Welcome everyone! We're here at CES 2013 and we're about to kick off the Huawei press event here in Las Vegas. We have about 5 minutes here until showtime, but I can answer any questions you may have.
Ahem, ahem, is this thing on? Andrew Nusca here, along with Jessica Dolcourt and Lori Grunin, to cover the heck out of this Huawei press conference.
We had some tech difficulties, but we are now on!
We're in and seated and should be beginning shortly. Huawei already has some phones on display; we'll have photos for you in just a moment.
Huawei has chill out music on the speakers and lots of food out -- a nice touch, considering that their press conference is at prime lunch hour here in Las Vegas.
For a little background, Huawei usually launches lower-end handsets in the U.S. and higher-end phones abroad, but have committed to a consumer campaign in the US and are working on higher-tier partnerships here.
If you're wondering, both devices on display are smartphones -- one's considerably larger than the other. They've got them in black and white. They're called the Ascend Mate (larger) and Ascend D2 (smaller).
We're still waiting. Folks are still filing in the back. Sit tight! We sure are. (Seriously, we're inches from each other.)
They're showing a video clip.
It's a guy snapping a photo of a butterfly with his Huawei smartphone. (Normal-sized edition.)
People watching at home: refresh your browsers to get rid of the Intel feed.
They're basically running through the features as they track this guy's life -- at home, at work.
To be clear: this is a filmed advertisement. It's not a real-life clip.
The Ascend D2 was the device shown.
Video clip over. Introductory remarks commence!
Consumer business CEO Richard Yu takes the stage.
"This year, we're launching two exciting products."
Talking corporate transformation: looking to address the high-end market better, and looking to move out of feature phones to smartphones.
He added another: Huawei's transition from a white-label manufacturer to its own brand.
Last year, "good progress" in revenue growth.
"It's a little bit complicated" having so many gadgets in our bags today, Yu says.
Huawei's answer: "We need an all-in-one solution." Large screen, long-lasting battery, easily carried, superior camera.
The photo is of the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate.
Today Huawei will officially launch: Ascend Mate, "largest screen smartphone in the world." and Ascend D2, "most powerful smartphone."
I just got my hands on these phones right before the presser started and let me tell you, this 6.1-inch Ascend Mate is no joke.
Yu is talking "design philosophy."
I feel like I've become so desensitized to 5-inch screens that the Mate's massiveness really stands out. These phones look good.
"Beauty." "Function." "Pure." "Flow."
"It's also very comfortable in your hand...so convenient."
You can put it into any pocket, Yu says, demonstrating with his black suit. (I imagine he doesn't own a pair of skinny jeans.)
"Quality." "Simplicity." Lots of buzzwords here, without ornamentation.
Now we're talking about the manufacturing process. He says it's highly complicated, because the device has a metal frame. Now a video, to demonstrate the stamping process.
The music accompanying the video is slow-burn rock. Epic manufacturing.
"More advanced manufacturing technology than the iPhone." Them's fightin' words.
The phones are really slim and pretty. I'm just wondering how good the cameras are, since Huawei shooters haven't always been so hot. And by not-so-hot, I mean really not good.
OK, now we're talking about the D2. Yu will explain why it's the "most powerful."
443 PPI resolution. 1080x1920.
Galaxy S3 is 306 ppi. iPhone 5 is 326 ppi.
Yu makes a crack about his old age and seeing the screen. (He's not that old.)