It's no secret we like the Huawei Ascend Mate - we've recommended it twice in our shopping guides so far. That's about to change though as the Ascend Mate 2 4G brings some refinements to the original that we think may be worth it (depending on the price, of course, Huawei hasn't announced anything about it yet).
The new phablet keeps the screen at 6.1" 720p (that's 241ppi). It's not the sharpest display, but for a mid-range phablet it's quite alright. It's an LTPS LCD, so viewing angles are good and it's covered with Gorilla Glass.
The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G is a couple of millimeters shorter and narrower than the original, it's a bit slimmer too (9.5mm vs. 9.9mm). It weighs just as much as the original, but the smaller bezels do make a difference in how it feels in the hand.
We just wish Huawei kept the matte plastic on the back, we're not fans of the glossy new one. The back cover pops off to reveal the SIM and microSD card slots, but the battery is sealed.
Despite the size saving, the battery still has the monstrous 4,050mAh capacity - it offered great battery life with Huawei's less than efficient quad-core Cortex-A9 chipset, but with the new quad-core Cortex-A7 it should be an absolute beast.
The official numbers say 60 hours of normal use (whatever that is) and 12 hours straight of web browsing (the original did about 8 hours in our battery test, we can't wait to put this one through its paces). Huawei is so certain of the battery that the Mate 2 can actually charge other phones (obviously, you'll need the appropriate USB cable).
Anyway, the chipset upgrade also adds LTE connectivity - it's Cat. 4 too, meaning it can do 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up.
There's more - the camera department got a big upgrade too. The main camera has a 13MP BSI sensor from Sony, 28mm lens and f/2.0 aperture. It can record 1080p video. The front facing camera is even more interesting - a 5MP camera, with f/2.4 aperture and 1.4µ pixels. Hear that, HTC One?
The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G runs Android 4.3 with Emotion UI 2.0. Huawei is intent on bringing the Mate 2 to the US, with AT&T being suggested as the likely carrier.
Huawei also had colorful protective cases for the Ascend Mate 2 4G on display.