In a post-Snowden world, can Huawei's P8 Lite smartphone win back US consumers?

June 7, 2015


Huawei may not have many friends in Congress, but it's still asking Americans to love it again.
On Wednesday, the China-based network equipment giant announced its latest effort to win the hearts and minds of US smartphone buyers. Huawei's strategy aims to undercut its rivals by making what it says is its most accessible device.
Meet the Huawei P8 Lite. It's unlocked and available on any US network, and comes with a sub-$250 price tag. And the hardware itself isn't half bad, either.
The 1.5Ghz Snapdragon 615 octa-core smartphone comes with a 5-inch display with a high-definition 720p resolution, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera (and 5-megapixels in the front), and high-speed LTE connectivity. It also comes with a microSD port for additional storage of up to 32GB.
As for size, it's thin at just 7.7 millimeters, and it's remarkably light at just 4.6 ounces.

And, to mix things up, it comes with dual-SIM support, allowing users to switch between one or more carriers -- handy for frequent international travelers, or those wanting to save a few bucks when roaming at home.

What's not to love?

There's still that matter of trust to overcome, whether or not you believe reports from the not-so-distant past.

Huawei's had a speckled history in the US, a market it desperately wants to crack. Allegations from lawmakers that the company has been in cahoots with the Chinese government have stuck and not gone away, despite numerous attempts by executives to alleviate their concerns.