Huawei Unveils New Devices Amid Continued Uncertainty
COVID-19 and China
Inside one of Huawei's manufacturing plant. PHOTO: Huawei official website

Huawei has announced four new products despite everything that has been circling the company. The products announced are the Nova 5, Nova 5 Pro, and Nova 5i, alongside a brand new 7nm Kirin 810 chipset, reports GizmoChina. The launch comes as Huawei continues to face an uncertain future outside of China after Google suspended its Android license last month, meaning that it’s unclear how long these phones will continue to receive Android updates. It’s also unknown if and for how long these phones would have access to the Google Play Store if they are sold in foreign markets.

Nova 5 has the all-new Kirin 810 chipset, while the more expensive Nova 5 Pro has the flagship Kirin 980 processor found in Huawei’s P30 Pro and Mate 20. The new Kirin 810 chipset has eight cores like the Kirin 980, but two of the 980’s high-performance cores have been replaced with energy-efficient small cores. This might be Huawei’s last ARM-designed chip after the chip designer stopped doing business with Huawei last month. The amount of storage and RAM also differ between the two phones. The Nova 5 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Nova 5 Pro has 8GB of RAM and can be configured with up to 256GB of storage.

Compared to its competitor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 730, the Kirin 810 promises 11% better single-core and 13% better multi-core performance. GPU-wise, the Mali-G52 MP6 should outperform the Adreno 618 in the SD730 with up to 44% higher frame rates.

The Kirin 810's hidden weapon is the DaVinci NPU based on the Rubik's Cube Quantitative Stereo Arithmetic Unit capable of outperforming the Snapdragon 855 and MediaTek Helio P90 in AI-related tasks.

The Nova 5 and Nova 5 Pro are quite similar phones. Each has a 6.39-inch OLED display with a small waterdrop notch, and they have a quad-camera array on the rear consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. They both have 3,500 mAh batteries, USB-C charging ports, in-display fingerprint scanners, and headphone jacks. Both handsets also come with microSD card readers despite uncertainty around Huawei’s membership of the SD Association.

Nova 5i is the third phone launched by the company other than the Nova 5 and Nova 5 pro. This phone has a hole-punch display, and it also has a slower Kirin 710 processor. With the quad-camera on its rear, it drops the resolution down to 24 megapixels for its main sensor, and 8 megapixels for its ultrawide camera, and it has an LCD rather than an OLED screen.

The three phones will be launched in China at the end of the month. The Nova 5 with a starting price of CNY 2799 (USD 408), while the 5 Pro and 5i with starting prices of CNY 2999 (USD 437) and CNY 2199 (USD 321) respectively. Huawei has not announced any pricing or availability of the handsets overseas.

Huawei has taken a bold step but with the company facing so many problems people will avoid buying its devices especially in markets controlled by the U.S.

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