Huawei unveils smartphones and tablet in Dubai

The Chinese telecommunications equipment company Huawei today entered the Middle East consumer market by introducing four smartphones and one tablet, all powered by Google's Android operating system. The devices will be sold through telecommunications providers as well as through retail outlets directly to consumers, via IMS, Huawei's distributor in the UAE.

The IDEOS, or U8150, is an entry-level phone targeting "young explorers." It runs Android 2.2, has a 2.8-inch QVGA display and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Offered in several different colors, the IDEOS is a smartphone with modest specifications, and Huawei also claims a modest price, "below $200."

U8300 targets "stylish socials" and its unique selling point is the physical QWERTY keyboard, making it a credible choice for messaging-oriented users. Also offering a touch display as well as a track ball for interacting with Android 2.1, the U8300 is a compact smartphone with a 2.6-inch QVGA display. The stated price is "below $200." It is the only one of the new smartphones from Huawei that does not offer full Arabic support, presumably because of the lesser Android version installed.

According to Huawei the U8500 is aimed at "style seekers." It runs Android 2.2 with full Arabic support, has a 3.2-inch HVGA display and 3.2-megapixel camera. With a more high-end business-oriented look, the U8500 should attract customers who look for a sleek and stylish Android smartphone. According to Huawei the price of U8500 will be "below $250."

At the top of the line sits IDEOS X5 aimed at "technology seekers." With curved lines around the 3.8-inch WVGA display (800×480 pixels) it offers style as well as specifications. The 5-megapixel camera can also record HD 720 video and a 800Mhz Qualcomm processor powers the smartphone. The X5 will be available this month for a retail price of Dhs 1,399. Huawei did not want to commit to a date of availability for the other smartphones.

Besides the smartphones, Huawei also introduced a 7-inch tablet running Android 2.2 into a market currently dominated with headlines about 10-inch devices running dual core processors and Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Available "globally in April," according to Huawei, the S7 Slim faces some tough competition. Motorola's Xoom tablet is the first example to actually reach customers but other companies are lined up to launch their alternatives including LG, Samsung and others. In the 7-inch size there are also many tablets fighting for market share, including Samsung's Galaxy Tab, ViewSonic's ViewPad and Creative's ZiiO. Apple introduced its iPad 2 with sleeker design and dual core processor March 2nd.