Huawei unwraps 5-inch Ascend D2 and 6.1-inch Ascend Mate

LAS VEGAS--Huawei used its press conference here at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil two new high-end smartphones, the 5-inch Ascend D2 and massive, 6.1-inch Ascend Mate, which it dubbed the world's largest-screen smartphone.

Huawei's Ascend D smartphone.

The unveiling, which had been rumored for weeks, is part of Huawei's larger strategy to branch out into higher-end devices, something it began doing more heavily last year. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said Huawei's brand awareness is increasing and that the company is looking to apply technology to develop simple yet powerful devices. He said the company's goal this year is to be seen along with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung as a leading smartphone maker.

Yu said Huawei is talking with U.S. carriers about launching each device, but did not announce any firm commitments. He also did discuss the pricing for the phones, but said Huawei will likely sell both devices unlocked as well as through carriers.

Like many device press conferences, Huawei's was filled with plenty of marketing buzzwords. Yu extolled the D2's design language, which he said married "beauty and function, technology and nature." The 5-inch device runs Android 4.1 and features a Super Retina LCD display with 1920 x 1080, resolution, Huawei's K3V2 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and a 13-megapixel camera. The gadget also has a 3000 mAh battery, much larger than competing devices, Yu noted. He said the device uses Huawei's Quick Power Control technology (QPC), which lowers battery consumption by automatically turning off the transmitter circuit when data transmission is not in use. The device will go on sale this month in China and later in Japan.

The Ascend Mate runs Android 4.1 and sports a 6.1-inch IPS+ LCD HD display, a 1.5 GHz Hi-Silicon quad-core processor and a 4050 mAh battery. Like the Ascend D2, the device also uses QPC technology as well as Automated Discontinuous Reception technology, which identifies and automatically adjusts the DRX cycle based on the network status, reducing power consumption during standby mode by over 20 percent. Both gadgets use Huawei's Emotion UI, which includes widgets to group together personal contact information, more than 100 customizable fonts and themes an face recognition technology.

Looking ahead, Yu promised that Huawei will unveil more new products next month at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Huawei was the sixth-largest handset maker in the world in the third quarter of 2012, according to ABI Research. The company is making inroads in handsets in Western markets, including the United States, where its network infrastructure efforts have been largely stymied.

For more:
- see this Ascend D2 release
- see this Ascend Mate release

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