Huawei is preparing to introduce at MWC 2019 flexible smartphone

The Mate X could be the first of many Huawei foldable phone designs.                  Jessica Dolcourt  CNET

The Mate X could be the first of many Huawei foldable phone designs. Jessica Dolcourt CNET

Customers who pre-order Galaxy S10 devices will be among the first to enjoy its new cinematic display and its professional-grade camera among other distinctive features. Xiaomi have a tri-fold design with the outer edges folding back around on themselves.

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"For more than 35 years, we've led the industry in new hardware and services that have helped to revolutionize the consumer experience", said DJ Koh, head of Samsung's IT & mobile communications division.

Yu also criticised how other foldable phones used notches or hole-punch displays to incorporate a front-facing camera, with the Mate X's screen covering the entire device virtually interrupted. The Galaxy Fold has a noticeable loop, seemingly large enough to slot in a pencil, while the Mate X is much more flat.

Wong also confirmed that the Mate X closes with a latch, and will not support wireless charging.

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Flip it over, however, and the second screen is particularly elongated; a 6.38in portion of the panel sits alongside the camera strip. Samsung believes it will prove critics wrong with the launch of its first commercial foldable device, which the company has touted over the years as an R&D effort since 2011, most recently last summer, and believes will create a new mobile device category. The Mate X, with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, starts at €2,299 ($3,425 CAD at the time of writing).

In phone form the Mate X has a big screen: it looks like a slightly chunky 6.6-inch phone, really. It also gives us a glimpse of what to expect from the device's triple rear camera setup.

Using Intel's 5G mobile trial platform and Ericsson's software, the two have proved they can run 4G and 5G traffic simultaneously on the same frequency carrier. Maybe that's why Huawei is also offering a "Full Cover Case" accessory, which we've been told will be in the box (region dependent). Here Huawei first proclaims it's able to charge the phone at 55W of power, reaching 85% of capacity from empty in just 30 minutes. 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 Mate X will sell for 2,299 euros ($2,600) when it goes on sale by midyear.

Huawei hasn't revealed exactly when the Mate X will be released, only giving the vague promise of the "middle of 2019" during its announcement in Barcelona.

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