Huawei’s presence at MWC 2015 was exceptionally large. In addition to its consumer-oriented products booth, the Chinese company had another massive area in another hall for Huawei guests and business partners. While we were not allowed to enter the invited guests-only hall, we did find plenty of interesting products at the consumer booth. Notably, we saw Huawei’s MWC 2015 ace: the Huawei Watch.
Many who have seen the watch in person at the show floors think the Huawei Watch is the best-looking Android Wear smartwatch to date. It’s not hard to see why, too: Huawei has deliberately designed the Watch with a smaller watch face compared to other bulkier smartwatches. Despite that, the Huawei Watch packs a 1.4-inch 400 x 400 circular display that’s the sharpest of any smartwatch in the market.
Then, there’s the customisation options. Besides the 40-odd watch faces pre-installed, the Huawei Watch will come in three colours (gold, silver and black) and each colour will come with its own unique set of watch straps, from classic leather or metal bands that offers its own distinct look.
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. Like most other smartwatches, the Huawei Watch packs plenty of sensors as well, including a six-axis gyro, barometer and of course, a heart rate sensor. These all work together to track movement in real-time, gathering data such as heart rate, calories burned, distance travelled, steps taken and even climbing height.
That being said, the small watch face and large amount of sensors mean that the Huawei Watch is pretty thick – about two times thicker than a standard watch. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly one of the sleekest smartwatches to be unveiled so far this year. The Huawei Watch will be coming initially to 20 markets globally in countries such as the US, selected European countries and even Singapore.
Huawei MediaPad X2 a.k.a. Honor Tablet X2
Huawei’s latest tablet is also a smartphone. The MediaPad X2 has a SIM card slot that offers both telephony and LTE connectivity – perhaps that’s the reason why it looks like an enlarged smartphone. The tablet has an 7-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS display that covers an impressive 80% of the front, and is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 930 octa-core processor. Other notable specs include a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera sensors, 5,000mAh battery, dual-band AC WiFi and a metal chassis that’s just 7.18mm thin. The MediaPad X2 is available in two variants: a 16GB storage with 2GB RAM version and a 32GB storage and 3GB RAM variant.
Interestingly, the MediaPad X2 will also be known as the Honor Tablet X2. Honor is of course Huawei’s sub-brand, and the model is exactly the same in terms of design and hardware, but slightly differs in software. While both the MediaPad X2 and Honor Tablet X2 are running on Android 5.0, the Honor Tablet X2’s EMUI 3.0 ROM switches the position of the Back and Recent Apps capacitive buttons.
Both tablets are solidly built, with the metal constructions lending a premium feeling. The 7-inch display is also pretty good, and the compact size means they are very portable. Huawei’s been very impressive with its recent devices, and the new MediaPad X2 and Honor Tablet X2 is living up to the new standards.
Huawei TalkBand B2
“If people can make 2-in-1 laptops, why can’t we make 2-in-1 wearables?”
This is likely the underlying motivation behind Huawei’s TalkBand wearable. Last year’s B1 was a fitness tracker worn on the wrist, but with a removable module that actually packs an earpiece…because it is also a Bluetooth headset. At MWC 2015, the company announced the TalkBand B2, a slightly improved version of the B1. They’re virtually the same size, and the TalkBand B2 again functions as a smart band as well as a Bluetooth headset, though this time around Huawei’s opted for more classy colours including Black, Silver and Gold.
The TalkBand B2’s core is removable, and you’ll need to do so when you are charging the module. What’s pretty cool about the core is with the display: the panel takes the colour of the core, so when it isn’t turned on, it looks like it’s just a small trendy wristband. Press the power button and you’ll see glanceable notifications displayed in white. The panel has touch support too, so you can swipe to show the various information it collects.
Huawei TalkBand N1
If you can build 2-in-1 wearables, why not develop 2-in-1 earphones? The TalkBand N1 actually bundles three functions: wireless Bluetooth earphones, fitness tracker and MP3 player. And, while the TalkBand N1 sports some funky colours including pink and gold, they are matte – so they’re still somewhat understated. That being said, the size is pretty large for a pair of wireless earphones, while the plastic exterior gives it a rather low-end feel, unlike Huawei’s other products on display.
It will be interesting to see how Huawei prices this product, because despite its cheap-feeling exterior the TalkBand N1 is definitely an interesting product for casual fitness buffs.
Finally, there’s Huawei’s CarFi, a unique 4G LTE mobile hotspot that plugs into a car’s power socket (or officially known as “cigarette lighter receptacle”). There’s a SIM card slot that supports LTE Cat 4 speeds, and the CarFi itself is made from fire-proof materials. Interestingly, there’s also a USB pass-through that allows users to charge their mobile devices while using the CarFi.
In all, it’s a pretty impressive product that doesn’t quite have any mainstream competitors – what’s limiting Huawei right now is the CarFi’s availability – Huawei hasn’t yet announced any yet.