Updated with video: Huawei, until recently a low-profile China-based telecom company, today announced two of the most advanced smart phones available to date: the Ascend Mate and Ascend D2. Both phones give the best models from Apple, Samsung, and LG a run for their money—at least in terms of specs.
The Ascend Mate has a huge 6.1-inch HD (720p) display, besting the Samsung Galaxy Note II by 0.6 inches. Its 4,050 mAh battery is also the largest available on a smart phone, promising more than 13 hours of talk time on a single charge. And the Ascend D2's 5-inch display, with 1080p resolution, ties with HTC's Droid DNA for the world's sharpest screen, with 443 pixels per inch (ppi). Both Ascends run Android 4.1.
I played with both phones for a few minutes at the press briefing, and found the displays of both phones very sharp, bright, and responsive. Their curved backs also made them rather comfortable to hold.
Both phones have two microphones for stereo video recording, and run on the company's 1.5GHz quad-core processors. They also use proprietary power-saving technologies that Huawei says will help increase battery standby time by up to 20 percent and charge 30 percent faster than the batteries on other phones.
Other shared features include an augmented-reality navigation application to help reach your destination and "smart reading" functionality for quick reference to dictionaries, Wikipedia, and Google Search pages.
Huawei says the Ascend Mate and D2 use a dual-band Wi-Fi connection that will upload pictures, videos, and other files two to three times faster than other smart phones in a Wi-Fi environment. This feature was introduced on the European version of the Samsung Galaxy S III but never made it to the U.S. market.
The Ascend D2 (above) is the company's flagship phone. At 10mm thick, it has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with high dynamic range (HDR) technology. Huawei claims its Gorilla Glass-protected screen can withstand dropping on rocks, and it's water and dust resistant. At the demo at CES, the phone was dropped into a fish tank for several seconds, and appeared unharmed after the incident.
The Ascend D2 also has a large battery, 3,000 mAh. Huawei says the D2 hands-free capabilities include being able to use the speakerphone from up to 1.5 meters away. A 4.7-inch version of this phone will also be produced.
The Ascend Mate, which measures 6.5x3.4x0.4 inches, lets you interact with its gigantic screen even while you're wearing gloves, just as you can on Nokia's Lumia 920. The Gorilla Glass screen, however, is not water and dust resistant. Its rear camera is 8 megapixels.
Both phones will be available in China in February, and other parts of the world—including the U.S.&mdas;in March. No other details about carriers or pricing are available at this time.
Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.