2015 is all about the touch, but do Huawei have any force?
Apple may have introduced the new 3Dtouch concept on Wednesday (9/9/15), but it seems Huawei beat them to the, erm, touch.
A few weeks ago at the IFA2015 fair, the Chinese tech-giants gave their presentation, introducing the new Huawei Mate S. The newest addition to the Mate series has managed to legitimise itself as a distinguished Android device, as opposed to being constantly resorted to as an even cheaper version of the Samsung.
By far the lightest in the Mate series at 156g – impressive given its size – the 5.5 inch full HD Gorilla Glass-4 display, gives the handset a sleek look and comfortable feel that previous Huawei offerings have so far lacked.
The rear camera remains unchanged from its predecessor, Mate 7. However, the front camera has been upgraded from 5 to 7 megapixels. The phone also boasts professional SLR-worthy camera functions that need to really be seen to be believed.
However, probably the most exciting news to come out of the Mate S presentation was the innovative touch-based features.
An update of the device’s fingerprint control is featured in the Mate S. The finger print 2.0 touch sensor, found directly below the rear camera allows for more than unlocking and secure payments. The updated sensor now allows for picture scrolling and app launching as well. During the IFA2015 presentation Huawei boasted about the increased sensitivity of the finger print pad allowing it to accomplish tasks with 100% accuracy.
Knuckle sense allows the display to know which part of the finger you are using, and allows you to give commands to your phone by illustrating keys on your screen. When ‘knuckling’ the letter ‘M’, the device loads the music app. ‘C’ is the command for the camera, and when ‘knuckling’ a shape over a photo, the shape is used to crop the photo within that boarder. Admittedly, that’s pretty darn cool.
Yet, the most interesting feature to be added to a smart-phone this side of 2015 left us wanting more. Force touch is a feature on the Mate S – apparently – that identifies the pressure of the touch on the screen and functions according to that touch such as zooming into pictures or increasing thumbnail sizes allowing to scroll through them.
There are two issues we have with this feature. Firstly, this is the exact same technology that Apple uses on its MacBook track pad and Apple Watch (but still, kudos to Huawei to incorporating it into a phone!). The second and most importantly is that Huawei are boasting that Force Touch can be used to weigh actual objects (they even tweeted a pic of an orange on a Mate S, so technically they’re talking about it as though it already exists).
However, Force touch is only going to be made available on the 128GB model. More to the point, there is no release date or price set for that model.
With pre-orders being taken in September across Europe, the Mate S will be retailing along the lines of €649 for the 32GB model available in grey and Champaign, and €699 for 64GB in gold and pink. No word yet on the 128GB model with Force Touch.