The Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung has recently gone up for pre-order and is currently considered the smartphone with the best screen out there. The Galaxy Note 4 doesn’t only impress with its screen size, but with its specs and features as well, although it would have been nice to see a 64 bit CPU on board. The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 on the other hand, is a behemoth that boasts great specs and an even greater bang for buck ratio.
The Galaxy Note 4 falls into the category of expensive flagships, setting you back around $720 off contract, whilst the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 will only cost around $500 or $600. The drawback in comparing these two phablet titans is that the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 hasn’t been launched yet, but it is expected to arrive on the market by the holiday season. The Galaxy Note 4 isn’t widely available either, but at least it’s up for pre-order, so that’s better than nothing.
The Galaxy Note 4 and the Ascend Mate 7 are two of the most well-regarded phablets of the year, besides the iPhone 6 Plus, the Xperia Z Ultra, OnePlus One, Lumia 930 and LG G3. If you’re a phablet enthusiast and have a flare for Android, both of these phones should spark your interest since they’re both top-notch smartphones with great specs and running the latest Android KitKat OS. If you’re planning on upgrading your current phablet or want to try out a new one, the Galaxy Note 4 and Huawei Ascend Mate 7 should definitely be among your first options.
Comparing these two phablets won’t be easy, but let’s get right to it. The Galaxy Note 4 display is a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display with a 1440*2560 resolution and 515 ppi, whilst the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 display is a 6 inch IPS LCD screen with a 1080*1920 resolution and 368 ppi pixel density. The Ascend Mate 7 is clearly a bigger phone to wield, but the Galaxy Note 4 still has the better screen with crisp, vivid colors and great contrast ratio as well as outdoor visibility. The Ascend Mate 7 screen isn’t far off though, and if you go by “the bigger, the better” philosophy, it does have more screen real-estate.
The Galaxy Note 4 measures 153.5 mm in heights, 78.6 mm in width and 8.5 mm in thickness, whilst the Ascend Mate 7 is quite a bit larger, measuring 157 mm in height, 81 mm in width but only 7.9 mm in thickness. Although the Ascend Mate 7 is thinner than the Galaxy Note 4, it will be harder to maneuver one-handed. The Galaxy Note 4 won’t be an easy device to wield either, but the device also comes with an S Pen stylus which has tons of apps and features tailor-made for it on the Galaxy Note 4. Both phablets have fingerprint sensors, but Huawei said that the sensor on the Ascend Mate 7 is better than any other you would find out there (yes, even Apple is included). According to Huawei, the fingerprint sensor on the Ascend Mate 7 will work with a single touch and will recognize your finger even if it’s wet or sweaty.
Both the Galaxy Note 4 and Ascend Mate 7 have great designs, with aluminium-clad builds and sturdy bodies, as well as slim bezels and rounded edges. The Ascend Mate 7 has a little bit less bezel than the Galaxy Note 4, but it’s a negligible difference, in my opinion. So far, these two devices seem as high-end and premium as you can get, even though there’s quite the difference between screens. Other than that, we can safely say that you should read on or get yourself a test unit, because this one’s a hard one.
The Galaxy Note 4 has TouchWiz installed on top of Android KitKat whilst the Ascend Mate 7 makes use of its own Emotion UI 3.0. The Emotion UI has been said to try to imitate iOS and it does look like iOS 8 if you explore the features and UI a bit. Huawei has chosen the Emotion UI to be similar to Apple’s OS because it probably wants to target iPhone users who would rather have a bigger smartphone, but still feel like they were using an iPhone. Emotion UI can’t be compared to iOS 8 though, so this endeavor is merely aesthetic on Huawei’s part.
On to specs! The Galaxy Note 4 sports either a quad core Snapdragon 805 CPU or an Exynos 5433 CPU, the former being clocked at 2.7 GHz, while the latter is an octa core configuration. The Galaxy Note 4 has 3 GB RAM to work with as well as 32 GB expandable internal storage. If you choose the Snapdragon 805 CPU configuration, it will come with the Adreno 420 CPU whilst the Exynos configuration will bring the Mali-T760 GPU. The Ascend Mate 7 runs on an octa core HiSilicon Kirin 925 CPU backed by a Mali-T628 GPU. The Ascend Mate 7 has 2 GB RAM available for the 16 GB expandable storage configuration and 3 GB RAM for the 32 GB expandable storage configuration. As you can see, processing power hasn’t made our choice any easier and I’m beginning to suspect that the conclusion of this comparison will either be a tie, or a win for the Galaxy Note 4 display.
But there’s more. We shouldn’t forget about cameras. The Galaxy Note 4 has a 16 MP rear sensor with LED flash, autofocus, optical image stabilization and features dual shot, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, face and smile detection, panorama and HDR. The selfie cam on the Galaxy Note 4 is a 3.7 MP shooter. The Ascend Mate 7 has only a 13 MP rear sensor with LED flash and autofocus, featuring geo-taggin, HDR, face detection and panorama. The front camera on the Mate 7 is a 5 MP shooter, though. Finally, we can say that these phablets have one more important difference.
The Galaxy Note 4 benefits from a higher MP count and optical image stabilization, which will probably turn the tables in our comparison, because the phablet’s camera beats the camera on the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. There haven’t been many photo samples from the Ascend Mate 7, but those that you can find prove that the phablet is capable of taking high-quality photos, but it still doesn’t have the edge optical image stabilization gives the Galaxy Note 4.
As for battery, we come across yet another dilemma. The Galaxy Note 4 has a 3220 mAH battery, while the Ascend Mate 7 is powered by a whopping 4100 mAH battery (the same as on many tablets). The dilemma here is how much power the Galaxy Note 4 will suck out of that battery to power the considerably more pixels on its screen. If that turns out to be an issue, the Ascend Mate 7 behemoth battery might turn out to be superior. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions, though. I think the best approach would be to exclude battery life from this comparison, because neither phablet has been tested in real-life so we can’t say for sure which processes power better.
This was a touch comparison to write, honestly, and it comes down to an even tougher decision I will choose to leave up to you. Which phablet would you prefer? The Galaxy Note 4 with its stunning screen, better camera and stylus functions or the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 with its larger screen and great internals? I honestly like the design of the Mate 7 more, but I will refrain from choosing until I can test both phablets.