If the price of today's fastest, biggest and baddest smartphones has been out of your reach so far, Huawei may be a brand that you'll be soon acquainted with; its simple formula for success is to simply keep the price down.
We popped over to the Huawei 2011 product showcase to see if the Chinese manufacturer would be continuing in this philosophy this year, and the answer is a resounding yes. From an AU$99 Android smartphone to a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet, Huawei has a very competitive line-up covering the cheapest Android phones through to some really powerful devices.
The showstopper of today's event was the newly announced 7-inch MediaPad running Android Honeycomb 3.2. Huawei's tablet may be smaller in stature compared with tablets from Samsung and Motorola, but it's no less powerful, packing a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor.
One of the unifying factors across the 2011 Huawei range is a vast improvement in the company's physical design. The MediaPad is possibly the best example, with this excellent iPad-esque unibody design covering the hardware. It feels solid and sleek, and doesn't add to the tablet's weight too much.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the MediaPad is its 7-inch WXGA (1280x800) IPS display. Packing all of these pixels into the smaller 7-inch screen space gives the MediaPad a superior dots-per-inch (dpi) count compared with the 10-inch tablets available today.
This handset is called Sonic, and will be soon available through Woolworths and Dick Smith Electronics stores, to be compatible with the Optus and Vodafone networks. This model sports Android Gingerbread and an optional NFC chip, although we're not sure we'll see that here, given the state of NFC in Australia this year. In this photo, you can see the Huawei 3D UI in action.
According to Huawei, this is the big daddy of the 2011 roadmap. The Huawei Glory sports a 4-inch LTPS LCD that belongs to the same family of products as AMOLED screens, and it runs on a 1.4GHz Qualcomm processor.
These acronyms sure piqued our interest. For a phone that will likely be a fair bit cheaper than the top gogs from Samsung and HTC, it is pretty impressive to see an 8-megapixel camera with a flash, auto-focus and HD video recording.