Dubbed as “Innovation Inspires Serendipity,” Huawei Developer Conference 2020 (HDC 2020 Together) showed that you don’t need to join a mainstream trade show to have a good time. It stayed true to its Seamless AI Life strategy by launching six new cutting-edge products in a variety of categories — each with the goal of making life easier.
Now that HDC 2020 has come and gone, what else did Huawei come up with? We’ll take a quick look at two full days of launches and software before rounding home with the latest and greatest from the company. Even if you watched the live streams, there’s certainly a chance you missed a detail or two. Ready to learn more? Let’s jump in.
Kicking off with a keynote
What better way to learn about Huawei’s future than to hear it from the top? CEO Richard Yu delivered the conference’s keynote address on September 10 and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to innovation for its consumers. Yu touched on the idea that each new device should inspire cohesion throughout the user’s daily life.
In the keynote, Yu also offered a number of teasers for the rest of the conference, mentioning the new EMUI 11 as well as a better look at the future of HarmonyOS. You just might be picking up on the theme of harmony and cohesion at this point, and that’s exactly what HDC 2020 was designed to do.
Of course, teasers only get you so far. Here’s what we learned in the true heart of the conference.
Moving forward together with the AppGallery
When you have a good thing going, all you want to do is shout it from the rooftops. Huawei’s AppGallery continues to grow and thrive, now supporting over 490 million monthly active users. Over 1.8 million developers have already joined the HMS platform, but my AppGallery isn’t the same as your AppGallery.
While Huawei promotes global harmony across its devices, some apps are simply more popular in certain parts of the world. BBVA and Allegro highlight a few top European picks while Latin American users will be happy to see BanColombia on their own AppGallery.
HDC 2020 helped to ensure that developers are at the core of the AppGallery, drawing on examples like Sberbank’s launch in Russia which saw 21 million downloads within 11 days. It takes Huawei and the developer working in harmony to achieve such a wide, successful launch.
HarmonyOS: A new distributed operating system for all scenarios
What good does the AppGallery do without a glance at its future? HDC 2020 saw Huawei officially launch the latest version of its Android skin, EMUI 11. As an Android skin, EMUI offers many familiar features, though you won’t find any Google apps here. However, it’s fair to consider EMUI 11 a stepping stone for what comes next — the full smartphone rollout of HarmonyOS.
Huawei’s HarmonyOS is yet another supporting player in the company’s famous 1+8+N model, designed to deliver a cohesive experience across all devices and scenarios. It all starts with the smartphone, which Huawei is aiming to pair with HarmonyOS in 2021. Surrounding the phone, you’ll have a series of eight connected devices like wearables, laptops, and more. Expanding the web even further, the N in Huawei’s model reaches each and every unique IoT device.
While we don’t have a hands-on experience with HarmonyOS to show you, it promises a good look at what’s to come.
Look forward to an October of launches
Finally, the part you’ve probably been waiting for, the devices. Huawei nailed almost all of its “+8” category at HDC, launching new wearables, laptops, and audio equipment. We’ll take a quick look at each category, and you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on the new devices — most are launching in October 2020.
Up first are the new earbuds, Huawei’s FreeBuds Pro and FreeLace Pro. The FreeBuds Pro is one of the first pairs of earbuds to employ dynamic noise cancellation. It uses a blend of hardware and software to analyze your surroundings and tune the noise-canceling appropriately. The FreeBuds Pro adopts a familiar design with a charging case to help you listen longer and control your playback on the sensitive ear stems.
See also: Huawei FreeBuds Pro review
Huawei’s FreeLace Pro, on the other hand, offers a workout-ready behind-the-neck setup. It comes in a unique forest green shade and employs 14mm aluminum-magnesium alloy drivers for hi-fi audio. You can also connect the FreeLace Pro to your smartphone using a USB-C cable, allowing you to charge and listen at the same time.
If you already love your headphones, you may want to turn your attention to Huawei’s Watch GT 2 Pro. You may not even recognize it as a smartwatch at first glance, it looks nearly identical to a luxurious watch. With up to 14 days of battery life and nearly 100 workout types, you may not need to consider any other watches while you shop.
Some prefer a dedicated fitness tracker, and Huawei covers those users too with the Watch Fit. The rounded rectangle design resembles that of a stretched Apple Watch, but the large 1.64-inch display lends itself to much easier user experience. Weighing in at just 34 grams, you may forget that you’re wearing the Watch Fit, but the quick-workout animations are ready to help you stay fit any time you want them.
See also: Huawei Watch Fit review
The final launch to come out of HDC 2020 is a pair of jaw-dropping laptops — the MateBook X and MateBook 14. Rocking a nearly bezel-less screen and a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, the MateBook X is a featherweight powerhouse. It weighs just one kilogram and measures at just 13mm thick in some places, yet the keyboard offers an impressive 1.3mm of travel. Huawei boasts that its trackpad is nearly 26% larger than previous iterations, and a four-speaker setup promises top-notch audio.
If the MateBook X is out of your price range — trust us, we get it — the MateBook 14 is as good of a backup plan as you’ll find. With an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU on board, you shouldn’t be starved for power, and the MateBook 14 offers a better variety of ports to choose from. It’s not as light or as thin as the MateBook X, but you’ll be hard-pressed to spot a bezel on the MateBook 14.
There you go — everything you missed at Huawei’s HDC 2020. If you weren’t excited about what’s to come, hopefully, this helped to change your mind. We’ll have reviews and more news from Huawei before you know it.