At a launch in Munich this week, Huawei unveiled a smartphone that positions it alongside the market leaders in quality and performance
At a global launch event in Munich yesterday, Huawei Consumer Business Group unveiled two of the most anticipated devices of the year – the Huawei Mate 9 and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9. Building on its growing reputation for well-designed, powerful mobile devices, it has focused strongly on the user experience, with a new Kirin 960 chip for fast computing performance.
“In developing the Huawei Mate 9, we started with a simple question – how can we improve every element of the smartphone experience?” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “We know that for today’s business users, a fast and functional smartphone is just the beginning. Consumers also want a gorgeous design and intuitive features, so we created two new devices at the forefront of hardware and software innovation. The result is a device that is breathtakingly new, inside and out.”
Initial tests show that the phone competes with both the Samsung S7 edge and the iPhone 7 in performance and quality. The screen quality and updated user interface provide a satisfying look and feel, while the battery life is far superior to most other flagship phones on the market.
Huawei provided the following information:
The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a dynamic interplay of industry-leading hardware and advanced software that work together to keep users a step ahead. Key features include:
- Kirin 960 chipset, the world’s highest performing smartphone processor
- EMUI 5.0, an intuitive user interface that streamlines the users’ experience with the OS
- SuperCharge technology that delivers a full day’s charge in 20 minutes
- Second generation Leica dual-lens camera with 12-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, featuring a superior 2x magnification
Maximized Performance and Speed with Kirin 960
With over 100 million units sold, Huawei’s Kirin chipsets showcase the company’s deep understanding of the kind of power and experience users are looking for – a fast mobile device that is intuitive and reliable. The Huawei Mate 9 Series debuts the premium Kirin 960 chipset with Huawei’s Machine Learning Algorithm to deliver a fast and smooth experience, even after 18 months of continuous usage.
The Kirin 960 is the world’s first chipset to feature an ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU. The CPU delivers the best multi-core performance among all smartphone SoCs, while reducing power consumption by 15 percent. The GPU boasts a 180 percent performance uplift and a 40 percent improvement in energy efficiency compared to its predecessor. The Kirin 960 also takes full advantage of the pioneering Vulkan graphics standard on Android 7.0, increasing graphics performance by up to 400 percent.
A Safe, Faster-Charging Battery
The Huawei Mate 9 combines a 4000 mAh high-density battery with Huawei’s all new SuperCharge technology. With its advanced power saving technology, the Huawei Mate 9 increases battery life to provide over two days of uninterrupted performance. This includes a 40 percent increase in CDMA call time and a 20 percent increase in gaming time.
Supporting 5A fast charging, SuperCharge technology enables a 50 percent improvement over the previous generation – 10 minutes of charge provides enough power to watch two full movies. Most importantly, the battery sets a new standard in charging technology including Super Safe 5-gate protection, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to eliminate safety hazards and safeguard battery life.
A New Standard for Professional-quality Smartphone Photography
Following the incredible success of the Huawei P9, the Huawei Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica. Huawei and Leica have continued to improve and enhance the optical performance of the camera module, which now includes a 12-megapixel/F2.2 RGB sensor, a 20-megapixel/F2.2 monochrome sensor and enhanced image fusion algorithms that work in concert to produce stunning photography.
The RGB sensor captures true-to-life colours, while the monochrome sensor captures intricate details and depth resulting in the iconic Leica Image Style. When paired with the leading dual-lens camera Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) solution and the industry’s first dual-camera pixel binning technology, the Huawei Mate 9 has a superior night shot capability. The Kirin 960 is designed specifically to support the Huawei Mate 9’s second generation Leica dual-lens camera with Hybrid Zoom. The 4-1 Hybrid Auto-focus features laser focus, phase detection focus, depth focus and contrast focus.
Performance in Design
The Huawei Mate 9 builds upon the Mate Series’ highly-regarded design DNA and uses the finest materials to deliver a smartphone that features a 5.9” FHD display and is both beautifully designed and comfortable to use. Based on an extensive process of research and development, the HUAWEI Mate 9 is constructed using 50 unique processes including one hour of CNC milling, resulting in a high-precision unibody metal frame. Every detail – from the soft sandblasted texture to the gorgeous colour palette – is a result of more than 25 years’ experience in delivering refined craftsmanship.
Design Icon Meets Technology Leader
The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 is a limited edition smartphone combining Porsche Design’s signature brand aesthetic with Huawei’s mobile engineering expertise. Together Huawei and Porsche Design have achieved a new pinnacle where Porsche Design’s unique signature aesthetic meets Huawei’s market-leading technology. With the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9, Huawei introduces a remarkable 5.5” curved AMOLED display that offers a smooth, sleek feel. It will be available exclusively in Graphite Black. (See additional Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 details.)
The Android Experience Reimagined
With the introduction of EMUI 5.0, the Huawei Mate 9 reimagines the native Android operating system using Linux to improve the experience, aesthetics and functionality. With EMUI 5.0, the Huawei Mate 9 becomes more intelligent and efficient over time by understanding consumers’ behaviour patterns, and ensures the highest priority applications are given preference subject to system resources. This guarantees a long-lasting, smooth experience as over time, EMUI 5.0 slows down the performance erosion that all smartphone devices experience. EMUI 5.0 also introduces a brand new intuitive interface design. More than 50 percent of features can now be reached within two clicks while over 90 percent can be reached within three clicks.
Pricing and Availability
- The Huawei Mate 9 is available in Black, Space Grey, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.
- The exclusive Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9 is available in Graphite Black.
- The Huawei Mate 9 will be available in the following first-wave launch markets:
United Arab Emirates
Version EUR (includes tax)
|Huawei Mate 9||4GB + 64 GB||€699|
|Porsche Design Huawei Mate 9||6GB + 256GB||€1395|
Huawei Consumer Business Group also launched the Huawei Fit, a fitness watch featuring heart rate monitoring, automatic step counting, sleep tracking and support for multi-sport activities. The Huawei Fit, provides comprehensive and customized running programs and offers real-time coaching; after a run the watch displays VO2 max, recovery time and a training score. It is the first wearable device to achieve the TÜV-WT reliability and accuracy certification.
The Huawei Fit is available in Titanium Grey and Moonlight Silver for €149 in the following first-wave launch markets: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and the United States.
SA consumers buy 3.2m smartphones in Q1
Smartphone sales in South Africa grew by 12.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, reaching around 3.2 million units for the period.
However, the value of the smartphone segment increased by 22.8% as sales of entry-level devices to low- and mid-income consumers continued to drive the market, according to point of sale data from market research firm, GfK South Africa.
GfK South Africa’s data reveals that telecommunications retail enjoyed a strong start to the year, with revenue growing 22.4% year-on-year. The growing popularity of phablets and higher unit prices (as a result of a weaker rand) helped to drive this increase in revenue, against a backdrop of low or negative growth in many segments of the consumer technology market.
“The mobile device market showed good growth in the quarter, despite rising prices during the period under review,” says Norman Muzhona, Solutions Specialist for Telecommunications at GfK South Africa. “In addition to the exchange rate, the introduction of popular, new mid-tier devices by several leading vendors helped to drive higher retail revenues in the telecoms market.”
Information technology retail revenues for the quarter contracted 4.8% compared to 2017, largely because of decreasing monitor prices and a 38.9% decline in tablet revenues. However, desktop computer revenues grew 39% and mobile computing revenues grew 6.5% year-on-year, thanks to higher prices and increased sales of higher-end products.
Says Berno Mare, Solutions Specialist for IT, Office Equipment and Value Added Services: “Retailers introduced new computing devices priced in the R3000 band during the quarter and enjoyed surprisingly strong demand for these entry-level units.
“Telcos enjoyed robust growth in mobile computing retail sales, thanks to credit deals, subsidised contracts and attractive data offers. However, South African consumers are heavily indebted, which may dampen growth for the rest of the year.”
With consumers rapidly migrating to smartphones, sales of traditional mobile phones continued to decline, down 1.6% year-on-year to around 2 million for the quarter. However, the exchange rate and the introduction of higher-priced brands helped to drive a 8.9% year-on-year revenue increase in mobile phone revenues during the period under review.
This follows the 21% drop in mobile phone unit sales in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. “Operators continue to lead the transition from feature phones to smartphones as they pursue higher data revenues,” says Muzhona. “The entry-level market for smartphones is fiercely competitive, and the minimum specs of lower cost smartphones is improving all the time.”
GfK South Africa expects the migration from mobile phones to smartphones to accelerate in 2018. However, it remains to be seen if the introduction of 4G-enabled, Voice-over-LTE-ready feature phones will have any impact on the South African mobile phone market.
Sectors of the consumer electronic market that showed strong growth for the first quarter of 2018 include loudspeakers—revenues up 21.6% year-on-year, thanks to demand of Bluetooth-enabled product—and ultrahigh definition (UHD) panel TVs—where revenues grew 33%, thanks to the growing affordability of the technology. UHD unit shipments were up 76%, while the average selling price of the products fell 24%.
Other market highlights for the first quarter of 2018 include:
- Photo category revenues were up 8.1% year-on-year.
- Small domestic appliance revenues grew 8%, following a 10.3% decline in Q1 2016 over Q1 2015. Hot air fryers sold well, as did kettles and toasters.
- Major domestic appliances showed small year-on-year growth over Q1 2016, despite a decline in average selling price in many sub-categories of this market. Cooling products continued to make the highest contribution to growth in this segment.
- Office Equipment revenues declined 18% year-on-year, led downwards by lower printer and cartridge sales volumes.
What kids want online
Kaspersky Lab’s latest report on the online activities of children – based on statistics received from its solutions and modules with child protection features – highlights children’s online activities and the importance of protecting them when online. For example, video content globally, comprised 17% of searches over the last months. Although many videos watched as a result of these searches may be harmless, it is still possible for children to accidentally end up watching videos that contain inappropriate content.
The report shows anonymised statistics from Kaspersky Lab’s flagship consumer solutions for Windows PCs and Macs that have the Parental Control module switched on and from Kaspersky Safe Kids, a standalone service for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
In South Africa, communication sites (such as social media, messengers, or emails) were the most popular pages visited by computers with parental controls switched on – with users in South Africa visiting these sites in 69% of cases over the previous 12 months. Software, audio, and video accounted for 17% of searches. Websites with this content have become significantly more popular since last year, when it was only the fifth most popular category globally at 6%. The top four is rounded off with electronic commerce (4.2%) and alcohol, tobacco, and websites about narcotics (3.9%), which is a new addition compared to this time last year.
The report presents search results on the ten most-popular languages* for the last 6 months. The data shows that the video & audio category – including requests related to any video content, streaming services, video bloggers, series and movies – are the most regularly ‘googled’ by children (17% of the total requests). The second and third places go to translation (14%) and communication (10%) websites respectively. Interestingly, games websites sit in fourth place, generating only 9% of the total search requests.
We can also see a clear language difference for search requests: for example, video and music websites are typically searched for in English, which can be explained by the fact that the majority of movies, TV series and musical groups have English names. Spanish-speaking kids carry out more requests for translation sites, while communication services are mostly searched for in Russian.
More than any other nationality, Chinese-speaking children look for education services, while French-speaking kids are more interested in sport and games websites. In turn, German-speaking requests dominate in the “shopping” category. The leading number of search requests for porn are in Arabic, and for anime are in Japanese.
“Kids in different countries have different interests and online behaviors, but what links them all is their need to be protected online from potentially harmful content. Children looking for animated content could accidentally open a porn video. Or they could start searching for innocent videos and unintentionally end up on websites containing violent content, both of which could have a long-term impact on their impressionable and vulnerable minds,” says Anna Larkina, Web-content Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab.
As well as analysing searches, the report also looks into which websites children visit or attempt to visit that contain potentially harmful content which falls under one of the 14 preset categories** for the last 12 months.
The mobile trend is again highlighted in the figures for computer games, which are now in fifth place locally on the list at 3%. As kids continue to show a preference for mobile games rather than computer games, this category will only continue to decrease in popularity on computers over the coming months and years.
“No matter what they are doing online, it is important for parents not to leave their children’s digital activities unattended, because there’s a big difference between care and obtrusiveness. While it is important to trust your children and educate them about how to behave safely online, even your good advice cannot protect them from something unexpectedly showing up on the screen. That’s why advanced security solutions are key to ensuring children have positive online experiences, rather than harmful ones,” adds Anna Larkina.
The Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky Internet Security consumer solutions include a Parental Control module to help adults protect their children against online threats and block sites or apps containing inappropriate content. In turn, the Kaspersky Safe Kids solution allows parents to monitor what their children do, see or search for online across all devices, including mobile devices, and offers useful advice on how to help children behave safely online.