Huawei Unveils Mate X Foldable Handset To Challenge The Galaxy Fold

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Huawei's MWC 2019 keynote took place just recently, and the company announced its rumored foldable smartphone during the event. In addition to that, Huawei also announced new MateBooks, and talked about some smart gadgets and tech, but we're here to focus on the Mate X, the company's very first foldable smartphone.

Huawei did not exactly wait for long in order to compete with Samsung, as most of you know, Samsung announced its first foldable smartphone just four days ago, on February 20. Huawei's offering is considerably different from Samsung's Galaxy Fold smartphone, though, not only does it look considerably different in terms of the design, but its internals are also quite different.

The "Falcon Wing Design"

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Let's kick things off with the design, as that is probably the most interesting aspect of the device. Foldable phones are a completely new category of smartphones, basically, and Huawei took a different approach to Samsung here. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X folds outwards, and it sports a single display. Huawei calls its design the "Falcon Wing Design".

When unfolded, the bezels on this phone are extremely thin, and there are no notches or display holes included in the mix, while the opposite is the case with the Galaxy Fold, as it sports a rather large corner notch. The phone's back is also considerably thicker on the right side when it is unfolded, as that is where the cameras (which we'll talk in a bit) are located, and it actually gives you a nice way to grip the phone. Things get pretty interesting when the phone is folded, as you will notice that you essentially get two displays, one on the front and one on the back, which we'll talk more about in a second.

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This phone uses its rear-facing cameras as its front-facing cameras as well, depending on the state it's in, if it's unfolded, those cameras will be located on the back, if not, they will be still placed on the back, but a part of the phone's display will be located next to them. If you're a selfie person, you will definitely appreciate this, as you'll be able to use the phone's primary cameras as selfie cameras, basically.

The Huawei Mate X is quite thin when unfolded, it measures only 5.4mm, not counting the camera portion of the device. When folded, we're looking at the thickness of 11mm. The phone's physical keys are located on the right side of the device, and the fingerprint scanner is built into the power button.

Versatile Foldable FullView Display

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The Huawei Mate X's display is called "Foldable FullView Display", at least that's what Huawei referred to it during the keynote. That display is actually larger than the one Samsung included in the Galaxy Fold, we're looking at an 8-inch 2480 x 2200 panel here with an 8:7.1 display aspect ratio. This is a flexible OLED panel that the company used.

When folded, you're left with two displays, basically, one on the front, and one on the back. On the front, you're getting a 6.6-inch 2480 x 1148 display with a 19.5:9 display aspect ratio, while on the back, you'll notice a 6.38-inch 2480 x 892 panel with a 25:9 display aspect ratio. Next to the display on the back, you'll notice the phone's cameras, three of them, and an LED flash below them.

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When folded, the display on the front has a bezel on the right, and an even thinner bezel on the top and bottom. The back portion of its display has a large bezel on the left, where the cameras are, though you will basically be using the front side of the display when the phone is folded, unless you're using its cameras for whatever reason.

55W Huawei SuperCharge Is Blazing Fast

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The Huawei Mate X has a 4,500mAh two-fold battery built-in, and that battery is not removable. Huawei utilized "AI smart power saving technology" here, as that aspect of the device needed to be adjusted considering the 5G era, says the company. The company also built in its 55W Huawei SuperCharge technology into the device, and that tech can charge up the battery up to 85-percent in only 30 minutes, says Huawei.

5G Is The Name Of The Game

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Those of you who are wondering, yes, the Huawei Mate X does come with 5G support. The phone is fueled by Huawei's very own Kirin 980 64-bit octa-core processor, which comes with the Balong 5000 5G modem chipset. That chipset was actually announced recently by Huawei, and is not included in the Mate 20 series, despite the fact those phones are fueled by the same SoC as the Huawei Mate X.

Huawei claims that Balong 5000 is the world's first chipset to support both 5A and NSA architectures, and that the phone has four "cutting-edge" antennas built into the Mate X. The phone can reach 4.6Gps on the sub-6GHz band (theoretical). This phone also comes with two SIM card slots, and the device will support both 4G and 5G connectivity.

Leica's Branding Is Back

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All we know about the phone's cameras is that they're carrying the Leica branding. That essentially means that the Mate X will include Leica's lenses for its triple camera setup on the back, which is expected, as all of its flagships did the same, for the last couple of years, due to Huawei's agreement with Leica. There are three cameras included on the Mate X, as already mentioned, but the specs are not available at the moment.

Huawei did not really talk a lot about the phone's software, but it did present the two-column browsing that will be available on the device. You will essentially have the multi-window capability at had with this device, and it will be quite capable in terms of such multitasking. No extra info was given regarding the phone's software, but we're assuming it will ship with Android 9 Pie.

The Phone Is Priced Over €2,000

During its press conference, Huawei did confirm the pricing of the device, and we also know that it will go on sale sometime in mid-2019. The phone will arrive with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage only, it seems, and it will be priced at €2,299. This makes the Huawei Mate X even more expensive than the Galaxy Fold, as Samsung announced that the Galaxy Fold will go on sale for $1,980. Those price tags are definitely not for mere mortals, but the two devices are probably not aimed at general consumers.

Huawei mentioned only one color variant of the phone, the Interstellar Blue, so we do know that color will be available, not sure if any additional ones will be up for sale. These phones present the next-gen category of phones, and are first-gen devices… all in all, pretty much everyone expected them to extremely expensive, maybe not this expensive, though. That is pretty much all the availability info that we have, as Huawei did not talk about specific markets or anything of the sort, but considering that the Mate X's price tag is presented in euros, it will be available in Europe for sure.

UPDATE: Vodafone UK & EE announced that they will "soon" offer the Mate X, probably in mid-2019 as Huawei said that's when the phone will become available.