Huawei shows off phone with monster 6.1-inch screen

The Ascend Mate will go on sale in China in February

It might not be a household name in the U.S., but China's Huawei sought to make a statement at CES in Las Vegas.

The company, which is one of the world's biggest vendors of cellular network equipment and one of China's top cellphone makers, unveiled two new handsets: the Ascend Mate, which claims the world's largest display, and the Ascend D2, which Huawei claims is the world's most powerful smartphone.

The Ascend Mate has a 6.1-inch screen, pushing the boundary between phone and tablet. But make no mistake, the screen, while huge for a phone, is still a little cramped when compared to a tablet.

Running Android 4.1 with a custom Huawei user interface, the phone is dust- and water-resistant, as was demonstrated on stage when Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, poured water over the phone's screen with no apparent problem. He also dropped it on stage, on purpose, to demonstrate toughness.

The Ascend Mate features an impressive 4,050mAh battery. The figure represents the amount of energy the battery can hold, and it's significantly higher than competing phones. That should translate into longer usage time between recharges, but could just be an indication of all the power needed to run its systems. Huawei didn't provide any additional details.

It has an 8-megapixel camera and, among its tricks, it can be used with a gloved hand.

The second phone, the Ascend D2, is the company's flagship model and combines a 5-inch screen with a 13-megapixel camera.

The Ascend Mate will be available in China from February with other markets to follow at an unspecified time. The D2 will go on sale in China this month and will reach Japan soon after. The launch schedule for other markets isn't fixed.

Pricing for both phones was not announced.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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