Huawei tries to break into U.S. market with Ascend Mate 2 phablet

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G lock screen

The U.S. smartphone market is difficult to break into, but Huawei, like Sony and Asus before it, is giving it a go. Unable to convince any major carriers to promote its high-end devices, Huawei will sell the Ascend Mate 2 to Americans via The monster phablet will work on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks only, but it’s a good start, if anyone buys the Mate 2, that is.

Huawei may not be the first, second, third, or even fifth smartphone maker that comes to mind, but the huge Chinese electronics company is actually the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor, coming in right behind Samsung and Apple. So far, the company’s greatest successes have been in Asia and Europe, with only a few carrier-branded smartphones hitting the U.S market. As such, most Americans have no idea that Huawei makes smartphones.

Better-known companies such as Sony have tried and failed to sell their own smartphones without carrier support. Even though Sony’s devices are now carried by T-Mobile, its Xperia smartphones have yet to become a sensation in the States. Asus faces a similar battle with the new Padfone X, which recently hit AT&T. Nonetheless, Huawei doesn’t seem discouraged.

Huawei told The Verge that it spent a year-and-a-half in Europe trying to get people to pay attention to its brand. Getting carrier support was also a challenge, but now, thanks to its very low prices and nice-looking smartphones, Huawei is making a name for itself in Europe, one step at a time. The company plans to conquer the United States using a different strategy. Huawei will focus on digital marketing and social media to get its name out there. In the meantime, the online store will be there, showing off Huawei’s product offerings. If things go Huawei’s way, Americans will buy so many of its phones that carriers will have to take notice and support the brand.

That said, the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 is an unusual first choice. The Mate 2 features a massive 6.1-inch display with a 720p resolution, which is lower than most mid-to-high-end smartphones in the U.S. market. It’s also running an outdated Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor alongside 2GB of RAM. The Mate 2 does have a large-capacity 3,900mAh battery, though. The best part about the Mate 2 is its very low price point of just $299 unlocked, which is hard to beat in the U.S., where unlocked phones can cost between $400-$700.

Huawei plans to add more options to its online store. Hopefully, the high-end Ascend P7  will arrive next. Of all of Huawei’s smartphones, the P7 probably has the best chance of proving to Americans that this unknown Chinese company can really make high-quality smartphones.

According to Juniper Research, outside of Asia, phablets aren’t particularly popular with North American or European buyers. From observation, what gets the U.S. smartphone market whipped up into a frenzy is a great, high-end smartphone with a famous brand and gorgeous design. It may sound shallow, but the numbers don’t lie; there’s a reason why Apple and Samsung smartphones are so popular stateside and its not necessarily because they have the best hardware (although that does help). 

It may take a while for Huawei to build up its reputation in America, but in the meantime, it will certainly continue to sell tons of devices in Asia and a handful or two in Europe.

Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

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.

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.
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…

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.

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?

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.