Samsung last week unveiled its much-anticipated Galaxy Fold smartphone, which starts at $1,980 in the United States. If that’s not expensive enough for you, Huawei has you covered with an even pricier $2,600 foldable smartphone that has your name written on it.
Costing nearly three grand, the new foldable smartphone from Huawei is a thinner, pricier rival to the Galaxy Fold. Announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the Mate X is a phone with a 6.6-inch OLED display that unfolds into an eight-inch tablet.
By comparison, Samsung’s device is 7.3 inches unfolded.
The smartphone is equipped with a stretchable hinge design—they’re calling it “Falcon Wing”—which dissolves into the device for a smooth and flat finish on both sides. The firm and durable design ensures the screen will not overstretch while folding or bulge in unfolding.
The Mate X is powered by Huawei’s new in-house designed Balong 5000 system-on-a-chip with an integrated 5G modem. The company claims that the Balong 5000 is the world’s first 7nm processor, but that title actually belongs to Apple’s A12 Bionic chip from 2018. The Huawei phone is 11mm thick when folded and just 5.4mm when unfolded, which is really, really thin for a device of this class—it’s even thinner that the iPod touch media player.
According to Huawei, the Mate X features a fingerprint sensor built into the power button and a 4,500 mAh dual battery that can recharge from zero to 85 percent within 30 minutes (Apple’s fast-charge feature currently gets you from dead to fifty percent within 30 minutes).
Moreover, Mate X folds in the opposite direction of Samsung’s device so the screen is on the front and the back in folded mode. Like Samsung’s device, Huawei’s foldable smartphone will allow customers to run multiple apps at once in split screen tablet mode.
Both Samsung and Huawei devices feature a 5G modem.
The stretchable hinge also happens to house a camera system. This let Huawei engineers get rid of the notch, as opposed to the punch-hole display on the Galaxy Fold.
There are multiple onboard cameras, including a 40-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 16-megapixel ultra wide angle lens and an 8 megapixel telephoto lens. An additional fourth sensor is present but will be enabled via a future software update.
Huawei describes mirror shooting:
Mobile portrait photography is now a real collaboration between the photographer and their subject. The dual screen design allows them to preview the shot in real-time from both sides and contribute their creative ideas to produce a stunning portrait.
The phone will go on sale in June or July, Huawei has said, giving Samsung’s device—scheduled to begin shipping in late April—an early lead. All the aforementioned perks will set prospective customers back 2300 euros in Europe, or about $2,600 in US dollars.
I know what you’re thinking of those prices, but it is actually beneficial to the industry at large that companies like Samsung and Huawei are willing to explore folding screen technology.
There may never be a viable market for these kinds of devices, but didn’t people use to level the same argument against Samsung Note which popularized larger-screened phones?
I mean, who’s to say foldable phones aren’t here to stay? Share know your thoughts with fellow readers in the comments down below.
Remenber when high-end phones used to start at $1,000? Good times.