Huawei has reportedly been chosen by Google to be its next Nexus partner, following Motorola, LG, Samsung and others. But can the Chinese manufacturer, best known for its good-value affordable phones, deliver?
Recently we heard some rumblings that Google might turn to a Chinese firm to produce its newest Nexus device and it seems they were on the money. According to Kevin Yang, Director of China Research at iSuppli (one of the largest mobile analysts in the game), the search giant has now made its choice, with Huawei picked to shoulder the responsibility.
Other gossip, which was anonymously posted to Chinese social media site, Weibo, claims that Huawei has struck a deal with Google to provide the cheaper one of two upcoming Nexus smartphones, with LG apparently tasked to produce a higher cost device.
Google might well have selected Huawei to be its next partner as a means of challenging rival Chinese upstart Xiaomi, whose popularity has exploded in recent months. By selecting Xiaomi’s biggest competitor, Google may be hoping to wrest a slice of its market share, both at home in China and abroad.
There are no details on the upcoming device yet, as you would expect, but rumours strongly suggest it could pack a fingerprint scanner, so Google can push its new Android Pay mobile payment system.
Personally we’re excited to see what Huawei can come up with. The likes of the Honor 6 and Ascend G7 offer strong value for money, packing sharp HD screens and decent cameras as well as a comparitively tiny price tag. So you can pretty much expect a solid all-round handset, especially if Huawei has a good bit of room to manoeuvre.
However, we’re not always massive fans of Huawei’s handset design, which often falls in the ‘almost but not quite’ category. Witness the Ascend P6, which was beautifully slender but also a little plasticky, with an irritating side-mounted headphone port. Given how the Nexus 6 felt like a step back in look and feel from the Nexus 5, we’re really hoping Huawei can produce a slick-looking mobile.
Huawei also recently launched an exceedingly pretty Android Wear smartwatch at MWC, which already looks like a serious challenger in terms of design to the upcoming Apple Watch. The Huawei Watch, which will reportedly be priced at a cool $1,000 (£656), will sport a case made with silver and gold, making it one of the most premium smartwatches on the market when it goes on sale.