The phonebook is laid out across three tabs that can be navigated by swipes. The one in the middle is the default tab, listing all contacts. Contacts are displayed with a name and a picture to the left. They can be sorted by first or last name and displayed with the first or last name first.
There's a permanent alphabet scroll on the right to jump straight to contacts starting with a certain letter. There's a regular search too.
Tapping on the contact image now brings up a tabbed popup. The tabs are phone and email with a list of the available numbers/addresses. These tabs can be swiped sideways too.
The single contact view top row has a star to favorite a contact, a pencil to edit it, and a Settings button that lets you share, copy or delete a contact as well as set the phone to redirect calls from that contact straight to voice mail.
While editing a contact, you can add new fields of different types to fill in more contact details. You can link contacts too, if you've added the same person on multiple services.
The contacts can be filtered by service (e.g. hide all Facebook contacts) and even by group (so you can hide all contacts not in a group, for example).
The other two tabs in the phonebook are Groups and Favorites. Groups are listed by service (e.g. your Gmail account), while favorites are a listed as a grid of large contact photos, which is really thumbable.
The dialer and the call log share the same screen. The dialer offers smart dialing and it works both with names and numbers; it offers a shortcut to the Contacts app and vice versa.
The in-call quality from the device is superb. We tested the Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G on AT&T's network in the United States.
The messaging section is business as usual. All SMS/MMS communication is organized into threads - which can be mass-deleted - and each thread is displayed like an IM chat session, the latest message at the bottom. You can manage individual messages (forward, copy, delete) and even lock them (to prevent deletion). You can use search to find a specific message in all conversations.
You can add multimedia (photos, videos, sounds, etc.), which will convert the message to an MMS. If you need multiple slides or multiple attachments, you can go to a full-blown MMS editor as well.
In addition to Gmail, there is also a generic email app for all your other email accounts and it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes. You have access to the messages in the original folders that are created online, side by side with the standard local ones such as inbox, drafts and sent items.
The Huawei keyboard is quite comfortable to type on. The ample screen further helps the typing experience.
You can switch to the default Android keyboard too. It is preloaded out of the box.