Would you pick the Huawei Ascend D2 or Ascend Mate?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 9, 2013

Two days ago, while the tech populace descended upon Las Vegas for this year’s CES, Huawei took the covers off their newest pair of devices. The first, and smaller of the two, is called the Ascend D2, and it’s a 5-inch device running proprietary software that’s headed to China later this month. For all intents and purposes, the Ascend D2 has some noteworthy specifications, including a 1080p display and a 13MP camera around back, but it’s the other phone that’s getting the lion’s share of attention.

Not that the Ascend Mate doesn’t deserve its time in the limelight. But, it would seem it’s getting all that attention simply because of its large display. And by large, I really mean huge. As you can see from the image above, which our very own Taylor Martin took while on the floor at CES, Huawei’s Ascend Mate makes Samsung’s Galaxy Note II look small.

If you thought, even for a moment, that there wouldn’t be much of a difference between 5.5- and 6.1-inches (for whatever reason), just look at the photo. Stare at it. Take it all in. Our desire to have huge smartphones, or phablets, or whatever you want to call them has led to that behemoth of a device. So, here’s the easy question:

Are you happy about that?

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s dig into the specifications. First, the smaller Ascend D2. It has a five-inch, 1080p IPS+ LCD display. Above that you’ll find a 1.3MP front-facing camera, while on the back there’s that aforementioned 13MP shooter. On the inside, the Ascend D2 features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. The battery is measured in at 3,000mAh. It’s said to be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

And then the behemoth. The Ascend Mate features a massive 6.1-inch, 720p IPS+ LCD display. It has an 8MP rear-facing camera, with a 1MP front-facing camera. It’s being powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and the battery comes in at a whopping 4,050mAh. Much like the Ascend D2, the Ascend Mate will be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right from the start. Huawei didn’t say anything about potential software updates after launch. (But that may not be a bad thing.)

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. As it stands right now, right this moment, Huawei hasn’t said there are any plans to bring either one of these devices over to our neck of the woods. Indeed, the Ascend D2 is scheduled to launch in China later this month; while the Ascend Mate has no finalized release date quite yet, but it, too, will be headed to China. For those of you who don’t mind buying international phones, though, both handsets will work on AT&T’s and T-Mobile’s 3G network, so keep that in mind.

What I’m curious about, Dear Reader, is your overall desire for either one of these devices. Would you pick either one of them versus any other phone that’s available here in the States, if Huawei were to launch them here? If you are into large displays, and the Galaxy Note II just doesn’t cut it for you anymore, obviously the Ascend Mate would be the perfect device for you. Or maybe you want a 5-inch 1080p display, but you don’t want to go with HTC’s DROID DNA for some reason. Huawei has you covered. And that 13MP camera should be nothing to shake a stick at, but we all know that’s just stats on a paper. We’ll have to see how it hands in real-life situations.

This is one of the bad parts of CES. We see devices like these, but ultimately we may never actually get a chance to use them. These companies bring the phones here, show them off, and then package them up and we never see them again. It’s a real shame, to be sure, and in this particular case consumers could be missing a chance to get their hands on a 6.1-inch display. Or a phone with a crisp 1080p screen and 13MP camera. That’s a real shame, if you ask me.

Oh, and if you were to ask me which one I’d go for? I think I’d pick the Ascend D2. That huge screen is impressive, sure, but I’d much prefer the 1080p variation, along with that (hopefully) impressive camera.

But, tell me, which one would you go for? The huge display? The sharper display? How about the higher megapixel camera? Let me know which one you’d toss your money at, if given the chance.