On Tuesday, Huawei launched pre-sales of its Mate 60 Pro flagship phone on its official website without any advance publicity and two weeks before the official launch event, catching the domestic smartphone industry off guard and triggering heated online discussions. Currently, consumers can directly purchase one of a limited batch of Mate 60 Pro models with 12GB+521 GB storage, priced at RMB 6,999 ($960). This is the first time in Huawei’s history that the company has started the sale of the annual flagship before the product launch event and was reportedly in response to online leaks in advance of the device’s official unveiling in mid-September. 

Huawei did not disclose any specific details about the processor, leaving many Chinese citizens curious about the rumored return of its 5G connectivity. Currently, as far as the multi-party test results are concerned, the peak network speed of the Mate 60 Pro meets 5G network speed standards.

Why it matters: In 2019, the US government imposed a trade ban on Huawei, citing national security concerns. This move barred the company from purchasing advanced chips and using Google services for its new smartphones, causing Huawei’s smartphone sales to plummet. However, the Mate 60 Pro model, which reportedly incorporates a self-developed 5G processor, could pave the way for Huawei to recapture some of its lost share of the smartphone market.

Details: On Tuesday, the total number of Huawei Mate series mobile phones shipped worldwide reached 100 million units, according to a post from Huawei’s Weibo account. The company said that to celebrate this milestone, it was launching the Huawei Mate 60 Pro Pioneer Program, giving customers the chance to try out the latest flagship device in advance.

  • Following the official release, thought to be taking place on Sept. 12, consumers will have the option to purchase the Mate 60 Pro either in physical stores or online on Vmall. Many Chinese tech bloggers have already tested the new device firsthand, confirming that its internet speed can reach up to 5,00 Mbps, similar to the speed of the iPhone 14 Pro.
  • The software benchmark platform AnTuTu identified the Huawei Mate 60 Pro processor as the Kirin 9000s, Huawei’s self-developed chipset. The Kirin 9000s is designed with a 12-core configuration using a 2+6+4 architecture. It consists of two A34 cores, six customized A78AE cores, and four A510 cores. The highest clock speed it can achieve is 2.62GHz. Notably, it obtained an AnTuTu benchmark score of 699,783, surpassing the iPhone 12 Pro’s score of 683,146. For comparison, the AnTuTu benchmark score for the iPhone 14 Pro is 935,157 for overall performance.
  • The new model’s CPU performance outperformed the Snapdragon 888, although it did not quite match up to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8+, according to the same report from AnTuTu.
  • In another noteworthy feature, the Mate 60 Pro offers support for satellite calls and messaging, albeit likely limited to China. The device uses China’s Tiantong-1 satellite system for its satellite calling feature, enabling users to make phone calls without relying on conventional terrestrial signals. 
  • The Huawei Mate 60 Pro also features a 6.82-inch OLED screen with a screen resolution of FHD+ 2720 x 1260 pixels. It is equipped with a triple rear camera system, comprising a 50MP main camera with an adjustable aperture (ranging from f/1.4 to f/4.0), a 48MP 3.5x telephoto camera (with f/3.0 aperture and macro mode), and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

Context: In the second quarter, the top five smartphone brands in the global market were Samsung with a 20% market share, followed by Apple at 17%, Xiaomi at 12%, Oppo at 10%, and Vivo at 8%, according to Counterpoint.

Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.