While it was definitely a long time coming, being at the center of numerous leaks and even a semi-official announcement, you can’t say Huawei Ascend Mate’s unveiling at CES 2013 was run-of-the-mill. After all, it’s one thing to hear about a 6.1-inch “phablet” and it’s a whole new ball game to see it with your own eyes.

Now, not everybody’s lucky enough to have a saved seat at one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows, but if your name is Darcy LaCouvee and you’re the founder and main man of Android Authority, anything’s possible.

Even getting an exclusive first look and hands-on with the craziest behemoth in the Android universe feels like part of an ordinary Tuesday, despite everything about the Mate screaming extraordinary.

As you can see in the video above, the Ascend Mate is definitely not a featherweight and handling it with just one hand is a task that maybe only Goliath could take on. Though it only measures 9.9 mm in thickness, the giant is as robust as smartphones come these days, rocking an elegant and sturdy design that just breathes awesome build quality through all its pores.

While some hurried and criticized Huawei for the company’s seemingly peculiar decision to not fit a Full HD screen on the Mate (unlike the Ascend D2), you practically can’t tell the panel on this 6.1-inch giant is not of the highest quality. The thing is sharp, with very nice viewing angles, at least at a first glance, so why not just forget about the pixel count?

As for the software, that combines Android 4.1 Jelly Bean treats (not ICS, as it’s mentioned in the clip) with Emotion UI spices for a user experience that, again at a first glance, feels very smooth and cohesive. It certainly helps that the “heart” of the handheld is a quad-core 1.5 GHz Huawei K3V2 CPU, aided by 2 gigs of RAM.

The whopping 4,050 mAh battery is worth a quick mention too, although our own Darcy was of course unable to see how it handles the display’s thirst for power in his two-minute interaction with the Mate. Hopefully, we’ll have a full review to present to you soon, while starting March you should be able to test the 6.1-incher for yourselves in “select markets”. Still no words on pricing, but keep in touch.