Huawei's First 5G Phone Gets Certified, Despite US Ban

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5G is the "next big thing" in tech, and with its rise comes the onslaught of 5G phones. Huawei, no doubt in hot water with the US due to the Trump Ban but still determined to rise from its political battle with a bold face, has now received certification for its first 5G mobile phone in China.

Called the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and bearing model number EVR-AN00, the smartphone has received China's 3C certification, a sign that an announcement could be imminent. The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G bears resemblance in name to the Huawei Mate 20 X unveiled in November 2018, but with at least one exception: it's a 5G phone as opposed to the old 4G LTE wireless technology found in the original Mate 20 X.

There are other exceptions as well, such as the fact that the Mate 20 X 5G has a smaller battery than the Mate 20 X 4G (4,200mAh as opposed to the 5,000mAh battery of the 4G-enabled Mate 20 X). Additionally, Huawei, in a surprising move, has increased the charging capabilities of the 5G model from 22.5W on the 4G model to 40W. An industry insider said some months ago that the 5G model would have a 4,200mAh battery and that battery life on the 5G model could disappoint.

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To sweeten the deal, Huawei has added an M-Pen stylus to the equation, allowing buyers to use the Mate 20 X 5G as they would the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or even the budget-friendly Moto Z4 that has Microsoft Active Pen Protocol support and works with at least Microsoft's Surface Pen.

Aside from these exceptions, the Mate 20 X 5G bears the same specs as the Mate 20 X 4G: a 7.2-inch, OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution (2,244 x 1,080p), Huawei's proprietary Kirin 980 SoC chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage plus an NM card that provides an additional 256GB of expandable storage, a Leica, triple-camera setup (40 MP Wide Angle Lens with f/1.8 + 20MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens with f/2.2 + 8MP Telephoto with f/2.4), 3.5mm headphone jack, and USB Type-C charging (USB 3.1). Stereo speakers and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner come along for the ride in the features department.

Keep in mind that the Mate 20 X 5G provides 5G internet speeds, making it faster than the old 4G model announced back in November. The price tag for the Mate 20 X 5G could stand as high as CNY 12800 or $1,882 USD.

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It's not surprising to see Huawei at the forefront of 5G wireless technology in China, considering how significant of a company Huawei is. The Chinese OEM has the support of the Chinese Government in its home country and is the biggest company there in terms of wireless technology.

Huawei sells more smartphones in China than any other Chinese vendor, so much so that it is currently the second largest manufacturer globally (second only to Samsung, having surpassed Apple). Huawei debuted the first-ever 5G antenna deployment solution with Munich-based Telefónica Deutschland in October 2017.

And yet, at the same time, Huawei's efforts to push 5G forward come at a cost because of its strong ties to the Chinese Government, a government known for spying on its citizens and all others with whom it comes into contact. Huawei has been shunned in the US as well as Australia and Japan in 5G deployment in those countries because of its security risk.

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Back in the US, Huawei has tried to bring its 5G smartphones here to US carriers AT&T and Verizon, but to no avail. The trade war between the US and China has led to Huawei's admission on the US Entity List, a blacklist that prevents American companies from doing business with Huawei without the Federal Government's permission.

Huawei has seen its Android license revoked by Google in recent days, with the company being denied access to Google's upcoming Android Q update as well as the upcoming Android Q Beta. A three-month government reprieve means that Huawei has until August 19th to update its devices to Android Pie before the proverbial plug is pulled.

The Chinese OEM's rise in 5G wireless employment makes it a target of the US Government because of its strong ties to the Chinese Government. Huawei has governmental support in China, including in the company's 5G agenda. Bringing  its 5G technology here could put American citizens at risk. Though Huawei has said it would sign a no-spy agreement with the US, signing an agreement and abiding by it (to the anger of the Chinese Government) are two different things.

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Since Huawei's blacklisting in the US, a number of British entities have also pulled their collaborations with Huawei. The SD Association and Wi-Fi Alliance, along with the IEEE, are denying Huawei any future influence in the direction of their technologies, with the IEEE excluding Huawei from reviewing its technological papers at its own website.

The effect of the Trump Ban is that Huawei, once poised to rival Samsung as the top smartphone seller in the world, has now admitted that the Trump Ban has dampened its sales and far lowered its expectations for this year. It's impossible now for Huawei to match Samsung or take over the top global spot, as Huawei has exhibited financial loss in Germany and Spain due to the American blacklisting.

The company has lost the support of processor architect ARM, along with Qualcomm, Intel, and Microsoft, leaving them without the necessary parts to design smartphones.

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Due to the Trump Ban, the new Huawei Matebook is up in the air, indefinitely. The Mate 20 X 5G will sell well in China, due to Huawei's open access to Chinese networks.

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Staff News Writer

Deidre Richardson is a tech lover whose insatiable desire for all things tech has kept her in tech journalism some eight years now. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned BA degrees in both History and Music. Since graduating from Carolina in 2006, Richardson obtained a Master of Divinity degree and spent four years in postgraduate seminary studies. She's written five books since 2017 and all of them are available at Amazon. You can connect with Deidre Richardson on Facebook.

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