Huawei has launched a new smartphone in SA as it races to increase its market share in the country.
On Thursday, the Chinese company announced the launch of the P20 series of smartphones.
Gloabally the P20 and P20 Pro were launched in March as a follow-up to the Mate 10 and P10 smartphones.
Huawei is aiming to replicate the success of its flagship devices.
"In SA, Huawei's growing reputation ensured a 66% increase in sales of our Mate 10 Pro compared to our Huawei Mate 9. Similarly, our sales grew by 67% when comparing our Huawei P9 to our Huawei P10," said Likun Zhao, Vice-President of Huawei Consumer Business Group in Southern Africa.
Zhao said that global shipments reached 153 million devices in 2017, representing an increase of 41.6% over 2015 numbers.
The rounded body P20 has a 14.7cm (5.8 inch) screen and the device is powered by an octa-core processor. There is 128GB of memory on board and the device features 4GB of RAM.
As expected, the device runs Android 8.1 and Huawei has declined to provide a removable battery or external memory card slot.
"The P20 smartphones also offer high-end performance, thanks to their 12-core graphic processing unit (GPU). The GPU is 20% faster in processing pictures and 50% more power efficient than its predecessor, which translates into a much longer battery life and a more responsive user experience," Zhao claimed.
The P20 features a dual Leica main camera up to 20 megapixels with an impressive f-stop of f/1.6. This would help the device capture low light images, especially when combined with the LED dual tone flash.
The P20 Pro has a larger 15.4cm (6.1 inch) screen and Huawei boasts that it has the "highest total pixel count on a smartphone available in the market".
But the 40 megapixel count alone doesn't guarantee a great camera.
The P20 Pro also has a low f-stop of f/1.6 as in the P20 and comes with 6GB of RAM. The premium version is certified as IP67 for dust and is splash proof.
As expected from the premium segment, the P20 series devices feature a fingerprint reader, though it's on the front of the device, different to the Mate 7 which first featured the rear reader.
The cheapest in the set is the P20 Lite which has similar dimensions to the P20, though you get a 16 megapixel dual camera and there is also an external card slot to compliment the 32GB or 64GB memory on board.
Globally, the launch is a critical one for Huawei which is focused on developing markets.
It's in these markets that premium smartphones usually struggle in sales and recent data shows a slowing market overall, making the going potentially tough for Huawei.
Data tracker IDC revealed in late February that the smartphone market declined 0.5% in 2017, but it expects growth to return.
"That fact that China alone declined almost 5% in 2017 was a huge factor for why global volumes fell, but EMEA also declined 3.5%, and the US market was flat," said Ryan Reith, programme vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
The IDC forecast growth of between 3% and 4% for Android devices to 2020.
Gartner data showed that Huawei and Xiaomi were the only vendors to show growth during the fourth quarter of 2017 as the market shrank.
"Future growth opportunities for Huawei will reside in winning market share in emerging APAC [Asia-Pacific region] and the US," said Gartner research director Anshul Gupta.
The P20 Pro is available in SA and will retail for R15 499, the P20 comes in at R12 999, and the P20 Lite brings up the rear at R5 999.Follow @Duncan025
Huawei P20 set at a glance
Li-Po 4000 mAh
Li-Po 3400 mAh
Li-Po 3000 mAh
2017 Market Share (%)
2016 Market Share (%)
1 536 535.5
1 495 959.0