Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei unveiled the Mate 20 Lite smartphone and a new smart speaker cum Internet router, dubbed the AI Cube, at IFA 2018 in Berlin. The flagship Kirin 980 SoC was also launched at the trade show. Successor to last year's Huawei Mate 10 Lite, the Mate 20 Lite comes with features including the latest HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC, a 19.5:9 display with a notch, dual cameras on both front and back, and certain AI capabilities. On the other hand, the AI Cube features Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant and can also act as a router if the need arises. At the IFA 2018 event, Huawei also unveiled the Huawei Locator, a compact GPS tracker with long operational and standby times.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite price has been set at GBP 379 (roughly Rs. 34,800) across Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone retail stores in the US starting September 5, in Black, Platinum Red, and Sapphire Blue colour options. It will also be available at EE stores starting October. Following that, availability will ensue at Tesco and Argos. AI-supported features on the Mate 20 Lite include AI Shopping Assistant, AI noise cancellation, AI smart gallery, and more.
The Huawei Mate 20 Lite runs Android 8.1 Oreo, and sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) TFT LCD panel with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 409ppi. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC, coupled with a Mali-G51 GPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage. Storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB). It will come in both single- and dual-SIM variants, depending on the market.
In terms of optics, the Huawei Mate 20 Lite bears a vertically aligned dual rear camera setup with a 20-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor, coupled with f/1.8 aperture and PDAF support. On the front, the handset sports another dual camera setup with a 24-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary lens, paired with f/2.0 aperture and fixed focus. There is a 3,750mAh battery under the hood, with support for 9V/2A (18W) charging capabilities.
Connectivity options on the Huawei Mate 20 Lite include 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2 LE, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors onboard the handset include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, electronic compass, gyroscope, fingerprint sensor, and proximity sensor. The smartphone measures 158.3x75.3x7.6mm and weighs about 172 grams.
Huawei's first smart speaker comes to us in the form of the Huawei AI Cube. The smart speaker comes with four inbuilt speakers and help provide the much-needed 360-degree audio. It also equips Huawei's Histen technology, an aluminium diaphgram, passive radiators, and far-field voice recognition. With Amazon Alexa built-in, the AI Cube allows users to perform actions like listening to the news, streaming music, setting timers, and controlling connected smart home gadgets.
The smart speaker also acts as an Internet router and comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac with support for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, offering support for up to 1200Mbps. With a 4G SIM, it supports speeds of up to 300Mbps. It will reportedly be released in Europe before this year's holiday season. Pricing hasn't been revealed yet.
Apart from these two major announcements at IFA 2018, Huawei also unveiled the Huawei Locator, a nifty GPS tracker that will reveal GPS coordinates for use in times of an emergency. In terms of connectivity, the Locator includes GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, Wi-Fi assisted positioning, and real-time position reporting. It is IP68 water and dust resistant. The GPS tracker has a geofence of 50-2,000 meters and comes with an SOS button. Pricing and availability details are yet to be announced.