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By 4 December 2014 | Categories: news

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It’s been no secret that the likes of Samsung are watching rising Chinese companies carefully, and well they should be, as Huawei for one isn’t pulling punches.

Huawei’s latest smartphones, its 6” phablet, the Ascend Mate 7 and a more trendy offering, the Ascend G7, launched at AfricaCom in Cape Town, served as clear evidence that the company is becoming a force to be reckoned with. The star of the show was the former, marking Huawei’s salvo against the likes of Apple and Samsung’s latest phablets, which similarly caters to upper end mobile users and businesses users alike.

From the source

Yudi Rambaran, the director of product marketing for Huawei Consumer Business Unit - South Africa, explained an increasing number of people are requesting a bigger device so that they have one device for everything. “They want to consume their multimedia, but in the work environment it makes a lot more sense to carry that as opposed to a seven inch tablet.” Additionally, Rambaran noted that he believes 6” is the threshold size wise. That being said, he asserted that a phablet’s screen size is not its determining factor. Rather, the design is paramount, influencing how usable it is, and whether users can comfortably hold it in the palm of their hand.

“Although the screen is bigger than the competition, we have narrowed the bezel so that it is mostly screen and easy to hold,” he explained. Furthermore, the company has also implemented an optional one handed user interface, which makes the on screen keypad the size of normal phone keypad and easier to use with one hand.

Customer empathy

Liza De Wet, the marketing director of Huawei South Africa, stressed that the company did not want to be known as a “cheap brand” of the industry, which meant it was taking great care in trying to build a brand that users aspire to be a part of.

“At the same time, we want to ensure we build quality products that don’t overheat or under deliver on what they promise,” she continued. Commenting on the fact that the company has been delivering very well specced products of late at a lower price point than the competition, De Wet explained that this stems from its understanding that from a global level, many countries are still experiencing a recession.

Ascend Mate 7 unwrapped

The 6” phablet – whose screen size pushes it firmly into the more than a smartphone and viable productivity tool segment – is no slouch on either the specifications or features fronts. Powering the phablet is Huawei’s own Kirin 925 CPU, consisting of 4 x A15 1.8 GHz quad-core and 4 x A7 1.3 GHz chipsets. Depending on whether you opt for the standard, black or silver versions, or the premium gold version, you either get 2 GB or memory, 16 GB of storage (expandable via microSD card) or 3GB of memory, 32 GB of storage and a dual SIM capability respectively.

Class is king

Either way, the phablet certainly exudes class; and encased in a gently curved aluminium 7.9 mm thin body, feels very comfortable in the hand. Powering the sharp 1920x1080 resolution screen is a large 4100 mAH battery, which the company asserted will deliver more than two days uninterrupted life. As on other high end devices, the phablet similarly boasts its own fingerprint sensor, which can be used to unlock the device from powered off in a second, secure individual files and folders and trigger the 13 megapixel camera.

Go long(term)

As far as connectivity is concerned, the Mate 7 is no stranger to speed,  offering support for Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and Cat6, which boasts download speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s, and upload speeds up to 50 Mbit/s. It is slated for local availability from early next year from between R7 000 and R9 000.

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