Huawei has surprised the tech world once again with the release of two new smartphones: the Mate 60 Pro+ and the Mate X5 foldable. This comes after the recent launch of the Mate 60 and Mate 60 Pro, leaving Huawei fans excited about the company’s latest offerings.
One of the most significant aspects of these new devices is their alleged 5G capabilities. Despite being limited to 4G connectivity due to US sanctions, Huawei has managed to keep its latest smartphone launches secretive about the choice of radio. However, sources and Chinese blogger Vincent Zhong’s speed test on the new Mate X5 seem to confirm that these devices are indeed 5G capable, with download speeds reaching over 1Gbps.
Another interesting feature of these smartphones is the suspected use of Huawei’s Kirin 9000S chip, which has raised concerns regarding the involvement of SMIC, the local chip supplier. There are speculations that SMIC might have violated US sanctions to access foreign chip-making technology. However, Huawei has not provided any official comments regarding the chip or the specifications of the new phones.
A teardown of the Kirin 9000S conducted by TechInsights for Bloomberg confirmed SMIC’s 7nm process, a feat many deemed impossible due to the ban on importing key manufacturing equipment. Previously, Huawei relied on TSMC for its 5nm process, made possible by ASML’s machines. It is unclear how SMIC procured advanced machinery from ASML, indirectly or not, without raising alarm.
Chinese tech blog Geekerwan conducted benchmarks on the Kirin 9000S and found its performance to be comparable to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, indicating that it is about two generations behind. The Kirin 9000S features one big core and three middle cores based on Huawei’s own “TaiShan” architecture, along with four little cores based on Arm’s efficient Cortex-A510. Additionally, the Kirin 9000S is the first mobile processor to support multi-threading, running eight cores with 12 threads. However, further optimization of apps might be required to take advantage of this feature. The GPU, known as Maleoon 910, is said to be on par with the Snapdragon 888’s GPU.
The higher-end Mate 60 Pro+ shares similarities with the Mate 60 Pro, supporting satellite call service by China Telecom and satellite messaging using BeiDou. The main differences between the two are the “nanotech metallic double dye process” and improved rear cameras. The Mate X5 foldable is almost identical to the Mate X3, but it features Huawei’s Kunlun Glass on the external screen, leading to a slight increase in weight.
Huawei has yet to announce the prices of these new smartphones, but pre-orders are set to begin at 6:08 PM local time. If all four devices are indeed powered by the Kirin 9000S chip, it would demonstrate Huawei’s confidence in its chip yield, potentially posing another challenge to the US sanctions. Rumors suggest that more details about these devices will be released towards the end