Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, which so far has a small market presence in the United States, is introducing its unlocked $179.99 SnapTo 4G LTE-enabled Android smartphone here to try to boost its footprint and get more attention from consumers in the marketplace.
The unlocked SnapTo means that consumers will be able to buy it and then use it with any carrier that works on GSM wireless networks, including AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as smaller GSM carriers, according to Huawei.
The SnapTo can be preordered on Amazon.com and will be available next week through other retailers, including GetHuawei.com, BestBuy.com, Brandsmart USA, Frys.com and Fry's Electronic retail stores, and NewEgg.com.
The SnapTo, which runs on Android KitKat 4.4, includes a 5-inch HD (1,280-by-720) display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and 720p video recording capability, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a 2,200mAh battery and 1GB of RAM.
The smartphone also includes an Ultra Snapshot camera activation feature that allows users to press the lower volume button twice to quickly capture a spontaneous moment without lots of camera preparation. The feature immediately activates the phone's camera and allows users to take and review a photo, all without unlocking the screen or opening the camera application. The camera application also allows users to add unique effects such as watermarks to personalize and customize captured photos, according to Huawei.
Huawei is the world's third-largest smartphone maker, behind Samsung and Apple, but it continues to be known mostly in its native country of China, according to research firm IDC.
In March, Huawei unveiled its first-ever smartwatch, the Huawei Watch, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The Huawei Watch, powered by Android Wear, features a 1.65-inch classic round watch face and a 1.4-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED display that's covered with a scratch-proof sapphire crystal lens. The Watch, made of stainless steel, is available in gold, silver or black colors.
The Huawei Watch features a Qualcomm 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of onboard storage and Bluetooth 4.1. It connects to smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher and allows users to receive call notifications, texts, email, calendar notifications and more. The watch also includes a built-in advanced heart rate monitor sensor, a 6-axis sensor, a barometer sensor, a touch motor, and a built-in microphone for a wide range of health tracking and sports functions. It will be available in more than 20 countries, including the United States.
In addition, the watch can be personalized for each user through the use of some 40 unique watch faces that can be chosen and switched out, as well as with a full range of watch straps made from different materials and styles. A magnetic charging station is included.
Also at MWC, the company unveiled its TalkBand N1 low-profile earbud set that includes built-in Bluetooth and 4GB of MP3 storage that can hold about 1,000 songs. The N1 gives CD-quality sound, is a health and sports tracker, and audibly identifies incoming calls.
A redesigned TalkBand B2 wearable was also announced, featuring a more businesslike design and more accurate fitness tracking functionality. The B2 can be used with Android smartphones that run on Android 4.0 or higher or with Apple iPhones running iOS 7.0 or above. The TalkBand B2 also includes an advanced 6-axis sensor that can automatically identify and record motions, thereby detecting the wearer's deep sleep and light sleep durations and patterns. Plus, it can provide consumers with tips on improving their sleep patterns.
Huawei may not be very well-known in the United States so far, but that is likely to change over time as its product mix continues to grow and gain traction around the globe.