Specs summary


The Huawei Mate S's screen is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.


There is a HiSilicon Kirin 935 Octa core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system (OS).

13+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 2700 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 833 minutes (3G), 583 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Though Huawei's flagship Mate S has classy looks and a great camera, you can find better-performing top-end phones for less money elsewhere.

- Andrew Hoyle , Cnet 

With a great design, a top class display and an excellent fingerprint reader, Huawei proves it has what it takes to build a true flagship device.

- Gary Sims , Android Authority 

Reviews summary

Based on 22 reviews

What's good  

  • All-day battery life
  • Great camera
  • Vivid display
  • Ample storage
  • Dual-SIM support
  • microSD support

What's bad  

  • Dim screen
  • Price
  • Pressure-sensitive display is gimmicky
  • Below-average gaming performance

Once an unknown Chinese phone maker, Huawei has quickly built a reputation for quality in their Mate series of phones. The Mate S is the first Android handset to bring pressure sensitive touch to the market. But with the price rivaling--and even exceeding--the price of some flagship phones, does the phone offer enough to warrant your money?

Reviews are rolling out and we’re scouring the web to see what people are saying. Let’s take a look!

Reviewers loved the thin, aluminum unibody design of the Mate S. Nearly all commented on the bevelled edges and tight construction. AnandTech noted, “the 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 front make for a very comfortable and ergonomic grip.” Later, they praised it further, calling the Mate S “by far Huawei's most premium device to date and I consider it to be even among one of the best built and solid smartphones I've used.”

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The rear of the phone also holds a fingerprint scanner equipped with swipe gesture functionality. Expert Reviews UK put this feature through its paces and declared, “In most cases, each action worked perfectly fine and it made the phone easier to use single-handedly.”

Flipping around to the front, you’ll find a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen made by Samsung. Reviews on the display are great with endless comments on contrast, vivid colors and sharp details. One area of concern for some reviewers was brightness. If you use your phone often in bright lighting, you might have trouble with this screen.

Powered by an octa-core 2.2GHz Kirin 935 processor, the phone received mixed reviews for performance. On everyday tasks, such as checking email or browsing the web, reviewers noted no issues. However, the moment you crank up a game performance dips compared to other phones at similar prices. Expert Reviews UK noted, “The Kirin 935 may have great CPU performance, but its GPU is decidedly poor compared to its Qualcomm-based rivals.”

Another area of contention was the interface on the phone. Huawei’s Emotion UI makes substantial changes to how Android worlds. Mashable summed it up by calling it, “Android with an iOS feel.” While a matter of personal preference, most reviewers were quick to love or hate it.

You’ll find plenty of storage space to keep all of your apps, games and media at hand with models ranging from 32GB to 128GB of internal storage. Should you need more room, you can pop in a microSD card--though keep in mind this will disable the second SIM slot.

The phone’s 2700mAh might seem low by current standards but reviewers had no problems with battery life. Phone Arena tested the phone and said, “On the whole, we managed a single day of usage no problem, and day-and-a-half every now and then.”

If you love to take pictures with your phone, reviews indicated the Mate S is up to the task. Both the 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens with flash received great reviews. Mashable declared that the cameras are “up there with the best of them.” PC Advisor UK said, “Overall, we were quite impressed by both the forward-facing and rear-facing cameras, both in terms of quality and capture time.”

If you opt for the 128GB model, you’ll also find Android’s first pressure-sensitive display technology. Unfortunately, reviewers found that while it was fun and accurate, there was little actual functionality to feature.

Overall, the biggest issue reviewers have with the Mate S is the price. AnandTech sums things up well saying, “The Mate S is an extremely attractive device that easily holds up to the competition in terms of design and build-quality. Unfortunately the Mate S was launched a at a very high MSRP.” Mashable concurred, saying, “From what I've seen, it's worth the money, but I'd be lying if I said there are no cheaper options out there, with similar specs.”

Reviews (7.6/10 Avg. rating)


Touch made irrelevant

from Gearburn
If I didn’t know the Huawei Mate S’s price, I’d say it’s a solid phone. It feels great, looks great, runs like a dream and can cut it with the big boys on the performance and imaging front. But slap that price tag on it, and it’s marketing slogan that only really applies to the most expensive device that isn’t even in South Africa at the time of writing, and you have yourself a misplaced smartphone in an extremely competitive world... Full review
PC Advisor

beautifully designed but doesn't perform as well

from PC Advisor

The Huawei Mate S is a very promising phone. Its design is beautiful, it’s lightweight and it fits perfectly in our hands despite the 5.5in display. The custom Android UI takes some getting used to, but it offers something different to the standard Android experience with the inclusion of a timeline-based notification centre and knuckle touch control. The cameras are impressive, but they aren’t quite as high-end as Huawei has made them out to be. The only real let down - aside from the huge delay in actually being able to buy one - is the graphical power, as benchmark results pu... Full review


It could have been a darn good product for a hundred less

from PhoneArena

Unfortunately, it's impossible for us to recommend the Mate S, and that's actually kind of frustrating — it has the bearing of a competent top-shelfer, but falters in way too many categories to pull off the needed performance. Software, in particular, along with system performance, definitely leave more than a little to be desired, and areas such as the camera and battery life are only kind of close — but not all the way there. The display, too, could use some work, though at least you can tweak the white balance to better the image. So, just a pretty face? No, that's unfair. Bu... Full review

Android Headlines

There’s just too many better phones on the market for this price

from Android Headlines
While the Mate S has been out for just under 2 months now, it already felt dated at launch. Part of this is due to the high price tag and terrible performance for that price, and while the build quality is among the very best in the smartphone world it simply can’t make up for the sluggish behavior found during use. There are simply too many areas where the Mate S falters or just doesn’t do as well as other phones in this price range, and ultimately make it impossible to recommend for any one feature at this price range... Full review

The first Android with '3D touch' has plenty of power

from Mashable
Huawei Mate S is a great Android smartphone — it's beautiful and has every feature you could want — but it doesn't take advantage of its novel pressure-sensing tech, and it's not as cheap as many competitors... Full review

Quality hardware, but some unnecessary features

from ZDNet
Huawei has done a good job with the Mate S in terms of its physical design, and the extra functions added to the fingerprint sensor are also welcome. We like a lot of what's been done with the EMUI skin too, although it might not suit all tastes. However, the knuckle gestures seem unnecessary, and Force Touch isn't present in the version that's currently available to buy... Full review

Extremely attractive device that easily holds up to the competition in terms of design and build-quality

from AnandTech

In the end I'm not sure if that was all that great of a decision for costumers as the Mate S carries a lot of the more crippling aspects of previous Huawei flagships. The big "killer" feature of the Mate S was supposed to be the touted force-touch capability, but with that variant of the phone not being released until next year it leaves the rest of the lineup with sort of a lack of direction and purpose. A SoC is crucial to the performance and efficiency of a device and HiSilicon's offerings were simply not as competitive compared to chipsets from Qualcomm or Samsung. I can't help but thin... Full review


Crammed with cool tricks

from Phonecruncher
All in all, we enjoyed our time with the Mate S, a smartphone that absolutely excels when it comes to functionality. We think the Mate S is a stunning-looking smartphone (outside of its gross case) slightly let down by Emotion UI. The camera takes great pictures, sound is nice and loud and the fingerprint sensor is accurate, for the most part. Minor problems aside, Huawei’s Mate S is a solid smartphone. Did we mention it’s gorgeous?.. Full review
Absolute Geeks

Excellent design & build but sub-par display resolution

from Absolute Geeks
The Huawei Mate S is a massive contender to the phablet category and it is our recommendation that you seriously consider checking it out before making your decision when purchasing a new phone. It ticks all the boxes and comes at a highly competitive price... Full review
Expert Reviews

A beautifyull made but ultimately average handset

from Expert Reviews
Ultimately, though, the Huawei Mate S just doesn't do quite enough to stand out from the rest of its £400 competition. It's beautifully made and has decent performance and battery life, but it's trumped in almost every way by the Samsung Galaxy S6, which now costs just £400 SIM-free or as little as £27.50-per-month on contract. Huawei's Emotion UI is another big turn off, as for me it just makes it very fussy to use on a daily basis. The Galaxy S6, on the other hand, is faster, has a longer-lasting battery, is just as well made and has an infinitely superior camera... Full review

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