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CES 2014: Hands-on preview with the Huawei Ascend Mate2

2014 is the year of "more" for Huawei, the Chinese phone manufacturer. Company reps stressed their commitment to providing more features and more value with the firm’s latest smartphone, the Huawei Ascend Mate2. We got a chance to get our hands on the super-sized phablet to see if bigger really is better, and if Huawei is offering more, or just “moar.”

The Ascend Mate2 features a 6.1in display, putting it in the same neighbourhood as supersized handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Mega and Sony Xperia Z Ultra, but Huawei stressed that the Mate2 has one of the best screen-to-body ratios in the biz. That coupled with some software tweaks means that the Mate2 is a bit more manageable for one-handed use. At 3.33in wide, though, the Mate2 still felt pretty unwieldy in my hands, and the glossy plastic build felt cheap.

Perhaps the most notable feature here is the 4050mAh battery, which is just absolutely gigantic for a smartphone.

Huawei says that'll be good for about two days of heavy usage. On top of that, the Ascend Mate2 will be able to use its massive battery to recharge other USB powered devices.

On the software side Huawei has made some nice additions to Android, providing a universal hub for controlling notifications and app permissions. That means granular control over which apps can push those pesky notifications your way, and which apps can access things like your phone book.

The Ascend Mate2 will make its debut in China in the first quarter of 2014, but Huawei didn't provide any specific timetable for pricing or UK availability. Stay tuned for a full review and more details once they become available.