SINGAPORE: Those looking to get their hands on Huawei’s latest P series smartphones will be able to from Apr 7 onwards, the Chinese tech company said on Monday (Apr 2).
The smartphone maker unveiled its P20 and P20 Pro devices during a glitzy launch event held in Paris, France, late last month when its Consumer Business Group chief Richard Yu shared details about the latest features including the triple-camera set-up for the higher end model.
Mr Cheng Jiangfei, managing director of Huawei’s Consumer Business group in Singapore, said in a media briefing the P20 will be available in only one variant: 4GB RAM and 128GB memory.
It will have three colours - Black, Midnight Blue and Pink Gold - and will retail for S$898, Mr Cheng said.
As for the higher-end P20 Pro model, it will come with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of memory space and three colours: Black, Midnight Blue and Twilight. Twilight, with the touted gradient colour finish, will only be available from May, the executive pointed out. The company clarified on Monday that the model will be available from end April.
The P20 Pro will retail for S$1,148, which is cheaper than other flagship competitors currently in the market, including Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy S9+, which costs S$1,348 (64GB) and S$1,498 (256GB).
Apple’s iPhone X, which was unveiled last September, currently tops the price chart, retailing from S$1,648 for the entry-level 64GB model.
Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro will be available for pre-order from 10am on Apr 2, and this will run till Apr 4, Mr Cheng said.
This can be done via the three local telcos - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - as well as its official online store and third-party e-commerce sites like Lazada, he added.
Consumers will then be able to start getting the handsets from Apr 7, and they will be available on shelves at the same time. Singapore is in the first wave of the company’s global launch strategy, Mr Cheng said.
AI IN SMARTPHONES JUST THE BEGINNING
During the launch of the latest P series phones, Mr Yu also noted how Huawei's artificial intelligence-enabled Kirin 970 chipset works towards enhancing the photo-taking experience for consumers.
Mr Eric Zhou, planning director for Huawei Technologies' Wireless Terminal Chipset Platform, told Channel NewsAsia in an interview after the Paris launch event that innovations like predictive focus and improving picture quality is "just the beginning" when it comes to how AI will be applied in the future.
For instance, the smartphones have the ability to identify 19 different scenarios and objects and apply the right technical settings to take the best possible photos, the company touted. And this has room to grow, the executive said.
"Right now, there are settings for Cat and Dog. In future, we could train the machine learning models to include specific breeds of dogs, like Chihuahua - and send these models to people's phones through over-the-air updates," Mr Zhou explained.
He added that the Kirin chipset's AI smarts will not be confined to smartphones either. It could be included in connected cars, smart homes as well as retail, for example.
The company is also looking to expand its Hi AI - the name of its software development kit (SDK) - developer base, which currently numbers more than 200 internationally, Mr Zhou pointed out.
One example of this is its HiKey 970 AI development board, which was introduced in Hong Kong in March. The single-board Linux computer board is one that developers can use to write and test applications, and Mr Zhou said this will be available from middle of April at US$299.