Huawei takes foldable phone fight to Samsung with 5G Mate X

Huawei unveils Mate X folding phone to rival Samsung Galaxy Fold

Huawei unveils Mate X folding phone to rival Samsung Galaxy Fold

Then Huawei showed us the Mate X, and we instantly forgot any other folding phone existed. Also, the screen folds effortlessly around the back of the phone using what Huawei refers to as the Falcon Wing design.

Tech analyst Shana Glenzer on Samsung's new foldable smartphone the Galaxy Fold.

Huawei has revealed its first phone to feature a foldable screen, less than a week after rival firm Samsung showed the world its own version.

Inside the Mate X are a pair of batteries that add up to 4,500mAh, while TechCrunch reports that "you're going to need something beefy inside to deal with all of those screens and 5G, which is a notable battery drainer".

Huawei, which became the world's second-biggest smartphone maker previous year after Samsung, argued at its MWC launch event that its hardware is technically superior to Samsung's, saying the Mate X's screen is bigger than the Galaxy Fold when unfolded and its device is flatter and thinner than Samsung's when folded shut.

MWC attendees jostling for a snap of the Huawei Mate X bendable phone.

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The device uses a design significantly different to Samsung's Galaxy Fold, unveiled less than a week earlier, which appears to fold into a thinner form-factor than the Fold. According to Shen, the folded screen "does not bring about a huge improvement in user experience". Unlike the foldable Samsung model with thick bezels in smartphone mode, this smartphone has tiny bezels around the display when folded or unfolded.

The power switch is integrated into the fingerprint reader, and there is 512GB storage (expandable by Huawei's proprietary nano card up to 256GB) and 8GB of RAM onboard.

Foldable smartphones may be the next big thing.

However in Glenzer's opinion extra costs could pose a challenge for smartphone makers. The device, described as a phone-tablet hybrid, has been called an "engineering marvel", providing a foldable tablet sized screen that can be carried around in your pocket.

Most technology giants came up with the smartphone-meets-tablet configuration with the flexible displays, however, Nubia has distinguished itself by launching a folding wearable that packs nearly all of the functionalities of a smartphone. The prototype of the foldable phone by Oppo appears to boast a dual-LED flash on its camera module and it even has an Oppo branding on the thick bar.

Huawei said its Mate X would be available later in the year to coincide with the launch of 5G networks, which are expected to begin limited rollout in the summer in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

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