Huawei Technologies on Tuesday launched its new flagship Mate 50-series smartphones that support satellite communications, but lack 5G mobile connection owing to US sanctions that restrict the company’s access to advanced semiconductors, reports the South China Morning Post. The Mate 50 series delivers the first smartphones able to link with China’s BeiDou global satellite navigation system, according to Richard Yu Chengdong, chief executive of Huawei’s consumer business group, at the product launch. That will enable users to send messages and their location data via BeiDou in the absence of local mobile network service.
But Huawei’s new flagship series, with prices starting from RMB 4,999 ($721) for the basic model to RMB 6,799 for the Mate 50 Pro version, have 4G mobile connection in lieu of faster 5G network access. The Mate 50 smartphones are powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor from US supplier Qualcomm, which adapted the chip for 4G use.
The new handsets also run HarmonyOS 3, the latest iteration of Huawei’s alternative operating system to Google’s Android mobile platform, and are equipped with the in-house-developed Xmage cameras, which replace the optical systems from Leica Camera. Huawei’s ties with the German firm ended several months ago.