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Huawei’s Mate 9, Google Daydream will make Mobile VR 2.0 mainstream

Virtual Reality is becoming increasingly popular and is a hot topic in the Gaming and Content development World.

At Huawei, they’re always a step ahead in the innovation of new technologies. From enhancing perception using our smart devices, to the unforeseeable advantages and different implementations it might have in the future, this technology is catching everyone’s eye.

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Huawei have taken it a step further by presenting the Mate 9 as described in Huawei Mate 9 and Porsche Design launches as Icon and Tech Leader meet, the first Chinese Smartphone and the world’s second Smartphone to be able to support Daydream. Daydream is a VR system launched by Google that has the state-of-the-art technology to develop a VR ecosystem for Huawei.

Last night on Monday November 14th 2016 in Munich, Germany, the CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, Richard Yu announced that, Huawei’s new flagship smartphone Mate 9, will run the brand new EMUI 5.0 system based on Android 7.0 and support Android’s VR system, Daydream.

Accordingly, Mate 9 becomes the first smartphone that announces to support Google Daydream, after Google’s own smartphone, Pixel. The announcement caught everyone completely by surprise and totally knocked their socks off!

What does it actually mean Huawei launches a Daydream smartphone at this time? And what impact will Mate 9 bring to the mobile VR industry?

Let us introduce you this Daydream smartphone overall.

The launch event review – Huawei’s luxurious Mate 9 dominated with powerful Kirin 960

As was expected, Mate 9 features the second generation Leica dual-lens camera. According to Huawei, Mate 9 has a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) solution.

The Huawei Mate 9 has a powerful 4-in-1 Hybrid Auto-focus system, which raise the focusing speed by 30%, compared to the first generation Leica camera. It also takes advantage of a depth ISP, embedded in SoC, which increases performance by 125%.

There are two (2) versions:

  • The €1395 Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9 uses 5.5 inches 2K curved screen, 6GB+256GB
  • The €699 Huawei Mate 9 with 5.9 inches 1080P screen, 4GB+64GB

However, for the VR function, the most important part in Mate 9 should be its chipset, Kirin 960.

This chipset was invented by Huawei’s Hisilicon. It uses 16nm FinFET manufacturing process and the big.LITTLE structure. Within this are embedded four (4) of ARM’s new, high-performance Cortex-A73 cores and four (4) low-powered Cortex-A53 cores.

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When compared to Kirin 950, Kirin 960 delivers the following improvements:

  • 15% improvements in the CPU performance
  • 20% improvements in the GPU performance
  • 180% increase in graphics performance.

And on the Geekbench 4.0 test of general performance, it scored only behind the iPhone’s A10 Fusion processor. So it’s easy to see why Google Daydream works well with the Huawei Mate 9!

US$79 Huawei Mate 9 and Google Daydream Package – What working together can achieve

The Google Daydream system achieves a high level of interoperability and fully utilizes the smartphone’s computing capability. Except for the Pixel with the latest Qualcomm 821, no other recently launched smartphone in the market completely satisfies the processing demand of Daydream.

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To enable its Mate 9 to support Google Daydream system, Huawei went to great length to work with the Google Daydream Team. Huawei has a specialized team that provided technical co-operation at Google’s Mountain View headquarters and they also collaborated with Leica and other German research institutes to establish a related laboratory.

Zhang Menghan of Huawei VR indicated that the fact that Mate 9 is Daydream-ready indicates the strong level of support thy offer to the Google Daydream system. In fact, the Huawei Mate 9 can also support Google’s VR hardware, Daydream View.

Overseas users who purchased the Huawei Mate 9 can enjoy Google Daydream as it comes as part of a US$79 package.

So what exactly are the strong points of Google Daydream?

Google Daydream – Huawei’s Global reach marks Mobile VR 2.0 era

Daydream is a mobile VR platform developed by Google, based on their highly popular Android system.

When comparing the VR function in Mate 9 with that in other normal cardboard smartphones, the most important difference is that the (Android 7.0 Nougat shows a huge improvement in the graphics rendering.

This results in an improved VR experience from the mobile phone operating system level. With Huawei’s Global reach, Google Daydream is posed to go mainstream!

In the coming soon Mobile VR 2.0 era, where will we go?

Huawei and Google Daydream – Mobile VR on a fast track to mainstream

In the Google IO Assembly in 2014, two (2) engineers, using their spare time during six (6) months, made a cardboard VR viewer and therefore, opened up the mobile VR 1.0 era. In the following two (2) days, countless viewers based on common cardboard came out and gave the birth to the whole current VR ecosystem.

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But this cheap VR experience can only offer a glimpse of the experience.

The Gear VR, launched by Samsung in cooperation with Oculus as detailed in US$99 Samsung Gear VR in November 2015 is a fanboy’s VR Dream, improves its VR from the OS system level and makes progress at the experience. However, this VR device could not reach huge popularity because Gear VR only can be used with Samsung’s smartphones.

As the developer of Android, Google Daydream standardizes Mobile VR, from the bottom up using the Android system. With the combined popularity base of Google and Huawei, Daydream will be catapulted into the mainstream among global smartphone users.

Huawei entering the mobile VR industry is a good thing for the whole industry. As pointed out by Song Haitao, the founder of IDEALENS. Mr. Haitao thinks that Huawei and Xiaomi have the gen-juitsu to use Daydream with low cost in large scale.

A product with a reasonable price that has a design quality rivalling that of high-end camera attachments and smartphone cases will make this accessory a must-have, pushing forward the development of the industry.

In conclusion, Huawei has fired the first shot in the Mobile VR world with their Daydream compatible smartphone. Thanks to the Xiaomi VR glasses based on Google Daydream and now mobile VR based on a Huawei Mate 9 smartphone, VR will enter a period of accelerated growth.

Like the theme of this launch event, Huawei now leaps “a step ahead”. Fans of the VR industry, are you not entertained?

 

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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