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Huawei’s new flagship Mate50 had satellite texting and dropped Leica camera technology

September 9, 2022 4:09 pm

Huawei, China’s leading ICT company and phone maker has officially launched its Mate 50 series on September 6, with Mate 50 starting from 4999 yuan and Mate 50 Pro starting from 6799 yuan in mainland China.

The flagship model, consisting of  Mate 50, Mate 50 Pro, Porsche Design Mate 50 RS, and Mate 50E, was once suspected of having been canceled, since it was a no-show in late 2021, the expected launch date. Now, the high-end product line returns just a day earlier than Apple’s scheduled iPhone 14 launch, which signals Huawei’s ambition to sustain itself as a prominent phone maker.

The Mate 50 series does not have 5G internet connectivity due to U.S. sanctions, but highlights the revolutionizing satellite texting function, which allows users to connect to the Beidou Satellite and send messages in remote locations. The function comes in handy when users find themselves in danger, as multiple satellite texts can form a map to track users’s movements in areas with poor internet connection.

Huawei has also added an Emergency Battery Mode for the new models, which reserves energy for urgent situations, and allows for the phones to conduct calls, send texts and even scan documents even after they turn off.

In addition, after Huawei’s partnership with Leica ended on March 31, 2022, Huawei’s P50 and P50 Pro became the last Huawei smartphone models to use Leica’s technology. The Mate 50 series uses Huawei’s own XMAGE technology, which allows the series to pack with the f/1.4 Ultra Aperture Camera. The cameras on Mate 50 series capture 24% more light than Mate 40 series, according to Huawei.

Online reservations for the Mate 50 series exceeded 2.45 million on the day of the launch, a remarkable record considering the phone has only launched in China. Global launch plans for the Mate 50 series have not been released by Huawei, yet it is foreseeable that the U.S. market will not be a part of the company’s target.

In recent years, due to worsening China-US relationships, sanctions and COVID impacts, Huawei has suffered significant setbacks in its cellphone business. Huawei's smartphone shipments plummeted by 18% in Q1 2021, with a global market share of only 4%, according to Counterpoint.

Huawei’s recent half-year financial results showed that its revenue for the period was RMB 301.6 billion, with a 5.0% net profit that is down 4.8% year-on-year. It’s terminal business declined by 25%. In late August, a leaked memo of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei went viral on Chinese social platforms, as the founder expresses his lack of confidence in the economy and calls for employees to focus on the company’s survival.  Later, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO and daughter of Ren Zhengfei delivered a motivational speech at Duyun No 1 High School on September 2, and spoke of how hard work can help them to overcome problems.