Huawei may be developing a new smartphone featuring a slider form factor similar to the OPPO Find X. The design discovered recently by Dutch tech blog LetsGoDigital has been presented in a patent application in the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) database, published on March 1st. Despite this, the patent was initially filed as far back as February 1, 2018, so it’s been more than a year since the Chinese OEM considered building a smartphone based on this particular form factor.
Unlike the OPPO Find X, the mysterious Huawei device conceals only the front-facing cameras behind the slider mechanism, as opposed to both the front and rear-facing units. The phone carries two vertically-aligned rear-facing cameras on the back panel, and it appears that both the rear and front-facing dual sensors are coupled with a flash.
Hiding the selfie cameras behind a slider mechanism allows for thinner bezels all around, and the only other component visible on the front panel is a thin speaker grille at the top. The model appears to be lacking a visible fingerprint scanner and this can mean a number of things. Huawei may have envisioned the device with an in-display fingerprint sensor unless it’s embedded in one of the physical side buttons.
One other possibility would be that the device lacks this functionality altogether and replaces it with two front-facing cameras able to provide facial recognition. Such is the case with the OPPO Find X so this might be yet another similarity between it and Huawei’s unannounced smartphone. But while the Find X has a single front-facing unit, Huawei’s solution appears to employ two, which increases the possibility that they might be Time-of-Flight (ToF) cameras capable of capturing 3D images in real time and in more lighting conditions.
Other details revealed by the patent application include a USB Type-C connector on the bottom edge, which seems to be flanked by two speaker grilles. It’s unclear whether both would be functional or if one of them is fake and included for the sake of symmetry.
Hardware information is missing and at this point in time, it’s unclear whether Huawei will manufacture and bring this particular smartphone model to the market. This would be the OEM’s first smartphone to adopt this slider design, but lately, Huawei hasn’t shied away from previously-unexplored form factor.
Last month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Huawei unveiled the foldable Mate X equipped with an 8-inch AMOLED display as a response to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the emerging market segment as a whole. Much like Samsung’s model, the Mate X has a fingerprint scanner embedded in a physical side button.
Another Huawei smartphone model that seems to be developed by the OEM is the P Smart X, whose moniker was discovered recently in the EUIPO database. The device is likely based on the standard Huawei P Smart (2019) launched in December, but as yet little is known about its form factor and internal components. With MWC having ended last week, it remains to be seen when Huawei might plan to introduce these new models which are seemingly in the works.