January 06, 2014, 3:10 PM — China's Huawei Technologies has updated its 6.1-inch "phablet," the Ascend Mate, with a new version that boasts an average two-day battery life, and can even charge up other devices.
The new Android phone, the Mate 2, comes with updated specs, including a new 1.6GHz quad-core processor, a more power-efficient screen, and a better 4050mAh battery. The new technology inside means it has a lower power consumption over its predecessor and can run from 1.7 to 3.5 days before its battery runs out. Devices that are seen as phone-tablet hybrids because of screen size and other features have been dubbed "phablets" by market watchers.
Because of its large battery, the phone even comes with a "reverse charging" feature to recharge other mobile devices. Huawei's CEO for its consumer business group, Richard Yu, demonstrated the feature on Monday by connecting the Mate 2 to an iPhone.
In addition, the Mate 2 has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. Huawei built the device to target "heavy users and business users," and the phone supports 4G, offering download speeds of 150Mbps.
No pricing or availability was given for the new phone. In the Chinese market, the Mate 2 will come with a processor built from Huawei's own chip-making unit, HiSilicon. In other markets, the phone will use the Snapdragon MSM8928 processor from Qualcomm.
The phone's screen has a 1280 by 720 pixel resolution, and the device has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of memory. The phone has a plastic casing.
The Mate 2 is just the latest high-end handset from the Chinese company, which announced the device at the International CES show in Las Vegas. Huawei is ranked as the fifth-largest smartphone vendor in the world, with a 4.7 percent market share, according to research firm Gartner. But the company sells many of its phones in its home market of China, and is not as well-known in the U.S.
On Monday, however, Huawei executives said the company's made progress in building its brand awareness globally, including in the U.S. This year, the company is aiming to ship 80 million smartphones, up from 52 million shipped in 2013.
To raise its profile, the company is focusing more on high-end handsets, and promoting its "Ascend" line of phones as a way to build an iconic brand.