Published: Mon, February 25, 2019
Technology | By Nina Perez

Huawei one-ups Samsung with world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone

Huawei one-ups Samsung with world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone

With so many engineering obstacles and high manufacturing costs - the Mate X will cost €2,299 (£1,997), for example - phone makers will want to make sure their products sell.

Xiaomi CEO Lin Bin first showed the phone in a video released at the end of January, calling it a "double folding mobile phone". But unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold it doesn't have separate exterior and interior screens that are accessed by folding the thing like a book.

The phone will be available in the middle of 2019, with 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, for the price of €2,299. When folded, it can be used as either a 6.3-inch or 6.6-inch smartphone. Due to the larger display, its endurance likely will not match that of a phone with a smaller display, such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

When you open the Mate X, it has an 8 inch display from corner to corner with no notch. The front has a resolution of 2480 x 1148 and 2480 x 892 on the back.

It's an astonishingly slender device. In tablet mode, the thinnest section is a mere 5.4 mm thick: in comparison, the iPad Pro comes in at 5.9 mm thick.

The Mate X boasts some power in it, too. The "side-bar" as well as the folded phone thickness comes in at 11mm, which is still a reasonable thickness. On the back of that grip is a vertically-aligned triple camera system, along with a flash.

Instead they are placed on the flipside of the device on a strip that also features a fingerprint sensor. The rival handset-tablet hybrids have contrasting designs.

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When it came time to announce the price of the Mate X, Yu didn't mince words.

Huawei is the latest tech company to unveil a foldable smartphone device, debuting its forthcoming foldable Mate X at a packed launch event in Barcelona in the early hours on Monday morning AEST.

With fast 5G connectivity, Huawei says consumers will be able to download a 1GB movie in 3 seconds.

Like other recent Huawei devices, the Mate X is powered by a 7nm Kirin 980 chipset. It ensures download speeds of up to 4.6Gbps or 10X what you could get on a 4G device.

The Chinese firm's presence in the 5G infrastructure market remains a geopolitical talking point, with the United States warning European countries it may find it hard to work with anyone who choose to use Huawei products in their networks, after raising security concerns over the Chinese company.

"This phone is not only for today for 5G but also for future 5G". There's also a protective case on the way, uniquely designed for Mate X's weird shape, though it won't be bundled with the phone itself.

A photo posted to Twitter on Friday appears to show workers at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona installing a billboard for a gadget called the Mate X. How about battery life?

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