It looks like 2019 will be the year the first foldable smartphones with flexible displays will be available for sale to the general public. Companies like Samsung, LG, and Oppo have revealed they intend to join the foldable phone trend at some point. One company, Royole, even claims it will actually launch its own flexible display phone, the FlexPai, before the end of 2018.
Joining this list of foldable phone makers is Huawei, which makes some of the best Android phones around, like the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro. We’ve heard a few things about what to expect from Huawei on the flexible display phone front, so let’s get into it.
Related reading: Foldable phones have arrived, but are we there yet?
We will update this post as more information on Huawei’s foldable phone plans are revealed.
Huawei foldable phone: Name, release date, and price
Huawei’s foldable phone was shown off on-stage at MWC 2019, finally confirming the device’s Mate X name. This two-in-one device is the first from the Chinese company and is most likely the biggest rival that Samsung has in this new form factor market.
Huawei also unveiled that the Mate X with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of built-in storage will cost 2,299 euros. Although it’s unlikely that the foldable will make its way stateside, this would bring the device’s cost to roughly $2,600 before sales tax.
It was supposed to go on sale in Europe and China sometime later this summer. However, Huawei recently announced it was delaying the launch of the Mate X until sometime in September. Huawei claims that they wanted to improve the phone’s flexible display to avoid the issues discovered by Samsung on the Galaxy Fold.
It’s possible that the Huawei Mate X delay is also due to the U.S. government’s decision to ban Huawei’s use of U.S.-made hardware and software devices in its future smartphones. Huawei is currently scheduled to lose its license for installing Google’s Android OS in its phones because of the government band. Huawei does have its own mobile operating system that it is in the works. It could be ready to be installed in upcoming phones this year in China, with a global release in 2020.
Huawei Mate X: Specs and design
Huawei didn’t share all of the Mate X’s specs when showing off the phone, but we did learn that it will support 5G out of the box. Of course, this will be limited to where carrier infrastructure is in place, so the foldable could easily be a China-exclusive.
|Huawei Mate X|
|Display||6.6-inch front screen (when closed), 19.5:9, 2480 x 1148|
6.38-inch rear screen (when closed), 25:9, 2480 x 892
8-inch full view screen, 8:7.1, 2480 x 2200
|SoC||HiSilicon Kirin 980|
|GPU||Arm Mali-G76 MP10|
|Cameras||Leica triple camera|
|Battery||4,500mAh dual batteries|
55W SuperCharge charging
|Sensors||Side-mounted fingerprint sensor|
The Kirin 980 and Balong 5000 modem are reportedly capable of 4.6Gbps downlink speeds, which is double the industry standard for 5G and ten times what’s currently available with 4G networks. That bandwidth means you can download a 1GB movie in just three seconds at sub-6GHz speeds. The phone features 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
The Mate X’s 4,500mAh battery can get up to 85 percent charge in just 30 minutes using the included 55W Huawei SuperCharge adaptor. Just like with the Galaxy Fold, Huawei’s handset includes two separate batteries that reside on either side of the fold.
Huawei’s foldable is just 5.4mm thick when open across most of the device. The grip component is a bit bigger. The phone closes up to be 11mm thick and closes flush against itself. There’s a pill-shaped two-in-one power button/fingerprint scanner and a USB-C port on one end of the grip. It didn’t appear to have a headphone jack.
According to Huawei, the Mate X is the world’s thinnest foldable phone, the world’s fastest 5G phone, and it also has the world’s fastest charging solution.
That’s all we have to report so far about the upcoming Huawei foldable phone. We will be updating and expanding this post as more confirmed information, along with more credible rumors, are revealed over the coming weeks and months.
Are you excited about Huawei’s foldable phone? Do you like the Mate X’s form factor better than the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s? Let us know in the comments.