Huawei has kicked off proceedings at MWC launching the first new devices at their press event just prior to the official launch of the trade show and just as their teaser suggested, there’s a phone, two tablets, a Cat6 LTE hotspot and something that wasn’t in the teaser, a smartband which can double as a phone.
Starting off with the smartband, which Huawei have named the TalkBand B1. The surprisingly thick – 14.6mm to be precise – smartband consists of a 1.4″ flexible OLED display mounted on what appears to be a rubberised band. The screen hides a 90mAh battery which promises up to 2 weeks of standby time or 7 hour talk time on a two hour charge, as well as a removeable Bluetooth™ 4.1 earpiece which can be used for taking calls.
High on the list of features for smartwatches has been the need for fitness tracking – who wants to wear a watch AND a fitness band? – and the Talband B1 delivers all of it with step counter and an indicator for calories burned. There’s also sleep tracking and a smart alarm. The B1 will be out in China in March with other countries such as Europe, Japan and the Middle East having to wait for at least the second half of the year.
Next up is the Ascend G6, which began leaking earlier this week. The specs from that leak have mostly been confirmed but with now a few official details thrown in. The Ascend G6 is aimed at the mid-range market but while it will initially launch as a 3G device, there will be a version released in April with LTE connectivity, dependent on markets.
Hardware wise the Ascend G6 will come with a 4.5″ 960×540 LCD screen with a 1.2GHz Quad-Core CPU powering the device. The cameras again are quite decent with an 8MP Rear camera and 5MP Front-facing camera which will have a Selfie focus as was the focus in the Ascened P1 launch. The front-facing camera will include a Selfie preview in software :
For tablets, Huawei has announced two new tablets in their MediaPad line – the X1 and M1.
The MediaPad M1 is an 8″ tablet with 1280×800 HD IPS Display with 178° viewing angle. With the HD display, Huawei are positioning the M1 as a media playback device, to that end they’ve included Dual front speakers, which will support ‘Huawei Stereo Wide Sound’. To further cement the idea of the M1 as a media playback machine, the tablet will support over 20 video formats and contains a 4800mAh battery which will give up to 8 hours of life.
The M1 will include a 5MP rear camera with a 1MP front-facing camera. Huawei are especially proud of the M1’s small form factor with a 7.9mm ultra-slim body that weighs in at just 329grams. The M1 will be available soon with LTE connectivity.
Also leaked earlier this week was the MediaPad X1, but this appears to be Huawei’s flagship tablet, with all the focus on this particular tablet. Huawei have shown the X1 to be a super thin tablet – thinner than the iPad Mini and Nexus 7(2013) – offering a 7″ 1920×1200 resolution on an IPS LTPS display in a form factor that’s just 7.18mm thick and weighs only 239grams.
The X1 comes with a 1.6GHz HiSilicon Kirin910 Quad-Core Cortex-A9 CPU with Mali-450 GPU which includes a Cat4 LTE radio as part of the silicon. The tablet will come with 2GB of RAM on-board as well as 16GB of on-board storage that’s expandable with microSD cards. Power shouldn’t be an issue with the MediaPad X1 with a 5000mAh Li-Polymer battery that offers up to 15 hours of internet surfing.
Although people using tablets as a camera is generally considered to be a social faux-pas, Huawei will be enabling tablet photographers with the X1 containing a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS BSI rear camera with F/2.2, auto scene recognition and 1080P FHD video recording on the back as well as a 5-megapixel f/2.4 camera on the on the front.
Connectivity wise the phone will come with LTE, WCDMA and GSM to cover a release just about anywhere in the world, and it will be available in a large range of places with Huawei advising availability in China, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and Latin America from next month.
We’ll have more information on availability as soon as Huawei Australia can provide details, although pricing and release dates should come closer to any proposed launches that will come later in the year.