Samsung was the first to selectively boost system performance when a benchmark app was run, but it was forced to backpedal pretty quickly on that one. The latest OEM to try and sneak one past the benchmarks is Huawei with its new-ish Ascend P7. Futuremark is wise to this game, though, and has pulled the P7 from the 3DMark top phone charts.
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market.
Huawei is a name that most of us have been hearing more and more often lately, as the company has really been pushing its presence in the North American market. It's currently offering some really unique hardware, like the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate 2, which sports a massive 3,900mAh battery. Huawei claims that it'll get you through an entire weekend without needing to hit the wall (up to 2.5 days to be exact).
Huawei is making an effort to extend its reach into the US market by selling to consumers directly. Last week the company put the Ascend Mate 2 up for pre-order on its site priced at an affordable $299. Now the handset is available via Amazon Prime as well, and it's shipping right away.
For the price, the Ascend Mate 2 is a monster of a phone. You're looking at a 6.1-inch 720 by 1280 display, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a massive 3900mAh battery.
Huawei is huge in China, but their footprint in the US smartphone market is tiny, and not helped because they tend to be on the low end of any carrier lineup they do manage to snag. That ends today, as the company is now selling directly to consumers in the United States for the first time. The Ascend Mate 2, a big-screen, big-battery midrange phone, is up for pre-order on GetHuawei.com.
While Huawei's presence here in the United States has remained limited, the company's handset shipments in Asia and other parts of the world make it a serious mobile contender in the grand scheme. Today, Huawei announced its latest attempt to usurp its competitors at the high end of the market: the Ascend P7.
The P7 looks largely reminiscent of the P6, which is to say it looks largely reminiscent of an iPhone 4.
Huawei recently shared plans to release a dual-OS Android/Windows device in the US come Q2 of this year. Now, the company has publically stepped back from those words. It didn't provide an explanation, but it did emphasize its "open approach" towards mobile operating systems and a desire to provide "a range of choices for consumers." Most of the Huawei's handsets will continue to run Android, and while Windows Phone still isn't off the table completely, the two platforms won't play along anytime soon.
Huawei likes Windows Phone. However, it thinks the mobile OS would taste better when served alongside Android. That's why, despite expressing commitment to Microsoft's platform, the company reportedly plans to bring a dual-booting Android/Windows Phone handset to the US sometime this spring.
Here's Huawei Chief Marketing Officer Shao Yang, speaking with TrustedReviews:
Besides the TalkBand B1, Huawei introduced three other devices in their MWC presentation - the MediaPad X1 7.0, MediaPad M1 8.0, and the Ascend G6. The first is pegged as a phone/tablet hybrid, the second just a tablet (capable of Wi-Fi calling and SMS), and the third a budget to mid-range phone.
We'll take a quick look at all three, but let's start with the MediaPad X1.
MediaPad X1 7.0
The X1 "combines the functionality of a smartphone and tablet" in its aluminum alloy body, and besides Huawei's own suite of software enhancements with Emotion UI 2.0, has plenty of specs worth looking twice at.
As part of its Mobile World Congress presentation, Huawei officially unveiled its own entry into the wearable market with the TalkBand B1. There's no denying the device looks odd, but there's functionality hidden in its slightly weird-looking body. The display portion of the device actually pops out and can be used as a Bluetooth headset, while the band itself can be uncapped to reveal a USB connector for charging.
According to CNet's hands-on, Huawei claims 7 hours talk time and 2 weeks standby battery life for the device.