Teaser reveals that Huawei will unveil an all-screen phone next week

Teaser reveals that Huawei will unveil an all-screen phone next week
Is Huawei about to unveil an all-screen smartphone? A tweet from a gentleman named Jeb Su (via BGR) contains a teaser from Huawei showing an illustration of such a phone. The image says that the beleaguered Chinese manufacturer will announce such a device on October 17th in France. Su says that the phone will feature an in-display selfie camera and fingerprint scanner. He happens to be VP of Advanced Technologies, Principal Analyst and Technology Futurist at Atherton Research. The firm is a global technology research firm.

If such a phone is unveiled by Huawei this month, it isn't clear when such a device would be released. The company unveiled the Mate 30 series last month and the foldable Mate X could be released this month. Besides the backlog, the technology used to produce an in-display camera is in its infancy. This could push back the release of Huawei's all-screen phone to sometime in late 2020 or even 2021. Huawei could remain on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List when this phone is released; that would prevent it from accessing its U.S. supply chain and force the company to repeat how it handled the lack of the Google Play Services version of Android on the Mate 30 family. The latter runs on the AOSP open-source version of Android with Huawei's App Gallery used for app distribution. That could limit the appeal of such a device outside of China. As a result, it might behoove Huawei to show off the device now but hold off on an actual release to stall for time and hope that the Trump administration removes it from the Entity List. Some believe that the U.S. intends to use Huawei as a bargaining chip in an attempt to get better terms out of China in any new trade agreement between the two countries.

The all-screen Huawei phone could be powered by the Kirin 990 or Kirin 1000 SoC

Back in June, Oppo sent out a tweet with a video embedded showing a prototype phone with an in-display selfie camera. That same month, Xiaomi also embedded a tweet with video of a prototype with an in-display camera. As for the fingerprint scanner, in-display biometric readers are old hat by now. Keeping a front-facing camera from getting in the way of an all-screen design has led other manufacturers to develop pop-up cameras, wedges, rotating cameras and other methods to keep the screen from being blocked by a notch, or marred by a punch-hole camera.

The all-screen phone will be powered by a Kirin chip, most likely the same Kirin 990 SoC that is found inside both the Mate 30 family and the Mate X. If the phone is not scheduled for a release until the second half of next year or later, it just might have the Kirin 1000 SoC under the hood. This would be Huawei's first 5nm chipset and is expected to debut on next year's Mate 40 line. Designed by the company's HiSilicon unit, the chip would be manufactured by TSMC and using the 5nm process, it would have more transistors inside than the 10.3 billion found inside the 5G version of the Kirin 990.

The lower the process number, the more transistors fit inside a chip making it more powerful and energy-efficient. Chips produced using the 5nm process will have as many as 171.3 million transistors per square millimeter. While Richard Yu, the chairman of Huawei's consumer group, said that the company went with the less powerful ARM Cortex-A76 CPU core for the Kirin 990 to save battery life, he adds that the more powerful Cortex-A77 CPU core will be employed on the Kirin 1000. Although ARM says that the latter offers a 20% performance boost over the A76 with no extra draw on the battery, Yu said that Huawei's own testing contradicts ARM's claim.

While U.S. consumers must feel like they are missing out on the innovations they are seeing from Chinese smartphone manufacturers, OnePlus still has at least one U.S. carrier partner and Oppo said earlier this year that it does have plans to invade the U.S. handset market once it feels settled in on the European continent.
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