Phucking Phablets: Huawei’s New Giant Phone is the Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Seen

C. Custer
11:00 am on Jan 13, 2013

huawei-ascend-mateChinese mobile handset maker Huawei announced some new products at this year’s CES that have been getting a lot of attention. At the center of it all is the Huawei Ascend Mate, a 6.1-inch screen monster that has the dubious honor of being the world’s largest smartphone.

Or does it? At 6.1-inch, does the thing even qualify as a phone? Not according to many tech blogs, which are calling it and other devices like it phablets, a word I hate so much that that is the first and last time I am ever going to type it. Whatever you call it, though, what the hell is this thing actually for? It’s way too big to fit comfortably in your pocket like a phone should, but it’s too small and low resolution to make it a particularly engaging entertainment device. It is essentially the worst of both worlds: big enough to be more awkward than a regular phone, but small enough to be less enjoyable for watching videos or playing games than a regular tablet or a laptop.

The Huawei phones are only being released in China for now, and I hope they fall flat on their 6.1-inch faces. They probably won’t — some people seem to like these gigantic things, like the Samsung Galaxy Note — but I think they represent the laziest kind of design. It’s something we’ve seen everywhere from cars to televisions; when you don’t have any ideas for actually improving the product, just make it bigger. Ugh.

Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe there’s some reason I haven’t grasped yet that my phone needs a bigger screen, or that my tablet would need a smaller one, if I had a tablet. Perhaps this is better understood as a sort of mobile-hardware Parry expedition, with Huawei bravely taking the lead in exploring the how big a phone can get before it collapses upon itself like a dying star. Perhaps someone can justify this monstrosity (and others like it) to me in the comments. But there are so many interesting things happening in mobile Chinese hardware right now that it’s very difficult to get excited by such an uninspired offering from Huawei.

  • Greg

    Maybe I don’t get it, but this seems to be a laziest review I have read in a while. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t thing this phone is amazing, but an argument along the lines “I don’t get it, people are using it, but I don’t understand it, so the device sucks and everybody is wrong, and this is all I have to say about it” simply does not deserve any attention. i really hope C. Custer’s articles stop showing up on my Zite recommendation page.

  • C. Custer

    @ Greg: This is not a review.

  • Review_geek

    This is a paid review by Ericsson or some company ….one can easily make out this is not the stuff you would read online . Take a nap dude you look really tired and sleepy after CES !

  • peppermint butler

    i see there being space for this in the ladies’ segment – it’s certainly pretty, and 6.1 inches might not fit in a pocket but it fits in many purses easy enough. seems that most galaxy note owners i’ve seen, at least in china, are women as well. if i carried a purse everywhere then an extra inch of screen real estate might be “why not?” instead of “why??!”

  • MithunOnthe.Net

    “Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

    They said the same thing about the Samsung Glaxy Note, but see how well that sold!

  • Bui

    @peppermint butler +1

  • obio

    > “..Some people seem to like these gigantic things, like the Samsung Galaxy Note”

    I stopped reading this drivel after that. The writer casually disses one of the best selling consumer-electronics products in the world as something “some people seem to like”.

    This blog post is ultimately a confession of being “market ignorant”.

    Good luck with your writing career, Custer. Perhaps reviewing poems would be more up your alley. Those annoying barriers like consumers, markets and statistics won’t get in your way so much there.

  • Dominik

    It’s not much bigger than Note 2, and that little monster made all of the reviewers wet. So, where do you guys draw the line? On the 0.6” (1.3 cm) difference between the diagonal length of these phones?

    Huawei is getting to much hate for producing devices with above-average hardware and selling them for extremely low prices.

  • Julius

    I can’t wait to buy this phone.

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