Revealed: The top Christmas gadgets of the last decade

Smart watches set to top tech-savvy Christmas lists … From games consoles to tablets and wearables, the top technology Christmas gifts of the last decade chart how the world has advanced. The way we game, read, track our fitness and work has been revolutionised since 2005. As Christmas approaches, what better way to celebrate trends in technology than to take a look at the most successful technology products of the past ten years?

Back in 2005, 1.1 million of us sent Shane Ward to the Christmas top spot, and number one on everyone’s Christmas list was the brand new Xbox 360. Demand hugely outstripped supply, with hundreds of gamers queuing for hours in the rain to lay their hands on the console, which sold out in hours. The Xbox franchise has continued to delight gamers; 9 years later, Microsoft announced that Xbox 360 sales stood at 84 million units sold, with lifetime game sales for the platform at $37.7 billion. On last calculation, Xbox 360 gamers have logged more than 88 billion hours of gameplay, which is equivalent to more than 100,000 centuries.

2006 saw Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond in ‘Casino Royale’, and Sony’s fight back against Microsoft, in the shape of the Play Station 3. First introduced in 1995, the Play Station and Play Station 2 are still the best-selling home game consoles in history. To date the four Play Station versions have sold a total of 344 million units.

2007 was the year gaming got physical, with stocks of Nintendo’s Wii finally becoming widely available to buy. Named a ‘revolution’ by Forbes Magazine, which claimed that the Wii ‘has re-invented video gaming, making it more social, more intuitive and surprisingly physically engaging…it’s potentially the device that will make video gaming as widely enjoyed as board or card games.’ Since launch, it’s sold more than 100 million units.

It’s hard to imagine life before the smart phone, but 2008 was the year the 3G iPhone hit our shores. Now in its 12th incarnation, over 500 million iPhones have been sold, currently making it the best-selling smartphone of all time.

The Amazon Kindle took technology into a new realm, revolutionising the way we consume new and enduring classic literature. The Kindle 2 was launched in 2009 and by early the next year the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, stated that "millions of people now own Kindles” and that “six Kindle books were being sold for every 10 physical books". Kindle remains the undisputed leader of the e-reader. The company is famously secretive about sales figures but 2013 estimates put sales of all Kindle devices at roughly 44 million.

Pre-2010, the thought of receiving a tablet for Christmas was understandably unlikely to be anywhere near the top of anyone’s list. That all changed with the unveiling of the iPad in January 2010 by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In contrast to earlier tablet PCs, the iPad was marketed as a consumer device that would fill the gap between smartphones and laptop computers. Over 292 million have been sold to date.

2011 was a momentous year for Brits, with the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In the world of technology, all eyes were on the launch of the first commercially successful ‘phablet’, the Samsung Galaxy Note. Whilst some media outlets questioned the viability of the device due to its 5.3-inch (135-mm) screen, the Note received a positive reception, selling 1 million units in two months.

2012 was the year that London was Olympics-obsessed, Facebook debuted on the stock market, Felix Baumgartner jumped from space and the iPad went mini. Lighter and thinner than its predecessor, the iPad Mini reportedly sold three million units in the three days post launch.

Sony’s next generation console, the Playstation 4, launched in November 2013. Six months later, 7 million homes world-wide owned a PS4. Having lost several previous battles to Nintendo’s Wii, Sony was finally winning the games console war.

To 2014 and wearable technology; namely the fitness tracker. Sales have risen 250% year-on-year and from mid-2014 to mid-2015, the wearable industry grew by a massive 223%. At this rate, it’s possible that the market will actually reach the predicted $74 billion mark by 2025.

2015 is undoubtedly the year of the smartwatch, combining fitness tracking, time keeping and connectivity in one package. The global smartwatch market has the potential to reach $32.9 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 68% between 2014 and 2020. It’s thought that 135 million wearable devices will be sold by 2018 – 68 million of them smart watches. Few other industries have such growth perspectives, and the potential to revolutionise how people communicate, monitor their health, work, and interact with their surroundings.

James Jie, Managing Director of Huawei UK and Ireland says, “It’s fascinating to see the impact that technology has had upon our lives during the past decade. In the recent past we saw technology as either fitting in with our work life – for instance PCs – or play, in the shape of games consoles. Now those boundaries no longer exist as technology is embedded within our daily lives. This is no more evident than in the rise of wearable technologies such as the Huawei Watch, which combines connectivity with style.”

Jie continues, “At Huawei, we invest 10% of our sales income into research and development to ensure that we are driving new technology forwards. In 2014 alone, we invested $1.2 billion into R&D. The Huawei Watch embodies our unfailing ambition to deliver an all-connected future across wearables, vehicles and smart phones. Looking back at the past ten years, it’s amazing how far technology has advanced and we look forward to being at the forefront of new advancements for years to come.”

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B: This post was sponsored by Huawei.

Huawei and O2 bring Windows Phone to the masses as Ascend W1 debuts

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, is announcing today that its powerful entry-level Windows Phone smartphone, the Ascend W1, will be on sale exclusively with Telefónica O2 UK from March 7.

The Huawei Ascend W1 will be available in store and online for £119.99 on prepay and for free on contracts from £13.50 per month. It will be available in ‘Electric Blue’ from March 7 and in ‘Electric Pink’ also from March 18. The Ascend W1 will be supported by a significant ATL marketing campaign across UK media.

The Ascend W1 is designed for hectic modern lives; for users to make the most of their precious time by giving order and access simultaneously to their social and business worlds. It combines latest smartphone hardware and functionality with the innovative Windows Phone 8 operating system to enable quick and easy access to people, information and entertainment.

The Windows Phone 8 start-screen lets you customise and pin Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates that are uniquely yours. Additionally, a dynamic lock screen allows you to select the photos or updates most important to you and have them ready at a glance, even when the phone is locked.

The Ascend W1 brings this powerful experience to a broader audience, and underpins it with great hardware. Its bright 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen has a low reflective IPS LCD display with full lamination technology, providing brilliant visibility under different lighting conditions. Its 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcommprocessor and Adreno 305 GPU combine as a powerful engine for immersive video streaming and game-play.

In addition, the Ascend W1’s 1950mAh battery provides the longest standby time of smartphones in its class. It also features a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and includes 4GB on-board memory, expandable to 32GB with a micro SD card.

The Ascend W1 is a smart and stylish alternative for consumers looking for great technology at the right price.

Huawei Reveals the World’s Fastest 4G LTE Smartphone

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today introduced the HUAWEI Ascend P2, the world’s fastest smartphone, at the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC). The Ascend P2 features a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and LTE Cat 4 providing an ultrafast web experience with download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Continuing the fashion legacy of the Ascend P-series, it is only 8.4mm slim with an infinity edge 4.7-inch IPS HD in-cell touch display with second-generation Corning® Gorilla® Glass, and will be available in black and white.

“Ascend P2 is the perfect combination of elegance and power, and further proof that there’s no need to compromise when desiring a perfect smartphone. It is evidence of the outstanding smartphone experiences and great technology that we are committed to bringing to consumers globally,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.

The HUAWEI Ascend P2 will be on sale in France through Orange in June 2013.  

“We’re pleased to be working with Huawei again to enable our customers to have easier and faster access to all their favorite content,” said Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President, Mobile Multimedia & Devices, Orange. “We are impressed by the design and look forward to putting the Ascend P2 into the hands of consumers as soon as possible.”

“The technological capabilities of the HUAWEI Ascend P2 will enable our customers to have the fastest access to all their content, with speeds up to 150 Mbps on our brand new 4G network,” said Florence Paour, Device Marketing Director, Orange France.

The HUAWEI Ascend P2 runs on the Android 4.1 operating system, with Huawei’s own Emotion UI 1.5. Powered by a 2420 mAh battery and 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, the Ascend P2 downloads HD movies in minutes, and loads online videos, web pages, songs or e-Books in seconds. Huawei’s proprietary ‘swift sharing’ supports uploads and downloads two to three times faster than other smartphones in a Wi-Fi environment. With its NFC module*, Ascend P2 enables e-payments and can act as an electronic ticket. Huawei's unique Quick Power Control (QPC) and Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) power-saving technologies, reduces power consumption by 30% and charging time by more than 25% compared to other smartphones.

Continuing the fashion focus of Huawei’s Ascend P smartphones, HUAWEI Ascend P2 evokes the image of an infinity pool with its seamless, elegant design and curvy contours. Using in-cell technology, its LCD 4.7-inch IPS HD touchscreen is an impressive 8.4mm slim. Its ‘magic touch’ feature provides enhanced screen responsiveness even with gloves, and instant keyword translation and Wikipedia searches can now be done on a single window with ‘smart reading’. The screen also calibrates its brightness automatically under any light conditions, allowing users to perform any function, under any light.  

The HUAWEI Ascend P2 provides optimal photo and video features including a 13 MP BSI rear-facing camera with HDR, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera to support self-portrait and video shooting. A dedicated camera key on the side of the phone also allows instant access to picture taking, click once for the camera to be activated and another time to take the shot. With Huawei’s advanced camera algorithm, high-definition images can be captured even in backlit conditions. Auto adjustment modes further enable Ascend P2 to produce photos that rival professional cameras.

The Huawei Emotion UI*, available on the Ascend P2 is easy to use and customize. The UniHome function combines home panels with the main menu, while Huawei’s patent-pending Me Widget better utilizes screen real-estate by combining all the information and functions you need in a single, customizable widget. Emotion UI is also pre-installed with a smartphone housekeeper function to support real-time data traffic tracking, automatic blacklisting and blocking, periodical system cleaning, and spontaneous exiting of idle programs and cache cleanup, in addition to anti-virus, energy saving, privacy protection, software management, and more. 

For more information, visit Huawei Device online:

Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite hands-on at IFA 2012 (updated: video)

Back in July, word got out that Huawei was prepping a revised version of its entry-level Android tablet, dubbed the MediaPad 7 Lite. As that name implies, this Android ICS tab's of the 7-inch variety and, thus, lends itself well to one-handed use for busy on-the-go types. Considering this isn't part of the outfit's top shelf portfolio, its mix of specs have been kept quite modest: there's a single-core 1.2GHz Cortex A8 CPU underneath that 1,024 x 600 IPS display. But before you knock it for falling short of even 720p territory, bear in mind this device's being marked at a 229 Euro price point -- so it's affordable and geared squarely for the budget segment.

[Source: Read the full story on Engadget]

Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD switches processors, hits shops in September

The Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD has made a somewhat circuitous journey across our eyes, through our hands and past the FCC's screwguns. Finally we know when you can get one, as they go on sale starting in September. The devices are already available in China, and will be rolled out to Europe next month with the rest of the world "to follow," according to Huawei. Its specs have changed since we last saw it, as it'll now feature a quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A9 processor instead of the K3 Balong CPU we saw earlier. Everything else stays the same: Android 4.0, a 10.1-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, an 8-megapixel rear camera that captures 1080P video, and 150Mbps LTE compatibility. We've already expressed our ardor about its gorgeous screen, great aluminum body and decent performance -- if you feel the same, check the PR to see when it's coming to your neck of the woods.

[Source: Engadget]

Huawei to introduce 10.1-inch tablet PC in Russia and China

Huawei Technologies aims to expand its tablet PC product line. The firm plans to introduce the MediaPad 10 FHD with a 10.1-inch IPS screen that has a resolution of 1900 by 1200. The tablet PC, featuring Android 4.0.4, will be launched in Russia and China first.

Unlike most tablet PC makers that develop similar applications such as smartphones and notebooks, Huawei has been developing tablet PCs using its home appliance department. The firm hopes to integrate home appliances with the tablet PCs.

Huawei has been cooperating with Foxconn on OEM orders.

According to Huawei, MediaPad 10 FHD comes with a HiSilicon quad-core K3V2 1.5GHz processor and 2GB RAM. The product has a thickness of 8.8mm and weighs 598g. MediaPad 10 FHD will be introduced in Taiwan at the end of the fourth quarter.

Huawei has been dominating the set-top box (STB) market in India, Brazil and Mexico, an mainly focuses on cable TV and satellite STBs. The firm indicated that IP STBs are a development trend.

[Source: DigiTimes]

Huawei Ascend G 302D goes public


It's a curious thing to have gold signify the low-end, but that's just what Huawei's done with its G series smartphone line. That bottom-dwelling, budget tier, first announced at this past Mobile World Congress, has already seen a couple of category cousins come out into the open (see: Vodafone's G 300 and T-Mobile's G 312), so color us unsurprised to find yet another single-core, Googlefied device crop up at the FCC. The associated docs leave little to the imagination, treating us to unobstructed images of the Ascend G 302D -- presumably, a 4-incher. We're not quite sure what software the phone'll run when it ships, though from the looks of those very ICS-like capacitive keys, we wouldn't rule Android 4.0 out. Spec-wise, we have the included manual and some RF testing to go off of, revealing two different sized batteries -- a 1,350mAh and 1,500mAh -- support for Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n and AT&T-compatible radios. That's not to say this lil' guy's guaranteed an official U.S. slot on that carrier's lineup, but it should make for a decent import option. Hit up the source below for additional shots of this mobile minor leaguer.

[Source: Engadget]

Huawei Device Partners with Eurosport for the Broadcast of this Summer’s Biggest Sporting Events

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced its partnership with Eurosport, the number one pan-European TV channel, for the broadcast of this summer’s biggest sporting events. This partnership is a significant step in Huawei Device’s efforts to build its brand among consumers across Europe, while celebrating the commercial availability in the region of its flagship smartphone, the Huawei Ascend P1.

As part of the agreement, Huawei’s Ascend P1 advertisements will be broadcast during selected Eurosport’s sports event coverage from July. Additionally, RSS feeds of Eurosports news updates and sporting results will be placed on Huawei Device online platforms including its website and global Facebook page.

“Our partnership with Eurosport provides an opportunity for consumers in more than 129 million households across Europe and North Africa to engage with the Huawei Device brand as we transition from a B2B to B2C company,” said Shao Yang, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Device. “Throughout this year our focus is on building the brand by introducing premium products, such as the Ascend P1, that enhance the consumer experience.”

Eurosport. “With our record breaking audience performance in 2012 and our multi-media communication platform Eurosport will provide Huawei with a powerful and effective communication plan for the Ascend P1 launch.” 

“We are delighted that Huawei Device has selected Eurosport, Europe's number one sports entertainment network, to be their exclusive pan-regional media partner for the forthcoming launch of the Huawei Ascend P1 smartphone in Europe,” said Mark McFarlane, Commercial Director,

The Ascend P1 is a super-slim smartphone that delivers outstanding speed, power and functionality. With sales in China commencing from mid-April, the Huawei Ascend P1 is available through more than 3,000 retail stores throughout China. The Ascend P1 will be available in Denmark, Germany, France, Portugal and Italy in July, with other markets to follow.


Huawei reveals the Mediapad 7 Lite, exact specs a mystery

What we see here is the latest Android device to emerge from Huawei, the Mediapad 7 Lite. We'd love to be able to run through the full list of specifications, but as yet very little has been revealed about this tablet. From the press shots it appears to be running pretty much stock Ice Cream Sandwich, but otherwise it's a pretty mysterious device thus far.  What we do know about the device is that the 7-inch IPS display will be capable of full HD video playback. Additionally, the Mediapad 7 Lite will be a metal unibody construction, house a rear facing camera, and be capable of 3G cellular voice, SMS and MMS. 7-inch phone anybody? Otherwise, we know nothing of the processor, the RAM, on-board storage.   It looks really well designed, and packing cellular features could potentially make it a bit of a hit. We'll have to sit tight for the time being though, as there is no indication of launch date, price, or which markets will be seeing it. 

[Source: Android Central]

Huawei’s feature-packed Blaze prepay smartphone

Huawei, a world leader in cutting-edge telecoms solutions and a powerful and exciting new brand in smartphones, is pleased to announce that its hotly-anticipated and feature-packed new Android smartphone, the Huawei Blaze, will be available from leading UK specialist mobile phone retailers Phones 4u and Tesco Mobile in October 2011.  

Running the latest Android 2.3 „Gingerbread operating system and boasting an advanced feature-set at its price, the slimline Huawei Blaze is the first Android smartphone to appear solely under the Huawei brand in the UK. It represents the first in an expanding series of highly specified and affordable handsets that Huawei will launch in the coming months.

The device and the retail agreements that support it are milestones in Huaweis drive to establish itself as a leading smartphone brand in the UK, and an essential part of its global vision to be among the leading smartphone brands in the next few years. In the UK, Huawei remains committed to its expanding ODM portfolio even as its builds its brand in smartphones and connected devices.

Huawei UK and Ireland Executive Vice President Mark Mitchinson said: “The Huawei Blaze represents the first important chapter in an epic new journey Huawei is embarking upon in the UK and Ireland, and indeed globally, and I am delighted to have Phones 4u and Tesco Mobile supporting such a pivotal and innovative product.

“The Phones 4u and Tesco Mobile brands are synonymous with the UK youth market and value segment, and this is where Huawei will enjoy early success as a progressive new smartphone brand, which we will build alongside our highly-successful ODM portfolio.

“The Huawei Blaze packs a powerful punch in terms of its feature set in the Android prepay and contract market. It is a slick, slimline smartphone with great functionality and exceptional build quality. It will clearly appeal to a whole swathe of UK consumers as a first Android smartphone and is bound to be a must for discerning shoppers.”

The Huawei Blaze, which goes under the name Ideos X3 in other markets, measures just 11.2mm in thinness. It has a refined user interface that makes it easy to navigate, more intuitive to use and more power efficient. It boasts a super-fast „boot function, and Huaweis own over-the-air (HOTA) upgrade solution, affording easy and timely Android OS upgrades.

It includes Google Maps, Google Talk, Gmail and YouTube, and features a 3.2 megapixel camera, 3.2 inch HVGA screen with 480x320 pixels, and the latest HSPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It has 512MB on-board storage, expandable to 32GB with a micro SD card.

The Huawei Blaze is expected to retail for under £100 on prepay in the UK.

Clove Hands On with the Huawei IDEOS

Clove Technology, a very well respected reseller of smart phones, tablet devices & accessories also run a very useful blog. Full of interesting snippets of news it is well worth checking out. A recent post details the forthcoming Huawei IDEOS Android powered smart phone, which has an amazing feature set and price. The following gives you an idea of what the IDEOS has to offer. For the full article please click here.


Last week I attended an event at which Huawei unveiled the IDEOS. 

The IDEOS for those who have yet to hear about it is a Google branded phone running Android 2.2 and comes in at sub £150 (Our exact cost still to be confirmed).

At the event I had a good twenty minute hands on with the device and thought I would jot down a few of my thoughts.  No particular structure here but hopefully you get the idea.

  • Feels solid for something that is less than £150. Of course there is a bit of a plastic feel but the quality is beyond what most would imagine here.  £300 Acer smartphones feel worse than this.
  • Comes in a variety of colours – the black is the most appealing.