Huawei's Ridiculous Obsession With Beauty

Feb 24 2014, 4:51am CST | by

Huawei's Ridiculous Obsession With Beauty
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Huawei delivered a confident launch event yesterday at the Mobile World Congress. It exhibited the kind of confidence that only a company that is obsessed with perfection can deliver. How do I know it’s obsessed? It exhibits all of the classic traits; meticulous attention to detail, constant comparison to its rivals and a complete lack of self awareness of its debilitating obsession.

The obsession comes in two forms, both good and bad. On the good side, Huawei is innovating in slimmed down design and making some genuinely impressive looking tech. On the other side, it’s pumping out ridiculous beauty apps that automatically retouch photos for ‘when you’re not looking your best’.

When you look closely, like really closely, the crazed, bright-eyed, make-up-caked face of Huawei’s obsession stares right back at you. And it’s bloody terrifying.

Take Huawei’s new selfie machine, the Ascend G6, for example. An impressive smartphone that boasts an impossibly thin bezel, 4G and a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. All for a competitively priced €249. It was presented as the smartphone that’s aiming itself at the ‘18-30’ market, whatever that market is. Presumably people who like to get smashed on wine that comes out of a tap, and have no qualms about buying five or six new phones a year to replace the one they left on the nightbus. One of its main appeals, according to Huawei, was that it has a front facing 5MP camera, which is great if you want a pixel free Skype chat. But Huawei didn’t mutter any semblance of the phrase ‘conference call’. No, it was all ‘selfie’, ‘group selfie’, ‘in picture selfie editing’. It also features a wide angle lens for taking better group selfies and an ‘auto face enhancement’ feature that airbrushes that God awful face of yours.

I really can’t imagine someone buying a phone for the sole reason of taking better selfies. Maybe they do. Maybe Huawei knows something I don’t and there are people out there who are exclusively concerned with the quality of their selfie. Maybe society has become that repugnant and my inability to see it is a result for my natural optimism for humanity.

Maybe, this selfie malarkey is a way of distancing itself from its rivals with exclusive apps for its devices, or, maybe it simply doesn’t understand the European market. In a time when there’s backlash about the level of photoshopping of celebrities in tabloid magazines and other compilations of bile spread across 50 pages, maybe Huawei is slightly behind the trend.

When the presenter talked us through the selfie app and the automatic retouching, there were more than a few sniggers in the crowd. The unbelievably cheesy advert for the G6, which told us nothing about the phone and quickly paced through a hackneyed love story that looked like it was lifted from Google’s ‘this is where we met’ advert, confirmed to me that Huawei is trying to replicate its rivals’ ability to marry sentiment and technology – except with all of the authenticity of a shotgun wedding.

This isn’t even a new trend. The Ascend P6 also had a ‘beauty mode’ app that apparently made you look ten years younger. When I interviewed a Huawei executive at the P6 launch last year, he demoed the beauty app to me using a picture of his daughter and said ‘when I show this to people, they ask, is this your wife?’. We both laughed, although I suspect for different reasons.

The marketing schpiel, too, made me do that half-smile, half-wice you do when you’re doing your best to hide your pitying grimace. ‘It’s a thing of beauty’ the press release proclaims. ‘[it’s] stylish shape and elegantly curved edges take smartphone design to a new level of perfection’, it continues. Obviously all of Huawei’s previous phones were only mid-level perfection. Like having access to the bronze service at a day spa.

With every slide during the presentation, all I could see were the constant references to ‘perfection’, ‘beauty’ and one of its rivals – Apple or Google. You see, Huawei kindly reminded us that its new devices were in many ways better than anything Apple or Google are making. The CEO even went as far to demonstrate, with an iPad, how Huawei’s new Mediapad X1 phablet was slim enough to fit into his trouser pocket, unlike the bulky iPad. If you can even consider the iPad bulky. The tablet industry clearly suffers from body dysmorphia.

The same rhetoric followed for every other device launched yesterday as it did for the G6: ‘stunning’ ‘effortless’ ‘ultra slim’ etc etc. In many cases it’s true (not that I’d ever use those kind of adjectives to describe a budget smartphone), the tech on show tonight from Huawei is very good looking. But, this level of obsession with beauty just isn’t very attractive and, in many ways, is genuinely scary – during the entire conference I felt like I was stuck in a lift with Miss Havisham. It’s this level of obsession that teeters on the edge of sublime and falls just short of insane, and it’s this level of obsession that seems to define Huawei.

Source: Forbes Apple

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Black Friday Deals are on Sale in MacMall Black Friday 2014 Sale
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
The Target Black Friday 2014 pre sale is live online offering $100 Gift Cards with iPad Air and iPad mini 3 purchases and many more deals.
 
 
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Amazon Black Friday 2014 Sale has been released. The Amazon Black Friday 2014 begins earlier than ever before. In past years the Amazon Black Friday deals week started on Sunday.Besides Amazon, Walmart has kicked...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Ukraine's newly elected parliament holds first session
Kiev, Nov 27 (IANS) The newly-elected Ukrainian parliament held its first session Thursday to swear in lawmakers and form committees. The incumbent parliament Speaker, Olexandr Turchynov, hosted the inauguration...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Saina, Srikanth seeded 5th, 6th for Super Series Finals
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 (IANS) Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and leading Indian male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth were seeded fifth and sixth, respectively, Thursday for the $1,000,000 World Super Series Finals Dec...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Chowrasia, Lahiri joint leaders in King's Cup
Khon Kaen (Thailand), Nov 27 (IANS) Indian golfers S.S.P. Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri took a share of the opening round lead of the $500,000 King's Cup at the par-72 Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club here Thursday....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Greek unions in second general strike this year
Athens, Nov 27 (IANS/EFE) Greece was hit Thursday by the second general strike in a year called by labour unions to protest government austerity policies which include public sector job cuts and labour law reform...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Saina, Kashyap seeded 5th, 6th for Super Series Finals
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 (IANS) Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and leading Indian male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth were seeded fifth and sixth, respectively Thursday, for the $1,000,000 World Super Series Finals Dec...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Modi, Sharif bonhomie gives fresh boost to Saarc (Roundup)
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) In a final ice-breaking moment, that gave a huge boost to Saarc and floundering regional cooperation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Now, flying robots to serve as waiters in Singapore
Singapore, Nov 27 (IANS) If you are planning to visit Singapore next year, don't be surprised if you were greeted and served a sumptuous meal by flying robots as waiters in some restaurants. Infinium-Serve, the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four Afghans, one Briton killed in Kabul suicide attack
Kabul, Nov 27 (IANS/EFE) A British national and four Afghans were killed Thursday in a suicide attack on a British embassy vehicle in Kabul which left 34 others injured, officials said. The attack occurred at 10.30 a....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Badminton to continue testing of five-game scoring system
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 27 (IANS) The Badminton World Federation (BWF) Thursday decided to continue with the testing variations of the best of five games. "Following the recent BWF Council meeting in Lima, Peru, members...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Two arrested in France for jihadi propaganda
Paris, Nov 27 (IANS) French police arrested a couple in Ain, central east France on charges of belonging to an alleged jihadi propaganda network, media reported on Thursday. A French man in his thirties, who converted...
Read more on Politics Balla