Huawei targets Apple with new phone, tablet, watch | Cult of Mac

Huawei targets Apple with new phone, tablet, watch


Meet the new watch, similar to the old watch.
Meet the new watch, similar to the old watch.
Photo: Huawei

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverageHuawei took to the stage at CES this morning to show off a bunch of stuff that looked really familiar — although the stage wasn’t free of some killer features.

The world’s number three smartphone brand is ready to take on Apple and Samsung, and it brought its own versions of the big three devices on stage to show off what they can do. And they can do quite a lot, it seems, but not all of it has us wanting to defect from our iPhones.

Here’s what Huawei brought to the party.

Mate 8

Huawei Mate 8 vs iPhone 6s Plus CES 2016
Huawei’s putting its latest phone up against Apple’s.
Photo: Huawei

If you’re presenting at the world’s biggest consumer electronics show, you might as well start big. And once Huawei got done with its massive presentation full of sales numbers, it went ahead and did that.

The Mate 8 aims to take on the iPhone 6s Plus with a few features we’ve seen before, but it also has its own style. While it’s slightly shorter (by about a millimeter) than Apple’s latest, it boasts a 6-inch screen, compared to the 6s Plus’ 5.5-inch display. We aren’t entirely sure what that means for day-to-day use, but it is impressive that it’s making the most of that space.

Huawei also talked up the device’s impressive battery life and charging time, claiming that the new handset will last for over 56 hours on a single charge under “normal use.” It will also get a full day’s use from just 30 minutes on the dock, Android Central reports.

Huawei Mate 8 fingerprint scanner CES 2016
We just can’t stop touching our phones, apparently.
Photo: Huawei

The company says the Mate 8’s onboard fingerprint sensor works twice as fast as its predecessor and will let you quickly access features like the camera, alarms, and calls. But that’s boring, right? This phone needs to have some completely weird and awkward-sounding touch controls, too.

And it does — Huawei played up some bizarre stuff you can do to your pictures using your knuckles because fingertips are so played out, you guys. You’ll be using your knocky parts to “crop, capture, and share,” and you can also use them to capture tall screen images. We assume that’s like a vertical panorama sort of deal, but honestly, we’re still a little hung up on the bit with the knuckles. And as we said before, knuckles are for knocking, so you can do that to crop and record videos.

Luckily, that’s about as weird as it got.

The Mate 8 will be available in 30 countries at launch. It will sell for €599 for a 32GB version and €699 for 64GB of storage. And we know what you’re thinking now: Can I buy one that is the same color as coffee? Heck yeah, you can. In addition to the new “Mocha Brown” hue, it’ll also be available in Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, and Space Gray.

Media Pad M2

Huawei Media Pad M2 CES 2016
A tablet with a stylus? Get right out of here.
Photo: Huawei

We didn’t get much info about Huawei’s upcoming tablet, the Media Pad M2, but the company was pretty excited about its speakers.

It teamed with speaker maker Harman Kardon to create the M2’s four-point rig, which includes two speakers each for treble and bass. And if that’s giving you a case of the heard-it-befores, that’s because the iPad Pro has a similar setup. We don’t know if the M2 will automatically switch sound profiles depending on which way you’re holding it, but it might as well.

The Media Pad M2 will have four price points ranging from $349 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model to $469 for 64GB, LTE, and the “M-Pen,” an optional stylus with 2,048 pressure levels.

Huawei Watch Jewel and Elegant

Huawei Watches Elegant and Jewel CES 2016
Huawei’s latest smartwatches are for the ladies.
Photo: Huawei

Huawei’s Android Wear smartwatch, the aptly named Huawei Watch, is a pretty fashionable gadget, but the company thinks it could be even more so.

To that end, it introduced two new models targeted to women: the Jewel and the Elegant. Both feature rose-gold cases, but the Jewel is also festooned with little gems from Swarovski all the way around its face. And those polished rocks will cost you; the Elegant will run $499 at launch, and the bedazzled Jewel will set you back $599.

It isn’t just the bling, however. The new watches will also have built-in speakers so that you can make calls directly from them. And having done that several times with my Apple Watch, I can assure you that people absolutely love it when you do that.

Gold Nexus 6P

Gold Nexus 6P CES 2016
Photo: Huawei

That’s basically it. They’ll come in gold now.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.