CHINESE smartphone giant Huawei launched a brand new smartphone in London overnight that can charge other handsets just by touching them together.
The new Huawei Mate 20 is the Chinese phone giant’s latest offering, and has plenty of tricks that could woo users away from Apple’s new iPhone XS.
One of the headline features is called “reverse charging” — letting the phone itself act as a wireless charger. It works using the very common Qi charging standard, so popular phones — including recent Apple iPhones — support it.
Speaking at the launch event, Huawei’s Peter Gauden said: “You’ll be able to use your Mate 20 Pro as a wireless charging pad.
“Should you be out with friends or family and they have a wireless charging-enabled device, you’ll be able to say ‘hey, I have power to spare’.”
News.com.au will review the device in the coming weeks but has not yet tried the new feature, but by all accounts it works really well.
The Sun reported that after pressing an iPhone XS Max against the back of the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro, reverse charging began immediately, powering up the Apple handset without any special attachments or pop-ups.
The good news is that Huawei’s latest phone is much more than mere gimmicks.
Huawei’s handset is powered by the company’s own Kirin 980 chip. This chip is particularly impressive because it’s built on a 7nanometre (nm) manufacturing process.
This means the transistors on the chip are just 7nm apart.
Transistors are tiny electronic switches that allow computing to happen. The more transistors, the more computing you can get done. Most modern phone chips are built using a 10nm process, which means the transistor distance is greater.
Huawei was able squeeze more transistors into the same amount of space, boosting computing power and energy efficiency.
This is the same type of revolutionary chip we saw on Apple’s new iPhone XS.
So what else can Huawei’s new phone offer?
There’s a sizeable 4,200mAh on board, which charges up very quickly — to 70 per cent in 30 minutes, according to Huawei.
Huawei says its wireless charging tech works 160 per cent faster than the iPhone X too, although we can’t verify this claim.
Recent Huawei phones have been lauded over their cameras, and the new Mate 20 Pro appears to have decent photography chops too.
It’s got a triple camera set-up on the back built in partnership with acclaimed camera firm Leica.
This is a combination of a wide-angle 40-megapixel lens (f/1.8), an ultra-wide-angle 20-megapixel lens (f/2.2), and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens (f/2.4) with built-in optical image stabilisation — for blur-free snaps.
Artificial intelligence built into the camera lets Huawei detect 1,500 different scenes and scenarios, and then optimise the camera for best photographic potential.
And there’s improved macro-imaging too, according to Gauden: “With our camera system I can now get down to 2.5cm away from an object and still maintaining that crisp clear detail.”
Huawei also showed off a cool Sin City-style effect that turns video footage monochrome — but keeps the subject of the frame in colour.
Other cool features include a new in-screen fingerprint scanner (invisible to the naked eye), and 3D face unlock that verifies your identity by scanning your mug.
The handset runs on Huawei’s EMUI 9.0 operating system, which the firm says has received some significant improvements compared to last time.
This includes a 47 per cent improvement to tapping responsiveness, a 51 per cent boost to app launch speed, and 42 per cent smoother app operation generally.
There are two versions of the phone with marginally differing specs. The standard Huawei Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch display with a 2,244 x 1,080-pixel resolution. It comes packing 4GB of RAM and 128FGB of storage.
Huawei also offers a pricier Mate 20 Pro, with an improved 6.39-inch screen that boasts a dense 3,120 x 1,440-pixel display panel.
This model offers up 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The Huawei Mate20 and Huawei Mate20 Pro will be available for pre-order from today and will hit Australian stores on November 1.
The Huawei Mate20 Pro is available in two colours — Black and Midnight Blue at RRP $1,599 while the Mate20 will be available in Black at RRP $1,099.