Chinese smartphone makers Huawei and Xiaomi introduced new top-of-the-line smartphone models in separate launches on March 27, but only Xiaomi's new Mi Mix S2 smartphone may actually be marketed in the U.S.
The Mi Mix S2 handset includes a six-inch IPS LCD display, improved artificial intelligence capabilities, a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and other improvements over its previous version, while Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro models feature 5.8-inch and 6.1-inch screens respectively. The Huawei phones include Kirin 970 processors, while the P20 Pro includes three Leica camera lenses.
Xiaomi Mi Mix S2 Phones
The Xiaomi Mi Mix S2 includes dual 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto camera lenses with a Sony IMX363 sensor and Dual Pixel technology for fast autofocusing, as well as an integrated AI voice assistant to allow users to control the smartphone and their smart home appliances. The handsets can be purchased with up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of onboard storage.
The Mi Mix S2, which features a ceramic back cover, also includes an Adreno 630 graphics chip, facial recognition capabilities for security, wireless charging and support for Google's ARCore augmented reality capabilities.
The Mi Mix S2, which was built to be competitive with flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple, will be available for sale starting at about $527 in China on April 3 and will be available in other countries in the future, according to Xiaomi. The phone will be available with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage, 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage or with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.
The Xiaomi phones use their own customized version of Android Oreo 8.0, which they call MIUI 9.5.
"The Mi Mix series has constantly pushed boundaries, defying everyone's expectations about smartphone design and performance, and showcasing how Xiaomi is committed to being at the forefront of innovation," Lei Jun, CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi, said in a statement.
Huawei P20 and P20 Pro Handsets
Huawei's latest P20 and P20 Pro smartphones, which won't be sold in the U.S., will be available immediately in a variety of other markets around the world.
The Huawei P20 phone features a 5.8-inch full HD display, while the P20 Pro features a 6.1-inch OLED display. The P20 is equipped with 4GB of memory and 128GB of onboard storage, while the P20 Pro includes 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. Both Huawei phones run on Android 8.1.
Also included in the P20 is a 24-megapixel selfie camera and a dual-lens rear camera featuring a 12-megapixel color and a 20-megapixel monochrome lens. The P20 Pro includes triple Leica lenses–a 40-megapixel main rear camera lens as well as additional 20-megapixel monochrome and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.
The P20 has a 3,400mAh battery, while the P20 Pro uses a 4,000mAh battery.
The P20 with 128GB of storage is expected to sell for about $805, while a P20 Pro with 128GB of storage will sell for about $1,115.
A Huawei spokesperson told eWEEK in a reply to an email inquiry that it will continue to sell its Mate 10 Pro and Mate SE smartphones to U.S. consumers, even though it has no plans to bring the new P20 models here.
Dominic Sunnebo, an analyst with Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said that "while Huawei's ambitions to surpass Apple and Samsung might seem bold, its heavy investment in research and development suggests there's real depth to what it wants to achieve."
The latest P20 handsets "could demonstrate the fruits of Huawei's labor," wrote Sunnebo. "Given the splash that Samsung and Apple made with the S9 and iPhone X, Huawei will be looking to deliver a product that can hold its own among this top tier."
Another analyst, Avi Greengart of GlobalData, told eWEEK that both the P20 and P20 Pro "show that Huawei is ready to compete with Samsung and Apple on design and technology."