Finally, new form factors have emerged in the smartphone world. In 2019, every manufacturer worth its salt will at least be thinking about a folding smartphone. At the MWC in Barcelona, Huawei presented its vision for a foldable smartphone, the Huawei Mate X.
The Huawei Mate X is one of the first folding smartphones ever, but it's also one of the leaders in another area: it supports 5G mobile connectivity. You won't find both features in one device anywhere else, because the Samsung Galaxy Fold has no 5G antennas. It's no wonder that Huawei advertises the Mate X with the slogan: "World's fastest foldable 5G phone" - after all, there is no competition!
The Mate X is indeed a fascinating piece of technology - which we, unfortunately, weren't allowed to touch yet. Hopefully, this will change over the course of MWC 2019, because this form factor is brand new and very exciting. Unlike Samsung, Huawei uses only one display on the outside of the smartphone, not two. Samsung bends the display on the inside when closing the device.
How large is the folding display of the Huawei Mate X?
In principle, the Huawei Mate X has three display sizes. In the collapsed state, an almost borderless 6.6-inch display in a 19.5:9 format is visible on the front, with a resolution of 2,480 x 1,148 pixels. If you turn the Huawei Mate X around, the 6.38 inch second screen appears with a resolution of 2,480 x 892 pixels. If you open the Huawei smartphone up, you get a large screen with a diagonal of 8 inches with a resolution of 2,480 x 2,200 pixels - and no notch at all. Samsung only has a diagonal of 7.3 inches on its foldable smartphone and still has to leave room for that large notch in the top right-hand corner of the display. That's an early head start for Huawei.
The hinge was also developed by Huawei. The manufacturer is calling the mechanism its 'Falcon Wing Hinge System'. The Huawei Mate X remains quite thin despite its folding mechanism. When opened, the smartphone measures only 5.4 millimeters thick. When closed it is 11 millimeters. A narrow part on the back serves as a handle and accommodates the power button with its integrated fingerprint sensor, the volume rocker, the USB port, the camera and the speaker. It's a clever idea because, with this handle, the Huawei Mate X should actually be comfortable to hold in your hand.
Huawei Mate X: 5G support
The Huawei Mate X has another feature that Samsung can't compete with, and that's 5G reception. With the Kirin 980 and the 5G Balong 5000 modem, the Mate X has two modern 7-nanometer chips on board. Using the four 5G antennas, the Mate X achieves theoretical transfer rates of up to 4.6 Gbps. This allows a 1GB file to be transferred in three seconds.
There are hardly any details about the camera except that it was developed by Leica. The Huawei Mate X is only offered in one color variant - a deep dark blue, which is called Interstellar Blue. The two-part battery in the Huawei Mate X has a capacity of 4,500 mAh and is powered by a 55-watt charger.
How much will the Huawei Mate X cost?
The price of the Huawei Mate X is, just like the Samsung Galaxy Fold ($1,980), absolutely whopping. It starts at 2,299 euros in Europe for the 8GB/512GB version. That's about $2,600 in today's US dollars. If you want to buy the Mate X, you'll also have to be patient, because Huawei has not yet announced a specific date for the start of sales. In the summer, however, should be a safe bet.
What do you think about Huawei's foldable phone? Is the Mate X more to your liking than the Galaxy Fold? Let us know in the comments.