Huawei's debuts $2,600 foldable Mate X, hits new smartphone price record

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 25
Huawei has become the latest mainstream smartphone producer to reveal a folding smartphone, but the $2,600 Mate X takes a different approach from Samsung's recently-launched Galaxy Fold by putting the screen on the outside of the bend, rather than inside.

Huawei Mate X


Revealed at Mobile World Congress, the Huawei Mate X is billed as a 5G-supporting foldable smartphone. Using a "Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge," the device can switch between a 6.6-inch smartphone with OLED displays on the front and rear to a larger 8-inch tablet.

While the Samsung Galaxy Fold elects to put the screen on the inside of the bend, Huawei opted to place it externally, a decision that puts far less strain on the display from repeated bending. Such a move is also risky from a usability standpoint, as it means the screen is not as protected from other items, such as keys in a pocket, unlike the inward screen design.

The 2-in-1 device is quite thin by modern smartphone standards, measuring 5.4 millimeters at its slimmest point when unfolded. However, a large "camera bump" section is located on one edge and going the entire width of the device.

Huawei Mate X


The device has a trio of cameras in said bump, and they are located only on one side of the device, with no sensors on the screen side when opened like a tablet. Users are able to take self portraits by folding the device and having the camera side face them, with the partial display showing the viewfinder right next to the cameras.

Inside the Mate X is a Kirin 980 processor and the 7-nanometer 5G Balong 5000 chipset, claimed to offer up to 4.6Gbps download speeds, and will support both SA and NSA architectures. While few details have been revealed about its internals, it does include a "Fingerbutton Power Button" for waking the device and authenticating the user, as well as a fast charge capability offering to recharge up to 85 percent of the 4,500mAh battery in just 30 minutes.

Arriving in June, the Huawei Mate X will start from 2,299 euros ($2,611), which is considerably higher than Samsung's sub-$2,000 device.

Apple has seemingly shown an interest in producing some form of foldable smartphone, one that analysts suggest could launch as early as 2020. Rumors have also suggested that Apple has worked with LG on one such concept, with the two reportedly collaborating on a flexible OLED display that could be used in such a device.

Outside of rumors, patents and applications also serve as evidence of Apple's work in the field. It has numerous such filings relating to flexible displays, wrap-around displays, and hinged devices, as well as supporting ideas such as stretchy substrates for connecting components together, and how to enable force gesture controls on flexible devices.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    What a bargain ;)

    Apart from that I’m curious to see whether these better feasibility studies really develop into game changers, or if over time - when everyone who wants to be part of the game brought their foldable device to market - this concept will fall into oblivion. 

    Personally, I have yet to see the product in this space that is a really useful hybrid. 
    My watch has a clear use very separate from my phone. Both again clearly no overlap to the iPad Pro. Maybe the first device that to me has potential to combine the best of two world into one form factor is a iPad/MacBook - add a trackpad, the ability to drive a bigger screen (which in return drives some peripherals) might work for me. Plus, potentially the lag free use of the iPad as a drawing tablet for the big screen. 

    Edit: Actually, I have to correct myself. Of course I already own a perfect gütig device: a phone, an iPod, an Internet communications device... ;) few years are enough to make easily forget what today’s smartphone actually already comprises. 
    edited February 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 118
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 599member
    I especially like the crease mark in the middle and how the light reflects off the bubbled screen....


    edited February 25 redgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 118
    NY1822 said:
    I especially like the crease mark in the middle and how the light reflects off the bubbled screen....

    Lol

    edited February 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 118
    croprcropr Posts: 954member
    This looks really nice.   Huawei is clearly grabbing the initiative in the mobile space.  If Apple can only respond in the normal september 2020 time frame with a 5G foldable phone, Huawei might already ship v2.0  of Mate X.  Of course we still need to see how this device works in practice

    About the price I assume the 2299 Euro is VAT included (advertised prices in Europe are always VAT included), so the $2600 should be divided by 1.20


  • Reply 5 of 118
    While this phone is attractive, it is also trying to distract you from the fundamental problem with an Android OS phone, which is that the tablet app experience is garbage. On a phablet the issues was not as noticeable because I think most of us considered the additional screen real estate a reasonable trade off for a phone that perhaps couldn't quite fit in your pocket. I am of the opinion that the reason Android phone use grew was a combination of Google literally giving them away & the fact that the additional screen size of the phablets did not created a noticeable change in the app experience.  Fast forward to today, while all of us are wondering who's going to make a the first phone that unfolds into a tablet.  Samsung & Huawei unveil 2 phones that unfold & transform from small chunky phones into phablets, which is exactly what no one asked for. Samsung bragged that Google helped them develop the apps that optimized the larger screen.  LoL what they meant to say was the square screen.  Why did they do this? Because Google knows that Android phablet that expands into a full sized tablet is DoA.  Even Google Pixel doesn't use Android OS. Now maybe an Android phone that unfolds and is running Chrome on the bigger screen can work but that's a different story & this doesn't seem to be likely as Google tinkers with the idea of a brand new OS.  The same problem need solved though, large screen apps of quality would need to be created as very few actually exist now. 

    Apple on the other had is well positioned for a phone that unfolds into a tablet for 2 reasons. First, the Apple focus on thin phones.  We've all wondered why the Apple obsession with skinny phones.  Well maybe because 2 very thin sides of a folded phone would avoid the chunky appearance of a future foldable iPhone.  We all know Apple has a thing for aesthetics and an Apple foldable is not going to look like a iBrick when folded close. Second, the Apple tablet experience is great.  iOS actually takes advantage of the additional screen real estate to give us a better app experience.  I don't see any other provider who can reproduce an experience that takes advantage of the additional space to make something happen. Perhaps Microsoft will one day delivery on an ARM-base full version of Windows on a "micro-tablet" format but this just seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.  Microsofts committed to mobile platform self-inflicted harm is legendary at this point.  Anyone who says that are developing a phone for Windows should probably be put on suicide watch at this point.

    Add to this madness the price point.  It's as if Apple said "we will charge $1500 for a phablet" and the Android response was "hold my beer."  This is complete and utter madness at this point.  A $2000 phone better be able to connect to a screen, mouse & keyboard and run full desktop class OS, at least in my opinion. I think the $2000+ phone category has 1 cycle in it just like the $10,000 Apple watch category. Phone makers seem to have forgotten that then pushed the issue of new phones every year but this is no longer a sustainable cycle.  I got an XS Max last year because on of my kids finally needed a replacement for him damaged 7 so I gave my 7s+.  All of the sane people I know are only buying phones to replace damaged ones that are no longer under covered under warranties. 

    All that said I can think of one glaring reason Apple doesn't want to make the foldable phone that people seem to want.  The golden rule of Tim Cook's Apple, Thou Shall NOT Compromise Profit. A phone that could replace the need to buy a phone & a tablet is an anathema of the current business model dominating Apple. This is the same reason why you will NEVER see an Apple equivalent of the Surface Book. By that I mean a device that is MacOS when the connected but iOS when you disconnect the screen (so not gonna happen).  Apple will only engage in innovation when the threat of profitable tanking from stagnation outweighs the benefit of bleeding the consumers pockets for every possible dime.  Don't get me wrong, this in not a SJW rant, but Apple doesn't seem to lean forward into R&D any more, it just fine tunes the advances of others these days. I find it odd that most Apple folks don't even notice that any more.  I suppose that's just one more example of the bubbles we live in these days.

    As always, just my $.02 on the topic. Everyone have a great day.
    #Vuk


    muthuk_vanalingammike54lkruppGG1ericthehalfbeeblurpbleepbloopmelodyof1974watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 118
    Wow. Talk about head to head competition between Huawei and Samsung. Apple should wait and see. No need to rush to jump on the bandwagon. This could be another netbook fad. Also these folders are all looking bulky, clumsy and too delicate to handle. One drop and the crease probably will be mis-aligned.
    edited February 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 118
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,988member
    Now stop complaining about iPhones price.
    redgeminipaArloTimetravelerlordjohnwhorfinlkruppStrangeDayssuddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 118
    Are these phones durable? You can’t put them in a case so what happens if you drop them? Will the screen be scratched to hell?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 118
    With this announcement it is important to realize that not only is Trump walking back his allegations that Huawei is a security concern, but most of Europe is now challenging his claims.   In fact, Great Britian's head of intelligence just issued an ultimatum to Trump to "Put up (the evidence) or shut up".

    So, it is looking like Huawei may be judged on its merits rather than political rhetoric and propaganda.   But, the story has yet to fully play out.  The political rhetoric may yet win the day.

    And, on the basis of this phone, those merits look to be considerable.   If it only ran iOS.  (Sob!)
  • Reply 10 of 118
    FolioFolio Posts: 591member
    Add one more fold and you got a beach lounge chair for your little pet hamster. Seriously, is this anything more than a "premium" publicity stunt? It seems in theory it'd be good for those who can't afford both a tablet and a phone-- until you see the price is in prime laptop stratosphere.
    foregoneconclusionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 118
    Based on previous editorials on this site, by charging the most money for a phone, Huawei must have the best business model, make the best phones and any punds saying otherwise don't know what they are talking about! /s
    lkruppjcs2305
  • Reply 12 of 118
    I saw it with the Galaxy Fold, and I see it on this thing; if or when Apple decides to make a folding iPhone, you won’t be able to see a messy, plasticky screen in the hinge area. I’d wager that’s why Apple STILL doesn’t have a foldable iPhone, as their patents on this go back nearly 8 years. I believe I remember seeing Apple is working on a type of glass based on liquid metal. If that’s the case, and Apple is successful, that could be used for something like this. 
    lordjohnwhorfinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 118
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,347member
    Android users are known for shelling out big bucks, I am sure this moving up market will be a massive success for these companies. /s
    lordjohnwhorfinsuddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 118
    It's so fun watching these companies churn out flops when Apple isn't there to invent something for them to copy. Especially the Huawei device which rips off just about every visual element and UX design possible from iOS.

    It's utterly pathetic and their just deserts.
    lordjohnwhorfinStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 118
    mike54mike54 Posts: 347member
    This 'article' did not mention that this phone has an expanding hinge to reduce the screen bend when opened. According to some photos it doesn't eliminate it entirely but its close. A decent job by Huawei.
    GeorgeBMacavon b7
  • Reply 16 of 118
    flydogflydog Posts: 328member
    With this announcement it is important to realize that not only is Trump walking back his allegations that Huawei is a security concern, but most of Europe is now challenging his claims.   In fact, Great Britian's head of intelligence just issued an ultimatum to Trump to "Put up (the evidence) or shut up".

    So, it is looking like Huawei may be judged on its merits rather than political rhetoric and propaganda.   But, the story has yet to fully play out.  The political rhetoric may yet win the day.

    And, on the basis of this phone, those merits look to be considerable.   If it only ran iOS.  (Sob!)
    I didn't see anything in this article even remotely relating to Trump, Great Britain, or security concerns about Huawei, nor anything even suggesting what you posted. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 118
    Does every mobile manufacturer have to follow Apple?

    A couple always take the one step to far to prove that they are better.






    edited February 25 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 118
    cropr said:
    This looks really nice.   Huawei is clearly grabbing the initiative in the mobile space.  If Apple can only respond in the normal september 2020 time frame with a 5G foldable phone, Huawei might already ship v2.0  of Mate X.  Of course we still need to see how this device works in practice

    About the price I assume the 2299 Euro is VAT included (advertised prices in Europe are always VAT included), so the $2600 should be divided by 1.20


    Where is the outrage over a phone more the twice the price of an iPhone?  Apple Added a significant amount of technology to their high end phone and the price increased by $100. The shot could be heard around the world. On the other hand “phone” by a company with far less experience or historical quality and that is $1000 more than Apple’s device, the price is reasonable?
    lordjohnwhorfinmacxpressHyperealitywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 118
    Folio said:
    Add one more fold and you got a beach lounge chair for your little pet hamster. Seriously, is this anything more than a "premium" publicity stunt? It seems in theory it'd be good for those who can't afford both a tablet and a phone-- until you see the price is in prime laptop stratosphere.
    You are missing it.   The iPad does you no good if its sitting at home on the shelf.  This is a tablet that is always with you and fits in your pocket.   BIG difference!  

    While there will still be a market for tablets, this will put a dent into both the tablet market and the large screen phone market -- as it will enable a phone with a small screen to become a very big screen whenever needed.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    Foldable isn’t the future. Flexible and transparent are. “Earth: Final Conflict” had “Globals” with flexible screens that rolled into a tube when pocketed. 
    edited February 25 watto_cobra
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