Tech Transformers

Huawei launches phone for the Instagram generation as it continues challenge to Samsung, Apple

Huawei has launched a smartphone called the P10 with a dual lens camera aimed at social media savvy users, as it continues its aggressive push in chasing Samsung and Apple, and branches into new territories like the U.S.

The new device, which will be available next month, comes in two variants: The regular 5.1 inch P10, and the 5.5 inch P10 Plus, and was launched at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Sunday. A 64 gigabyte (GB) P10 will cost €649 ($685), while the P10 plus will cost €699 ($744) for a 64GB version and €799 ($844) for a 128GB iteration.

Key features include:

  • Huawei supercharge technology allowing the phone to get a full battery on a 90 minute charge
  • Dual lens camera with one 12 megapixel sensor and a 20 megapixel sensor
  • Fingerprint sensor on the front
  • Eight colour variations including some with a textured back
  • Runs Android 7

In a briefing ahead of the launch, Hauwei executives played up the camera and software.

The camera software is able to recognize 190 different facial points and adjust lighting to take the perfect portrait picture to upload to social media.

Huawei also runs its own software called EMUI 5.1 over Android and this brings feature such as picture editing tools and also a way to optimize how the device runs.

Richard Yu, head to Huawei's consumer division, unveiled the P10 and P10 Plus smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 26, 2017.

In January, Huawei announced that Alexa, Amazon's intelligent voice assistant would be pre-installed on its Mate 9 phone in the U.S.

Arne Herkelmann, the head of the company's handset portfolio and planning in Europe, said during a briefing ahead of MWC that Huawei is working to bring Alexa to its European products, but offered no timeline of when this could happen.

The Chinese technology giant has been making an aggressive push in recent times in the consumer space. Last year, Huawei shipped 139 million smartphones, a 30 percent year-on-year rise, cementing its place as the third-largest mobile player in the world by market share, just behind Apple and Samsung.

At Mobile World Congress last year, Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei's consumer business group, told CNBC the company would be number one by 2021.

The latest device will help Huawei continue its push.

"The P10 is an even more refined flagship smartphone for Huawei and builds on the P9 which was a pivotal device in establishing Huawei as a credible high end phone maker. It is clear that Huawei has huge ambitions and this device coupled with other devices such as the Mate 9 will certainly help cement its position as the clear number 3 in the smartphone space," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by email.