Huawei picks Android for new tablets and smartphones

Asks users to second its Emotion


IFA 2012 Huawei is betting on Android with its launch of four new smartphones and two tablets all running Google's OS, albeit with a customizable interface dubbed "Emotion" that the Chinese networking giant is opening up for customer's suggestions.

"We have made our choice," the company's decidedly non-Chinese vice president Lars-Christian Weisswange told Reuters at the launch of the hardware at the IFA 2012 technology show in Berlin.

The four smartphones in Huawei's Ascend series range from a quad-core high-end number with all the bells and whistles, down to a couple of inexpensive midrange handsets that skimp on RAM but claim to offer very good battery life, and finally a low-specced "starter" handset.

On the fondleslab front Huawei is putting out a 10-inch and narrow 7-inch model. Curiously, neither seems to come with GPS or Bluetooth, but both are serviceable as most other tablets on the market. Both the smartphones and the tablets run Ice Cream Sandwich, with no upgrade date to version 4.1.

But it's the operating system, and Huawei's attitude to its development that really differentiates its offerings from other Android platforms. The Emotion UI doesn't use a variety of home pages for different functions, but instead adds them all to a single screen if required, sticking all apps in a single folder, along with allowing widgets for things like time and weather.

This isn't a massive change – most smartphones are customizable to an extent – but Huawei is making the interface available for download later this year and wants user suggestions for ways to improve it. The UI was available for download by Chinese-language users this Thursday, and an English version will be out in the last quarter of the year. The new handsets will be out for the Christmas period.

Huawei has been making quiet inroads into Western smartphone markets with a series of mid-range handsets for a number of years but won't be too concerned about its lowly market position. The company has an excellent domestic market, and while the US rules the roost in Chinese smartphone sales for the moment, those days are coming to an end.

With Nokia's sales dying in the Middle Kingdom, local vendors are looking to fill the gap left by the Finns – and Huawei is better placed than many to fill it. ®


Other stories you might like

  • To cut off all nearby phones with these Chinese chips, this is the bug to exploit
    Android patches incoming for NAS-ty memory overwrite flaw

    A critical flaw in the LTE firmware of the fourth-largest smartphone chip biz in the world could be exploited over the air to block people's communications and deny services.

    The vulnerability in the baseband – or radio modem – of UNISOC's chipset was found by folks at Check Point Research who were looking for ways the silicon could be used to remotely attack devices. It turns out the flaw doesn't just apply to lower-end smartphones but some smart TVs, too.

    Check Point found attackers could transmit a specially designed radio packet to a nearby device to crash the firmware, ending that equipment's cellular connectivity, at least, presumably until it's rebooted. This would be achieved by broadcasting non-access stratum (NAS) messages over the air that when picked up and processed by UNISOC's firmware would end in a heap memory overwrite.

    Continue reading
  • Train once, run anywhere, almost: Qualcomm's drive to bring AI to its phone, PC chips
    Software toolkit offered to save developers time, effort, battery power

    Qualcomm knows that if it wants developers to build and optimize AI applications across its portfolio of silicon, the Snapdragon giant needs to make the experience simpler and, ideally, better than what its rivals have been cooking up in the software stack department.

    That's why on Wednesday the fabless chip designer introduced what it's calling the Qualcomm AI Stack, which aims to, among other things, let developers take AI models they've developed for one device type, let's say smartphones, and easily adapt them for another, like PCs. This stack is only for devices powered by Qualcomm's system-on-chips, be they in laptops, cellphones, car entertainment, or something else.

    While Qualcomm is best known for its mobile Arm-based Snapdragon chips that power many Android phones, the chip house is hoping to grow into other markets, such as personal computers, the Internet of Things, and automotive. This expansion means Qualcomm is competing with the likes of Apple, Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and others, on a much larger battlefield.

    Continue reading
  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-23 is coming: Do you have one of the older model phones that can test it?
    Linux fondleslab effort continues to update 16.04-based phone/tablet distro

    The UBPorts community is in the final stages of preparing its next release and it's calling for testers.

    OTA-23 is getting close – the project's Github kanban looks quite good to us – and if you're lucky enough to have one of the project's supported devices lying around, then you can help.

    Many of them are a few years old now, so there's a good chance that you've already replaced them and they sit unloved and neglected in a drawer. The starred entries in the list of devices are the best supported and should have no show-stopping problems. In order of seniority, that means: the LG-made Google Nexus 5 (2013); the original Oneplus One (2014); two models of Sony Xperia X, the F5121 and F5122 (2016); and Google's Pixel 3a and 3a XL (2019).

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022