Huawei launched its Mate 50 series in the Chinese market, with the pro device including limited satellite connectivity but still no 5G access, as US sanctions continue to prevent access to the latest Qualcomm chipsets delivering the technology.
In translated promotional material, Huawei noted the Mate 50 Pro was able to send text and location information to the BeiDou satellite constellation in the absence of standard connectivity. It, however, cannot receive text messages from the birds.
Huawei noted the satellite option breaks “the limitations of terrestrial networks and [could] connect with the world at ease.”
Handset connection with satellites has been the subject of speculation surrounding the upcoming unveiling of Apple’s next iPhone, expected at an event later this week, and created somewhat of an industry buzz this year with various connectivity deals and trials announced.
Aside from the satellite element, the Mate 50 series was promoted on its camera, screen and various durability features including water resistance and drop damage protection.
The Mate 50 Pro has a 6.74-inch screen, 4700 mAh battery, first generation Snapdragon 8+ 4G octa-core processor, triple rear camera set-up with the main unit 50MP and a 13MP front camera.
Huawei’s standard version has most of the same specifications but is slightly smaller at 6.7-inches with a 4460 mAh battery. It also has lower internal memory and lacks several features including the satellite connectivity.
Along with the pair available now, Huawei also unveiled the Mate 50E, which is the same size and battery as the standard version, but with one fewer camera and a Snapdragon 778G 4G chipset. It is yet to go on sale.
The Pro version is on sale for CNY6,799 ($977.63) with the standard issue at CNY4,999.