Huawei Sets Sites On U.S. With Ascend Mate 2 Phablet

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LAS VEGAS — Chinese smartphone maker Huawei will try again to crack the U.S. market with its new 6.1-inch Ascend Mate2 LTE 4G phablet, which features twoday operation and panoramic selfies, the company announced at International CES.

The device is due in the U.S. in the spring.

At 0.37 inches (9.5mm) in thickness, the Mate 2 is slightly trimmer than last year’s original 6.1-inch Ascend Mate. The new model also boosts camera capabilities to a Sony BSI, F2.0 aperture 28mm 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera with 88-degree panoramic selfie capabilities. The new model also adds an enhanced HD low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) screen protected by Gorilla Glass 2, a slightly more powerful quad-core 1.6 GHz Hisilicon A9 processor, Bluetooth low-power 4.0, and 802.11a/c Wi-Fi. Built-in memory doubles to 16GB, supplemented by an SD card slot.

The Mate2 is compatible with all worldwide LTE networks. CEO Richard Yu claimed its LTE technology enables a 1GB movie to be downloaded in one minute.

Carried over from the original Ascend Mate is Huawei’s massive 4,050 mAh battery, the industry’s largest. By contrast, HTC’s 5.9-inch Max One is equipped with a 3,300 mAh power cell. The large power cell is aided by optimization to achieve 30 percent more efficiency than the previous version of the phone did, the company said.

Huawei claimed the surprisingly lightweight 202- gram (7.1-ounce) Ascend Mate2 will last through 60 hours of normal use or 12 hours of web surfing. With so much juice, the Mate2 also can be used for reverse charging to recharge other devices.

Also included in the plastic-cased Ascend Mate2 is Huawei’s Emotion UI 2.0, which offers Windows Phone 8-like app tiles, enhances one-handed and single-thumb operation, uses “floating screens” to ease multitasking, and offers multiscreen sharing, including with HDTVs. Also included is a phone “harassment filter” to block unwanted calls and the ability to allow selected operations to continue running even when the screen is turned off.

The Ascend Mate2 will first be available in China this quarter, then the U.S. No carriers or retailers were announced.

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