huawei

Huawei Honor Band A2 fitness tracker unveiled with an OLED display

Huawei Honor Band A2 fitness tracker unveiled with an OLED display

Huawei has introduced its newest Honor-branded wearable, the Honor Band A2. As the name suggests, this is a followup model to the Honor Band A1, which was released in 2016. The wristband is designed for those who want to keep tabs on their health and fitness, and it brings with it all of the expected sensors, including a heart rate sensor. The newest model also brings one big change over the previous iteration: an OLED display.

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Huawei’s new MateBook trio take the fight to Surface Laptop

Huawei’s new MateBook trio take the fight to Surface Laptop

It looks like HP isn't the only one with a Surface Laptop competitor in the pipeline. Huawei entered the fray today, announcing a grand total of three new MateBooks that challenge the Surface brand not only from a hardware standpoint, but also from a design one. Which one you ultimately choose depends on what you need, with some models more suited for multimedia and others aimed at being your daily workhorse.

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Huawei sort of owns up to P10, Mate 9 storage tech debacle

Huawei sort of owns up to P10, Mate 9 storage tech debacle

As fast as smartphones might be, the one part of them that is relatively slow is the internal data storage. Most smartphones still use the old eMMC type storage, considered one of the slowest. A few OEMs now use the faster UFS storage, which some companies have used as a bragging right. One such company is Huawei, who has been advertising the fast storage tech on its Huawei P10 and even Huawei Mate 9 flagships. That is, until it was caught actually using the older eMMC on some models.

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Huawei, Google made an Android dev board ala Raspberry Pi

Huawei, Google made an Android dev board ala Raspberry Pi

Although still primarily associated with smartphones and, sometimes, tablets, Android has long outgrown that limited device category. It can now be found on smartwatches, TVs, PCs, laptops, cars, and, soon, household appliances. This means that the budding Android developer might want to be able to develop apps that aren't constrained to one type of hardware. They will need a reference development hardware. That hardware has now arrived in the form of the HiKey 960, a Raspberry Pi-like board developed, surprisingly, by Huawei, with some help and approval from Google.

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Now the Nexus 6P is being targeted by a boot loop lawsuit

Now the Nexus 6P is being targeted by a boot loop lawsuit

These days, when you buy a premium model smartphone, Android or otherwise, there's an expectation that the device will be supported by its manufacturer for, at a minimum, the next one to two years. Unfortunately for a number of Nexus 6P owners, that is hardly the case. Google and Huawei, the Nexus 6P's manufacturer, are now at the center of a federal class action lawsuit over a "boot loop" problem affecting the smartphone, the issue at the heart of a LG lawsuit reported in March.

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Alleged Honor 9 photos leak, copycat accusations fly

Alleged Honor 9 photos leak, copycat accusations fly

Although there are definitely exceptions, it's quite difficult these days to come up with an original smartphone design. It has become a race to who gets to put it out publicly, with the rest left to be called imitators. Sometimes even thieves. Those will probably be the accusations and criticisms that Huawei sub-brand Honor will face when it puts out its next flagship, dubbed the Honor 9. Because, as early as now, based on an uncorroborated leak, it's already being called a Xiaomi Mi 6 copycat.

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Huawei Watch 2 priced up for release today

Huawei Watch 2 priced up for release today

If Huawei's first Android Wear watch aped the classic timepiece you might wear to the office, the new Huawei Watch 2 is its gym-going sibling. Announced at Mobile World Congress, and officially priced up and available in the US from today, the new smartwatch promises more standalone flexibility than before, along with a distinct aesthetic all of its own. Gone is the minimalistic metal, with the stylings of a sports chronograph in its place.

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Huawei launches Honor beta program in US

Huawei launches Honor beta program in US

Huawei's fans in the US might like to know that the company has launched a new Honor beta program. Revealed today, this beta will center around both hardware and software, and consumers in the US is invited to sign up. Unfortunately, details about what we can specifically expect are still sparse.

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Huawei Honor 8 Pro Review

Huawei Honor 8 Pro Review

Just when you thought you've seen all the Android flagships that this half of 2017 has to offer, along comes Honor to blow your presumptions away. Many might brush off this Huawei sub-brand because it is, well, a sub-brand. That, however, would be a grave mistake with the Honor 8 Pro. Because as far as this latest Honor flagship is concerned, it could have been called the "Huawei P10 Plus Lite". Which is to say, it's pretty darned impressive. Especially for something that comes well under this year's high-end smartphone prices.

Design

Let's face it. A lot of consumers will knock the Honor 8 Pro off for looking like an iPhone knock off. Admittedly, that impression might be warranted. You have the same soft curves on the edges and the same all-metal unibody build. It even has the very conspicuous antenna lines though, thankfully, not as bad as the iPhone 6 and 6s.

There are subtle differences, of course, and the biggest one is the rear camera bump. Or rather, the lack of it. Despite being only 6.97 mm thin, Honor has seemingly done the impossible and made the camera bump disappear. What you get is one, flat, continuous rear what won't rock when placed on a flat surface.

You'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you stopped at how the Honor 8 Pro looked. If you manage to get past the all too familiar surface, you'll discover a treasure trove of features you'd only find in more expensive smartphones this time of year.

Specs

Calling the Honor 8 Pro a "Lite" version of Huawei's P10 Plus is actually not too far-fetched. Actually the Honor 8 Pro is larger than the P10 Plus, so we can't really call it "mini" either. But for almost all intents and purposes, the two are eerily similar, give or take a few misses.

With the Honor 8 Pro, the company is jumping onto the QHD bandwagon at long last. Previous models would settle for 1080p Full HD, even at 5.7 inches like this one. It is powered by the latest Kirin 960, the very same processor inside both the Huawei P10 and the P10 Plus. There's also an 8 megapixel front camera, exactly like those other two.

Of course, there are differences as well, and, quite surprisingly, for the better. Unlike the Huawei P10 Plus, for example, the Honor 8 Pro only has one memory configuration: 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage. And also unlike the P10 Plus, the Honor 8 Pro has a larger 4,000 mAh battery that's promised to last even longer but still charge just as fast. Here's a rundown of those juicy numbers:

• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat, EMUI 5.1
• CPU: Huawei Kirin 960, octa-core 4x2.4 GHz + 4x1.8 GHz
• RAM: 6 GB
• Storage: 64 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
• Display: 5.7 inches, 2560x1440 QHD (515 ppi)
• Main Camera: 12 MP + 12 MP f/2.2
• Secondary Camera: 8 MP f/1.9
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz/5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, micro USB, 3.5 mm headphone jack
• Battery: 4,000 mAh, fast charging
• Dimensions: 157 x 77.5 x 6.97 mm
• Weight: 184 g

The bottom line here is that the Honor 8 Pro is almost, blow for blow, equal to the Huawei P10 Plus, which is no slouch in any department. The Kirin 960 is one of the underestimated powerhouses in the mobile processor market, and Huawei's EMUI 5.1 promises even more performance optimizations on the software side.

Of course, the Honor 8 Pro isn't the Huawei P10 Plus, so something, other than the design, has to be different. Or to put it bluntly, worse. Sadly, that comes down to the cameras, but it isn't as bad as it sounds.

Camera

Huawei has found its calling in dual camera smartphones and that DNA has naturally been inherited by is sub-brand as well. Unfortunately, it couldn't inherit everything (otherwise, it would be a clone, wouldn't it?). Some things, like a privileged contract with famed camera maker Leica, are reserved for the bigger brand.

Here, the Honor 8 Pro had to settle for a bit less. Instead of the P10 Plus' massive dual 20 megapixel f1/.8 sensors, the Honor 8 Pro only gets a 12 megapixel f/2.2 combo, almost similar to last year's Huawei P9. Almost. There is no trace of Leica here, however, which would give some more professional mobile photographers pause for thought.

In practice, however, the Honor 8 Pro still packs quite a punch in this aspect, better than its rivals on this tier. Photos, especially in bright light, are bright and colors are quite vivid. With the right manual settings, you can get near-professional output without having broken your bank account. Of course, there are tons of modes and features that ad a bit of flavor to your photos and videos, like the now common Beauty mode. The "wide aperture mode" is probably going to give the most interesting effect, blurring the background for a bokeh effect.

Naturally, it has its shortcomings, especially in handling less than ideal lighting situations. Then again, even the Huawei P10 Plus, with its f/1.8 aperture, sometimes falters there. What chance does an f/2.2 has then? And unlike the P10 or P10 Plus, the Honor 8 Pro's front camera doesn't have extra features to boast of. It's not bad, definitely, but nothing to fall head over heels either.

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Wrap-up

The Honor 8 Pro is definitely one of the unexpected surprises of the smartphone market this year. You would have never expected that Honor, whose smartphones so far have been on the far side of mid-range, would come so close to Huawei's own flagship while still remaining within reach for many consumers. That translates to around 500 EUR, roughly $540, still well below the $700-800 tags on this year's premium handsets.

It's not perfect, mind you, but it gets damned close, especially for that price. Sure, you won't get FullVisions or Infinity Displays, Quad DACs or even Leica lenses. But you still get a solid performing smartphone with a very acceptable camera at a bargain. You might call it the "poor man's Huawei P10 Plus" or even the "iPhone 7 Plus for Android fans", but don't let that prevent you from seeing what the Honor 8 Pro truly is: one of if not the most formidable Android smartphones to hit the market this year.

Huawei Honor 8 Pro, a.k.a. Honor V9, seen in Russia

Huawei Honor 8 Pro, a.k.a. Honor V9, seen in Russia

A rose by any other name, as the quote goes. Huawei sub-brand is not above using different names for the same phones that are available in different markets, whether to keep things exciting or confusing. Case in point is the Honor 8 Pro, which, by name, seems to take after the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Lite. But you won't be blamed if it looks and sounds familiar, because it is pretty much the same Honor V9 that was launched in China late last month.

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Alexa comes to Android with new app for Huawei Mate 9

Alexa comes to Android with new app for Huawei Mate 9

A couple of days ago, support for Amazon's Alexa landed on iOS by way of the Amazon shopping app. Today, we're getting similar treatment on Android, but for now, only Huawei Mate 9 owners are getting in on the action. Huawei is currently in the process of pushing out its Huawei Alexa app to Mate 9 owners in the US, unlocking Alexa functionality on those devices.

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Huawei P10 Lite finally announced, hitting UK later this month

Huawei P10 Lite finally announced, hitting UK later this month

We recently found ourselves in an interesting situation with the Huawei P10 Lite. Even though retailers over in Europe were posting listings for the device - it was first spotted in The Netherlands at CoolBlue and then at Italy's Monclick earlier this week - Huawei didn't give the device any kind of official reveal. The wait is finally over today, as the Huawei P10 Lite has been officially confirmed for release in the UK.

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