Huawei launches four new smartphones under flagship Mate 20 series, with Pro model doubling as wireless power bank

The Shenzhen-based company is tackling Samsung and Apple with its new products, which range in price from €899 (US$1,040) to €2,095

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2018, 10:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 October, 2018, 12:50am

Huawei Technologies is looking to heat up its rivalry with Samsung Electronics and Apple in the high-end segment of the smartphone market, as China’s largest mobile phone brand unveiled on Tuesday four new models under its flagship Mate 20 series.

Shenzhen-based Huawei, which is also the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment supplier, introduced in London its Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Mate 20 RS big-screen Android smartphones, all of which run the company’s own Kirin 980 chip with artificial intelligence technology as well as cameras with ultra wide-angle lens from German partner Leica Camera.

The new smartphones are priced between 899 (US$1,040) for the Mate 20 X and 2,095 (US$2,426) for the Porsche Design model, which represents the most expensive handset released by Huawei to date.

All of the Mate 20 models are equipped with large batteries, providing electric charge from 4,000 milliampere hour to 5,000mAh, that are designed to power users throughout the day, according to the company.

The Mate 20 Pro provides a wireless reverse charge feature, which enables the device to work as a power bank for selected electronic devices that support wireless charging.

Huawei Mate 20 series first look: Pro’s reverse wireless charging and huge battery stand out

“These devices are the ‘mate’ of consumers – accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery life and powerful camera performance,” Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, said in a statement after the launch of the new smartphones.

Huawei’s latest product launch followed Apple’s release of three new iPhone models last month, a year after the US technology giant marked the 10th anniversary of its flagship device.

Huawei has been rolling out high end handsets under its P and Mate series, confident that its more cost-effective models can compete effectively with Samsung and Apple.

After Apple’s new iPhone product launch on September 12, Huawei’s Yu told his 6.5 million followers on microblog Sina Weibo “No problem [for us] now, see you all in London Oct. 16”, indicating his confidence in the company’s latest offering.

Huawei’s Mate 20 flagship seen as crucial to showcase its tech prowess against rivals Samsung and Apple

On track to ship 200 million handset to both domestic and global markets this year, Huawei surpassed Apple in global smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year. That put Huawei in second place behind perennial industry leader Samsung.

Huawei, however, may slip back to third place in the past quarter as Apple shipments were expected to receive a boost from its new iPhone models.

Still, Huawei is expected to dominate its home market amid the new iPhone release. Apple is predicted to report decreased sales in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, for the quarter ended September, according to a Goldman Sachs report.

Huawei launches advanced 7-nanometre smartphone chip ahead of Apple, Samsung

“There are multiple signs of rapidly slowing consumer demand in China, which we believe could easily affect Apple’s demand there this fall,” Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall said in a research note released on Sunday.

Pre-orders for the new Mate 20 smartphones in China will start at 10.08am on October 17, according to Huawei. It said the devices will soon be available in other countries, including the UK, France, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.