Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei introduced the Pocket S, a budget flip-style foldable phone in China on Wednesday. The phone has a lower price range than other foldable phones, which are priced between 5,988 RMB to 7,488 RMB ($819 to $1,025).
Why is this important: Huawei has so far dominated the foldable phone market in China. The new Pocket S further lowers the entry price of a foldable phone, making it a serious competitor to the Samsung Z Flip series.
- Huawei is also looking to appeal to a wider audience with the product, and some phone cases have been specifically designed to appeal to female users, whose tight-fitting garments may not have enough pocket space to hold a traditional smartphone.
- Liu added that the old Huawei Pocket P50 is the model with the best sales of 510,000 units in the first three quarters in China. The release of Pocket S further reduced the entry of foldable phones, and he expected a larger market share of flip-style foldable phones.
Details: The Huawei Pocket S is a cheaper version of the Pocket P50, sharing a similar core experience but compromising key specs like processor and cameras.
- The phone sports a 6.9-inch OLED display and its body measures 87.3 x 75.5 x 15.2 mm when folded (half of a regular smartphone) and 170 x 75 .5 x 7.2 mm when unfolded. The main screen is in 21:9 aspect ratio, with a refresh rate of 120Hz.
- It also has a mini screen on the lid next to the cameras to show essential information, which is 1.04 inches. Its resolution is 340 x 340 pixels with a 328 PPI.
- Huawei has adopted a new hinge design for the phone, which is firmer and more durable, claiming a bend count of over 400,000.
- It has a 4000mAh battery and supports 40W fast charging. Huawei claims that the phone can be charged to 52% in 20 minutes.
- Unlike the Pocket P50, the model has a dual camera design and comes with a new RYYB (Red, Yellow, Yellow, Blue) sensor, like the Mate 50 series. With the new sensor, the camera can absorb 40% more light, according to Huawei.
- The processor is a major compromise as the Pocket S is equipped with a mid-range Qualcomm 778G 4G chipset. Huawei has applied a new flexible graphene material cooling technology to achieve more CPU performance.
- The Pocket S comes with a fingerprint sensor on the power button for biometric authentication.
- The phone is available in four colors and three storage volume options: 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB. All versions have 8 GB of RAM. The first two storage options will be available from November 10, and the 512GB version will launch in December.
The context: Foldable phone shipments in China saw a strong year-on-year increase of 246% in the third quarter of 2022 to reach 1 million units. Huawei is China’s top foldable phone supplier and shipped 44.9% (in Chinese) of units in the country in Q3 2022, according to IDC.
- In the first half of this year, Huawei accounted for 16% of the global foldable phone market. Samsung led the global market with a 62% share, according to Counterpoint Research.
- Compared to those with larger screens, flip-style foldable phones have lower bulk and weight and target users who prefer smaller phones or want an affordable foldable phone, said CINNO Research analyst Louis Liu at TechNode.
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