By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Las Vegas – Huawei came to International CES to underscore its transition from a low-end to a high-end cellphone supplier with the launch of a pair of superphones that include the world’s first smartphone with 6.1-inch screen.
The other new phone sports a 5-inch 1080p display. Both phones feature quad-core 1.5GHz CPU, Android 4.1 OS, backsides that curve from side to side for a comfortable grip, and very-high-capacity batteries, with one model promoted as offering the highest capacity cellphone battery in the world at 4050mAH. That battery delivers more than 22 hours of talk time or 14 hours of web browsing or more than 10 hours of video playback, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group.
The company is talking with U.S. carriers to bring the phones here, he said.
The model with 6.1-inch screen is the Ascend Mate, a 9.99mm-thick device with 1GB RAM, 8GB memory, 64MB microSD Card slot, 4050mAH battery, 1280x720p HD screen resolution, and such features as Magic Touch technology, which enables the touchscreen to be controlled by gloved hands.
The Mate’s Floating Windows technology lets users display two screens at once for multitasking. Similar multitasking is also available on select other-brand phones. Guiding Wizard technology is an “augmented reality” turn-by-turn navigation app that superimposes directional arrows at pictures of intersections or buildings.
The Mate also features one-handed user interface, positioning the virtual dialing keypad and QWERTY keyboard to the left or right of the big screen. In another advance, the company said it was able to reduce power consumption by 30 percent with the use of two power-saving technologies, and the large battery can be charged quickly, enabling it to be charged in 25 percent less time than Samsung’s Galaxy SIII smartphone despite the Mate’s 30 percent higher battery capacity, Yu said.
Other key Mate features include Smart Reading, enabling users to isolate words or phrases for searching, defining or translating. An Easy Panel delivers access to often-used apps such as calendar, messages and notes.
The Mate will be available in the U.S. with 4G LTE. It wasn’t known whether the second new phone, the Ascend D2 with 5-inch 1080p display, would be available here in an LTE version. The version shown here featured GSM/HSPA+ technology.
The Ascend D2 features 1080p display, 443 ppi pixel density to exceed that of the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III, and 3000mAH battery, which offers twice the capacity of the iPhone 5’s battery to deliver two-day power in normal use, Yu said.
The D2 also features step-up camera capabilities such as 13-megapixel capture, f/2.2 aperture, BSI, and HDR (high dynamic range). It also features rugged metal chassis said to offer “full protection from dust and liquid sprays,” company literature says. The phone will survive when dropped in water, Yu said.
The D2 also features 2GB RAM, 32GB memory, microSD card slot, and Super Hans Free, enabling clear two-way speakerphone conversations when the user is up to 1.5 meters from the phone.
Both Huawei models feature dual Wi-Fi receivers to deliver downloads speeds up to 150Mbps.
In comparing the two new phones to other superphones in the U.S., at least one other U.S. smartphone, HTC’s Droid DNA for Verizon, features 1080p display. Select other phones feature slightly faster quad-core processors, and other phones have displays up to 5.5 inches, including the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Nokia offers a phone with ability for gloved hands to use the touchsreen.
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