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While Huawei isn’t considered an established household brand in South Africa yet, the company isn’t hurting its chances at all. Last night, the Shenzhen outfit unveiled its beautiful Ascend Mate7 phablet and Ascend G7 smartphone, two devices that’ll likely take it to the Samsungs, LGs and Apples of this world come 2015.
Considering that the last flagship update to the Ascend line came a good few years ago, this is a much needed refresh and my, what a refresh it is. These devices were announced at IFA 2014, but this was the first time South African media were able to view the devices.
The Ascend G7
Let’s start with the more subdued (and dare I say, less pretty) device — the 5.5″ Ascend G7, perhaps appealing to those who don’t need a windscreen-sized phone. It’s still rather large though and sports similar dimensions to Sony’s Xperia C3.
It’s a single SIM handset with LTE support, which keeps it modern, while a 3000mAh battery keeps it powered.
A quad-core SoC running at 1.3GHz is the heart of the device, while a cocktail of 2GB RAM and 16GB storage keeps things ticking along. A 13MP camera is employed at the rear, while the screen should allow you to enjoy those images thanks to the 720p resolution.
The device will be priced between R4000 and R5000, and is available early next year.
That was not the most interesting device on display though.
The Ascend Mate7
The Mate7 is probably the most gorgeous piece of technology to come out of China in a good while (except of course, the iPhone 6), taking subtle design inspiration from the HTC One of all things. Not a bad choice really.
Read more: HTC One M8 Review: Old name, new tricks
It’s 6.1″ screen covers a fair share of the device’s face, while a 13MP camera is stationed at the rear. Just below the Sony-sourced snapper lies the Ascend Mate 7’s party trick — the fingerprint reader. Allegedly, it works even when the user’s hands are wet, presumably not covered in mud though.
Those more inclined to unlock their phones using a traditional passcode will be happy to know that the EMUI (Emotion 3.0 UI) still allows you to do just that. The UI in turn puts TouchWiz to shame. It’s sleek and stylish and looks very much like Android Lollipop’s naked UI unlike Korea’s clunky implementation.
Keeping well ahead of the curve, hey Huawei?
Users will have to settle for Android KitKat for now though, while Lollipop is slowly phased into play.
Hardware wise, the Ascend Mate7 features an in house eight-core SoC with four cores clocked at 1.3GHz and another four at 1.8GHz. Taking a leaf out of Samsung’s big.LITTLE textbook. RAM varies between the 16GB and 32GB models, with the former sporting 2GB while the latter boasts an impressive 3GB (and dual SIM support, mind you).
And even more impressive is the battery. Huawei managed to cram a 4100mAh base into the phone yet keep it a mere 7.9mm thin.
While we won’t see it in South African outlets in time for Christmas, the device can be had for between R7000 and R9000 from early 2015.