Huawei Mate S

Announced Sep 2, 2015 •
5.5 screen | 13 megapixels (rear) | 8 megapixels (front)
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Product description
Announced Sep 2, 2015
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Manufacturer description: With a large 5.5-inch full HD screen, the Huawei Mate S can arguably be classified as a phablet, but thanks to thin bezels the overall dimensions of the device feel surprisingly compact. In the camera department the new model comes with a very similar specification as its smaller cousin, the P8. A 13MP 4-Color RGBW image sensor is coupled with an F2.0 aperture and an optical image stabilization system. The front element is covered by scratch-proof sapphire glass which makes the slight camera hump less problematic. Like the P8, the Mate S uses an image processor that is independent from the main system chip. The camera app offers a new 'professional' mode that allows for manual setting of ISO, shutter speed, white balance, focus and metering mode. Unfortunately the Raw format is not supported though.

The 8MP front camera is supported by a front flash that produces a slightly diffused light for more flattering self-portraits in the dark. The build-quality is premium all around, with a slightly curved metal back, metal edges and Gorilla Glass 4 covering the front. The body is water-resistant and the Full-HD screen offers a pixel density of 401 ppi and a 18M:1 contrast ratio. The fingerprint sensor comes with improved sensitivity and recognition speed. It can be used as a shutter button when taking selfies or for scrolling through gallery images by swiping it. Huawei claims the battery takes you easily through a day and 10 minutes without re-charging, and will give you 2 hours of talk time. One of the dual-SIM slots takes microSD cards to help store your images and videos.

Quick specs
OS Google Android
OS Version 5.1.1
Front camera effective pixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera effective pixels 13 megapixels
Rear camera resolution 4128 x 3096
Rear camera aperture 2
Camera physical shutter release No
Camera image stabilization Optical
Video camera recording format 1080p, 30fps
LCD size 5.5
Built in memory 3GB RAM, 32/64/128GB storage
Weight 156 g (5.50 oz)
Dimensions 150 x 75 x 7 mm (5.9 x 2.96 x 0.28)

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Our review

The Huawei Mate S is very nicely made, comes with a useful fingerprint reader and offers a very good range of imaging and camera features, including comprehensive manual control over shooting parameters. However, the camera app feels a little unstructured and images, even in bright light can show very noticeable softness. Video performance cannot quite keep up with the competition and overall, if your focus is on camera performance, you can find better alternatives at similar price levels.

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Scoring
Camera and Photo Features
Screen Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Video Quality
Still Image Quality
Speed and Responsiveness