Huawei Technologies has followed in Samsung’s footsteps with a fold out smartphone which when opened out, becomes an 8-inch tablet computer, the price is a mere $3,600 which is more than the most expensive i5 15 inch notebook currently being sold in Australia.
The Mate X supports next-generation 5G networks and when closed has a 6.6-inch display, which is just slightly larger than Apple ‘s iPhone XS Max.
Richard Yu, chief executive officer of Huawei Consumer Group, presented the Mate X foldable 5G mobile at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“We’ve been working on this folding screen hinge for three years,” Huawei Consumer Group chief executive officer Richard Yu said.
“It’s very expensive, but there’s lots of new technology here.”
Journalists were not allowed to fold the new Huaewei offering out but when it’s unfurled it looks almost like the Kindle Oasis claims one observer due to a curved grip placed on one side. Unlike Samsung Huawei executives were reluctant to reveal detailed specs. It’s believed to have a Kirin 980 7nm chipset inside, paired with the Balong 5000 5G modem capable of delivering 4.5 Gbps.
This will allow users to download a 1GB movie in three seconds if the limited Telstra 5G network does not fall over.
There’s a 4500 mAh battery inside too, and it looks like it’s a split battery with each half sitting either side of the folding mechanism.
It measures 5.4mm thin when unfolded and runs on the Alphabet-owned Google’s Android operating system.
Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester, said the Mate X “shows Huawei is a leader in tech innovation”.
But it will be “a few years” before a significant mass of customers get their hands on 5G functionalities and foldable screens, he said.