Huawei is making a 4G fitness band, but won’t tell us about it until March

Huawei Ascend P7 review macro lens
Huawei has announced it will hold a press conference just before the doors open at MWC 2015, saying it will reveal “surprises that will empower you to set your dreams free.” That’s some impressive marketing speak, which gives absolutely nothing away about its plans. Luckily, there are several rumors surrounding Huawei’s future line-up, which we’ve rounded up for your convenience here.

Updated on 02-24-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news of the Huawei 4.5G smartband, which will be one of the company’s new products on display at MWC 2015.

Huawei 4.5G Smartband

Huawei hasn’t made a significant leap into the wearables market so far, but that could change over the coming months. The company’s director of public relations has said it’s planning to release “a series of new wearables” during 2015, and that the first examples will come during Mobile World Congress.

While a smartwatch is also likely in the works, Huawei will launch a fitness tracker at MWC, and it has already been revealed at a pre-show event in London. It’s probably  going to be called the 4.5G Smartband, and as that name suggests, it has 4G LTE connectivity. Huawei says the LTE chip inside will connect to its own range of 4.5G LTE network hardware, and handle speeds up to 1GB per second. While the band may do so, there aren’t many actual networks offering this level of performance yet.

It’s also unclear exactly what the 4.5G Smartband does. Is it a phone as well as a fitness tracker? Well, possibly not. Huawei was vague on its functions, but did talk about the band connecting to Internet-of-Things hardware, such as smart thermostats. A leaked PR presentation from late 2014 showed a Huawei smartband and smartwatch being launched in 2015, and the device pictured resembled the firm’s existing TalkBand wearable.  We’re sure to learn more in Barcelona.

Huawei’s first Android Wear smartwatch

On February 16, Huawei published the teaser image you see here on its official Twitter page. The picture simply says “Next is here,” with a curved “smile” below it. The accompanying text isn’t quite as subtle. “Time to focus on what matters while staying connected.” This sums up smartwatches, and the reference to time gives us all the hints we need to say with confidence a smartwatch will be announced at Mobile World Congress.

Huawei MWC Watch Teaser

The picture does reveal something of interest though, as next to Huawei’s Make It Possible logo in the top corner, there is a 4G LTE symbol. Does this mean Huawei’s watch will be a standalone model? Could that curve suggest it’ll have a round face? We’ll find out next month.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a smartwatch coming from Huawei. Commenting that wearables were a hot topic at CES, and could be again at MWC, the PR team recently went on to state it has an Android Wear smartwatch in the works, but stopped short of saying it would definitely arrive at the Barcelona trade show. Additionally, a slide shown during a PR presentation at Huawei’s headquarters had a round-faced smartwatch slated for release.

Mate 7 Compact sounds anything but small

A report from Italy states Huawei may bring a slightly smaller version of the Mate 7 phablet smartphone to MWC, called the Mate 7 Compact. However, unlike Sony’s Compact phones, which are actually quite small, Huawei’s phone is still expected to have a 5.5-inch display. While this isn’t small compared to the Xperia Z3 Compact, it is when put alongside the 6-inch Mate 7.

A set of images supposedly showing the Mate 7 Compact were leaked through Twitter at the end of January. The device resembles the full-size Mate 7, and the rear view shows it may also share the same fingerprint sensor fitted to its bigger brother.

It’s potentially going to have a metal chassis, and a Huawei Kirin processor inside. Everything else, pending any other leaks, will be a surprise left for the show.

MediaPad X2 tablet could take center stage

The MediaPad X1 was revealed at last year’s Mobile World Congress, and was the company’s answer to the iPad Mini, but with phone capabilities built-in. Yes, it looked pretty silly when stuck to the side of your face, but technically it was an impressive and good-looking device.

An image supposedly showing the MediaPad X2 has leaked online, and if it’s accurate, the device will again have an aluminum body, but perhaps with smaller overall dimensions than the original. The report adds the display will have a 1080p resolution, while the processor may be one of Huawei’s own Kirin chips with 3GB of RAM.

Ascend P8 may come in April

The Ascend P8, should it arrive, could be Huawei’s flagship Android smartphone for 2015. Initially expected at CES, then at Mobile World Congress, a Chinese report now states Huawei will instead reveal the phone in April at a separate event.

No explanation for any shift is given by the site, and there’s no official word from Huawei on the situation. However, the phone may have undergone a last minute spec change, with a rumored 5-inch screen being increased to 5.2-inches. A metal chassis is possible, along with a slightly curved 5.2-inch display, making it the largest P-series phone yet.

There has also been talk of Huawei dropping the Ascend brand, so the Ascend P8 could end up wearing the Honor name, plus the Mate 7 has been leaked without the familiar name attached.

Huawei has scheduled its event for March 1 in Barcelona, and we’ll bring you all the news on the day.

Previous updates:

Updated on 02-16-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in a teaser image from Huawei, which hints at a smartwatch announcement at MWC 2015.

Updated on 01-29-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news Huawei will launch a smartwatch this year, potentially at MWC, plus leaked images of the Mate 7 Compact.

Updated on 01-27-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in reports Huawei will launch the Mate 7 Compact, which will still be quite big.

Updated on 01-26-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in reports the Ascend P8 won’t launch at MWC.


Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?