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December 26, 2012

Early Video Shows Huawei's 6.1 Inch Android Phablet before CES


While many of us are looking forward to Christmas, for gadget buffs, an event almost as big as Christmas is waiting in the wings. Specifically, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) event will be on our doorstep just a little after Christmas and with the imminence of said event comes some early looks at what will be making the rounds at the big show this year. Huawei's (News - Alert) got a little something unusual as revealed by an early video look, and this may be the start of something big, if not entirely welcome.

Huawei's early look shows off a 6.1 inch Android (News - Alert)-driven phablet. A phablet, if you haven't already heard the term, is a portmanteau of "phone" and "tablet", and is intended to split the difference between the two form factors, making essentially a small tablet with cell phone capabilities. Conversely, it could also be called a Smartphone with a very, very large Touchscreen.

The specs on Huawei's new device are looking reasonably sound, with a 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, a 4,000 mAh battery, a 1080p display with a 316 ppi pixel density, and a 9.9 millimeter thick casing.

There are, of course, two ways to look at this. One is in a positive light, considering the phablet to be an interesting advancement that gives users a lot more functionality than either a phone or a tablet would by itself. After all, a Kindle Fire has a seven inch display, and has done rather well for itself. A slightly larger Smartphone would still be fairly easy to carry around and would still offer value as an e-reader or a portable video device. 

The other way to look at it is that a Smartphone is typically carried in a pocket, and pockets generally don't do so well with accommodating larger devices. It either means that larger pockets will be required or this device will need some kind of alternate carrying method, which will substantially reduce its convenience factor. After all, Smartphone’s virtually killed standalone digital cameras because they were so easy to carry around; without that advantage, where will phablets rank?

The overall impact of phablets on the portable device market remains to be seen. While some will surely appreciate the added functionality, the loss to convenience and portability is not easily discounted. Still, it will be worth watching to see just what kind of impact Huawei's new phablet has on the market, and to see who will follow suit at CES.




Edited by Carlos Olivera
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