Huawei unveils new phablet, smartwatch

Huawei has unveiled its new devices in Berlin. (Duncan Alfreds)
Huawei has unveiled its new devices in Berlin. (Duncan Alfreds)

Berlin – Chinese phone maker Huawei on Wednesday announced a new set of devices aimed at increasing the brand’s march toward mobile shopping.

The Huawei Mate S features an enhanced fingerprint sensor that allows users to not only unlock the device, but also easily access Google’s mobile payment service.

The Mate S is a phablet with a 13.9cm (5.5 inch) display and is powered by an octa core processor as well as a single GPU. This technology was also employed in the Ascend Mate 7.

The phone maker unveiled the Mate S at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

“Users can now control notifications, scroll through photos, take selfies, answer phone calls and even dismiss an alarm quickly by simply using the fingerprint sensor,” Huawei said.

The Mate S (Huawei has dropped “Ascend”) has a 13 megapixel main camera similar to the previous generation Mate 7 that delivered acceptable quality images in sharp light.

The Mate S also employs so-called “knuckle” shortcuts which are becoming popular on Android devices.

You can draw letters on the screen that run specific applications such as messaging and internet browsers.

You are also able to customise the shortcuts to edit images and video.

The Chinese company has also emulated Apple with the introduction of “Force Touch” in the Mate S. This technology allows the device to interpret different levels of force on the screen which allows users to launch apps, or zoom in.

Smartwatch launch

Huawei also launched its new smartwatch powered by Google’s Android Wear operating system.

The company says that the smart device is unique because it connects to both Android and iOS devices.

The watch features a 3.5cm (1.4 inch) touch display protected by sapphire crystal and comes with a heart rate monitor.

Prices for the devices are unavailable but Huawei suggested that the watch would sell for between €399 and €699, putting in the price range of devices from Apple and Samsung.

While Huawei has jumped to the number three global manufacturer, the company saw its share in South Africa slide from 21% to 6.1%, according to data from International Data Corporation.

Huawei said that SA is among the first set of 30 countries that would get the mate S, but SA was not on the initial list for the smart watch.

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*Fin24 is hosted by Huawei at IFA 2015.

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