Huawei launches new Matebook, foldable phone and smart glasses

Huawei P50 pocket

Photo: Huawei

Huawei announced a bunch of new devices today, but like most of its products, people living in the US probably won’t be able to buy them anytime soon (if at all). And unfortunately, these are not the type of gadgets where you can easily find an alternative; we’re talking a new foldable phone with an eye-catching design, the latest in Huawei’s critically acclaimed MateBook X laptop series, and a pair of smart glasses with spine health features .

Here’s a look at what most of us will probably miss.

Huawei P50 pocket

Lets go start with the glitzy P50 Pocket, a foldable with a similar shape to Samsung’s Galaxy ZFlip 3 but with a 1-inch circular outer display for notifications and widgets. The exterior is all glamorous, available in gold with a front design that looks like feathers, or silver/white with a textured diamond pattern.

Digging into the specs, the phone has a 6.9-inch OLED display in 21:9 aspect ratio when unfolded. The panel sports a 120Hz refresh rate, so fast-moving objects should look smooth as they pass from one half of the panel to the other. Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and keeping it powered is a 4000 mAh battery supporting 40W ultra-fast charging.

On the back of the phone (when closed) is a triple camera array next to the mini screen which consists a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 13 MP ultra-wide-angle lens and what Huawei calls a 32 MP “Super spectrum” lens to capture a wider range of colors. There’s a 10.7-megapixel punch-hole camera on the main screen, but you probably won’t need it because you can take a selfie with the main camera when the phone is closed and use the screen to circular cutout as viewfinder.

The P50 Pocket runs on Hauwei’s Harmony OS 2, a Android replacement created after the United States blacklisted the Chinese electronics maker, a policy that led to Huawei and others losing access to Google’s mobile operating system. The P50 Pocket will go on sale in China today for ¥8,988 (about $1,400) for a model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Upgrading to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage raises the price to ¥10,988 (about $1,700).

Huawei Matebook X Pro

Before Huawei was blacklisted, some of the best Windows laptops in the US were made by the Chinese electronics company with its MateBook X series. Now the company is launching a new Huawei MateBook X Pro for 2022 with impressive performance specs, including a 14.2-inch, 3120 x 2080 pixel (3:2) touchscreen display at 90Hz refresh rate. Huawei claims the laptop can hit an impressive 500 nits of brightness and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

Huawei MateBook Pro X

Picture: Huawei

The notebook is portable enough for 14-thumb, weighing about 3 pounds and measuring 0.6 inches. Interestingly, the MateBook X Pro runs on 11th-gen Intel chips, not the 12th gfr processors that we expect soon; graphics are integrated Iris Xe while RAM and storage go up to 16GB and 1TB respectively. The laptop does not come with Windows 11 like most other new laptops and will instead come with Windows 10.

Available in China today, a Core i5 model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD will cost CNY9,499 ($1,490) while a Core i7 configuration with a 1TB SSD will cost CNY12,499 ($1 $961).

Huawei Glasses

Huawei has also expanded its wearables collection with a new pair of smart glasses. Similar to the Bose frames, these glasses have 128mm speakers in the temples so you can listen to music, chat on the phone or get instructions from the virtual assistant. This assistant is Huawei’s Celia and it runs on HarmonyOS, making it the first smart glasses to use Huawei’s proprietary software.

There are three types of frames: rectangular, vintage round and aviator. I’m not a fashion icon, but I really like how it all looks and see myself wearing the aviators without feeling silly.

Huawei Glasses

Picture: Huawei

The cool thing is that the frames can actually be swapped, so instead of having to buy a bunch of different glasses for different occasions, you can remove the frames and replace them with another. It’s a smart feature, and one I would use to filter out blue light glasses at home, then sunglasses to protect me from the brutal Texas sun. Huawei says there are a dozen different frames for its smart glasses.

Perhaps my favorite feature is designed to protect the integrity of your cervical spine by alerting you when your head is down for too long. It can also determine your weight-bearing status (the further forward your head is, the more weight is placed on your spine) and spit out a report on your overall spine health. This is another feature I would use as someone with spinal issues, and I often find myself staring at my phone in awkward positions for too long.

Alas, these are launching today exclusively in China at CNY1,699 ($267) for regular glasses or CNY1,899 ($298) for sunglasses. We’ve reached out to Huawei to inquire about the availability of one of these products in other regions and will update this article once we know more.

Sarah C. Figueiredo