Huawei has unfolded the 5G Mate X which reportedly sold out ‘within minutes’ of being launched in China for $3,615.
The Huawei 5G Mate X foldable smartphone will cost 16,999 yuan and will be made available to Chinese customers again on 22 November following its sellout debut, though it’s unlikely to be sold anywhere else anytime soon.
Huawei Australia had confirmed Australian availability for the 5G Mate X before the end of the year, but considering it has only just arrived in mainland China, we might have to wait a little longer for its debut as expansion is currently ‘under review’.
First unveiled in April, the device has seen many delays and pullbacks following significant display problems from early reviewers.
Taking inspirations for several phone models, the Mate X combines the foldable design featured in the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Microsoft Duo, with the mirror screen of the Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha and a brand new 5G chipset.
According to Huawei the Balong 5000 is the world’s first 7nm multi-mode 5G chipset to achieve ‘industry-leading 5G download speed’.
However, it should be noted that this is designed for China’s ‘mid-band’5G, which is different from the mmWave spectrum in Australia.
Available in only one variant, the 5G Mate X features an 8-inch OLED display unfolded, and two outside screens 6.8-inches and 6.6-inches respectively.
Though according to Ben Wood, a CCS Insight analyst, its use of the ‘mirror screen’ on the outside of the phone made it ‘incredibly vulnerable’ to accidental damage.
‘It is a super niche device that was more about Huawei demonstrating ‘the art of the possible’ rather than having a credible commercial product,’ he told the BBC.
Furthermore, it seems the only flexible display cover designed for the 5G Mate X is a soft protective leather handbag that appears to ship with the phone.
Not wanting to compete in the megapixel camera wars with Samsung or Sony, Huawei has included a four-camera Leica system inside the ‘compact hand-held bar design’.
This compact hand-held bar is designed for better grip and maneuverability of the phone whilst in operation.
Its 4500 mAh battery can be ‘supercharged’ to 85% in just 30 minutes and its integrated power switch and power button make for device unlock within seconds.
While it’s unclear whether or not the Huawei 5G Mate X will escape China into the Western or European markets, it does continue to push the foldable phone trend into new territory.