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Huawei launches longer-lasting mid-rangers

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The new Nova Plus is a mid-range smartphone, which the company claims will last up to eight hours without charge.
The new Nova Plus is a mid-range smartphone, which the company claims will last up to eight hours without charge.

Huawei unveiled a new range of devices at a press conference in the lead-up to IFA 2016, the consumer technology fair taking place in Berlin next week.

The 5-inch Nova and Nova Plus are mid-range smartphones aimed at millennials.

The smartphones feature high-density batteries ? 3 020mAh and 3 340mAh ? allowing the phones to last for 48 hours of normal use without charge, the company claims.

Most phones in the R6 000 to R7 500 price range feature batteries with 2 500mAh or less. In comparison, the company's phablet-style Mate 8 costs R13 000, with a 4 100mAh battery.

The Nova series is a play by Huawei for the younger market, or "a generation that lives their life on a smartphone", says Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu.

He says the phones' battery life will allow millennials to play Pokémon Go for five hours without charge. Fashion blogger Xenia Tchoumi, who was at the launch event, says she is able to take thousands of pictures before a battery pack is needed.

There have been a series of new smartphones from the Chinese company this year. In January, the Mate 8 was launched at CES in Las Vegas, as well as three 'budget' smartphones: the G8, GR3 and GR5. In April, the company introduced the high-end smartphone series, the P9 and P9 Plus, in partnership with camera company Leica.

Narcissist's delight

The other stand-out feature of the Nova series is the camera, with emphasis on the front-facing 'selfie' camera.

It has a feature that allows users to train the device to recognise their face, so that when they take a picture of someone else, the camera will pick up the owner of the phone and only apply beauty mode to their face, making them "stand-out" and appear "prettier".

It was whispered in tech circles that Huawei would launch a smartphone at IFA that was aimed at women, and although the company did not explicitly says this was the case, the Nova was implied to be a "girly" device. Yu pointed out the Nova comes in a colour-for-girls, rose gold.

The camera also has built-in filters that apply 'natural', 'party' or 'pink' make-up to pictures, "for when you want to look your best", says Tchoumi.

Other features include a narrow bezel, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory with the option to expand with a microSD slot, and a Snapdragon 625 processor.

The rear cameras are 12MP for the Nova and 18MP for the Nova Plus.

Huawei says it has integrated its 360-degree one-touch fingerprint reader that allows "improved security" and "single-handed selfies".

The phones will also be available in titanium grey, prestige gold and mystic silver.

Huawei says the devices will be available in October is 50 countries, including Spain, Germany and Canada. The Nova is priced at EUR399, which is around R6 500, and the Nova Plus will be EUR429, which will be over R7 000.

It is not yet know when these devices will be available in SA, and the local price may be more than the recommended price in Europe.

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