Samsung’s plastic is very cheap. The best smartphone is from Huawei, says Huawei CEO

by: J. Angelo RacomaJanuary 9, 2013

Ascend Mate

We’re all for “dogfooding,” but if you’re going to make a bold claim like this one, then you had better have the specs, market results and user opinion backing you up. Still, it has not stopped Huawei consumer electronics CEO Richard Yu from making this statement at an interview CES in Las Vegas. The company has introduced its 6.1-inch Ascend Mate at the annual electronics trade show, where it has disclosed plans to convince U.S. carriers to offer high-end devices to consumers.

Huawei has been known for its low-end devices, and may be known more to enterprise and industry customers as a provider of telecoms equipment. Yu wants to change this image, though, and Huawei’s latest top-of-line offerings are meant to convince buyers of the brand’s quality. The Ascend Mate, for instance, with its behemoth screen, is meant to challenge dominant phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 at their own game. Huawei has also introduced its Ascend D2, which is likewise a phablet, but with a smaller 5-inch form factor, quad-core processor and overall great hardware.

Even as it can attract fans for sheer specs (and size), Huawei will need to attract American carriers if it wants to get on the right track to consumers’ hands and pockets. It seems there have been roadblocks along the way, though, such as a Congressional inquiry alleging that Huawei is installing backdoors into equipment meant for the Chinese government to spy on sensitive information, along with compatriot ZTE.

Yu told The Verge that the carriers actually “like the product,” but the company will “need some time to get trust” from its target market. Huawei is even willing to sacrifice profit margins if only to encourage more sales through reduced prices. Comparing the company with its major competitors, the CEO slammed both Apple and Samsung for their seeming lack of innovation in their product lines today.

“Steve Jobs is gone,” he said of Apple. “Now there is lack of innovation.”

Yu has also criticized Samsung for cutting corners even on its supposedly high-end devices. In particular, they have scrimped on materials even in flagship devices like the Galaxy S3, points out Yu. “Their plastic is very cheap.”

“The best smartphone is from Huawei. Not from our competitors,” says Yu. Would you agree?

  • Yeah…sure….and the monkeys are riding horses…

  • Derek Traini

    Yes, Samsung is cheap.
    Yes, Apple is losing innovation w/o Steve Jobs.
    No, I mean, cmon Huawei, if they are that great, then why can’t I see them in the wild? lol

  • Jordan Awkward

    Lol yea that’s why Samsung is on top and most people haven’t heard about this company

    • Adam Eldin

      Cause they have money to throw at the s3, the only reason it did well was because of marketing and multi-carrier support. It is good, but not great, and now we are stuck with a plastic slab as the flag-bearer for android because of this. Whoa Hoo!!

      • Jordan Awkward

        Lol get a huawei that has motion senseUI that has no app drawer like apple and probably never get an android update

  • cycad007

    Laugh all you guys want…but I do believe Huawei will become a serious threat to *EVERYONE* in the not too distant future. I don’t believe their an ordinary headset maker…they are a Chinese government-favored manufacturer.

    I’m betting this means the government will subsidize their research/components and use cheap labor to ensure Huawei is competitive. They can undercut Samsung in price until then. Don’t forget that Samsung is a partially Korean subsidized entity. The Chinese government has more money than just about anybody and they don’t mind using it to build a few ‘Chinese Samsungs’.

    Whatever advantages Samsung has now (AMOLED, flash memory, processors, etc) will slowly be degraded by the Chinese government. That’s how they play the game. If someone offered you a $250 Huawei (Samsung Galaxy S3-equivalent)….most people I imagine would bite. That’s how the Chinese play their game…Huawei is just bidding their time….

    • brian m

      for fist time user, yes. they can be easily lured by huawei low price.

      for anyone who has experience using chinese branded phones, nope. quality speaks for itself.

      • Nicolas Trang

        Quality is just a matter of time and Chinese are learning/copying fast. 90% of electronic hardware are assemble or made in China through JV. The hindrance for Chinese electronics manufacturer is on the user interface and fortunately for them, Google is providing it for free or almost…
        I claimed a ZTE Tegra 2 for free in exchange for mileage points, and I can tell you that the experience was the same if not better than my old HTC. Personally, in a world where people change mobile phone every year or even less, I don’t think it is difficult to build a phone that will last that long. Economics is the most important, not crazy specs.

        You talk like you are victim of a bad Chinese handset and I agree that first impression is important. You know what, I got an iphone 3, and it was so slow, so buggy at the time (I mean, sms couldn’t be sent properly), that I moved to Android. The learning curve is the same for Huawei. The interface might speak to Chinese user and not to Western users so sure, they need a learning curve to tweak stuff. But they will seize their market share. And if they can target a 5-10% market share in the US, that would give them enough credibility to sell even more in domestic market and elsewhere. No need to be 1# in the US.

    • Derek

      The only way China has stayed competetive is by stealing IP or forcing companies to reveal trade secrets in exchange for establishing a manufacturing presence.

      China has stolen from literally every developed country in the world.

      • Marc

        And developed countries has been stealing from China for 5000 years (gun powder for example). What’s your point?

  • They cut the profits with government money. Everyone knows that Huawei is gaining market share because the money that comes from the Chinese Gov.

  • Monji

    Sorry Huawei it’s not April’s fool yet ):

  • Apple_Guy

    Huawei is right…Samsung plastic is *CHEAP*. Anyone who says otherwise is just a fanboy.

    • Doan

      Troll uses anonymous trolly username. One day you will mature, my friend, I have faith in you.

      • Apple_Guy

        I’m simply speaking the truth guest. But you’re right….it is kinda trolly. I apologize if I offended you in any way.

        • JS

          I agree with you Apple_Guy. Samsung’s plastic is cheap. But, I would rather have plastic shell on my phone rather then aluminum or some type of metallic/glass variation. Never did a plastic shell hinder my phone in anyway except provide better shock absorption then metal or glass.

    • daas88

      Agreed, HTC and LG make much better phones regarding to materials. I can’t say anything about Huawei because though I had a Huawei phone, it was a cheap one, I haven’t seen one of their high end phones.

  • a

    Yes, plastics are cheap. But “made in China” is cheaper….whatever material it’s made of.

    • Souske

      Samsung’s plastic is also made in China..

    • frustrated ios developer

      yep iphone5 is made in china, so if you think that is a quality product why cant they make a quality product of their own. Its not like apple innovate anymore. They are just an expensive Chinese manufacturer, who use an operating system that has it roots back in the previous century, that struggles with multitasking and hence will make less use of more cores

  • Bussa

    THANK YOU! so simple

  • What none of the manufacturers realize is the fact that the “phablet” market was non existent or not worthwhile to explore until Samsung reinvented it. They did so with a piece of tech that even the best pundits (yes Steve Jobs included) deemed useless.
    And that was the stylus! What Samsung managed to do with a bit of innovation and a shit load of advertising is make that size of device and use of stylus a winning combination! Nowadays LG (Vu), Huawei (Mate) etc etc etc are making half of that winning combo ie size. What they fail to realize is people are not drawn to a larger size alone. The larger size with an add on utility is what defines this “phablet” space. Without being a complete package all these manufacturers are offering is a product a handful will adopt “just to stand out from the crowd”. Otherwise there is no real need to go this big on screen size for a phone alone. The galaxy tab 7″ can make calls too and I have seen how ridiculous it is to hold the thing to your ears. Leave alone shoving it near your ass since it won’t fit your pocket!
    My point is.. Don’t just make the size big but make it big and add a functionality that would explains the larger size. Most people like to have a device that can do way more than what they intend to do with it. Me included, I bought the note w2 for the day when I can make a Mona Lisa look alike come alive on my screen when I can’t even draw a picture of Donald Duck properly!! I hope you get my point!

  • APai

    pigs take flight as the chinese stop making “cheap” products.
    a chinese company talking trash about other companies being cheap? how cheap!

    huawei should have let their action speak louder than their words. release a good product, people will come flocking.

  • Alu Zeros

    lol, according to Yu, apple and samsung lack innovation, but his own devices are no different than from any other android phone. Might want to look in the mirror.

    • Adam Eldin

      correction- apple lacks innovation, and samsung uses plastic. Tis y i am HTC 4 life

  • riceryder

    seriously getting tired of people (now ceo) saying Samsung built is cheap, plastic, etc.. Do people honestly believe Samsung can’t make their products out of aluminum, glass, stainless silver, titanium or gold if they really wanted to? I for one is happy that it’s none of those because price would be well…Out of my reach. It’s not a piece of jewelry that I wear to showboat some lifeless sheep. All I need is something that’s looks decent with asskicking hardware and innovation. Thank you Samsung.

    • JS

      Yeah. People just don’t realize that plastic engineering has evolved a lot in the past 2-3 decades. It’s not the same plastic your mom and pops grew up on. Sure, aluminum looks nice, but it does NOT absorb shock as well as plastic.

    • Jordan Awkward

      And Samsung has a removable back on there phones

  • janjan

    fuck u huawei do u think your phones are good enough to beat samsung your phones are made in china

  • Somedude

    Slightly biased opinion lol

  • JK

    Yes Samsung is cheap. That’s why they are the number one android phone manufacturer – everyone likes cheap… except me perhaps…. lol

  • Reality Check

    Everyone is talking about China products and act like Samsung is not made in China. Sure their main headquarters is in Korea but has anyone in a recent decade look at the”Made In” on the back of 99.97% of the Samsung device in the last 5 years? Yes Samsung is now mostly made IN China. Utilize Chinese work force and Chinese material. Point of this comment, Samsung built a name and once they built the name the moved their manafaturing to where everyone else is due to cheap labor which saves cost.

  • Reality Check

    One last note, Samsung was also once a no nammer. You gotta start somewhere.

  • Mr. Yu made me laugh! And @Jordan Awkward hi, I agree with U, U have the reason!

  • gkn

    i like this. competition is good for consumers

  • Derek


    Oh the irony.

    Cheap Chinese junk from a company whose name sounds just as cheap and ghetto.