Twin peeks: A first look at Huawei’s new South Africa-bound flagships

Huawei P60 Pro
Huawei's new P60 Pro will be available in South Africa from 1 June 2023. Image supplied

Introducing the P60 Pro and Mate X3

Chinese tech giant Huawei has unveiled two flagship devices, the P60 Pro and Mate X3 smartphones. Launched at an event in Johannesburg on 18 May, both phones will be available in stores from 1 June.

The P60 Pro, the successor to the highly regarded P50 Pro, boasts an impressive battery life, top-tier processing power, and a camera system that Huawei claims rivals professional DSLRs. The Mate X3, by contrast, claims to be the world’s slimmest and lightest large-screen foldable smartphone.

The P60 Pro features a 6.6-inch OLED display, while the Mate X3 sports an 8-inch foldable OLED screen, offering superior image quality, colour reproduction, and viewing angles. Both devices are powered by Huawei’s proprietary Kirin 990 chipset, promising excellent performance and energy efficiency.

Huawei Mate X3

Cameras galore

Particularly notable is the P60 Pro’s camera system. It comes equipped with a 108 MP primary sensor, a 12 MP periscope telephoto lens, and a 40 MP ultrawide sensor, making it a real contender in the realm of smartphone photography. The camera also boasts optical image stabilisation and Huawei’s unique RYYB sensor, which enhances low-light photography.

The Mate X3, on the other hand, flaunts an 8 MP selfie camera and a 40 MP primary sensor on the rear. Furthermore, it carries a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, enhancing the device’s security without compromising on its sleek design.

Battery life is a standout feature for both devices. The P60 Pro offers a 4500mAh battery, while the Mate X3 brings an even beefier 5000mAh battery to the table. Both devices support Huawei’s SuperCharge technology, ensuring rapid charging without overheating.

Huawei has included an ample 8GB of RAM in the P60 Pro, making multitasking a breeze, while the Mate X3 comes with a hefty 12GB RAM. Storage is equally generous, with options for 256GB or 512GB in both devices.

The Huawei P60 Pro costs R24 999, while the Mate X3 will set you back R44 999. Both will be in stores from 1 June 2023, but they’re available now for pre-order with Huawei sweetening the deal for early birds with a limited freebie offer of a Watch GT3 SE and FreeBuds 5i.

Apps and partnerships

In the face of ongoing concerns about the absence of Google Mobile Services on its devices (a legacy of US-imposed ban), Huawei has put significant effort into enhancing its alternative, Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). HMS provides users with an array of apps and services, including Huawei’s AppGallery, which offers a range of global and localised apps.

Watch these

On the wearables front, the company unveiled two new smartwatch lines, starting with the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Positioned as a “luxury smartwatch”, it boasts a zirconium-based “liquid metal” body, giving it a premium and durable feel. Its glass cover is made of high-strength sapphire glass, ensuring protection against scratches and damage and Huawei claims it is capable of withstanding water depths of up to 100m.

The company showcased a number of these at the launch event, focusing on its partnership with Standard Bank and announcing a collaboration with radio station Jacaranda FM.

With a battery life of up to two weeks, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, all-night sleep tracking, and 90 minutes of daily exercise tracking, the Watch Ultimate offers a comprehensive range of health and fitness features.

Huawei’s new Watch 4 series also offers an array of advanced features and health management capabilities, most notably a blood sugar monitoring feature which lets users track their glucose levels and gain insights into their overall health.

Huawei Watch 4

Huawei also introduced two new additions to its laptop lineup. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a lightweight yet powerful laptop weighing just 1.3kg. It is equipped with a 13th-generation Intel Core processor, ensuring fast and efficient performance for various computing tasks. The MateBook X Pro features a sleek and modern design, making it an attractive option for professionals and students alike.

South African prices and availability for the new watches and laptops have yet to be announced.

Power solutions

With loadshedding an ongoing concern for South Africans, Huawei used the event to announce its new Power-S seamless solar hybrid power and backup system designed for commercial and industrial scenarios to help businesses ensure continuous power supply.

The Power-S solution features an all-in-one design that supports simple installation, making it convenient for various settings. It allows users to flexibly expand the capacity of batteries and power modules, catering to different budgets and power requirements.

Huawei did not list any pricing for the Power-S solution, but it did announce a price drop on its home-focussed Power-M product. The recommended retail price for the Power-M now starts from R69,999.