Date
13 November 2018
The new Mate 20 series boasts state-of-the-art features or black technologies, but will they convince smartphone buyers to upgrade and switch to Huawei? Photo: Reuters
The new Mate 20 series boasts state-of-the-art features or black technologies, but will they convince smartphone buyers to upgrade and switch to Huawei? Photo: Reuters

Will black technologies boost Huawei Mate 20 sales?

As the shopping season approaches, leading smartphone brands have been busy launching their latest flagship models over the past few weeks. Huawei Technologies is the last of the top five players to do so.

The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker introduced its Mate 20 series in an event in London on Tuesday. 

The series includes four models, Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Mate 20 RS.  Their most outstanding feature is that the smartphone can turn into a portable battery charger. Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro target the mass market while the other two models focus on serving specific users’ needs. (Mate 20X, for example, has a 7.2-inch OLED display, making it ideal for gamers who would want a wider screen.)

There appears to be a bottleneck in the development of smartphones. Most brands, from Apple and Samsung to Huawei and Sony, are sticking to traditional forms and features with just the screen size differentiating the new iterations from the earlier models.

In the case of Huawei, Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro carry the three-camera system on the back with Leica endorsement and a 24-megapixel selfie camera on the front. Mate 20 Pro is much more advanced that Mate 20 in terms of picture resolution.

Both models use Huawei’s proprietary 7-nanometer chip set Kirin 980 and run on Android 9.0 combined with the company’s own software. Interestingly, Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch screen while the more advanced Mate 20 Pro has a smaller 6.35-inch screen. It would be tough for Huawei fans to make a choice between the two models.

Most of the phone features are basically the same as other Android flagship smartphones. But for Mate 20 Pro, the battery stands out. The model houses a large, high-density 4200mAh battery, and supports the 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge, which allows the phone to be 70 percent charged in just 30 minutes. The safety of the technology is certified by TÜV Rheinland.

Moreover, Mate 20 Pro supports the 15W HUAWEI Wireless Quick Charge, the industry’s fastest wireless charging solution, and Wireless Reverse Charge, which enables the device to work as a power bank for selected electronic devices supporting wireless charging.

Most smartphone users would probably want to have the wireless reverse charge feature in their handsets as it practically frees them from the misery of running out of battery. The Mate 20 Pro allows users to have their other devices charged by connecting them to the unit for only a short period of time. However, some might wonder if it is worthwhile to pay a few thousand HK dollars more for a feature which is essentially just a wireless power bank.

Huawei has spent a lot of time and effort on its camera system, which has a built-in artificial intelligence that adjusts and fine-tunes the quality of the pictures taken. For example, it has a 3D depth-sensing camera that uses artificial intelligence to make the subject more lifelike. The camera can be used to take single shots or record a video.

The company has also confirmed its cooperation with Toshiba for a new NM micro memory card, which, although ultra small in size, has at least 256GB of storage and a transmission speed of 90Mb/s.

Currently, only Huawei is producing NM micro memory cards, but it is hoped that more manufacturers will join and produce the memory cards in the future. At present, Huawei does not charge a license fee for the technology

Indeed, Huawei’s latest flagship models are full of new technologies and materials that have not been adopted by other players in the market.

Such a move reflects the Chinese company’s determination to enhance its image in the market by loading its models with state-of-the-art features and specifications. The question, however, remains: Will phone buyers upgrade their handsets and switch to Huawei because of its so-called black technologies?

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CG

EJ Insight writer

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