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 It’s also running an outdated Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor alongside 2GB of RAM.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

Samsung's Galaxy Fold proves folding phones are the future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is finally here -- it's the company's first foldable smartphone, with three screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. What's it like to use? We spent some time with it to find out.

Smash your carrier shackles with the best unlocked phones

If you want the freedom to switch carriers at will or you prefer to get your phone directly from the company that makes it, you'll want to buy an unlocked smartphone. These are the best unlocked phones you can buy in the U.S.

The OnePlus 3 & 3T both receive an open beta for Android 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.

Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that’s coming to the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.

Breaking news: Samsung responds to reported Galaxy Fold display issues

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

Sidestep banking fees with the nationwide launch of T-Mobile Money

T-Mobile has launched its Money banking service nationwide in the U.S., and it offers an extremely tempting set of features for everyone, including industry-leading interest rates, a powerful app, and no banking fees.

Charge and sync with the best Lightning cables for your iPhone or iPad

If you’re looking to replace a lightning cable, or in need of something a little longer or tougher, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 of our favorite cables for the iPhone and other iOS devices.