When it comes to the larger smartphones on the market, there are certainly plenty of options out there at the moment, non more significant than the Apple iPhone 6 Plus which sports a substantial 5 inch screen. Another favorite of ours in this space is the lesser known Huawei Ascend Mate 7 which is physically of a similar size to the 6 Plus, yet manages to cram in an even larger 6 inch display. Mobile Geeks take a look at the two in some detail, with a pretty detailed side by side comparison video:
The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus Comparison Video
These are in many ways two very different smartphone devices, not only when it comes down to the broader issue of Android vs Apple, but also in terms of price. The iPhone 6 Plus commands a real flagship fee of around $850, whereas the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 will cost you something closer to $500. When we take in to account this significant difference in price, which of the two makes the best proposition? Hopefully the video below will help you make a more informed decision:
Huawei Ascend Mate 7: Overview
The Ascend Mate 7 is a 6 inch Android smartphone that uses a IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The 6 inch screen of course makes the device one of the larger ‘phablets’ on the market right now, but in fact Huawei have done a fantastic job of optimizing the size of the device to ensure a really impressive screen-to-body ratio. During the launch event in Berlin, the company talked about the front face of the Mate 7 being 83% screen, an impressive feat that I think would be rivaled only by the LG G3 in the current smartphone crop.
The display is indeed impressive, with great viewing angles, vivid colors and a superb touchscreen experience. However, we found that it was not in fact the brightest display that we have come across. This is certainly one area where Apple’s Retina technology quite literally shines through. The iPhone 6 Plus is palpably brighter than the JDI-made Ascend Mate 7 display, and is certainly one area where the Americans are ahead.
In terms of internal hardware, Huawei, like Apple, have their own proprietary silicon powering the device with the HiSilicon Kirin 925. An Octa-core System-on-Chip that includes globally compatible cat 6 LTE support. This is paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage although the Mate 7 also supports microSD cards.
In terms of cameras you are getting a 16MP rear camera sensor and a solid 5MP front facing camera. Our review of the device reveals that the rear Sony Xmor BSI sensor is solid and capable of some awesome photos, but in general it is not in the same class as what we have seen from Samsung and Sony – and in truth the iPhone 6 Plus is in the same top tier. More in-depth analysis of the iPhone 6 Plus camera to come.
The real highlights of the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 in my opinion are the design of the handset, its battery life and its software. The aluminum uni-body chassis design is beautiful and feels almost as solid as HTC’s One Series. It’s not quite as curved or shapely as the One M8, but the gently rounded back feels very good in the hand. There is also incredible battery life on offer – the device is loaded with a 4,100mAh non-removable battery that will keep all enthusiastic geeks fully powered for at least two days. The Mate 7 is a great testament to larger handsets that manage to integrate high capacity batteries.
The other thing that really caught our eye was the EMUI UI that Huawei have developed – a heavily customized version of Android 4.4 Kit Kat that looks fantastic. In many respects Huawei have been influenced by Apple, so for example there is no app draw – all apps are present on the home screens. It’s also very simplistic with plenty of design flair and finesse going in to the menus and layout, plus the choice of great looking free themes is absolutely astounding.
Huawei Ascend Mate 7: Full Specifications
• 6 inch IPS LCD from JDI
• 1920 x 1080 (Corning Gorilla Glass)
• HiSilicon Kirin 925 (Octa-core at 1.8GHz/1.3GHz)
• 2GB RAM
• 16GB Storage
• microSD card support
• 13MP Rear cam with Autofocus/LED Flash
• 5MP Front Camera
• Global LTE Cat 6, HSDPA support
• WiFi b/g/n
• Bluetooth 4.0 / GPRS
• Fingerprint reader
• 157mm x 81mm x 7.9mm
• 185 grams
• Dual Micro SIM
• 4,100mAH Battery (non-removable)
• Silver, Black, Gold (Special Edition – 3GB RAM/64GB)
Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Overview
The iPhone 6 Plus can almost be seen as an admission from Apple that they have been so wrong for so long in keeping with their smaller handset designs. At 158mm in length, the iPhone 6 Plus is actually 1.1mm longer than the Mate 7 – yet it is using a screen that is substantially smaller at only 5.5 inches. While Huawei have made every effort to optimize the design of the Mate 7 to reduce the overall size to achieve maximum screen to body ratio, Apple, quite simply have not. The display in question however is a stunning Retina HD display at the same resolution as the Ascend Mate 7 – 1080p. It is very bright, very crisp. Colors look exceedingly well produced and vivid. In fact there can be arguments – this is a fantastic display, once again enhancing Apple’s reputation in this area.
The overall design of the iPhone 6 Plus is also very impressive with a solid aluminum chassis that sports beautifully curved edges with a display that almost seems to float on top. It may well be true that enough physical force will in fact bend the iPhone 6 Plus, but you cannot say that it doesn’t feel solid in the hand.
The 8MP rear camera may not sound like a world beater but in fact it is probably one of the strongest camera offerings round at the moment. The auto-focus is super fast and accurate and the combination of a f/2.2 aperture, True Tone Flash and five piece lens with a hybrid IR filter means that it takes some absolutely stunning pictures, with almost zero faffing involved. There can be little doubt that the iPhone 6 Plus is a real contender for the smartphone camera crown. More to come on that particular issue.
The processor behind the iPhone 6 Plus is an in-house designed Apple A8 chip. The A8 is a dual core system-on-chip that runs at 1.4GHz integrating graphics from PowerVR. In terms of raw horse power the A8 has plenty to offer, but the real performance lies with Apple’s incredible optimization with its iOS software stack. The iPhone 6 Plus is very responsive and slick as a result. The only negative thing I could bring up is the comparatively meager 1GB of RAM. I’m sure Apple have optimized memory usage very well, but it still amazes me that a flagship smartphone in 2014 is shipping with just 1GB.
Other details include a 2,915mAh battery, g/b/n/ac WiFi support, Bluetooth 4.0 plus LTE and HSDPA support. The Hauwei offers Dual micro SIM support alas, the iPhone 6 Plus supports a single Nano SIM. In terms of weight, the iPhone 6 Plus is actually a good bit lighter at 172 grams compared to the Mate 7 at 185 grams, and it is thinner also. Here are the iPhone 6 Plus specs in more detail.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Full Specifications
• 5.5 inch HD Retina
• 1920 x 1080 resolution
• Apple A8 (Dual-core at 1.4GHz)
• 1GB RAM
• 16GB/64GB Storage
• No microSD card support
• 8MP Rear cam with Autofocus/Dual LED Flash
• 1.2MP Front Camera
• LTE + HSDPA support
• WiFi b/g/n/ac
• Bluetooth 4.0 / GPRS
• Fingerprint reader
• 158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm
• 172 grams
• Nano SIM
• 2,915mAH Battery (non-removable)
• Silver, Gold, Space Grey
Apples to Apples?
The Apple iPhone 6 Plus is with doubt a magnificent piece of hardware, and perhaps for around $850 it should be. The Huawei at around $500 however also offers bags of potential as a really great Android phablet. The key difference between the two devices is of course the software that they run, and more importantly the app and content eco-systems that they represent. Moving from Android to iOS, or iOS to Android is a major change in your life. I’m not sure which transition would get the easier ride, but I would say for sure that there would be hiccups and stressful adjustments to be made along the way.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any thoughts on which device floats your boat.