The Huawei Mate S phonebook is laid out across three tabs that can be navigated by swipes. It actually resides in a single application along with the dialer and messenger.
An alphabetical list on the right can help you jump to a specific letter or you can just use the search function. Tapping on a contact brings up a popup with access to a contact's scrollable info.
As on most Android launchers, you can input a variety of contact information including custom ringtones and images. You can link contacts too, if you've added the same person on multiple services.
The phonebook supports blacklist option for blocking contacts.
The Huawei Mate S held on to signal excellently and in-call sound was just fine. The proximity sensor makes sure the screen stays off when you hold the phone to your ear.
Flipping the phone on its face while it's ringing would mute the call ringing. Alternatively, picking the phone to your ear while it's ringing, automatically answers the call. A sea of other customizable gestures is also available, as already mentioned.
The secondary noise cancelling on-board microphone ensures a quieter background for your voice while in call.
The dialer and the call log share the same screen. The dialer offers smart dialing and it works both with names and numbers. It can also be docked to one side or the other for easy accessibility, or, span the entire lengths of the screen.
We put the Mate S through our traditional loudspeaker test and it got a Below Average score, well almost Average to be fair, but still on the quiet side. It falls short when compared to both the Huawei Mate7 and Honor 7, so don't count too much on it at parties.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
The messaging section is business as usual with all SMS/MMS communication organized into threads. Attaching a photo, video, or audio recording automatically turns your message into an MMS.
The Huawei Mate S also comes with Hangouts, which is another way to handle texts. Hangouts can now integrate your SMS and MMS messages in addition to Gtalk and Google+ conversations.
For email, the Gmail app includes the four inbox options (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates) that Google now has in their online interface. The default Email app is similar to Gmail, except that it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes, which is useful for when you want to keep track of multiple accounts from one place.
The Mate S keyboard features some additional settings thanks to its Swype integration, including themes, split keyboard modes, and keyboard height, but sadly many of them are hidden within the input settings menu rather than as shortcuts from the keyboard like on most interfaces.
Still, there is support for gestures as well as integration of Google's voice typing with their downloadable language voice recognition packs. There is a sea of options to explore.