Huawei today made its new smartwatch, the Watch 2, available from various online retailers for $300. The device runs Android Wear 2.0 from Google and includes GPS, a heart rate monitor, NFC, 420 mAh battery, and a 1.2-inch AMOLED display. The Watch 2 is rated IP68 for water resistance. Huawei says the standard model can be purchased from Best Buy, Target, Jet, Walmart, B&H, and others. The company expects to bring the Watch 2 Classic to the U.S. later this year for $369. Huawei has no plans to bring the LTE variant of the Watch 2 to the U.S. right now.
Huawei hopes to tap into the feedback of power users in a way that will benefit U.S. consumers through the new Honor Beta program. The Honor Beta team will be able to test new features ahead of public release and provide feedback directly to Huawei's R&D team. Those interested in the participating can apply via the Honor brand's Facebook page. Huawei is looking for English speakers who live in the U.S. Huawei expects to review applications and then match them with specific opportunities for testing purposes. The company said those selected to participate may get to use software and hardware that's not slated to reach the market for one to two years. "Honor will explore what U.S. consumers want and adapt products and strategy each step of the way," said the company. "Honor can quickly evolve its products and strategy on a regional level. Honor Beta is one big step in preparing to lead the unlocked smartphone market of tomorrow." The Honor Beta program is accepting submissions starting today.
Huawei today announced the Honor 8 Pro, a flagship handset for its Honor brand. The phone has specs similar to the Huawei P10, but it is much larger thanks to a 5.7-inch quad HD display and 4,000mAh battery. The phone is powered by Huawei's octa-core Kirin 960 processor with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a Mali GPU. Like many of Huawei's recent handsets, the Honor 8 Pro includes two cameras on the rear, each rated at 12 megapixels, one that captures full color and one that captures monochrome. Special shooting modes include slow-motion, time-lapse, panorama, full manual, aperture, and more. The front camera has an 8-megapixel sensor and some of these same modes. The Honor 8 Pro runs Android 7 Nougat with EMUI 5.1. The phone includes Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi, but LTE support is limited to Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 38, and 40, making it only partially compatible with some U.S. LTE networks. The phone supports rapid charging and memory cards up to 128 GB. The Honor 8 Pro comes in blue, black, or gold for about $585. It will ship with a Cardboard-style VR viewer. Huawei said the phone will be made available in Europe beginning today.
Today at 3pm ET, users of the Huawei Mate 9 will be able to update their phones over the air to support Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. The Mate 9 is the first phone to have built-in access to Alexa On The Go. Currently, other phones can only access Alexa when used with a hardware accessory of some kind. Users must launch the new Huawei Alexa app before they can talk to Alexa. The app synchronizes with the user's Amazon account and the same Alexa configuration used at home with any Echo and Echo Dot devices the user may have. Alexa On The Go can be used to control smart-home devices, get personalized news updates, listen to podcasts, make restaurant reservations, get weather, access personal calendar info, and play hands-free games such as Jeopardy and 20 questions. It also supports placing orders with Amazon.com, Starbucks, pizza chains, and movie theaters. Huawei is working on future updates to the Alexa integration that will enable voice activation (instead of manually launching the Huawei Alexa app), setting timers and alarms on the phone, and music playback. The current rollout applies only to U.S. versions of the Mate 9; it will roll out to other markets that Amazon supports at a later date.
The P10 is Huawei's flagship phone for 2017, (aside from the super-size Mate series.) It's a definite step up from the P9, packing in the very impressive Kirin 960 chipset, also found on the Mate 9. It sports a more rounded metal design and a new style of fingerprint sensor on the front. But it lacks any of the trendy new features in the competition's 2017 flagships. How does it stack up in person? Read on for our impressions.
Huawei today announced the P10, its new mid-size flagship phone for 2017. The phone is similar in size to last year's P9, but with more rounded sides and corners to make it feel thinner. The metal-body phone will be offered in eight different colors — including Greenery, Dazzling Blue, and Ceramic White. Greenery is Pantone's color of the year for 2017. Most colors will come with a sand-blasted soft-touch finish, while Dazzling Blue will sport a hybrid diamond cut (brushed metal) finish, and Ceramic White will be high-gloss. The P10 is powered by the same Kirin 960 processor as found in the Mate 9, accompanied by 4 GB of RAM. The 5.1-inch, full-HD display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 with rounded edges. A new-generation, dual-sensor Leica camera module on the back includes a 12-megapixel / f2.2 traditional camera plus a 20-megapixel monochrome camera. The 8-megapixel camera on the front also has a Leica lens. The company has also placed the fingerprint reader on the front, below the display, where it replaces the usual three Android navigation buttons. Swiping left brings up recent apps, while swiping right performs the "back" action. The phone runs Android 7.0 with Huawei's EMUI 5.1 software on top. The 3,200 mAh battery can be topped up with fast charging via the USB-C connector. A 3.5mm audio jack is also present. The company will also offer a slightly larger variant in the P10 Plus. The P10 plus steps up to a 5.5-inch 2K display and 3,750 mAh battery. It also has a better camera lens with a f/1.8 aperture. It will be offered in seven color options. Pricing starts at €649 for the P10. The US is not among the list of initial launch markets, but some versions will support AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
Huawei today announced the second generation of its Android Wear smartwatch. The new Huawei Watch 2 adds a number of features, including optional 4G LTE data, standalone GPS, continuous heart rate monitoring, NFC, Android Wear 2.0, and a special watch-only mode that can achieve up to 25 days of battery life. The watch-only mode displays only the time and a live step counter. In smartwatch mode, the 420 mAh battery can power the watch for two days, or ten hours with both LTE and GPS active. Fast charging via the magnetic dock can fully power up the battery in one hour. The 1.2-inch, fully-round, AMOLED display has improved resolution at 328 ppi. The standard model has a plastic body to allow for integrated LTE antennas. The face is made of ceramic and Gorilla Glass 3. The rubber straps are standard 20mm with quick-release pins. The Watch 2 is rated IP68 for water resistance. A "classic" model is also available with a sleeker metal body, but without LTE. The classic model comes with a 22mm hybrid strap that is leather on the outside, and rubber on the inside for sweat resistance. The controls consist of the touch screen and two side buttons: a home button and a customizable shortcut button.
The FCC today approved a new, unannounced phone from Huawei that matches leaked photos of the P10. The company is expected to announce the P10 flagship phone in a little over a week at the MWC trade show in Barcelona. The documents made public on the FCC web site show the external design of the phone and reveal wide support for the many LTE bands expected of a flagship phone, but reveal few other details. Two versions have been approved so far, with both supporting the primary bands used by AT&T and T-Mobile, although neither seems specifically designed for US networks (neither supports LTE band 30 nor 66, for example.) One version supports dual SIM cards. The phone has dual rear cameras, a USB-C connector, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The all-metal design has rounded sides and large injected antenna bands that resemble those on Apple's iPhone 7. The phone also includes NFC and dual-band Wi-Fi. Unlike most previous Huawei phones, there does not appear to be a fingerprint sensor on the rear. A front-mounted fingerprint sensor would be a major design shift for Huawei.
Huawei today said it will begin rolling out Android 7 Nougat to its Honor 8 handset starting Feb. 10. The update adds features and tweaks performance. To start, the update gives Honor 8 owners the option of selecting the stock Android user interface rather than Huawei's EMUI. Other changes include the option to use the app drawer, use two apps side-by-side, more fully customize notifications and the Quick Settings menu, set camera priorities, share contact cards via QR codes, switch between profiles quicker, and rearrange the settings list. Huawei says it optimized performance as well, reducing the number of steps needed to complete most tasks, reducing Bluetooth pairing times, and preventing the system from storing certain subsets of user data. Huawei says the rollout will be gradual, though it expects all Honor 8 devices globally to receive the update by the end of the month.
Huawei today said it will begin selling the Mate 9 flagship smartphone in the U.S. starting January 6. The device will be available online, unlocked with support for U.S. GSM/LTE networks. It costs $599. Moreover, the device will gain support for Amazon's Alexa voice assistant in a future software update. Huawei didn't say when Mate 9 owners can expect to begin saying, "Alexa," for requests.
Huawei's latest for the unlocked crowd is the Honor 6X. This slim metal-and-glass smartphone has an attractive design and decent set of specs for a phone that costs as little as $200 if you're smart about buying it. Here are our first impressions.
Huawei today announced the Honor 6X, a follow up to the 5X that improves upon specs and design. The 6X boasts a 2.5D curved glass front and aluminum rear panel to give it a metal-and-glass chassis. The phone includes a fingerprint reader for biometric security. The display measures 5.5 inches and delivers full HD resolution. The Honor 6X relies on Huawei's own Kirin 655 processor, which uses an octa-core design with 4 high-power 2.1 GHz cores and 4 low-power 1.7 GHz cores. The processor is accompanied by 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, and the phone supports memory cards. The main camera includes a 12-megapixel sensor and secondary 2-megapixel sensor with a pro mode, bokeh, night shooting, special filters, and a wide aperture range from f/0.95 to f/16. The phone has an 8-megpaixel front-facing camera. Some of the camera tools include time-lapse, audio control, beauty/makeup mode, and food mode. The 3,340mAh battery supports up to two days of battery life. Huawei said the Honor will be made available Jan. 4 unlocked, and will be sold online. It supports US LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 20, and 38. The Honor 6X costs $250, but Huawei plans to sell it for $200 during "flash sales" on Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31.
Huawei said its Honor 8 smartphone will receive Android 7 Nougat and EMUI 5.0 through an update planned for February 2017. According to Huawei, EMUI 5.0 streamlines the user interface and cuts down on the number of steps needed to reach core functions. The update will also reduce the amount of UI chrome, leaving more room on the screen for content. Huawei will allow people to choose a home screen with or without an app drawer, as well as run multiple profiles (personal, work) and easily switch between them. Further, EMUI 5.0 employs machine learning to analyze and adapt to user behavior over time. On the security front, EMUI 5.0 will allow owners to password protect individual apps. Huawei did not say exactly when the update will be made available. The Honor 8 has been for sale in the U.S. since the summer. It is available online and is sold unlocked.
Huawei's Mate series is the company's take on the high-end phablet, competing with phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note7. Perhaps seizing on the opportunity presented by the flaming Note7 fiasco, the Mate 9 marks the first time Huawei will sell its Mate series in the U.S. Past Mate models have impressed us with high-quality hardware and good performance. How does this year's entry stack up? Read on to find out.
Huawei today announced the Mate 9, the latest iteration of its flagship, large-screen Mate series. Unlike most previous flagship Huawei phones, this model will come to the U.S. Key specs include a 5.9-inch full-HD display, an evolved version of the Leica dual-camera system found in the P9, a Kirin 960 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, memory card slot, NFC, IR port, and a USB Type-C connector supporting fast charging. Its unibody metal design also contains a 4,000 mAh battery. The Mate 9 runs Android 7.0 with version 5.0 of Huawei's EMUI OS tweaks. The camera supports bokeh, HDR, panorama, light painting (long exposure) and RAW capture. The Mate 9 will come in five colors: Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown, and Ceramic White. Pricing and launch date for the U.S. will be announced at a later date. A special Porsche Design variant will be available only in other markets.
An unannounced Huawei phone for AT&T appeared today on the FCC web site. Slated for AT&T's GoPhone prepaid lineup, the H1611 appears to be an affordable Android phone with a large screen, Snapdragon 615 processor, and sealed-in 3,000 mAh battery. Front and rear cameras are also shown, as well as a memory card slot. The approvals show support for standard AT&T LTE bands, including band 30. The documents reveal few other details. The AT&T web site does not yet list the phone.
Huawei churned out two mid-range handsets in Berlin, the Nova and Nova Plus. The phones share most features, but the Plus is a bit bigger thanks to the larger screen and battery. Here are first impressions of Huawei's new hardware.
Huawei today announced the Nova and Nova Plus handsets, two mid-range smartphones that feature curved metal designs, diamond-cut bezels, and 2.5D glass for a seamless in-hand experience. The devices share almost all features, expect for the screen, battery, and camera. Both run on a Snapdragon 625 processor with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. The Nova phones include a rear-mounted fingerprint reader that doubles as a trackpad and can be used to scroll through pictures as well as answer calls. A memory card slot accepts microSD cards. The devices have 8-megapixel f/2.2 selfie cameras with a "beautiful skin" tool to remove blemishes. Another tool called Knuckle Sense can automatically put the photo editor in cropping mode with the tap of a knuckle. The software includes a night reading setting that filters out blue light. The Nova has a 5-inch screen, 12-megapixel main camera, 3,030mAh battery and compact body, while the Nova Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, 16-megapixel camera, 3,340mAh battery, and larger profile. The phones will be sold in gray, silver, gold, and pink. The Nova will cost 399 Euros, while the Nova Plus will cost $429 Euros. It's unlikely either phone will be sold in the U.S.
A planned update to the USB Type-C specification will give it more control over audio functions, paving the way for it to fully supplant the 3.5mm headphone jack on most phones. Speaking at the Intel Developers Forum, engineers Brad Saunders and Rahman Ismail explained that the new USB audio standard lowers power usage through USB and defines how buttons on headphones can control music. The standard "will really make USB Type-C the right connector for audio," said Saunders. The 3.5mm headset jack is universally available on most consumer electronics, but is decades old. Dropping the jack will free up internal space, lowers the potential for interference, and negates the need for a digital-to-analog converter. Moreover, Saunders says the updated spec allows for software-based audio effects and signal processing that can, for example, cancel out nearby noise. Last, the updated USB-C spec improves support for video. Saunders says the new video capabilities will be good for working on a PC or watching a movie, but not necessarily for graphics-intensive gaming. USB-C is slowly gaining traction in smartphones. Samsung's Galaxy Note7 made the switch to USB-C, as did HTC 10, LG G5, and just-announced Huawei Honor 8. The connector is slim and reversible, and Type-C cables can push power in both directions.
Huawei's Honor brand finally has a true flagship model in its lineup, and it combines Huawei's manufacturing chops with the Honor design flair, plus true flagship specs. It has the features of the Huawei P9 (another flagship) plus a few small extras. The design has a bit more flair, though. It's very iPhone-like. But how is it in person? We go hands-on.
Huawei's Honor brand today announced the Honor 8, the company's first true flagship-class phone under its Honor brand. The Honor 8 has most specs in common with the well-regarded Huawei P9, the company's flagship outside of the Honor brand. That includes the 12-megapixel camera with laser focus and a secondary camera providing monochrome exposure info for improved image quality. It also includes the 5.2-inch, full-HD display, Kirin 950-series processor, 3,000 mAh battery, 8-megapixel front camera, fast charging, fingerprint reader, NFC, memory card slot, and USB Type-C connector. Further, the Honor 8 improves on the P9 with 4 GB of memory instead of 3, and adds an infrared emitter for controlling home A/V gear. The design is glass on the front and back, with an aluminum frame. A 15-layer process creates a unique visual effect behind the glass. It will be available in blue, white, and black, with the blue color being exclusive to Best Buy for the first 60 days. The phone will be sold unlocked for $400 (32GB) or $450 (64GB) starting September 3rd. Pre-orders begin August 17th.
Samsung has sued Huawei in China for patent infringement. The Korean phone maker says several of Huawei's devices, including the Mate8 and Honor line, are violating six of its technology patents. Samsung is seeking $24 million in damages as well as a ban on the manufacture and sale of the devices in question. The lawsuit is a tit-for-tat response to a similar lawsuit filed by Huawei against Samsung earlier this year. Samsung said it attempted to resolve the matter through negotiation, but has been unable to strike a deal with Huawei. "It has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property," said Samsung. Tech firms often use patent-based lawsuits against rivals as a negotiation tactic.
Huawei's international expansion may have resulted in the company running afoul of U.S. export law, according to the New York Times. The Department of Commerce has subpoenaed Huawei seeking information about the company's business dealings in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Specifically, the Commerce Department wants to know if Huawei exported or re-exported American-made technology to these countries, which have varying degrees of sanctions in place blocking certain tech exports. At this point, the Commerce Department is merely gathering information and Huawei has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Huawei representatives told the Times it complies with the laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates. The Commerce Department conducted a similar investigation of China-based ZTE, which the government says willfully violated U.S. export laws in order to ship American products to Iran. It's not clear if the subpoenaed information will lead to charges against Huawei.
Huawei has filed lawsuits against Samsung in the U.S. and China, alleging the smartphone maker is using its patented technology without permission. Specifically, Huawei believes Samsung is infringing on a patent related to LTE wireless technology. "We hope Samsung will stop infringing our patents and get the necessary license from Huawei," said the company in a statement. Samsung did not immediately comment on the matter. This marks the first time a Chinese phone maker has filed a lawsuit against foreign firms; typically, Chinese firms have been the defendants in patent cases. Handset manufacturers often resort to patent lawsuits to force negotiations for royalties.
Google released a developer preview of Android Wear 2.0. This new platform, which touts a wholly refreshed user interface, is the biggest update yet for Google smartwatches. Here is a quick look at this early version of Android Wear 2.0 on the Huawei Watch.
Huawei today unveiled two new smartphones at an event in London, the P9 and P9 Plus. Huawei developed the P9 and P9 Plus with help from Leica in order to improve camera performance. The phones feature two, 12-megapixel side-by-side cameras on the rear and a single 8-megapixel camera on the front. The two-lens setup on back includes one full-color sensor and one monochrome sensor that work in concert. Huawei says the monochrome sensor is used to assess and capture light for more accurate exposures. Huawei redesigned its camera app with Leica's help. The devices have 5.2- and 5.5-inch full HD screens, respectively, with side bezels measuring 1.7mm thick. The P9 uses an IPS LCD panel, while the P9 Plus relies on a Super AMOLED screen. Both phones are slim and boast metal and glass designs. The P9 and P9 Plus are powered by Huawei's Kirin 955 octa-core processor, with four ARM A72 cores and four ARM A53 cores. The phones come with either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM. The phones support memory cards and include fingerprint sensors on the rear for biometric security. Other features include stereo speakers, infrared, USB-C, and 3,000/3,400mAh batteries. They run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei's EMUI 4.1 skin. Pricing for the P9 starts around $680 and the P9 Plus starts at $850. Huawei didn't say if or when either phone will be made available in the U.S. The company sells many of its phones directly to consumers online.
Huawei and Leica today announced a partnership aimed at creating "a powerhouse in the reinvention of smartphone photography." Leica is a well-regarded German camera brand.
Google today announced Android Wear 1.4, which adds a fistful of new features. Chiefly, Android-based smartwatches can now make and take calls via Bluetooth when the wearable itself includes a speaker. Google says this is limited to the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2 at the moment, but it expects more watches to ship with speakers and calling support over time. Watches with speakers can also be used to listen to audio messages from apps such as Glide. Android Wear 1.4 also expands the number of apps able to use voice actions to dictate and send messages, which now includes, Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Last, Google added a few new wrist gestures to the platform. For example, Android smartwatches can now expand cards, bring up the app drawer, or return home with a push, lift, or shake, respectively. Google says Android Wear 1.4 is rolling out to Android smartwatches over the next few days.
Huawei today said the Honor 5X handset will be available as planned on January 31. The mid-range 5X supports AT&T and T-Mobile LTE 4G bands and has a unibody aluminum design. The phone includes a 5.5-inch full HD display, 13-megapixel camera, and 1.5 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor with 2 GB of RAM. The Honor 5X also includes a 3,000 mAh battery, rear fingerprint reader, and 5-megapixel front camera. It costs $200 and is available from HiHonor.com, Amazon.com, and Newegg.com.
The Honor 5X is an "affordable premium" phone, a category that's expanding extremely quickly. It's Android. It has a metal back. It has respectable mid-range specs. It's pretty. Huawei is making a push to sell it online, unlocked. But what's it like in person? Read on.
Huawei today announced the Honor 5X for the U.S., a phone very similar to the Huawei GX8 announced earlier today, but with a more premium design and $150 cheaper. The Honor 5X has a diamond-polished aluminum alloy casing. The four-step process includes applying a ceramic coating using a special brushing technique. It also has 4G LTE with full support for current AT&T and T-Mobile bands. Like the GX8, the Honor 5X is a mid-range Android phone with a unibody aluminum design, 5.5-inch Full-HD display, 13-megapixel camera, and Snapdragon 615 processor. The phone also includes a 3,000 mAh battery, rear fingerprint reader, and 5-megapixel front camera. Available colors include gold, silver, and gray. The Honor 5X will be available from Amazon.com and HiHonor.com on January 31 for $200 unlocked.
The GX8 is a mid-range Android phone sold unlocked in the US market. It's an interesting entry into the growing category of phones that aim to marry premium design and materials with decent specs, for a low price. The premium design takes the form of a unibody aluminum frame and curved-edge glass front. Specs include a 5.5-inch HD display, Snapdragon 615 processor, and 13-megapixel camera. What's it like? We have some photos and first impressions.
Huawei today announced the immediate availability of a gold version of the popular Nexus 6P Android phone. It's available in both 32 and 64 GB versions, from Best Buy and Google.
Huawei today announced that the GX8 will come to the U.S. later this quarter. The GX8 is a new mid-range Android phone with a unibody aluminum design, 5.5-inch Full-HD display, 13-megapixel camera, and Snapdragon 615 processor. The phone also includes a 3,000 mAh battery, rear fingerprint reader, and 5-megapixel front camera. Available colors include gold, gray, and silver. The GX8 will be available later in Q1 for $350 unlocked via Amazon.com and GetHuawei.com.
Huawei today announced the Mate 8, a flagship phablet that runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Mate 8 features a 6-inch full HD display and Huawei's new processor, the Kirin 950. The 950 is an octa-core chip with four Cortex ARM A72 cores at 2.3GHz and four A53 cores at 1.8GHz. The Kirin 950 is aided by Huawei's i5 coprocessor for low-power tasks, such as managing always-on sensors. Huawei didn't provide details about the Mate 8's camera, but the phone offers some intelligent tools like voice controls, a firewall, a defragmenter, and mobile payment capabilities. The Mate 8 runs Huawei's EMUI 4.0 skin. Huawei said the phone will be revealed in full at CES in January and made available in China during the first quarter of 2016.
Unwired Planet landed its first courtroom victory in the U.K. this week after a judge agreed that Samsung and Huawei are violating patents owned by the company. Unwired Planet has 16 employees and 2,000 patents it purchased from Ericsson in 2013. The company filed a similar suit against Google, but Google settled the charges. The judge overseeing the Samsung/Huawei case deemed the patents "essential" to 4G communications, however, which means they must be licensed at fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates. Unwired Planet said the ruling "goes a considerable way towards validating [our] portfolio." Samsung maintains that it is not violating the patents. Huawei didn't immediately comment on the decision. Tech companies often use patent-based litigation to win fees from competitors. Unwired Planet is a patent-holding company and doesn't make or sell telecommunications equipment or mobile phones.
Huawei has revealed a new technique for charging batteries that is up to 10 times faster than existing methods. Huawei bonded heteroatoms to graphite molecules. This can be a catalyst for capturing and transmitting lithium through carbon, which has the effect of increasing charging speeds without decreasing the energy density or overall battery life. The company demonstrated how it was able to charge a 600mAh to 68% capacity in two minutes, and a 3000mAh battery to 48% in five minutes — enough to power 10 hours of voice calls. "Huawei is confident that this breakthrough in quick charging batteries will lead to a new revolution in electronic devices, especially with regard to mobile phones, electric vehicles, wearable devices, and mobile power supplies," said the company. The demonstrations were made at the 56th Battery Symposium in Japan. Many of today's smartphones rely on Qualcomm's QuickCharge technology, which is baked into its Snapdragon processors and reduces the time it takes to charge batteries. Qualcomm's technology is not as fast as what Huawei demonstrated this week.
Huawei today announced the Kirin 950 chipset for phones, which is designed to compete with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-series chipsets in higher-end phones. Huawei claims that the 950 is 25% faster and 44% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm's current flagship chip. The chip is made by TSMC using their cutting-edge 16nm FinFET+ process, a first in a phone SoC. This is superior to the 20nm process used by Qualcomm's 810 - particularly in power efficiency - although the imminent 820 will use a 14nm process. The Kirin 950 has eight cores in a big/little configuration, with four ARM Cortex A72 cores running at 2.3 GHz, and four A53 cores running at 1.8 GHz. The chip is designed specifically to optimize Android performance, and includes much-improved optimizations for camera performance and quality. The Kirin 950 includes an LTE Category 6 modem, support for VoLTE, and Huawei's new, more-efficient i5 dedicated sensor hub processor. Previous Kirin chips have been used in many Huawei phones sold around the world, including the recent P8 and Mate S.
Boost Mobile today announced a trio of inexpensive handsets, including the Huawei Union. The Union has a 4.5-inch screen, 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It includes a 5-megapixel camera, 2,000mAh battery, and support for memory cards up to 32GB. The Huawei Union runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and costs $79.99. Boost Mobile also announced pricing for the HTC 626s and the Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen), which cost $129.99 and $149.99, respectively. All three smartphones go on sale today.
Huawei today made Android 5.1 Lollipop available to the P8 Lite handset. The update is available over the air. The phone shipped with Android 4.4, so the 5.1 upgrade is a significant one.