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Huawei reportedly cancels the unveiling of the P70 flagship series; more P70 Art specs leak

 

Huawei is back to its old schedule of releasing two flagship series each year. The photography-based "P" series is usually released during the first or second quarter and the technologically advanced Mate line hits the market late in the year. Now that Huawei has China's largest foundry SMIC, able to produce Kirin chips for it, the manufacturer can return to this schedule.

 

Huawei is expected to soon introduce the P70, P70 Pro, and P70 Art and it now appears as though the Kirin 9000s application processor (AP), running at faster clock speeds, will be powering the top-of-the-line P70 Art model. Previously it appeared as though a completely new AP would be used for the P70 Art, but that no longer seems likely.

 

Huawei reportedly cancels the unveiling of the P70 flagship series; more P70 Art specs leak

 

The "P" used on the P-series flagships released by Huawei stands for "photography." These phones usually take great photos. Recently the camera island for the back of the P70 Art was allegedly leaked and it has a shape that is even more unique than the one on last year's P60 Art model. Per Gizmochina, the P70 Art will employ the largest image sensor ever used on a Huawei phone. This would be the Sony IMX989 "1-inch" sensor. The rear camera array should also offer the variable aperture feature that Huawei has included with its flagship phones of late.

 

The P70 Art might sport a new satellite communications system that will allow users to communicate via messaging and satellite calls from anywhere on the planet, even in the most remote parts of the world where traditional signals cannot be received. Based on the recent Geekbench test, the Kirin 9000s running the P70 Art will have one CPU core with a clock speed of up to 3.19GHz, three performance CPU cores clocked as fast as 2.75GHz, and four efficiency cores with a clock speed that tops out at 2.02GHz. The P70 Art should come with 12GB of RAM and we could see a 6.8-inch 2.5D 1.5K LTPO display with a quad-curved design.

 

Originally we had heard that the unveiling of the P70 series was supposed to take place on April 2nd, but the latest rumor states that the event was canceled leading to a delay in the unveiling of the P70 series.


Huawei P70 series gets benchmarked ahead of launch

 

While Huawei might have taken a backseat on the international front, the company is still producing handsets for the local Chinese markets and parts of Asia. Last year, the company surprised us with the launch of the Mate 60 series which came with a custom 5G chipset, and it looks like they will be carrying on that tradition with the Huawei P70 series.

 

According to a report from GizmoChina, benchmarks for the upcoming P70 series have made their way online. It shows the performance we can expect from these phones, which are alleged to be powered by the same Kirin 9000 series of chipsets found in the Mate 60 phones.

 

The benchmarks reveal two potential P70 phones - the base model and the Pro model. Both phones scored differently in terms of performance. The base model got a single-core score of 1,243 while on the multi-core front, it managed 3,840 points. As for the P70 Pro, it managed 1,348 points on single-core and 4,114 points on multi-core.

 

For context, this is lower compared to other flagship chipsets like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. To be fair, the chipset is apparently built on the 7nm process, far behind what Qualcomm uses. But it does show that Huawei is clawing its way back and we're sure that given time, Huawei's phones have the potential to become competitive again.


U.S. tech played a role in building Huawei's Kirin 9000s AP for the Mate 60 Pro

 

Exactly one year to the day after the U.S. made things difficult for Huawei by placing the company on the Entity List, the U.S. smacked Huawei again by announcing a change to U.S. export rules. The new rules prevented foundries using American technology from shipping cutting-edge chips to Huawei without a license. Considered a threat to national security, Huawei was prevented from working with its U.S. supply chain including Google, and from obtaining its own 5G Kirin chips designed by its HiSilicon unit.

 

Until last year, the last Huawei phone with a 5G application processor (AP) was the Mate 40 which was released in 2020 with the Kirin 9000 SoC inside. Once Huawei ran out of these chips, it had to obtain a license from the U.S. Commerce Department to buy Snapdragon chipsets from Qualcomm. These chips were modified not to work with 5G networks. As a result, in 2022 the P50, Mate 50, and P60 flagship models had to use these 4G-only Snapdragon APs.

 

But last August, Huawei stunned the world by introducing the Mate 60 Pro which was powered by the 7nm Kirin 9000s, the first 5G chip to power a Huawei phone since 2020. U.S. lawmakers were shocked and Bloomberg reports today that China's largest foundry, SMIC, built the Kirin 9000s chipset with technology obtained from two American firms, Applied Materials Inc. and Lam Research Corp.

 

Before U.S. lawmakers have a conniption, the report notes that SMIC had acquired the technology from Applied Materials Inc and Lam Research Corp. that was used to help create the Kirin 9000s before the aforementioned U.S. export rule changed in October 2022. Even though nothing improper took place, since the Kirin 9000s was unveiled along with the Mate 60 Pro, the U.S. has blocked SMIC from receiving even more U.S. imports.

 

Since Huawei launched the Mate 60 Pro, the company has benefited from a surge in nationalism as Huawei has become, once again, one of the top phone manufacturers in China.


Huawei teases the launch of the Pocket 2 foldable phone

 

The last time we saw a clamshell foldable phone from Huawei, it came in the form of the Huawei Pocket S that launched back in 2022. The company is gearing up to launch a new model, according to a teaser image shared on Weibo along with the caption for the Huawei Pocket 2.

 

According to Huawei, the handset will be announced tomorrow, the 22nd of February. The phone is being announced at the Fashion Festival so we should have more details soon. The details about the Huawei Pocket 2 are a bit sparse at the moment. Assuming it is picking up where the Pocket S left off, it could be another affordable foldable from the company.

 

We actually heard rumors last month that a new and more affordable Huawei foldable could debut this month. The dates do line up so maybe the Pocket 2 is the handset in question. Foldable phones right now are still generally pretty expensive. Companies like Motorola and Huawei are some of the few that are actually putting out relatively affordable foldables that could spur adoption.

 

It will be interesting to see what the Pocket 2 has to offer over its predecessor. Be sure to check back with us tomorrow for the details.


A tri-fold Huawei smartphone could be coming soon

 

It's kind of surprising that the market is rife with foldable phones right now. It has become a mainstay despite initial impressions that it would be a gimmick. Now it looks like Huawei could be taking things further in the coming months with a new tri-fold smartphone.

 

This is according to a post on X by @Tech_Reve. They claim that Huawei could launch a tri-fold smartphone in the second quarter of 2024. Huawei is no stranger to foldables and we've actually heard rumors that they could be planning a tri-fold smartphone.

 

 

The details about the handset are scant at the moment. If a Q2 launch is true, we should have more updates soon. The rumors are claiming that it could be a 10-inch device, meaning that it will more closely resemble a tablet than today's foldables. The post also claims that Samsung is in the race for their own tri-fold smartphone, so it remains to be seen who will be able to launch it first.

 

Samsung possesses the advantage of not being burdened by US sanctions, but Huawei can still tap into huge markets in China and the rest of Asia. What's interesting is that the tri-fold design seems to have caught the interest of many. A few years ago, OnePlus filed a patent for such a smartphone.

 

The company ultimately went with the OnePlus Open, but who knows, maybe if the tri-fold design picks up, OnePlus could make it a reality as well.

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