Huawei Unlocks Mate 10 Pro Flagship For U.S. Launch In February

CES announcement follows reports of scuttled AT&T deal
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CES announcement follows reports of scuttled AT&T deal
Huawei has enlisted Israeli actress Gal Gadot to introduce its brand to U.S. consumers under the “Wow Way” banner.

Huawei has enlisted Israeli actress Gal Gadot (seen here promoting an earlier P8 phone) to introduce the brand to U.S. consumers.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, used the platform of a CES keynote address yesterday to announce the February launch of its latest and greatest flagship smartphone.

The Mate 10 Pro, a sleek, six-inch super-device designed to take on iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy series, is also the head of the spear in Huawei’s efforts to crack the critical U.S. market, where the world’s No. 3 smartphone maker (and leading telecom equipment company) still has a limited presence.

But in his address, Yu expressed frustration over his inability to find a home for the handset among U.S. mobile carriers, which control 90 percent of distribution, he told the CES crowd.

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The acknowledgement came amid published reports that a deal with AT&T was scuttled at the last minute after Congress raised security concerns over the Chinese company.

“It is a big loss for us and also for carriers, but more for consumers,” Yu said.

Instead, Huawei will sell an unlocked GSM version of the Mate 10 Pro for $799 through Amazon, B&H Photo, Best Buy, Microsoft and Newegg starting Feb. 18, with pre-orders beginning Feb. 4, and has enlisted Israeli actress Gal Gadot as its spokes-star. Gadot will help launch a U.S. marketing effort under the banner “Wow Way” to introduce the brand to American consumers.

The Mate 10 Pro, in midnight blue

The Mate 10 Pro, in midnight blue

The phone, which will be compatible with the AT&T and T-Mobile networks and affiliated MVNOs, boasts a host of top-shelf specs, including:

· a 4,000 mAh battery that can last two days between charges for casual users and can power up to 58 percent capacity in 30 minutes;

· an ip67 water- and dust-resistance rating

· a Leica f/1.6 dual camera featuring AI-powered object recognition for optimum settings automatically;

· Huawei’s own Kirin 970 chipset, which boasts AI functionality through a dedicated neural network processing unit (NPU) and an LTE modem that can reportedly reach gigabit speeds;

· out-of-the-box Android Oreo with Huawei’s own EMUI 8.0 interface overlay;

· all-glass design, available in midnight blue, titanium grey and mocha brown.

Perhaps to address the security concerns, Yu emphasized the phone’s multi-layered defenses, provided through its chipset, hardware, software, Cloud support and Google’s monthly Android security patches.

In addition to the Mate 10 Pro, Yu announced a luxury Mate 10 model developed with Porsche Design that will sell alongside the Pro for $1,225, and a Q2 Series home Wi-Fi system that includes mesh and power-line technologies. A three-base bundle will sell for $350 retail, and a base with two satellites will retail for $220.   

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