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Huawei launches P20 and P20 Pro with iPhone X-like notch display

Huawei unveils iPhone X challenger as US criticism piles up. Huawei’s new P20 and P20 Pro feature Leica-certified camera and the iPhone X-inspired notch display.

tech Updated: Mar 28, 2018 12:53 IST
Huawei P20,Huawei P20 Pro,Huawei P20 Camera
HUAWEI P20 and HUAWEI P20 Pro to take on iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9.(Huawei )

Huawei on Tuesday launched its challenger to Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The new Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro feature Leica-certified camera and the iPhone X-inspired notch display. The two smartphones will be available in India from the next week.

The 5.8-inch P20 smartphone features an edge-to-edge display, and a 6.1-inch Pro model also has three camera lenses on the back: one for color, one for black-and-white shots and one designed for close-ups. Both the devices feature a 24-megapixel selfie camera with artificial intelligence (AI) beautification and 3D portrait lighting.

The phones also features a colour temperature sensor for better colour reproduction. In partnership with Google, the new series supports Google ARCore delivering advanced augmented reality (AR) capabilities, the company said. The ‘HUAWEI P20 Series’ devices support six-axis stabilisation and 960fps super slow motion, the company added. It also includes on-device Prisma processing, which supports real-time filter recommendations based on scene and object recognition.

Huawei also announced the launch of the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS (Race Sport). Continuing its collaboration with the exclusive luxury brand, the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS features Porsche Design’s signature functional design language, the company said in a release.

Both the HUAWEI P20 Pro and PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS have a 4,000 mAh battery – the HUAWEI P20 features a 3,400 mAh battery – with AI-powered Battery Management. The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS is the first Huawei smartphone to enable quick wireless charging, it added.

HUAWEI P20 comes with 4GB of RAM whereas P20 Pro comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS is available in 6GB +256GB and 6GB + 512GB variants. READ: Android players are copying iPhone X’s notch-screen and the trend is here to stay

Telecom equipment company Huawei CEO Richard Yu presents the new P20 smartphone in Paris on March 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONT (AFP)

Fall out with US government

The launch of Huawei’s flagship phones come amid the company’s fallout with U.S. retailers, wireless carriers and government officials.

Huawei sold the third most smartphones globally last year with 11 percent of the market, trailing Samsung’s 22 percent and Apple’s 15 percent, according to data from IDC. Huawei is also the only one of the top three players to consistently gain market share year-over-year since 2014, according to IDC.

But no matter the P20’s competitive potential, officials in charge of the NSA, FBI, and CIA, have all recommended that U.S. citizens don’t use Huawei devices. AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc. -- the top two US phone carriers -- have also decided to not sell the company’s products following government concern. As most phones in the US are bought via carriers, the move puts China’s top phone maker at an innate disadvantage.

Still, Huawei has been able to sell phones in the US through direct sales channels such as Amazon. But that too may be short lived: Best Buy Co., the largest electronics chain in the U.S., has severed ties with the company and plans to stop selling all of its products in the coming weeks. Huawei doesn’t currently plan to sell the new model via its remaining U.S. channels either.

Telecom equipment company Huawei CEO Richard Yu presents the new P20 smartphone in Paris on March 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONT (AFP)

That leaves only Amazon and Walmart to handle online and brick-and-mortar sales respectively, said Jia Mo, a Canalys analyst based in Shanghai. “Both channels are mainly responsible for sales of affordable devices and that doesn’t help improve Huawei’s brand image,” he said.

Earlier this week, Huawei got more bad news when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed a ban on allowing US wireless carriers to use government subsidies toward telecom equipment from China-based manufacturers such as Huawei.

The U.S. ban is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Huawei’s business as its growth in the region has been close to flat while it “has gained share year-in and year-out on a global basis,” said John Butler, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.

(with inputs from HT Correspondent, IANS)

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 12:42 IST