The fingerprint scanner is becoming a must have feature in flagship phones and today Huawei announced a new “Phablet” with what we think is the best fingerprint scanner on the market today. A big call, but there’s a very simple reason why.
Available in a grey metal or gold (Obsidian black and Amber gold) and measuring in at 7.9mm thin the Huawei Mate7 reeks of flagship quality. A pretty simply design by any measure yet it’s brought together with quality materials and just the right features to appeal to almost any large screen phone buyer.
Lacking the “s-pen” of the Samsung Galaxy Note and with a lower resolution screen, that’s where the disadvantages end.
Out front the 6 inch screen is richly coloured, with a deep black and colours that pop it would be hard to fault for many including the most advanced users.
Under the hood there’s plenty of power, and while I’m not one for “benchmarking” – preferring the day-to-day usage tests, the benchmarks show some very solid performance which, while behind that of the Note 4, would be impressive to anyone looking for a new device.
The camera is good, with fast shutter, great features and overall great photos – while lacking a little in overall quality it’s at the upper end for smartphones.
Even this panorama impressed me, given the movement in the picture area it captured a still with ease
Huawei have done something very nice with the home screen and other icon layouts, adding a “touch” the icons which seems to give the whole operating system a level of class. This is aimed for the most part at the gold version which has a premium look and feel all round.
This is one of many themes on this (and other) Huawei phones, and while “skins” on Android are often mocked for being “bloatware” it feels to me like new icons and some useful apps, but overall a very reasonable approach to the Android experience.
Take the “Phone manager” app as an example. This is a really simple to find and use application which offers some really great features which can help clean up, speed up and also manage your phone usage such as blocking calls or messages and saving your battery when you need it most.
But in reality, most of this is just a good solid and well specked Android smartphone.
The key feature is that fingerprint scanner.
Without question this is an “Apple like” experience, with a touch to use not slide or swipe approach as you’ll find on the Samsung products. If this was a VHS vs BETACAM war, then Touch is surely going to win. It’s really just a matter of how long Samsung holds out on this one.
Huawei themselves say “It enables users to unlock the phone at least 80% faster than devices that use a slower sweeping recognition option”
Like an iPhone, you touch your finger over and over again to register. And you can register multiple fingers.
The simple thing, which I reckon is a big deal – unlike any other phone I’ve tried, your fingerprint will wake your phone with the Huawei Mate7. So when the screen is off and locked, you just touch your finger on the sensor and the phone wakes up unlocked. It sounds simple, but trust me, that’s different, and I like it.
The Huawei Mate7 in Amber Gold (3GB RAM and 32GB ROM) is going to sell for $699, and will be available from Monday 17 November, via Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi stores across Australia.
The Huawei Mate7 in Obsidian Black (2GB RAM and 16GB ROM) will be available from Vodafone via Dick Smith stores, pricing and exact launch date to be announced shortly.