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The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

featured image for the huawei p40 blogpost. Man holding celebratory fist in the air.

Last week saw the launch of the new Huawei P40 range. As in the past, it sports three versions: The Pro, the “normal” and the Lite. As we would expect Huawei has once again smashed it out of the park with their camera, and their collaboration with Leica Lens continues to deliver, in my opinion, the best Camera Phones on the market!

 

 

A significant difference between the previous models and the new Huawei P40 range is the omission of the Google Play store, along with certain apps that rely on Google Services. Huawei has done an excellent job in layering its new operating system Huawei Mobile Service (HMS) over the vanilla Google Android OS to try and ensure a seamless transition for its end-user. We will touch more on this later but for now, let’s tuck into those juicy specs.

 

Starting with the incredible P40 Pro, the design, look and feel is certainly premium and follows on with a form factor that is more Samsung than iPhone – and it looks beautiful. The Quad Curve display is brilliant and very rich in colour, with a huge 4200mAh battery. The phone supports superfast charging at 40W plugged in and 27W wireless – 27W wireless charging is better than most wired phones out there! The specs are super solid.

 

The rear Quad Camera array is insane! A 50MP Ultra-Vision Camera, 40MP Ultrawide (with ultralow light), 12MP Telephoto Lens (5X optic Zoom, 10X Hybrid Zoom) and an impressive 3D depth-sensing lens to round it off.

 

So, what does this mean? You get bloody brilliant photographs in any light, superb macros, excellent zoom and wider-than-wide landscapes, all in super detail with super large 2.4μm pixels!

 

And, for the selfie lovers, the front-facing camera is a 32MP beast with autofocus and built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI). A fresh new feature that this brings is the ability to remove “passer-by’s” So when you have lined up yourself in front of that “to die for location” you can snap away. The AI, through combination and selection of various image frames, can remove unwanted people out of your perfect picture. No more photobombs – how rad!

 

For video lovers, the 40MP Ultra-Wide Cine Camera delivers astounding quality in 4K at 60 frames per second. So, if you are into creating content, the P40 Pro will elevate your game to the next level. To top it off the phone supports 5G, so loading all that excellent content will be done in a matter of seconds.

 

The P40 standard version incorporates the majority of the above with a smaller battery at 3800mah and how do you say err… less fast, superfast charging at 22.5W J.

 

The rear camera array on the standard P40 drops to 50MP / 16MP/ 8MP but, the selfie-cam remains the same. Having used the P30 Pro for the last year, I can attest to the fact that Huawei produces arguably the best camera phones. The P40 Pro and P40 will continue this legacy with pride.

 

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, HMS (Huawei Mobile Services)!  The software guys at Huawei have been working furiously to port over as many applications on the Huawei App Store to ensure that when upgrading from another Android device or even your older P-series models, you shouldn’t experience any shortcomings.

 

By in large, they have been very successful in getting the top 50 apps working within HMS with a few workarounds (such as using the Web app for Uber as an example). They are continuing furiously to onboard more applications and make the environment more favourable commercially for developers to port their apps.

 

So, will I be upgrading? Right now, I have a few apps like Sonos (for my home theatre system) and Strava that are currently not supported. These are, unfortunately, a deal-breaker for me so I plan on holding on to my P30 Pro for a little while longer. 

 

If, however, you use your device for predominantly photography and the most common featured apps out there, the Huawei P40 range is up there with the best of them.

 

Established in 1994, Cellucity is a specialist mobile phone retailer and Vodacom’s leading independent, award-winning, dealer. We pride ourselves on offering the best service, innovation, quality brands and innovative products. For real 24-hour convenience, browse our extensive range of cell phones, accessories and gadgets online or apply for pre-approval on your next contract, upgrade or fibre internet.
Cellucity, the best way to connect to Vodacom.

 

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Huawei Nova 5T, launching at Cellucity soon…

 

With Huawei being caught up in the Trump trade war, we managed to miss out on getting access to the rather incredible Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

The US Trade blacklist of Huawei has prevented it from licensing Android technology from Google and gaining access to Google Services, that are used, to power Google’s apps. So as incredible as the Huawei Mate 30 hardware is, vendors around the globe haven’t been too keen to roll the dice on a device that lacked access to essential applications like Google Maps, You Tube etc…

With us heading towards Christmas season and Samsung and Apple launching their latest iconic devices, Huawei needed to bring something to the party!

 

Huawei Nova – Crush Blue

Enter the Huawei Nova 5T, planned and approved before the US blacklist this photography powerhouse is still Google approved and runs Android Pie (9). Whilst the Nova range has traditionally not available in the South African market, Huawei has opted to release it here and it will be available early in November 2019.

The NOVA lineup, in the Huawei stable, sits in between the youth-focused Y-series and the more premium orientated P-series. It offers an aspirational trendsetter, a phone that is as unique as it is powerful!

First off, the stunning colours Mid-Summer Purple and Crush Blue, give a fresh new funky look, my preference being the Purple, which subtly has the Nova logo etched into the facia creating a dynamic wow appeal. It really has to be seen “in the flesh” to be appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Huawei Nova – Mid-Summer Purple

From a tech perspective, the Nova is not all just about style and very much about brilliant photography. A rear array of quad cameras leading with 48MP main camera, Macro lens, 16MP Ultra Wide Angle lens with supporting Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help optimize scene selection, your photos will be the envy of your Instagram followers!

And if taking greater photos was not enough, the front-facing camera is a staggering 32MP and also sports AI to ensure your Selfies always have you looking your best.

Other stand out features are a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, 8GB of RAM (great for gaming apps like PUBG) and 128GB onboard memory, the Nova 5T certainly ticks all the boxes!

The Huawei Nova 5T will be priced from R599 per month on a Vodacom contract and will retail for R11999. It is certainly going to be a strong contender against the more expensive “iconic” devices when comparing its specs.

The first 2000 lucky owners in SA will also receive a Huawei MediaPad T5 tablet valued at R3999. All in all, the Huawei Nova 5T is a great choice for this summer! For more information visit www.cellucity.co.za

 

 

 

 

Established in 1994, Cellucity is a specialist mobile phone retailer and Vodacom’s leading independent, award-winning, dealer. We pride ourselves on offering the best service, innovation, quality brands and innovative products.

For real 24 hour convenience, browse our extensive range of cell phones, accessories and gadgets online or apply for pre-approval on your next contract, upgrade or fibre internet.

Cellucity, the best way to connect to Vodacom.

 

*this article was edited on 23/10/2019 to reflect the confirmed recommended retail price.

 

 

 

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2019 – the mobile year ahead

As we all get to grips with starting the working year ahead, I would like to take a look at what the future holds for the mobile phone brands in South Africa. Traditionally, December is our busiest month where we sell the most mobile devices for the year. December 2018, however, was somewhat muted and we found some interesting trends carrying us into the new year.

So how are the big three (Apple, Samsung and Huawei) doing and what’s their outlook looking like for 2019? With our economy not having a stellar time, we have picked up two clear patterns emerging, with South African consumers, looking at their next mobile phone purchase:

Firstly, they are shopping down (or sticking to a tight budget range). The aspirational drive to have the “latest” top of the range model is in decline.

Our Top 10, handset sales for the December period is a testament to this with our top seller being the Huawei P20 Light. Across all brands, manufacturer “flagship” phones were massively out-sold by the mid-tier cousins. In the past, consumers would be more willing to splash out to acquire the latest and greatest, with lesser device variations largely ignored.

Secondly, customers are opting to hold on to their existing mobile phones and are instead optimising their monthly contract spend with reduced rates on “no device” contract deals.

So, other than a stalling economy, what has changed? Our sales trends and customer feedback show a few factors influencing the purchasing behaviour, which I will touch on.

Price: This probably has the most significant influence on purchasing behaviour currently. With new flagship phones ranging from R17 000 to over R30 000 on prepaid OR between R800 and R1000 per month on a low-value contract deal (offering little to no data or calls), consumers are finding it extremely difficult to justify the massive premium.

Technology: In the past, each new handset release used to herald some great NEW feature. If you weren’t able to utilise/ show off your new tech, you felt you were left behind. In today’s phone landscape, however, the majority of us use our phones for 4 or 5 essential apps – WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Banking and one or two others. There is no need to have the latest tech to keep up. If the camera is good enough to make your social media posts look lit, you are winning. The gap between a mid-tier and flagship phone has shrunk and is no longer a debilitating choice.

Style: this probably is the most glaring change in handset development. In days gone by when you put your new iPhone 6 (new shape) or Samsung S6 Edge (curved screen) on the coffee shop table, next to any previous version, the new designs were instantly recognisable. You could be the envy of your friends by displaying your new social enabler at Bootleggers in Sea Point. Today, however, handset designs have all but morphed into one. So much so that it’s hard to tell your Samsung A7 from your S9, your Huawei P20 from your Y7, your Apple X from your XR and heaven forbid your Apple from a Huawei.

So where do the handset companies go from here?

Both Samsung and Apple have had a disappointing end to 2018. The start to 2019 shows no change, with both leading manufacturers displaying flagging sales and ever stiffer competition from Chinese manufacturers.

Apple’s issues are largely by their own design and, I feel, they have finally reached the tipping point. Their business model, in the past, was to create hype around their new devices, starve supply and drive demand like no other. Every 2nd model in the product life cycle would go through a complete design change and, coupled with a few new software features which could only be used on the new models. They drove the “upgrade” cycle – with annual updates but, if your iPhone got to two generations old, you were seriously behind. If you had the iPhone 5, you would not get the 5S you would wait for the iPhone 6. If you had the 6S, why get the 7? You would wait for the iPhone 8. Their strategy tied in perfectly with the 24-month contract/ upgrade cycle.

Then things started to change; we lost the 3.5mm jack, and we hesitated. We lost fingerprint unlocking, so we waited even more. It felt like we were getting less but expected to pay more for the privilege of having a “better” design. We started questioning what the actual hardware “upgrades” were and were they even worthwhile? My iPhone 7 Plus works great, I won’t get the X, let me rather wait for the XS. The XS arrives, but the price is so much more than I am paying for my 7 Plus. Can I justify the upgrade? Maybe I should go with the more affordable XR – but it just has a single camera. Why should I pay more and get less? My choice is simple.

For a long period, the Apple ecosystem created the stickiness that bound users into getting the next iPhone, “but all my music is on iTunes” OR, “how will I share all my photos” and now with Apple expanding its content services to include Amazon and Samsung have they removed this glue?

Finally, for Apple, the devices generally are pretty robust, and with more and more reputable repair outlets providing battery replacements for your old iPhone you can easily extend the life of your devices for a few more years.

For Samsung, the problem has been around for the past 6 or 7 years. Because their desire to dominate the industry is embedded in the corporate culture, the product line and range is there to squeeze out all potential competition. By covering every single product niche with a model, you don’t create many gaps for your competitors to muscle in. Their short-sightedness of this approach has however meant that they cannibalise their market across their ranges.

From a marketing perspective, the focus has always been on their premium devices, and the myriad of other are left to find their own space in a flooded market. On the flagship side, they have had a similar problem as with Apple. For 2019 though, they will be unveiling a foldable screen phone which will herald a real innovation in the industry but when you look at those 3 or 4 essential apps again how do you build a camera into a foldable design? So, while flexible screens are great for media consumption, will they be a hindrance in media creation?

The main problem for Samsung has been their product range, and while they have been trying to reduce the size of the product portfolio the gaps between models in just so small, it makes it easier to shop down. Design and tech have become so similar across models that it’s hard for me to tell one device from another, and I work in the industry – heaven help a poor consumer. If you had to lay out a Samsung J8 and A8 (R80 per month price difference) or a J6 and A7(R150 per month price difference), you will be hard pressed to spot the difference. To be fair the A7 has three cameras and is far superior, but you get my point.

If BMW used the same body for its X1 /X2 and X3 models, and you couldn’t tell them apart, and they all performed equally well in your city commute… Would you buy the cheaper X1 or pricey X3?

Finally, Huawei, they have been a dominating force, in our channel, over the last year. Much like Hyundai, when it first appeared in South Africa, people viewed the brand with scepticism, but over time they have proven they are a solid proposition in the market. Initially, Huawei focused heavily on the lower and mid-tier market which, in hindsight, was a masterstroke (whether by design or pure chance) as they established themselves as a reliable brand that produced quality devices and reasonable pricing. They have slowly pushed into the premium sector and now are contending and even surpassing the big two (Samsung and Apple) in the flagship space.

In general, Huawei offers incredible value for their price points. They are however beginning to make the mistake Samsung made – an ever-expanding product portfolio. For now, this is mitigated by a good pricing glide strategy but, it is a tight rope to walk with the ever-present cannibalisation threat.

So, for 2019, Apple has already started shifting its focus from hardware to expanding its iTunes and Apple TV partnerships to incorporate the likes of Amazon (Alexa) and Samsung (Smart TV). Is this their fundamental shift in strategy to make up for lagging handset sales?
Samsung is heavily reliant on selling components like screens and memory to the likes of Apple and Huawei to help fund its R&D and drive down the costs of innovation, with Apple sales slowing down will we see a far more measured approach to new product launches in 2019 and beyond?

And, finally, with Huawei is the global furore around 5G and security of Huawei built networks in the USA and Europe and their devices being banned in some countries, going to see them increasing their aggressive push into Africa?

The last quarter of 2018 highlighted these changes in consumer spending. The cellular market is brutal – look at the likes of Ericsson, Motorola, BlackBerry and even (the now reborn) Nokia. Will the big three stick to their guns? Will their plans for 2019 be successful? Or, is this an opening for a new company to challenge the status quo? We are excited, are you?

 

By: Chris Henschel

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The Huawei Mate20 Pro – Dubbed the most exciting phone of 2018

It’s been on our radar for months, dubbed by many as the most exciting phone of 2018, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is finally on its way to South African shores.

Touted as the most powerful Android phone on the market the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is leaving us in no doubt that Huawei is here to make a mark.

Offering the promise of higher intelligence, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s powerful processing capability coupled with the 128GB onboard memory and 6GB RAM is encased in a beautiful premium design and features a 6.39-inch curved screen. Note, that this is widely considered the best OLED screen on the market currently and features Dual Biometric recognition.

The AI packed camera features a triple 40MP+20MP+8MP LEICA lens on the rear and a 24MP Selfie camera. The rear camera also features an ultra-wide-angle lens, excellent for zooming purposes.

Charging capability on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro features 40W supercharge and is also the first phone to support 15W fast charge wireless charging. The Huawei Mate 20 pro also supports reverse wireless charging allowing you to use the Mate 20 Pro as a charger for other Qi-enabled devices.

The Mate 20 Pro slides into home base at the end of the year to easily become the hottest phone of the season.

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ENERGEA WiDisc 75 – The 7.5W Difference

The simple charging cable – while still a useful little tool I am sure we can all be honest- they were very last year! Anyone and I mean anyone who has ever owned a phone will no doubt be able to regale you with tales of frayed cables and scientific calculations on which way to put the darned thing in without damaging your port.

With the introduction of wireless charging (albeit on certain devices only) the need for the cable is fast disappearing. Imagine a device that is a one charge fits all. We have it! No need to carry around three different types of cable with our Energea WiDisc 75 Wireless Charger you can pop any Qi-enabled device on and charge away – truly universal charging!

What’s more our charging pad comes enabled with 5W/7.5W and 10W support so no matter what device you have it will automatically detect and charge at your phone’s optimum charging level. For me, having one wireless charger in my home and another at work is fantastic. I don’t have to look around and bend into all sorts of positions to charge my device – I merely pop it down on the charging pad and go about my day.

iPhone or Android – both are welcome. And before the Apple lovers out there look to the more expensive 5W/10W chargers- here’s a secret: Your iPhone 8 or X range charge at an optimum level of 7.5W. 10W charger? No dice- it will revert to the lower and slower 5W. If you are looking for optimal charging, make sure your wireless charger supports 7.5W charging.

Other cool features on this device are your circuit protection and its non-slip grip. I am sure we can all agree that a cable far outweighs your phone flying through the air and smashing gloriously into the ground. Coupled with this are the lightweight and compact design making it easy to pop in your handbag or briefcase- even pocket in a pinch.
Any 1.5M (and longer) cable worth its salt is going to set you back R299 or more so with the Energea WiDisc 75 retailing at R599 it’s a real winner.

And, an FYI, we have learned that Huawei has developed a wireless charger that will support 15W charging and sport a silicone surface (no slipping off of your phone) However, we can only look forward to this early next year.

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Get 20/20 imagery with the Huawei P20 #seemooore

Whenever there is a new phone launch I tend to reserve my excitement until I have given a phone a good spin. I mean, what more could a new phone launch offer? I recently got to take the Huawei P20 for a test. My expectations were sky high and to be fair my first impressions left me full of excitement… but… with some subtle disappointments.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LOOKS

Looks wise you can’t ask for better, the Huawei P20 has been designed to turn heads.  It is a beautiful blend of glass and metal giving it a premium look and feel. Matched with beautiful curves and Huawei’s FullView 5.8-inch display, this is one sexy phone.

What’s more is the customisable “notch”. This looks set to become a new industry standard and offers a bigger screen size but there are those who prefer a more conventional square display with clean lines. Huawei have made the notch customisable –  giving users the option to keep the notch or change to a more conventional screen.

Security wise, the fingerprint sensor is found on the front of the device and doubles up as a mini trackpad. I made use of the facial recognition which impressed. Not only did it recognise my face in darker settings but it was also fast and could not be fooled (I tried). The P20 comes with a splash proof rating which is enough to cover you in the rain but be sure to keep away from the pool or the shower.

The exclusion of a headphone jack and lack of a memory card slot disappointed me a tad, BUT, you do get a set of USB-C headphones and a spare audio adapter (3,5mm to USB-C) included in the box. The P20 also comes with 128GB on-board memory so you are unlikely to run low on space. If you do, it is probably time to start backing up your info to the cloud. With free services like DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, aren’t flash drives a little old school anyway?

Wireless charging also doesn’t feature on the new P20 range. Huawei has explained that their devices charge so fast, wireless would just not be able to keep up. It would simply detract from a key feature – it’s fast charging – and I must say this is possibly the fastest charging phone I have ever used.

FLASH THOSE PEARLY WHITES

So, as we all know the camera is currently the biggest battleground in the mobile phone sphere with all big brands dueling it out to be the best. In the P20, Huawei has pretty much developed a Rockstar camera which happens to have a cellphone attached!

With a dual 12MP + 20MP camera shooter powered with Leica optics, the Huawei P20 is ranked as the number 2 performing cellphone camera by DXOMARK – only just beaten by… take a guess… the Huawei P20 Pro. DXOMARK is an industry standard for image quality benchmarks. In other words, they know their stuff!

Huawei has packed AI tech into its camera making it not only a powerful but intuitive and easy to use. Huawei’s camera AI takes all the guesswork out of how, where and what you are shooting. It automatically adjusts its Leica lenses and aperture settings creating amazing pictures – whether you are shooting portraits or landscapes and in any lighting environment. The Huawei will make even the most amateur picture takers’ photo’s look like they were taken by a professional.

Selfie wise I believe this is the best on the market. At 24MP the camera also features 3D Portrait lighting mode – giving you the best possible selfie 100% of the time. I was very dedicated in my testing and this did not disappoint.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

Popping a peek under the hood you get a powerful octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, coupled with Huawei’s very own Kirin chipset. By utilizing their own technology Huawei provides a better, seamless experience across its components and functions. The battery lasted a day and a half but even so the lightning-fast charging is so efficient that even if you do run low you’ll be up and running in no time.

Personally, the elegant design coupled with a world-class camera gets me excited. Using the P20 has left me with little doubt that it is one of the best smartphones on the market. Huawei is turning the battle of the brands into a true race and, in my opinion, they are leading the pack.

Reviewed By: Lesa J

  • Buy online or apply for a contract here

 

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The New Huawei P Smart – A Smart Choice

In my article “What’s in a name – Breaking into the Cellphone Market”, I wrote about Huawei and how they built a successful brand. So, I was really chuffed when I found out my first review of 2018 would be one of their devices. I have often stated in my writing I’m a fan of the mid-tier range because I feel they offer, for the most part, features that apply to the widest audience. The Huawei P Smart landed in my lap and I used it for a solid week and I must say, overall, I give it two thumbs up. Continue reading The New Huawei P Smart – A Smart Choice

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What’s in a name? Breaking into the market

Even after 10 years in the industry I still wonder about how clients make choices on phones. I mean, for instance, what makes one choose a mid-range phone from a “Premier Brand” (read “popular”) phone rather that a similar priced premier rated phone produced by a newcomer? Continue reading What’s in a name? Breaking into the market

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Huawei P9 Launch

Huawei P9

With much fanfare, Huawei launched their latest flagship device at a glittering affair at the Sandton Convention centre earlier this month. Now as the “flagship” / top end device market is incredibly competitive it is increasingly difficult to find a “stand out” feature which will set your device apart and make it the most desired phone on the market.

Huawei with the P9 has focused on our ever increasing desire, as amateur photographers, to create those perfect snaps for Instagram and FB, and in so doing become the envy of our social network.

To achieve this Huawei partnered with Leica, a powerhouse in photography, to create a “dual camera” phone. One lens shoots in Black and White whilst the other shoots in colour.

“The way it works is straightforward: both rear cameras fire at the same time, with one taking a regular color image and the other taking only a black-and-white snap. Because it has no color filters, the latter sensor is able to absorb twice as much light and thus it provides useful contrast information that is integrated into the composite 12-megapixel image. This manifests itself nicely with some extremely sharp and noise-free closeups.”

The other feature sets are pretty standard for a flagship device – fingerprint sensor, 12MP dual camera, 8MP front camera, 5.2″ IPS Screen and 4GB ram onboard, but for me, where the P9 stands out from previous flagships, is the quality and craftsmanship in its design.

It is a beautiful phone and truly Huawei are now competing head on with the big boys.