LIVE FROM IFA 2016, BERLIN: Huawei announced a pair of new smartphones targeting the mid-tier, claiming it has a “big opportunity” in this segment.
Huawei’s most recent high-profile launches have focused on its higher-spec P series smartphones and Mate phablets, and the company has seen some success in this lucrative market.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said: “We think there is a big opportunity in the €300 to €500 price range, middle tier. And that’s why today we are introducing our new middle tier products, Huawei Nova.”
“Huawei Nova is a middle tier product, but we never compromise on performance, on specifications.”
As usual, Huawei pulled no punches in comparing the device with Apple’s iPhone 6s and, possibly a more relevant mid-tier comparison, Samsung’s A series smartphones. And the rivals were trumped across categories including battery capacity, processor performance, and screen-to-body ratio.
The Nova line comprises two devices: Nova and Nova Plus. The latter is differentiated by its larger screen, improved camera and increased battery capacity.
Nova has a 5-inch full HD screen with 2.5D curved glass. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
It has 12MP main and 8MP front cameras, and includes 4K video support. It has a 3020mAh battery.
Nova Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. It sees a battery capacity boost to 3340mAh, and also has a 16MP front camera.
Colour options include grey, silver and gold, with the smaller device also available in pink.
Pricing for Nova tops out at €399, and for Nova Plus at €429, with Yu stating that these will be lower in some markets. Availability in more than 50 markets is slated for October.
Also on the agenda was a new tablet, MediaPad M3, and Huawei focused on its audio and multimedia capabilities. A partnership with audio technology company Harman International is said to “truly reinvent what tablet audio can deliver,” and the device ships with specifically designed earphones from Harman’s AKG brand.
Huawei is also using the fingerprint sensor for navigation, with different inputs giving back, home and swipe left or right commands.
A high-capacity 5100mAh battery is said to deliver up to 11 hours of HD video playback, up to 6 hours of continuous 3D gaming, or 45 hours of music playback.
It has a 8.4inch (2560×1600) display, and is powered by an octacore Huawei Kirin 950 processor with 4GB of RAM. A version is available with LTE support.
Pricing starts from €349 for the 32GB Wi-Fi version, climbing to €449 for the 64GB LTE variant. Colour options are gold and silver.
New P9 colours
Also announced were red and blue versions of the flagship P9 device, which “represent Huawei’s focus on creating on-trend products for consumers who value style and design”. Pricing is in line with existing versions of the flagship.