On Thursday afternoon, Huawei updated its flagship smartphones P series and Mate series with P60 and Mate X3. The phone release was part of Huawei’s spring product launch, which took place in Shanghai. In a bid to show its relevance and strength in consumer electronics, Huawei released 10 new products. The entire event lasted for more than four hours, and was livestreamed via the Chinese telecom giant’s Weibo account and its official website, with views on the former peaking at 600,000.
Why it matters: The release of so many new devices was seen as an attempt by Huawei to demonstrate that its product research and development capabilities have not been dented by years of controversy and constraints. “We have been sanctioned for four years, but the spring is warm and the future is promising,” Yu Chengdong, the CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said at the product launch. Other Chinese tech executives, such as founder of the Chinese internet portal Sohu Zhang Chaoyang and Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei, also attended the launch event.
Details: The Huawei P60 series and Mate X3 mark the first time that the two flagship series have been updated at the same time. The launch also appeared to dispel previous reports that Huawei was considering selling its mobile phone unit.
- In addition to the two phones, Huawei also released its Huawei Watch Ultimate smartwatch, Huawei smart-band B7, Huawei FreeBuds5 and Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2+ earbuds, Huawei Mate Pad11 tablet, Huawei Enjoy 60 phone, Huawei Q6 router, and Huawei Qingyun G540 laptop.
- The Huawei P60 series consists of the regular P60, the P60 Pro, and the premium P60 Art, with prices ranging from RMB 4,488 to RMB 10,988 ($653 to $1599). It features the world’s first smartphone with two-way satellite communication technology, which supports the sending and receiving of messages without a mobile network signal.
- The camera system is made up of a 48-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera with night vision. Huawei claimed that the Ultra Lighting Main Camera, boasting an F1.4–F4.0 auto-adjustable physical aperture, helps produce high-quality images in both daylight and night conditions.
- The Huawei Mate X3 foldable range includes a basic model and a premium model priced at RMB 12,999 and RMB 15,999 ($1892 and $2329). Both feature a lightweight body, IPX8 waterproof design, dual 120Hz screen displays and a triple camera setup, which is set to rival other leading foldable phones on the market. The Mate X3 weighs 239 grams, a little heavier than the 233-gram Oppo Find N2, but 10% lighter than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4.
- The Huawei P60 series and Mate X3 foldable are both powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and support 4G only. They run on the new operating system HarmonyOS 3.1, which will allow users to customize the lock screen with new options and different display features.
Context: “2023 will be Huawei’s first year of returning to normal operations, despite ongoing US restrictions becoming the new norm,” Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu said in an annual New Year’s message to employees at the end of 2022.
- In 2022, Huawei announced it signed more than 20 new or extended licensing agreements for its patents. The company ranked fourth last year by the number of patent grants in the US, according to IFI Claims Patent Services.
- Sales of foldable phones in the Chinese market surged 144% in 2022 over the previous year, growing faster than overall phone sales. According to the latest report from market research organization IDC, Huawei ranked first in China’s foldable phone market, with a share of 47.4%; Samsung ranked second with a market share of 16.5%.