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Huawei Unveils Mate 60 Pro with Remarkable Features: Satellite Calls and Kirin Chipset Integration

UPDATE: Huawei still has not officially indicated whether the Mate 60 Pro supports 5G without the use of a special case. However, reports out of China indicate that the phone does support 5G which would be a huge deal since keeping 5G off Huawei’s phones is a major goal of the U.S.

Back in the day when Huawei was gaining momentum on Apple and Samsung and was poised to become the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, news that it had introduced one of its two flagship models would have been a big deal. Back then, the photography-based “P” series would be released during the first quarter, and the innovative Mate line would be launched late in the year.

The U.S. leaned so hard on Huawei in the name of national security starting in 2019, that Uncle Sam nearly crippled the firm permanently. But instead of giving up, Huawei fought back by creating its own HarmonyOS operating system and the Huawei Mobile Services ecosystem. And after a couple of years where the inability to source chips forced the company to issue one flagship model a year, alternating between the P50 line in the summer of 2021 and the Mate 50 series in 2022, this year Huawei has returned to its old schedule.

Can the Huawei Mate 60 Pro capture the excitement of last year’s model?

After introducing the P60 series this past March, just yesterday Huawei introduced the Mate 60 Pro. The Mate 50 Pro was well received in China and frankly, the device was a beast even though it could only connect to 5G signals by donning a special case; it is just another reminder that the U.S. would prefer that Huawei shrivel up and die. But we digress. Could the Mate 60 Pro capture the excitement of its predecessor?

Let’s look at the specs. The phone carries a 6.82-inch LTPO OLED display with a 1260 x 2720 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Last year’s Mate 50 series introduced us to Huawei’s own Kunlun Glass and the second-generation version of this protective glass can be found on the Mate 60 Pro’s display. There are three punch holes in the display; one is for the selfie-snapper, and the other two, including one for a 3D Time-of-Flight sensor, are needed for a Face ID-like secure facial recognition feature.

On the back is a ring containing three cameras including a 50MP primary with optical imaging stabilization (OIS), and the f/1.4-f/4.0 variable aperture. The other two cameras include a 12MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2) and a 48MP telephoto camera (f/3.0) with autofocus and OIS. Keeping the lights on is a 5000mAh battery that supports 88W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, and 20W reverse wireless charging.

The handset is equipped with 12GB of RAM and is available with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage. While pre-orders are now being accepted on the VMALL online store, the only configuration up on the website is the model with 512GB of storage which is priced at CNY 6,999 ($960.33 at current exchange rates). Satellite calls are now possible on the Mate 60 Pro although only China Telecom subscribers can use this feature at the moment.

Huawei has no plans to ship the Mate 60 Pro outside of China

So instead of being limited to sending an emergency text, which is what Apple offers on the iPhone 14 line, Huawei is allowing Mate 60 Pro users to make actual phone calls in areas where there is no cellular connectivity. Again, only China Telecom subscribers can make use of this feature now, but we would expect more carriers to jon China Telecom as time goes by.

Huawei would not reveal the chipset being used on the phone although tipster Digital Chat Station says on Weibo that the SoC is an in-house Kirin application processor with eight CPU cores in a 1+3+4 configuration. It might consist of a Cortex-A78 at a fast clock speed, three more Cortex-A78 performance CPU cores, and four efficiency Cortex-A510 CPU cores. The GPU is the “Maleoon 910.”

The Mate 60 Pro is the first phone that is pre-installed with HarmonyOS 4.0. The phone is available in four colors (with a two-tone rear panel) and the White and Green models have a glass top while the Purple and Black models sport faux leather on top. Huawei has no plans to ship the Mate 60 Pro beyond China.

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