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Huawei's latest flagship smartphones lack 5G

2021-08-02 18:01 by
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Huawei on Thursday unveiled its new P50 smartphone line, which lacks support for super-fast 5G internet, as the Chinese tech giant grapples with both U.S. sanctions and a global chip shortage. The handsets – the P50 and P50 Pro – max out at 4G/LTE, putting them behind rival higher-end devices.

Last year the US imposed sanctions for foreign manufacturers using US technology to obtain a license to sell semiconductors to Huawei. Meanwhile, Huawei and several smartphone makers are finally feeling the effects of a worldwide shortage of semiconductors. The supply of chips has started dwindling as factories are closed due to Covid-19 and demand is increasing due to electronics.

"Our product still maintains its best performance. Only a small speed drop will be experienced, it is almost negligible," said Richard Yu, quoted by CNBC International, Friday (30/7/2021). "Huawei is a leader in global 5G technology and communications technology. Due to four rounds of restrictions in two years, 5G phones are out of our reach and they must use 4G," he said.

According to specs sheets on the company's website, the Huawei P50 and a copy of the P50 Pro use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 processor. Qualcomm obtained permission to sell chips to Huawei last year. There is also a version of the Huawei P50 Pro on offer with the Kirin 9000 processor.

They also both run Huawei's HarmonyOS 2, which is the open-source Linux kernel and core of Android wrapped in Huawei's proprietary mobile apps and software store. Though this OS does run Android apps, it does not come with Google's proprietary suite of Play, Gmail, etc.

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