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A rare look inside Huawei's R&D lab

We took a tour around some of Huawei's many research and development facilities to find out how phones are tested not just for durability, but also how they pass the stringent regulations around the world.

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  • huawei r amp d lab 1 screen test Prod it
  • huawei r amp d lab 2 drop test Drop it
  • huawei r amp d lab 3 tumble test Tumble it
  • huawei r amp d lab 3a connector test Pull it
  • huawei r amp d lab 4 rain test Drown it
  • huawei r amp d lab 5 signal test Test it
  • huawei r amp d lab 6 bend test Bend it
  • huawei r amp d lab 7 environmental test Heat it
  • huawei r amp d lab 8 microphone test Listen to it
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Prod it

Automatic machines press different areas on the screen to ensure there's a response, even round the very edges.

Similar machines press the buttons repeatedly, an accelerated way of seeing if they still work after thousands upon thousands of pushes.

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Next Prev huawei r amp d lab 1 screen test

Automatic machines press different areas on the screen to ensure there's a response, even round the very edges.

Similar machines press the buttons repeatedly, an accelerated way of seeing if they still work after thousands upon thousands of pushes.

Drop it

Everyone's favourite test to watch, unless you have mechanical sympathy. 

This machine drops phones from 1.4m onto a hard marble floor. All six sides are tested: edges, plus front and back. 

A slo-mo camera records each drop at 5000fps so engineers can see any potential problems if a device fails the test.

Tumble it

You could argue this is an even more vicious test than the simple drop.

This machine holds five phones in separate compartments and spins round, chucking the phones around inside. 

Pull it

This machine grips the USB cable and repeatedly inserts and removes it.

What it doesn't do - or at least didn't during the demo - was insert the micro USB cable the wrong way round into this Honor phone. And we all know you first try to plug microUSB the wrong way round.

That's why USB-C was invented.

Drown it

Although none of Huawei's phones is yet waterproof, they can still withstand a rain shower without giving up the ghost.

A machine simulates a downpour and after 10 minutes in two orientations, an engineer checks for normal operation.

Test it

One of many anechoic chambers in Huawei's R&D centre which can test a phones antennae.

They're set up to meet the test requirements of major operators around the world.

Bend it

Ever put your phone in your back pocket and sit down? This machine simulates that common scenario by applying 25kg of pressure via this rubber 'bottom' to a phone held in a denim band.

If the phone isn't bent afterwards, it passes the test.

Heat it

Machines like these are used to test environmental conditions, such as extreme heat and cold, plus high and low humidity.

Some are even set up to rapidly transition between very hot and very cold temperatures to check the handset can handle it.

Listen to it

In this semi-anechoic chamber, speakers are set up around the room to simulate various environments from a busy street to a call centre.

It's all to test the noise-reduction system in Huawei's phones which improves call quality.

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