Huawei has unveiled the follow-up to last year’s Ascend Mate 7 with a whole host of interesting upgrades.

The Mate S has stuck to the high end price range with the phone retailing for between €600-€700  depending on memory and case selection. It’s the most expensive phone ever released by Huawei, with the previous model retailing for €499-599. It appears they have the confidence to bring the new flagship even closer to iPhone 6’s domain.

And the price isn’t the only thing Huawei is competing with the iPhone on. The Mate S appears to have beaten Apple to the punch by introducing a Force Touch feature. Apple was anticipated to reveal the same feature this week for their upcoming iPhone.

The company kept the Ascend Mate 7’s fingerprint sensor but eschewed the 6-inch screen, taking it back down to 5.5-inches. They have stuck to the 13-megapixel main camera but have upgraded the front camera to 8-megapixels from 5 last year.

Other interesting upgrades were made to their Knuckle Sense technology, which allows users to open the camera by drawing a C with their knuckle and the internet by drawing an I.

Customers looking to upgrade to the Mate S from the Ascend Mate 7 will be happy to learn that Huawei has finally boarded the fast-charge wagon (which they really have no excuse for overlooking in this price range). Users can now see a significant drop in charge time from the 3.5 hours required for the last model.

Other features from the new Mate S include a 1080p screen, 7.2mm thickness, a Kirin chipset and a curved metal design. It has dual sim slots which will allow it to support up to 13 LTE frequencies across the world.

The phone will be available in China as well as Japan, South Africa and European markets by the end of September, open for pre-orders on the 15th, but customers in the U.S. will not get to see the latest flagship as Huawei has no plans to release it there. They will likely be staying out of iPhone’s price territory in the U.S. where the market is much more saturated. Currently they don’t even break the top 20 vendors in the U.S., and make up less than 1% of total sales.

Huawei recently plucked off Apple to become the second biggest smartphone vendor in China by market share behind Xiaomi, according to a report from Canalys. It now holds a 15.7% share of the Chinese market, and is expected to sell almost 110 million smartphones globally this year.


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Image Source: Huawei

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or

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1 Comment

  1. It’s interesting how Chinese mobile handset brands avoid the US market, but it’s not really surprising. American companies tend to defend their home turf not through offering better handsets and service, but through lawsuits which are meant to ban any new entrants to the market.

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