Razor-thin, delicately curved, powerful and gigantic yet fairly compact… for a phablet, the newest Huawei flagship stands out first and foremost with Force Touch-comparable technology.
You snooze, you lose is what the elders used to say, but while Apple is preceded to market by Huawei with the much hyped Force Touch features in an Android smartphone, the Mate S can’t possibly steal the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus thunder.
Besides, the Chinese handheld manufacturer doesn’t own the rights over the Force Touch name, and given the next-gen iPhone duo will break cover on September 9, it may well go on sale before the 15th. That’s when pre-orders for the standard, non-Force Touch-capable €649 and up Huawei Mate S should be underway in parts of Europe, with US pricing and availability details for the more gifted configuration kept a secret.
Still, this is definitely a publicity win for a fast rising Asian OEM struggling to boost its reputation and influence on the Western hemisphere. Whether you call it Force Touch or a “revolution” of conventional touch technology, the way the Mate S interacts with the user, identifying different levels of pressure applied to the display, is innovative and forward-thinking.
Granted, the execution needs work and the concept refinement, but if gesture improvements like Knuckle Control 2.0 fail to trigger some degree of excitement or at the very least curiosity in you, then the spec wars have taken their toll.
Speaking of, the Mate S only marginally upgrades the Ascend Mate 7’s numbers, and a direct comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ can yield just one clear winner. The 5.5 incher features 1,080p screen resolution, octa-core Kirin 935 processing power, 3 GB RAM, 32, 64 or 128 GB internal storage, a 13 MP rear-facing camera, 8 megapixel selfie shooter, and 3,000 mAh battery.
Fortunately for Huawei, the 2.5D curved new high-ender is quite the head-turner, thanks to a “diamond-cut” unibody metal construction, 7.2 mm wasp waist, and super-stylish fingerprint 2.0 sensor that reportedly doubles recognition speeds. It’s still likely not worth €650 in Europe and, presumably, $650 stateside with a 32 GB ROM and no Force Touch, but it comes extremely close to an irresistible bang for buck factor.