Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
Samsung receives approval from U.S. government to supply display panels to Huawei
by Rajesh Pandey
In a respite for Huawei, Samsung Display has received the necessary approval from the U.S. government to supply the Chinese company with smartphone OLED panels. Samsung Display had applied for a license to the U.S. Commerce Department to supply display panels to Huawei after the latter banned any company using U.S. technology from supplying components to it.
Samsung is the first South Korean company to receive approval from the U.S. Commerce Department to supply any kind of components to Huawei. LG Display, SK Hynix, and Samsung Electronics have also applied for licenses to supply components to Huawei but that has not been approved yet.
The report from Yonhap citing industry insiders claims that the U.S. government might have given Samsung Display the license since display panel are relatively less sensitive products compared to semiconductors. Huawei can already secure OLED panels from Chinese display maker BOE. Huawei is not expected to increase its procurement of display panels from Samsung until it can secure a steady stream of other key components for its future smartphones.
Apart from Samsung Display, Intel and AMD have also received the necessary license from the U.S. government to supply their processors to Huawei.
By Rich Woods
Huawei unveils another Watch GT 2 variant, this time from Porsche Design
by Rich Woods
Today, Huawei introduced its new Mate 40 series of smartphones, but it also showed off some other new products. One of the new accessories is the Porsche Design Watch GT 2. Yes, it's another variation of the Watch GT 2, which was first unveiled in September 2019, although this is more similar to the Watch GT 2 Pro.
It has a ceramic base and a titanium chassis, and you can see the Porsche Design branding along the top of the bezel. It also has a unique Porsche Design watch face.
It does support wireless charging, something that debuted with the Watch GT 2 Pro, and it promises weeks of battery life, a key feature of the Watch GT series. The series of smartwatches runs Huawei's own LiteOS, so it's not limited by what Google's Wear OS can do. The other thing that's new this year is support for driving range mode.
And of course, it does everything else you'd expect. It counts your steps, tracks your sleep, checks your heart rate, gives you notifications, and more.
The Porsche Design Watch GT 2 will be available beginning on November 3 for €695, and you can pre-order it from the Huawei Store beginning today.
By Rich Woods
Huawei introduces the Mate 40 series with the first 5nm 5G SoC
by Rich Woods
Today, Huawei introduced its Mate 40 series, including the Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro, and Mate 40 Pro+. They're powered by the all-new Kirin 9000 processor, promising 25% better CPU performance, 150% better NPU performance, and more. It's the first 5nm 5G chipset, with the first 5nm chipset being Apple's A14 Bionic.
And of course, Huawei touted the new design of its latest handset. It's got a new, refined circular camera housing. The Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro come in two materials and five colors. The regular glass finish comes in black, white, and the all-new Mystic Silver. There are also vegan leather options in yellow and green.
And of course, the Mate 40 Pro+ is made out of ceramic. Just like the P40 Pro+, it comes in black and white colors.
All of the displays have a 90Hz refresh rate. The Mate 40 is 6.5 inches while the Pro and Pro+ are 6.76 inches. As the Mate 30 series did, it has Huawei's Horizon Display, along with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
And then, of course, there are the cameras. The cameras aren't too different from what we saw in the P40 series, since the P-series is typically the one where Huawei makes its camera innovations. We've got 50MP f/1.9 RYYB main sensors. The ultra-wide lenses are 16MP f/2.2 and 20MP f/1.8 on the Mate 40 and the Pro, respectively. And unsurprisingly, there are 3x and 5x zoom lenses, respectively; however, it doesn't seem like the 5x zoom lens is RYYB as it was on the P40 Pro.
The Mate 40 Pro+ packs in two telephoto lenses, similar to the P40 Pro+. It's got both a 3x zoom lens and a 10x zoom lens, promising up to 17x optical zoom range.
The Pro series is also getting dual front cameras. This adds one as an ultra-wide sensor for group selfies.
Huawei also talked up EMUI 11 and all of its new features. For example, the Mate 40 series is getting something called an Eyes-On Display, a version of an always-on display that's only on while you're looking at it. It's also introducing Petal Maps, its own navigation service, something that it's going to need with the lack of Google services.
The Mate 40 Pro series is getting 66W wired charging, and Huawei is also introducing a 66W car charger and a 50W wireless charger.
That's not all, because Huawei introduced the sexy new Porsche Design Mate 40 RS. It's made out of ceramic, and it comes in black and white.
As for the price, the Mate 40 will cost €899, the Mate 40 Pro is €1,199, the Mate 40 Pro+ is €1,399, and the Porsche Design Mate 40 RS is €2,295.
By Rich Woods
Huawei Watch Fit review: An excellent watch for 2020
by Rich Woods
It's 2020. Depending on where you live in the world, you might be working from home, you might be stuck at home, and local gyms may be closed. One thing is for sure; you've been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, and if you're like me, you've gained some weight.
Being a technology journalist, one of the things that interests me is technology that can help people to get proactive about their health, especially now. That's why the Huawei Watch Fit caught my eye. I already appreciate Huawei's LiteOS smartwatches and how good they are with fitness tracking, but this device adds guided workouts.
With guided workouts, the device offers an array of workouts that vary in their degree of difficulty. Most importantly, you don't need for your gym to be open to do it, and you don't need any special equipment.
Body 46x30x10.7mm, 21g (without strap) Display 1.64 inches, 456x280, AMOLED Storage 4GB Sensors 6-axis IMU sensor (Accelerometer sensor, Gyroscope sensor)
Optical heart rate sensor
Ambient light sensor
Connectivity 2.4 GHz, BT 5.0, BLE, GPS
Water resistant 5ATM Battery life Up to 10 days Color Case: Black, Silver, Rose Gold
Strap: Graphite Black, Mint Green, Cantaloupe Orange, Sakura Pink Price £119.99
Design and display
I've actually heard the term 'Apple Watch clone' to describe this product, and it's a term that I hate. Personally, I hate calling any product a clone unless it's exactly that. Apple doesn't own rectangular smartwatches. This is more rectangular than an Apple Watch too, which is almost square.
It's also really light at 21g without the strap, although that's impossible to test since the strap isn't removable. That's one of the key differences between this device and the Honor Watch ES, which has interchangeable bands. It's also pretty thin at under 11mm, and it feels comfortable to wear. It's not bulky at all.
This is pretty significant. Plenty of watches bill themselves as being made for fitness. The only problem is that they're so big and bulky that wrist movement is restricted. That's not an issue here.
Unlike the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro, there's no wireless charging here. You'll find two pins on the back that the charger will magnetically attach to. There's also a heart rate sensor on the bottom of the device.
You'll notice that there's just one button on the side, making operations nice and simple. It services as a home button or it can launch the app drawer. The rest of the UI can be worked through with swipe gestures.
One thing that you won't find, thankfully, is a speaker. My biggest criticism with the Watch GT 2 Pro is that there's a voice assistant that you simply can't shut off. Seriously, it made me want to try and physically damage the speaker because it's so bad. It's embarrassing when you're trying to start a workout and the watch shouts, "WORKOUT STARTED" to everyone around you (not to you, obviously, since you're wearing headphones). It also goes through a lengthy monolog after you'd walked or ran for a mile, telling you your pace, your heart rate, and so on.
Luckily, there's no speaker on this device, so that's not an issue. I probably shouldn't be so grateful for the lack of a feature which stops a really annoying feature from happening, because Huawei should just allow you to turn off that annoying voice.
The screen is 1.64 inches, and it's 456x280, which gives it a 326ppi pixel density. That is what Apple defines as Retina, meaning that there's no visible pixellation at an average viewing distance. Like most smartwatches, the screen is AMOLED, so you get the kind of true blacks where you can't really tell where the screen ends and the bezels begin.
LiteOS, battery life, and guided workouts
The Huawei Watch Fit runs LiteOS, the same that the company has been using since the first Watch GT. One of the key features has been great battery life, with all devices from the GT series promising around 14 days of juice. With the Watch Fit, Huawei is promising up to 10 days, or seven days with heavy use.
I found this to be spot on, because I got around a week and I think I use it heavily enough. I usually track at least one exercise a day, and it uses GPS. On a side note, there's no GPS in the Honor variant of this device, so that's another difference. But whether it's a week or 10 days, that's a ton of battery life. It's the kind of battery life where you don't have to think about it, and that changes the way you use the device.
Screenshots are from Watch GT 2 Pro testing.
Huawei Health is great for fitness tracking. For example, sleep tracking actually provides insights into what parts of your sleep are lacking and how you can improve it. It also has an automatic stress monitor and stuff like that. Some other companies charge a premium for features like these.
But what I really want to get into are the guided, animated workouts. When Huawei briefed me on this product and the Watch GT 2 Pro, I asked if the features of the Watch Fit were a subset of the Watch GT 2 Pro. They're not, because the Watch Fit is the only one that has these animated workouts.
There are a total of 12 fitness courses, which are color-coded by difficulty. Blue is level one, green is level two, yellow is level three, and red is level four. Level one exercises are mostly stretches like 'Neck & shoulder relaxation'. The level two workouts are pretty easy too, but if you're out of shape like I was, they can still leave you sore for a few days. These include a six-minute workout called 'Exercise at work', a 14-minute workout called 'Burn fat fast', and more. At level three, you can get into 'Ab ribber' and 'Leg workout'. The only level four workout is 'Advanced chest workout', and I didn't make it to that level.
This is something that matters in a meaningful way. We live in a time when many of us have been stuck at home for six months. Personally, gyms nearby have reopened, but the gym at my apartment complex still hasn't. I've been taking walks around the complex, but that's not enough. The Huawei Watch Fit provides a way to stay healthy without having to leave the house, and without needing special equipment.
That thing about special equipment is important too. I don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a treadmill or an exercise bike when my apartment complex gym could open any day. I don't want to spend money on a gym membership either. The Watch Fit probably wasn't designed for a pandemic, but it can make a meaningful improvement in my life under the circumstances.
I do have one big complaint about the software. You need to do a factory reset of the device to pair it with another smartphone, something that's not necessary with other LiteOS devices that I've used. This actually threw a bit of a wrench in my review plans, as I was expecting that to work. When I switched from the Huawei device that I was first testing this with to the Google Pixel 5 that I'm reviewing now, I lost my data.
I almost hate to say this because I love so many smartwatches, particularly the Watch GT 2 Pro, but this might actually be my favorite smartwatch, and the fact that it costs £119.99 makes that even more remarkable. As far as functionality goes, there's not much that the Watch GT 2 Pro can do that this can't. It's more about style.
Now the Watch Fit, on the other hand, has a feature that I absolutely do care about and isn't on Huawei's regular smartwatches, and that's the guided workouts. This feature can really help you to stay healthy in a tough time like the one we're in.
Just two cons. One is that you can't swap out the strap, and the other is that you have to reset it in order to pair it with a different phone.
But other than guided workouts, this thing is still awesome. It gets up to 10 days of battery life, something that's unheard of from anything that's not made by Huawei. And Huawei Health is really great for fitness tracking.
If you want to pick one up, you can find it on Amazon UK here. There's a listing on Amazon.com, but it's currently unavailable.
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Jay Bonggolto
Huawei is reportedly considering selling its Honor smartphone unit
by Jay Bonggolto
The U.S. government's trade restrictions on Huawei seem to be dealing another major blow to the firm's smartphone business. The Chinese phone maker is reportedly in talks to sell parts of its Honor unit to Digital China Group Co Ltd and other potential bidders.
Reuters reported today that the move is part of Huawei's shift in priorities as it seeks to focus on its high-end smartphone business amid U.S. sanctions, which have been extended to 2021. It's not entirely clear for now what assets will be divested, but the deal could amount to as much as 25 billion yuan (approximately $3.7 billion), although it could be ultimately smaller than that.
The report, which cites sources familiar with the discussions, further says the sale might cover Honor’s brand, research and development, and supply chain management businesses. In addition to Digital China, which distributes the Honor devices, Chinese electronics firm TCL and phone maker Xiaomi are among the potential buyers.
Huawei's plight stems from the U.S. government's suspicion that it could be used by China to spy on its citizens, posing a national security risk. However, the Chinese tech giant repeatedly denied allegations that it can be pressured by its government to share user data.