They’re poised to make one of the next Nexus phones later this month, and if there’s anything Huawei has proven it’s good at, it’s hardware. We briefly touched on the phone’s design at IFA 2015, and it’s still gorgeous and terrifically well-made. The chamfered edges lining the aluminum chassis convey a premium look and feel, and round out the sides to make it feel super comfortable to hold. The 5.5” AMOLED display isn’t the sharpest thing we saw at IFA, but at 1080p it’s still more than good enough for most people. There’s a 13 MP camera and LED flash around back, and sitting underneath is what’s possibly the best fingerprint scanner I’ve ever used. It’s unbelievably fast, even more so than on the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6, and like the dimple of a Moto X, it’s perfectly positioned right where your index finger naturally gravitates.
The Mate S is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, with Huawei’s Emotion UI sitting overtop. New features like Knuckle 2.0 and Force Touch have been added to the Mate S (though the latter is only available on the top-end 128 GB model), and other options like the ability to scroll through photos and web pages with the fingerprint scanner can come in handy from time to time and give the phone some unique traits. Our full review is coming soon, but until then our first impressions give an early glimpse at our developing final thoughts.