Huawei Mate SE Review

Huawei Mate SE Technical Specifications

Body

  • Size: 6.16 x 2.96 x 0.30 inches
  • Screen: 5.93 inches (~77.0% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Build: Glass front, aluminum back, aluminum frame

If you know what the Honor 7X offers, then think of the Huawei Mate SE as the improved sibling under the Huawei brand. We see the same design and build here. Most users that have owned a Mate SE in the past couple of years can confirm the 2:1 aspect ratio display (full-HD+ resolution) is one of the pros of having this smartphone.

The LCD display on the Huawei Mate SE is a way the manufacturer lowers costs to deliver a budget smartphone, so don’t expect to see an AMOLED panel on the Mate SE. Nonetheless, the LED display is not something we’d consider a big downgrade when it comes to user experience.

Platform & Memory

  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Software: Android Oreo w/EMUI 8.0

When it comes to specs, it’s essential to have over 4 RAM of memory, a good processor and enough internal storage. The only issue we have with the Mate SE is its HiSilicon Kirin 659, which doesn’t compare with the power of a Snapdragon.

The underwhelming HiSilicon Kirin 659 doesn’t keep up with too many apps, but we expected to see these stutters since it’s not a processor for power users. This, unfortunately, means that you can’t quite play games on the Mate SE – at least not games that require more power than what this chipset currently offers.

Cameras

  • Front Camera: 8MP
  • Rear Cameras: 16MP + 2MP (features: LED flash, HDR, panorama)
  • Video: [email protected]

For a budget smartphone, having dual cameras is a premium features. With a primary 16MP sensor and a secondary 2MP lens, the Mate SE shines in terms of options like portrait mode, bokeh effects and more. The camera app is also filled with many features, but don’t expect to see it match the cameras on flagship phones.

The selfie camera is pretty good, taking clean photos, much better than other phones in the same price range.

Other Features

  • Battery: 3,340mAh
  • Network and communications: GSM / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, FM radio, microUSB 2.0
  • Others: Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by), Fingerprint Scanner (rear-mounted)
  • Colors: grey, gold
  • Price: $250 (at launch)

Battery life will last for a whole day on moderate usage thanks to the large 3,340 mAh pack. The gold variant comes with white bezels on the front, while the grey one has black bezels. When it was released on the market, the suggested retail price on the Mate SE is $250, but now it should be a lot cheaper considered new budget models have updated specs and design.

About James Sterling

James Sterling received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California (USC). His Bachelor of Science was completed in Computer Science (Games) and his Master of Science was completed in Game Development. James spends his free time contributing on popular forums such as Tom's Hardware and AnandTech while hanging out with his cat Jonathan. Humorously, his favorite youtube channel is Jimquisition by Jim Sterling.

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