comes close is the Motorola Razer Droid Maxx, and even that only gets around 32 hours of real world usage.
And then there's the other insane feature to the Ascend Mate 2's battery: it can charge other devices using reverse charging technology. We repeat again: this smartphone has so much juice, it can be used to charge another smartphone or tablet or anything. If you have two smartphones and one is dying, plug the dying one into the Mate 2 and BOOM it's roaring back from the dead. Have a smartwatch that didn't quite make it to the end of the party night? Plug that sucker into your Mate 2 and you can get the time again! (Just kidding, but really!) This feature alone is enough to consider a Huawei phablet.
No word on pricing or a release date, but we're told the Ascend Mate will make it to AT&T.
Bigger screens, faster processors and better cameras are common features that smartphone makers love to brag about. "Look I've got more cores and more RAM and more megapixels!" But the weakest smartphone feature is its battery life. Most last around 6-8 hours before needing a recharge. Crappy smartphone battery life is why an entire industry has popped up to sell portable battery charging packs and cases. Huawei'sAscend Mate 2, the successor to the equally gargantuan Ascend Mate, is a
smartphone phablet that actually meets today's demanding mobile users.
Posted on location at CES 2014. All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE.