Huawei Launches Mate 8 Flagship Smartphone Globally - InformationWeek

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Mobile // Mobile Devices
08:06 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Huawei Launches Mate 8 Flagship Smartphone Globally

Huawei said it is launching its high-end handset globally but didn't announce specific US plans. The company also unveiled its GX8 smartphone and a 10-inch tablet at CES.

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LAS VEGAS -- Huawei Tuesday announced several new mobile devices, including two smartphones and a tablet at CES. At least one of the phones will reach the US later this year, and the tablet includes decent specs but almost seems like an afterthought.

The Mate 8 is Huawei's flagship smartphone for the year. It boasts a massive 6-inch, quad HD display that can house two apps running in separate windows on the screen. This type of multitasking is cherished by power users. Huawei took pains to keep the bezel as slim as possible and claims the phone has an 83% screen-to-body ratio.

The phone relies on Huawei's own Kirin 950 processor, which is manufactured using a 16nm process. The CPU is paired with a generous allotment of RAM and storage. Huawei selected Sony's latest camera sensor, the 16-megapixel IMX298, which is 23% bigger than Sony's previous generation sensors. By using the IMX298 along with Huawei's proprietary image sensor processor, the company says the phone delivers faster focusing, higher clarity, and more accurate colors. The Mate 8 includes an 8-megapixel user-facing camera with beautification software for the best-possible selfies.

(Image: Huawei)

(Image: Huawei)

Like the Nexus 6P, the Mate 8 uses the latest fingerprint sensor tech. Huawei says its new algorithms are 100% faster than previous generations and 50% more accurate. The phone is powered by an incredible 4,000mAh battery. It can ingest a full day's charge in just 30 minutes thanks to quick-charge technology.

It's not clear if Huawei will sell the Mate 8 in the US, but it is banking on the GX8 to boost its mindshare with American consumers. The GX8 is a new smartphone announced Tuesday that will be sold online and unlocked for use on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks.

[ Read Hottest Smartphones Of 2015: Our Top 5 Picks. ]

The GX8 features a 5.5-inch full HD screen, 13-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel user-facing camera, Snapdragon 615 processor, and 3,000mAh battery. The phone includes a fingerprint sensor and will hit during the first quarter for $350.

Huawei also announced the MediaPad M2 almost as an afterthought. This 10-inch tablet is a larger version of the 8-inch M2 it debuted last year. The screen has 1920 by 1200 pixels, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and the Kirin 930 processor clocked at 2 Ghz. It has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and is being offered in WiFi-only and LTE variants.

The device, which looks a lot like the latest tablets from Samsung, includes a stylus and specialized software for pen-based input. The core platform is Android 5.1 Lollipop -- not the newer Android 6 Marshmallow. It weighs in at about one pound. The MediaPad M2 goes on sale later this quarter. The WiFi-only version will go for $349 and the LTE one will cost $399.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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User Rank: Ninja
1/6/2016 | 8:04:17 PM
Mate 8
It will be a shame if the Mate 8 doesn't land in the US shores. It looks like a very impressive device.
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