Huawei unveils flagship smartphone with satellite connection support

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

China-based Huawei surprisingly launched its latest flagship model, Mate 60 Pro. Although Huawei is under US sanctions, the new smartphone model reportedly features SMIC's N+2 technology with a potential network support of 5G.

Amidst a visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to China to ensure the bilateral ties do not go out of control, Huawei surprisingly launched the previously-rumored flagship smartphone, Mate 60 Pro as a demonstration of its capability despite US sanctions. It is priced at CNY6,999 (US$961) and features Harmony 4.0. Huawei touted Mate 60 Pro as the first smartphone to support satellite communication.

Chinese news site MyDrivers, citing software benchmark tool AnTuTu's results, reported that Mate 60 Pro is powered by Kirin 9000s, which has 12 cores, including two A34 cores, six custom A789AE cores, and four A510 cores. Mate 60 Pro features a customized GPU Maleoon, with details remain unclear.

Huawei does not mention whether the Mate 60 Pro is 4G or 5G-capable on its official online store VMall. CNA, citing multiple test videos from Chinese social networks, reported that the maximum download speed averages between 500-800Mbps, surpassing the 300Mbps limit of 4G. It is also reported that Kirin 9000s was made by SMIC's N+2 technology, which the foundry once touted as the same level as TSMC's first-generation 7nm.

Meanwhile, the Mate 60 Pro's components or software are Chinese-made or Chinese-developed, including Kunlun Glass 2, Harmony 4.0, and the Pangu AI model.

Huawei has been under US bans from acquiring US software and technologies and has not launched any 5G-capable phones since 2021.

It remains to be seen if Huawei managed to de-couple itself from US technologies, including chips, and the production capacity for Mate 60 Pro is also noteworthy as Chinese bloggers speculate that the initial shipments may be limited as Mate 60 Pro is not available in retail stores for now.