At CES 2013, companies have announced Ultra HD TVs, screaming processors, and too many oddball accessories to keep track of. CES doesn't, however, feature many new smartphones. Perhaps Huawei saw that as an opportunity, as it opened the curtain on a pair of gigantic new handsets.
The Huawei Ascend D2 and Ascend Mate have huge screens and impressive spec sheets. The D2 is the smaller – but more powerful – of the two. The Mate still has plenty of horsepower, and a display that blurs the line between phablet and tablet.
The Ascend D2's 5-inch display continues the super high-res trend we saw with the Droid DNA. The D2's 1920 x 1080 "Super Retina" display packs 443 pixels per inch (PPI).
The phone has a 1.5 GHz quad-core CPU under the hood, and a 13 MP camera with an ISO sensitivity that Huawei says is the highest in its class. Its 3,000mAh battery should give it plenty of juice.
The Ascend D2 runs Android 4.1 Jellybean, skinned with Huawei's Emotion UI.
Huawei calls the Ascend Mate the "smartphone with the world's largest screen." "Smartphone," though, is a stretch, as you could almost classify this monstrous device as a tablet.
Its 6.1-inch display is closer in size to the Nexus 7 than the Galaxy S III. Its screen, though, has less pixels than its little brother does: 1280 x 720 at 241 pixels per inch isn't exactly pushing boundaries.
It also boasts a 1.5 GHz quad-core engine. Its 8 MP rear camera is several megapixels shy of the D2. It packs a huge 4,050mAh battery.
The Ascend Mate also runs Android 4.1 with Emotion UI.
AvailabilityHuawei's new hero devices are only confirmed for China. The D2 arrives in January, followed by the Mate in February. Huawei will also sell the D2 in Japan "in the future."
Many speculate that Huawei will soon enter the high-end U.S. market. If either of these handsets is heading stateside, the company isn't ready to announce anything.