Huawei unveils flagship Kirin 990 5G chipset, new FreeBuds 3, plus two new P30 Pro colour variants (running Android 10 out of the box)

Huawei has used IFA, as it has done many times before, to launch its flagship chipset that will power a series of phones between now and next autumn. It also continues the theme of ending the year and starting the next with the most powerful chip.

In this case, Huawei’s Kirin 990 comes in two guises; a 5G and non-5G enabled one.

The 5G enabled chip offers 5G speeds of up to 2.3Gbps down and 1.25Gbps up, with more efficiency compared to Qualcomm’s X50 modem, and smart uplink support that splits between 4G and 5G.

There’s support for both standalone and non-standalone 5G.

On the processing side, the new Da Vinci NPU architecture has 2 big cores and 2 tiny cores, with the latter used for relatively simple tasks like face unlocking or recognising fingerprints.

The tiny cores are up to 24 times more efficient than the big cores.

On the CPU side, there are two big cores, two middle cores and four little cores. The non-5G version has just one big core and is slightly underclocked on some cores.

The GPU is the same Mali G76 as the Kirin 980 but with 16 cores instead of 10.

Further improvements to image processing now enable DSLR-like noise-reduction, which will likely make a big difference on the forthcoming Mate 30 series handsets to be announced in a couple of weeks.

Bluetooth 5.1 offers 50% lower power consumption, with streaming of audio at up to 6.5Mbps.

Further details of the Kirin 990 chipset will be available once formerly announced at Huawei’s IFA keynote presentation today.

Pictured: New P30 colours, Kirin 990 chip & FreeBuds 3 with charging case

There was no mention of any more low to mid-range chipsets getting the addition of 5G, so this is likely to come in the first half of 2020, enabling more affordable 5G handsets from Huawei and sub-brand Honor.

New P30 Pro colours & FreeBuds 3

Huawei P30 Pro with Android 10
P30 Pro in Mystic Blue – with Android 10 loaded out of the box

At the same time, Huawei has launched two new colour variants of the P30 Pro, with a two-tone finish that makes them look rather Pixel-esque, as well as shipping them from day one with Android 10.

The two colours are Mystic Blue and Misty Lavender.

Further to all that, Huawei announced a new Kirin A1 chipset for audio products, included within the new FreeBuds 3 with active noise cancelling (pictured above).

The FreeBuds 3 can be charged in just 30 minutes (faster than Apple AirPods 2) with four hours of listening with each charge, of a total of 20 hours from the charging case.

They have a patented aerodynamic mic duct that enables clear conversation even if cycling at up to 20kph.

Pricing and availability of the new phones and accessories will be announced shortly.


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