I've been writing about Android phones for over three years, and I'm going to be honest: I still think I'm pronouncing "Huawei" wrong. (Wah-way. WAA-whey. Hoo-waa-way.) Huawei is perfectly aware that their branding outside of Asia isn't exactly stellar, and it looks like they're taking steps to improve it. Say hello to "Honor," a new Huawei sub-brand introduced to Europe this week. The first phone launched under the label will be the Honor 6.
I know there are more than a few American readers who took a chance on this post, clicking on the headline even though they know the presence of Huawei's name likely means that everything they're about to read won't apply to them. The Ascend Mate 2 is one device that runs counter to this expectation. Huawei sells the phone directly to consumers online, including folks who live in the US.
Huawei isn't a household name in America, and it's really not even one throughout Europe at this point, either. However, in China and much of southeast Asia, Huawei has been a rapidly emerging dominant force in the smartphone industry, and consistently tried to differentiate its products in the marketplace through engineering know-how. While this hasn't alwaysworked out, especially in America, Huawei is without a doubt one of the most advanced smartphone OEMs out there.
The last Ascend Mate from Huawei was an interesting device with an affordable price point, but you had to make some sacrifices to get comfortable with that sweet phablet-y goodness. It was only 720p, had an older processor, and the storage was lacking. The newly announced Ascend Mate7 is a big phone with many fewer sacrifices.
The specs are a lot more presentable this time around. Here's what we've got to work with.
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.