Huawei launches new Matebook, foldable phone and smart glasses

Photo: Huawei

Huawei announced some new devices today, but like most of its products, people living in the US probably won’t be able to buy them anytime soon (if at all). And unfortunately, these are not the kind of gadgets that you can easily find an alternative to; we’re talking about a new foldable phone with a striking design, the latest in Huawei’s acclaimed MateBook X laptop series and smart glasses with cervical spine health features.

Here’s a rundown of what most of us are likely to miss.

Huawei P50 Bag

Let’s start with the glitzy P50 Pocket, a foldable with a similar shape to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 but with a round 1-inch external display for notifications and widgets. The exterior is glamorous, available in gold with a feather-like pattern on the front, or silver/white with a textured diamond pattern.

The phone digs into the specs and sports a 6.9-inch OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio when unfolded. The panel has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, so fast-moving objects should look smooth as they shift from one half of the panel to the other. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and to power it is a 4000 mAh battery that supports 40W super fast charging.

On the back of the phone (when closed), sits a triple camera array next to the mini display that consists of a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 13-MP ultra-wide angle lens and what Huawei calls a 32-MP “super spectrum” lens for capturing a wider range of colors. There’s a 10.7 megapixel punch-hole camera on the front of the main display, but you probably won’t need it as you can take a selfie with the main camera when the phone is closed and use the circular cut-out screen as a viewfinder.

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The P50 Pocket runs on Hauwei’s Harmony OS 2, and Android replacement made after the US blacklisted the Chinese electronics manufacturer, a policy that resulted in Huawei and others losing access to Google’s mobile operating system. The P50 Pocket will go on sale in China today for 8,988 (or about $1,400) for a model with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Upgrading to 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage raises the price to ¥10,988 (about $1,700).

Huawei MateBook X Pro

Before the blacklisting of Huawei, some of the best Windows laptops in the US were made by the Chinese electronics company with its MateBook X series. Now, the company is launching a new Huawei MateBook X Pro for 2022 with some impressive specs, including a 14.2-inch, 3120 x 2080-pixel (3:2) touchscreen with a 90Hz refresh rate. Huawei says the laptop can reach an impressive 500 nits brightness and cover 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Image: Huawei

The notebook is quite portable for 14-inchers, weighs about 3 pounds and measures 0.6 inches. Interestingly, the MateBook X Pro runs on 11th Gen Intel chips, not the 12th Gen processors we expect to be coming soon; graphics are integrated into Iris Xe, while RAM and storage go up to 16GB and 1TB respectively. The laptop does not ship with Windows 11 like most other new notebooks and instead comes with Windows 10.

A Core i5 model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, available today in China, costs CNY 9,499 ($1,490), while a Core i7 configuration with a 1TB SSD is CNY 12,499 ($1,961 ) costs.

Huawei Glasses

Huawei also expanded its collection of wearables with new smart glasses. equal to the Bose framesThese shades come with 128mm speakers in the temples so you can listen to music, chat during phone calls or get directions from the virtual assistant. That assistant is Celia from Huawei and runs on HarmonyOS, making this the first smart glasses to use Huawei’s own software.

There are three frame types: rectangular, vintage round and aviator. I’m not a fashion icon but I really like how all these look and I could see myself wearing the pilots without feeling stupid.

Image: Huawei

What’s cool is that the frames are really interchangeable, so instead of having to buy a bunch of different glasses for different occasions, you can take the frames off and replace them with different ones. It’s a smart feature, and one I’d use to put on blue light-filtering glasses at home and then switch to sunglasses to protect me from the unforgiving Texas sun. Huawei says there are a dozen different frames available for its smart glasses.

Perhaps my favorite feature is designed to protect the integrity of your cervical spine by alerting you when your head is in a downward position for too long. It can also determine your weight-bearing status (the farther your head is forward, the more weight is placed on your spine) and spit out a report on the overall health of your spine. It’s another feature I’d use as someone with spinal problems, and I often find myself looking at my phone in awkward positions for too long.

Unfortunately, these are launching today exclusively in China for 1,699 CNY ($267) for regular eyewear or 1,899 CNY ($298) for sunglasses. We’ve reached out to Huawei to inquire about the availability of any of these products in other regions and will update this article as soon as we learn more.

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