Huawei has unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Mate S, which introduces a raft of innovations the company hopes will cement its No. 3 ranking in global phone sales.
At a media event preceding the IFA 2015 expo in Berlin this week, Huawei announced the Mate S, a luxury-focused device packed with innovative technology. Key features of the new phone include a floating 2.5D screen, a pressure sensitive touch system and a new battery technology to give maximum usage from a single charge. This is in addition to enhancements to the camera, the fingerprint reader and the touch controls introduced in previous models.
“Our goal in designing the Huawei Mate S was to develop a smartphone that offers a personalised experience, rather than a commoditised one,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG. “The Huawei Mate S is based on insights we gathered about human interaction – most notably that touch is a natural action we take to understand our world. The Huawei Mate S redefines how we incorporate touch technology into our smartphones, breaking through the conventional way of touch screen control and ushering in new imagination for human-machine interaction.”
The Mate S’ touch screen control technology uses an unconventional design to strike a balance between the phone’s capabilities and its visual appearance.
Building on the revolutionary Huawei Mate 7 smartphone, the Mate S features a 5.5 inch 2.5D AMOLED screen that is 7.2 millimeters thick at the centre but with a width on the edges of just 2.65 millimeters. The arched back cover is designed to fit into the palm of a hand, making the phone less likely to be dropped.
“Touch is at the heart of the Huawei Mate S, creating an enhanced experience for users that simplifies their interaction with the device,” the company said in a product announcement. It also provided the following details on the device:
When viewing photos, they can be quickly previewed and enlarged by pressing the screen with one finger, streamlining the operations of a traditional phone. The Mate S can also be used as a scale to weigh objects.
The phone is equipped with Fingerprint 2.0, an upgraded version of the advanced chip level security and one-key unlock technology pioneered in the Mate 7. Fingerprint 2.0 halves recognition speeds, with more accurate self-learning functions. It can also be used to control the notification bar, erase unread notifications, preview pictures, and hold and take phone calls. All of these options improve the one hand operation of the phone.
Fingerprint 2.0 and Knuckle Control 2.0 – technology first introduced in the Huawei P8 – simplifies how users switch between app operations and take screenshots. The feature offers users a new way to interact with their phone: drawing a “C” with their knuckle activates a camera, while double-clicking the screen with a knuckle records the screen in the form of a video. With these options, every type of touch provides an opportunity to be innovative.
Camera for beginners and professionals
The Mate S is equipped with a camera that considers users’ needs in everyday life as well as professional camera setting. The 13-megapixel rear camera features an advanced sensor with optical image stabilisation, dual color-temp LED flash lights, and independent image signal processor camera units, all of which combine to capture higher quality pictures faster. The Mate S takes camera capabilities one-step further by offering an 8-megapixel front camera with soft, front lights to improve selfies.
The professional camera mode allows for manual adjustment of ISO, exposure compensation, exposure time, white balance and focusing, and functions such as the grid, and flash-assisted focusing.
The Mate S takes regular recording functions to the next level by leveraging three microphones to support a smart direction algorithm. The Mate S’ beam-forming algorithm allows all three mics to focus on the sounds coming from where the phone is facing, enabling a clear recording with minimal background noises.
For consumers on the go, the Mate S also supports Mopria printing general protocol, which includes 700 printer types across 29 leading brands.
The Mate S will be initially available in more than 30 countries including China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Spain, South Africa and UAE. Exact South African availability and pricing will be announced at a later date.