If you’re in the U.S., you likely have no idea who Huawei is, much less how to pronounce it correctly. The company only recently started making inroads with the U.S. carriers, starting with USB aircards. More recently, though, they’ve began the expansion with a number of affordable Android-powered smartphones, such as the Comet, sold under the T-Mobile brand name. At $150 with no contract, the T-Mobile Comet is decently specced, too – tri-band 3G/quad-band GSM, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, Android v2.2, and even a 3 megapixel camera.
Huawei doesn’t seem content with such entry-level fare, though. The Ideos X5, shown off at CES 2011, sports high-end features found in most of today’s ‘superphones’. The phone packs a 3.8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, HSPA+ (what T-Mobile and AT&T call ‘4G’), 4GB of internal storage, Android v2.2, and even a 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture. Quite impressive for a company that only just hit the U.S. market. The phone is planned to launch in Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand in January 2011, but should hit the U.S. market later this year. Even if this bad boy rings in for twice the price of its predecessor, that’s still $300 for a phone that packs quite a punch. You would easily spend $400+ for a similar phone on today’s market, such as the Samsung Galaxy S series or the Google Nexus One.
This isn’t an ad for Huawei, though – I wanted to highlight them for another reason. It appears as though the company is committed to building ‘pure’ Android devices – that is, running a vanilla version of Google’s Android operating system, with no manufacturer-built user interface on top. That’s a big deal for the Android developer community, as it typically means software updates to newer versions of Android will be quickly available. If Huawei sticks with this path, it could quickly become a crowd favorite in the Android community. Definitely a company to watch.