Huawei Mate X: first look at the foldable phone of the future

James Martin  CNET

James Martin CNET

"The Huawei Mate X has a large 8" screen with a 2480 x 2200 resolution and an 8:7.1 aspect ratio when unfolded with pretty thin bezels and no notch or "cliff" like the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Announced at a pre-MWC event in Barcelona, Huawei claims the Mate X is the fastest foldable 5G phone.

Youve seen the teasers, but now everything is official - Huawei introduced its foldable smartphone, called Mate X. The back screen is 6.4 inches and can be used for taking selfies, and other tasks that users tend to do with one hand, such as dialing phone numbers.

Unfortunately, guests at the pre-MWC event were not allowed to handle the device on show, which makes estimations of its actual performance and usability hard at this point. the Mate X will reportedly cost US$2.600 at it's launch, and become available by the second half of 2019. Of course, we know that 2019 is the dawning of this particular product category with many companies announcing or planning a folding phone.

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What actually further distinguishes the Mate X is that this isn't just Huawei's first foldable phone, it's also Huawei's first 5G phone.

The firm also boasted of a flexible FullView OLED Display, two column browsing side by side or multi-window use, and a camera system that can play the role of both front and rear cameras. The foldable screen mirrors the display so the subject can see how they look in real-time.

These laptops also feature Huawei Share feature that allows you to transfer images and other files between a Huawei phone and laptop via an NFC-based connection. It also has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that doubles as the power button.

While foldable phones are very much first-gen products at present, the Mate X sports some thoughtful design touches such as the "Falcon Hinge" that has been created to support the bendy OLED display and allow it to fold completely flat as well as shrinking down to just 11mm thick when folded up.

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The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the purported billboard for the Mate X. Within 30 minutes, Huawei promises, you can charge the Mate X up to 85-percent - or around 3,825 mAh - from fully discharged.

"No, ' he replied simply, before going on to describe the €2,229 (£2,000) smartphone as launching 'a new era" in mobile technology. The particular 5G chip it uses is the Balong 5000 and quad antennas.

The Mate X's insides are equally as impressive. Huawei bills the Mate X as "the world's fastest foldable 5G phone". One area where the Mate X stands out is connectivity.

Now the second largest smartphone maker in the world, it is also due to unveil a new range of flagship devices in Paris next month.

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