Huawei Mate S review: Precision styled

Precision styled

Georgi Vasilev, 18 November, 2015.

Standard phonebook

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.

Huawei Mate S review: Straight-forward contacts experience Huawei Mate S review: Straight-forward contacts experience Huawei Mate S review: Straight-forward contacts experience Huawei Mate S review: Straight-forward contacts experience
Straight-forward contacts experience

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.

Huawei Mate S review: Lots of contact fields available Huawei Mate S review: Lots of contact fields available
Lots of contact fields available

The phonebook supports blacklist option for blocking contacts.

Telephony is excellent

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.

Huawei Mate S review: Dialer has a convenient one-handed operation mode Huawei Mate S review: Dialer has a convenient one-handed operation mode
Dialer has a convenient one-handed operation mode

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 testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
LG Nexus 5X 61.2 65.8 61.7 Below Average
Huawei Mate S 66.0 65.8 66.6 Below Average
Huawei P8 66.7 66.0 68.5 Average
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 66.3 65.0 70.5 Average
Samsung Galaxy A7 64.8 66.3 73.5 Average
HTC One M9 65.2 64.6 76.1 Average
Samsung Galaxy S6 68.1 66.3 73.7 Good
Huawei Ascend Mate7 66.7 65.7 75.7 Good
Huawei P8lite 66.5 66.6 75.7 Good
Motorola Moto X Play 69.8 66.6 75.7 Good
LG G4 66.9 71.8 74.7 Good
Huawei Honor 7 72.0 66.6 77.5 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 74.7 73.5 81.6 Excellent
OnePlus 2 75.7 73.5 80.7 Excellent


Messaging

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.

Huawei Mate S review: The standard messaging app Huawei Mate S review: The standard messaging app Huawei Mate S review: The standard messaging app Huawei Mate S review: The standard messaging app
The standard messaging app

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.

Huawei Mate S review: The Gmail app Huawei Mate S review: The generic email client Huawei Mate S review: The generic email client Huawei Mate S review: The generic email client
The Gmail app The generic email client

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.

Huawei Mate S review: Huawei keyboard with Swype integration Huawei Mate S review: Huawei keyboard with Swype integration Huawei Mate S review: Huawei keyboard with Swype integration Huawei Mate S review: Huawei keyboard with Swype integration Huawei Mate S review: Huawei keyboard with Swype integration
Huawei keyboard with Swype integration

Reader comments

  • J.P

hello every body, i need your support, i bought a Hawaii mate S 5 months ago, and until 2 weeks ago everything is going in a good way, suddenly the battery life is 50 % less then before and i have to charge my phone twice per day, and previously ...

  • Sam

Every latest device of Huawei looks extremely gorgeous (P8, mateS) but onsceen bezels makes it look a lot cheaper . 1-2 mm of hardware bezel won't harm the beauty but 3-4 mm of onscreen bezel makes it worse . I don't understand are Huawei deaign engi...

  • Sam

And what about Huawei P8 release date in India . And idea about huawei brick and mortar stores