China’s Huawei Technologies has launched a range of consumer electronics products, including the new P60 Pro smartphone.
The Africa and Middle East launch, which took place in Dubai on Wednesday, also served as a stage for the company to launch the Huawei Mate X3, FreeBuds 5, Watch Ultimate and the new 11-inch MatePad as well as the new MateBook X Pro and MateBook D 14 laptops.
Huawei, which is the subject of US sanctions that have crimped its ability to source silicon chips and other components, used Wednesday’s event to draw a line in the sand and declare the company will continue to invest heavily in developing consumer electronics.
“Even though our road ahead is still full of challenges, our investment in innovation will not change, nor will our determination to continue developing the Middle East and African markets,” said Pablo Ning, president of Huawei Consumer Business Group for the Middle East and Africa. “Huawei will never give up overseas markets and we remain committed to high-end global brand building.”
These are the key announcements Huawei made at the Dubai launch event:
- Huawei P60 Pro: The centrepiece of this new phone is undoubtedly the XMage camera system, which Huawei says performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions, even when photographing objects that are far away. The phone also boasts Kunlun Glass (a competitor to Gorilla Glass), designed to withstand drops and daily scrapes. The P60 Pro does not have 5G support due to US sanctions against Huawei, so users will have to make do with 4G/LTE connectivity. They’ll also have to make do without the Google Play store, though there are workarounds to access Google and other services that Huawei can’t offer due to US sanctions.
- Huawei Mate X3: The Mate X3 is a big-screen foldable that’s thinner than many of its competitors in the folding smartphone space at 11.1mm while folded and 5.3mm while unfolded. It weighs 239g and, like the P60 Pro, has Kunlun Glass, at least on its exterior screen. The phone has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 13MP wide camera and a 12MP periscope telephoto lens offering up to 5x optical zoom. It is also tuned for low-light conditions. There’s also no 5G support with this phone or access to Google Mobile Services — again, there are workarounds.
- Huawei FreeBuds 5: We like the look of these latest Huawei buds. They feature a “water drop-shaped design with seamless curves for optimal fit”. Huawei promises “punchy bass” from a specially tuned dynamic driver and “triple adaptive EQ”. They can be charged quickly, offering two hours of playback after just five minutes plugged in. They also support active noise cancellation and something Huawei calls “AI call-noise cancellation”, which should reduce background noise during phone calls.
- Huawei Watch Ultimate: Billed by Huawei as a “luxury smartwatch”, the Watch Ultimate has a zirconium-based “liquid metal” body, “the hardest light alloy available”, while the glass cover is made of high-strength sapphire glass. It also supports 100m water resistance – something the company calls “unprecedented in mainstream smartwatches”. Battery life is two weeks with 24-hour heart rate monitoring, all-night sleep tracking and 90 minutes of daily exercise, it said. It’s compatible with both iPhones and Android devices.
- Huawei MateBook X Pro: This PC is a lightweight (1.3kg) yet powerful laptop computer that’s equipped with a 13th-generation Intel Core processor.
- Huawei MateBook D 14: This is a sleek machine with a 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. It has a minimalist design and weighs 1.4kg.
- Huawei MatePad 11-inch: The 2023 version of this Android tablet comes with a 120Hz display for smooth scrolling and gaming as well as low-latency pen input.
A South Africa-specific launch for the Huawei P60 series and the other products announced by the company will take place in Johannesburg next week where it’s expected pricing and product availability will be announced. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media