Huawei Ascend Mate, the 6.1 inch phablet. Maybe not so crazy after all
The Huawei Ascend Mate has a 4050 mAh battery, a 6.1-inch
1080p 720p display and an 8-megapixel camera. How ridiculous this might seem at a first glance… I don’t know. I’m personally definitely not ready for it. But if I step outside my own comfort zone, things look a little bit different. I hear more and more people are enjoying the 5.5 inch Galaxy Note II while others are experimenting if they can use the 7.9 inch iPad Mini or the 7 inch Nexus 7 as their only mobile device. Which both are reportedly just a tad too big to pull off. In 2007-2008, whenever I saw someone pull out a 3.5 inch iPhone I thought it looked, maybe not ridiculous, but I remember thinking that I would feel self conscious if I’d had one myself. Today people are using 4.7—5 inch phones without thinking about it (too much).
Yes, 4.3—5 inch screen phones are already quite large. I’ve enjoyed a couple of them myself. But they don’t add very much to the computing experience in relation to 3.5—4.2 inch phones. It’s more or less the same, just a little bit better and a little bit bigger. And to many users, the added benefits don’t outweigh the added bulk. But going even bigger, things start to change. The Galaxy Note II with a 5.5 inch screen actually do add to the experience. You can do other things with it. New things. This is even more true for the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7. Besides new usage scenarios, a 6.1 screen also seems wonderful for reading, browsing the web and watching movies. The battery life of larger than regular smartphone devices are usually superior as well. Maybe 6.1 inch is too big for navigating with just one hand, but it should be small enough for holding in one hand for extended time periods (reading in bed etc), which to me is far more important. Also, it may not be small enough to take out on the way to the buss, but definately while on the buss. So, even though I don’t think that this particular device from Huawei will be a hit, I definitely believe there’s a market for a computing device with a 6.1 inch screen that is capable of both voice and mobile data.
I also believe the large size is a perception issue. Stop think of it as a big ugly phone. It’s a supercute tiny mobile computer. That also can handle voice calls, which means that you can leave your phone at home. Put it in the inner pocket of your suit jacket together with a decent looking bluetooth headset for voice calls and you’re good to go. You can handle the quick glance stuff with the companion smartwatch (if there isn’t one, someone should build it asap). Of course you’d look silly if you put it to your face. But you’d never think of putting your laptop to your face when making skype calls either. That doesn’t mean laptops are silly, it just means that it’s not the right way to use them. Obviously.
So, as a concept, I actually think that this device make sense. More sense than carrying around both a iPad Mini/Nexus 7 and a large screen smartphone. And if people buy into this, you might find me having a 6.1 inch phone myself. In 2015.