The foldable phone war has officially kicked off, with the previously undisputed Samsung Galaxy Fold meeting its match in the Huawei Mate X.
Just last week, the world was witness to the industry’s first high-profile commitment to foldable screen technology with the Samsung Galaxy Flex, a computing behemoth with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB worth of storage.
Now, Chinese giant Huawei has debuted their own take on this new innovation, officially kick-starting the foldable phone war.
The competition rears its head
Image: The Verge
When AMEinfo spoke to the Chinese manufacturer this month, Huawei told us to expect some news on its foldable screen technology at the currently ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona (25-28 Feb), the world’s biggest phone show, but we could not anticipate such a debut. The Mate X is not only foldable, but also 5G-ready. The Galaxy Flex, the other contender in this race, is launching initially with the 4G model only – the 5G model was promised at a later date.
It is safe to say that Huawei is already a step ahead of their South Korean competitors. But, how do the technical specs compare?
Image: The Verge
As for the stars of the show, it is worthy of note that the Mate X has not 2, but 3 screens.
In a folded configuration, the front screen measures 6.6 inches, while the one on the back is smaller at 6.4 inches.
In the unfolded mode, the screen is an 8-inch slab of OLED pixels, stretched from end to end with no notches, save for a camera, CNET explains. One of their editors was able to get a rare hands-on experience with the device at MWC.
As for the innards, the Mate X comes packing a Kirin 980 processor and Balong 5000 5G modem chip, with 8 GB RAM and 512 GB of storage.
For the visually inclined, you’ll be pleased to know the device comes with 4 cameras.
In terms of battery capacity, it clocks in at 4,500-mAh capacity split between two batteries, similar in design to the Galaxy Fold.
Hearing about not one but two new foldable phones that will hit the market soon is sure to excite you, but you might want to contain that joy. As with the Galaxy Fold, innovation comes at a price, and Huawei’s device will cost you a greater fortune than the Fold’s $1,980. If you’re up for it, Huawei’s asking price is $2,600.
The audience at MWC wasn’t enthused either, as reported by CNET, but again, innovation often comes at a price.
Finally, for release date, the Chinese manufacturer has yet to give a date, but they expect the units to go on sale around the middle of 2019.
Some of CNET’s caveats regarding the device involved the inescapably bulky design, and the effort required to fold the phone on its somewhat stiff hinge. Their editor explained that it’s too much of a two-hand affair.
As for the amount of folds the hinge can withstand, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business, said that it has been tested for 100,000 folds, half the amount Samsung tested.
Full breakdown: Huawei Mate X vs. Samsung Galaxy Fold