We Tested: Huawei Mate S

What is the initial impression of 2015 flagship? Does the new Apple iPhone 6s flashed your mind? Or does the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 or the LG G4? Actually Huawei has recently released the successor of the Mate 7 – known as the Mate S. The Mate S priced at RM2698 gives an initial impression of that the device might feature distinguishing functionality and high performance hardware, but does it really offer to that extend? Does the Huawei Mate S worth the price? Let’s find it out!

Huawei Mate S Specifications:

  • 5.5′ 1080P AMOLED TFT panel(402ppi)
  • 4 core A53 2.2 GHz+4 core A53 1.5 GHz+ Kirin 935 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB ROM (supports 128GB microSD expansion)
  • 13MP rear camera + OIS
  • 8MP front camera
  • Dual SIM standby with 4G LTE
  • Huawei EMUI 3.1(based on Android 5.1)
  • 149.89 mm × 75.35 mm × 7.2 mm
  • 156g

Recommended Retail Price: RM2698


Design and Outlook



We’re all amazed with the Huawei Mate S at its first sight. The unibody metallic design and the slight curve rear panel with matte finish makes the Huawei Mate S looks premium. Although Huawei Mate S is not the first Huawei smartphone that features the metallic alloy body materials, but the combination with other texture processing and the design makes it stands out from premium.












Because of the full metalic unibody design, the Huawei Mate S has a weight that slightly exceeds 150g. But that does not make the Huawei Mate S appear heavy and bulky, in fact it is light and highly portable that does not result in fatigue on palm after long period of usage.



The design of the rear panel does not surprises us as it still used the 3 phased design on the back separated by white line. The camera module and the fingerprint recognition sensor was lined straight on the middle top of the smartphone.



The bolded and capitalized HUAWEI logo was embedded beneath the display glass surface. It does produce little visual effect when viewing from different angles.



Aside from improvising the exterior outlook of the Mate S, it also improves the friction and the grip of the smartphone and avoid slippery.





The Mate S comes with a 5.5 inches Full HD display with 402 ppi that is not just satisfactory but excellent. Colours on the AMOLED panel does not appears brushed out or over saturated as each bits of colour are well represented on the screen. However, it is slightly unfortunate that this model does not come with 2K QHD display as it is marketed as flagship of 2015.



The 2.5D glass on top of the display does not affect the viewing angle.





Although it does not comes with the similar visual experience on the 2K display panel, Full HD for a smartphone is considered as sufficient! Can you distinguish between 2K and Full HD from a smartphone in a real world scenario?



No colours are brushed out nor leaked. Well done Huawei Mate S.





Huawei has once and once optimized its camera application with each EMUI upgrade. The 13MP rear camera specced on the rear comes with 4 colour sensor – Red, Green, Blue and White that is able to retain the exact colour taken on the scenario. The Optical Image Stabilization is a norm in flagship smartphone as it provides decent amount of stabilization towards the image when the photo was taken. Same goes to this model. Let’s see some sample images taken below!


The camera application on the Mate S supports tremendous amount of shooting mode which also includes the popular exclusive Super Night Mode and Light Painting!

Colour accuracy testing


The colours retained in the camera can be assumed as accurate with a high volume of white colour intensity. This also result in the yellow colours appears to be more bright.

Outdoor shooting



Each details of the images is well preserved. However the pictures suffers from high exposure and white balance.


Outdoor Shooting (Night)



In low light environment shooting, it still suffers from noise due to prolonged exposure of light onto the image sensor. The images suffers in poor details as seen on the image as the leaves are cluttered into a single object. However, the Mate S outdoor night shooting still grants a better white composition as the brightness are excellent in this photo.

Low Light Indoors



Suprisingly the indoor shots are much well performed compared to the outdoor shooting. The low light parts are compensated with the flash and the colours and details are preserved.

Food images



Macro Shots



Mate S macro shot is able to create a good depth of field but the colour does not appear distinctive in the image.

Selfie shots



Mate S supports skin beautification and much facial details are maintained and expressed accurately.

More camera shots











As the flagship of Huawei, it is slightly unfortunate that it does not come preloaded with latest EMUI 4.0. However, this firmware will be available for upgrade through OTA in the future. Meanwhile, Huawei highly focused on the pressure sensitive display, fingerjoint command and fingerprint unlock feature of this smartphone during the launch event!

System UI






The Mate S runs on Android 5.1.1 with EMUI 3.1.

Fingerjoint command



First appeared on the Huawei P8, the fingerjoint command allows user to take screenshots of the display by double knocking the display with fingerjoint! The new fingerjoint command feature can now be used to record screen activity while double tapping/knocking the display!







Taking screenshots anytime you want anywhere.



The screenshot area is also sizable!



Users can customize the fingerjoint command option with setting up application launch in related with the alphabet gesture. Drawing the alphabet with fingerjoint instantly loads up the application.



IMG_20151209_165813Double fingerjoint tapping on the display instantly initiates record on screen activity up to 5 minutes!

Fingerprint Sensor 2.0



Although fingerprint sensor has become a norm in flagship Android smartphone of the year 2015, the Mate S still offers the similar kind of technology. The new Fingerprint Sensor technology 2.0 allows faster recognition and unlock of the smartphone by simply placing your finger onto the module!

The new Fingerprint technology also allows user to launch and control application through the fingerprint sensor. For example, it can be used to swipe between menu interface through the sensor. Double tapping the sensor also clears the notification area. The sensor can also be used to act as camera shutter button when taking selfies!



  • Swipping down twice launches the notification panel. Double tap to remove all notifications.
  • Swipping left and right allows browsing images in the gallery.
  • Users can accept incoming phone call by pressing the fingerprint sensor!
  • It also act as quick camera shutter button.

Split Mode Display

5The Mate S supports split mode display which is originally found in Samsung smartphones. It improves productivity during certain circumstances.

Battery “Firewall”


This is a pre-installed application that allows the user to monitor those battery hoggling application. User will then notified of the application and able to instantly shut down background applications to conserve battery.





According to specifications, the Mate S comes with 2700mAh battery. In comparison with other smartphone with similar specification, the battery capacity of this smartphone is considered as small. However, Huawei decides to improves the smartphone battery life with system optimization. Let’s see how significant it is!

Charging test



2:00PM – 15%

2:32PM – 52%

37% of battery is replenished during 30 minutes charge. Although Huawei officials stated that the Mate S comes with a quick charge technology, the battery replenish rate does not on par with the OPPO VOOC quick charge technology.

Battery durability test

  • 1/2 hr waze & data:9%
  • 1/2 hr FB + data:6%
  • 1/2 hr FB + WiFi:5%
  • 1/2 hr browser + wifi:4%
  • 1/2 hr game + wifi:15%
  • 1/2 hr youtube:10%
  • 1/2 hr whatsapp+wechat+camera+wifi:7%
  • 1/2 hr music:2%
  • 1 hr video playback:9%(earphones)9%(speaker output)

Smartphone standby battery test

After 5 hours of standby with WiFi connected and social application running on the background, 5% of the battery is lost during the period

In short, the battery life of this smartphone is only considered satisfactory. It is strongly recommended to get a powerbank if you are a power user!





Powered by HiSilicon 935 octa core processor at 64 bit, it also comes with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of total internal storage. The processor runs on big.LITTLE architecture that promises balance between performance and battery consumption. During our testing period, no lags are recorded which is awesome!

AnTuTu benchmark test



Epic Citadel Benchmark



Gaming Benchmark



Most games are supported on this smartphone and no general lag is experienced during the gameplay period which is excellent! There is no significant overheating issue recorded during intesive computing task.


Video playback experience



The 1080p display for Full HD video are great as the visual experience are satisfactory. The video application pre-installed has a minimalist interface that is easy and clean to use.

Web Browsing Experience



The webpage loading time are fast and most website are generally supported on this smartphone.

Audio Playback

IMG_20151209_182327The audio output of this smartphone is good and acceptable. For Hi Fi music enjoyment, a premium earphone is strongly recommended.





Back to the original question, does the Huawei Mate S worth RM2698? After our testing we found that the Huawei Mate S is slightly overpriced. However, it does provides great photography experience and the general user experience are excellent. Unfortunately without the 2K display, it is hard to compete with other smartphone brand in Malaysian mobile market at this price tag.


HuaweiMate S