Huawei launches its folding phone, the Mate X.

  • Huawei on Sunday revealed its foldable smartphone, the Mate X.
  • The Mate X comes after Samsung showed off its own long-anticipated Galaxy Fold folding phone on Wednesday.
  • Huawei has one-upped Samsung with a 5G version of its folding phone.
  • The phone works like a normal phone, but then unfolds into a tablet-style device.

Huawei has unveiled a foldable smartphone called the Mate X, four days after its major rival Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold.

Huawei's consumer CEO, Richard Yu, revealed the device onstage at Mobile World Congress on Sunday.

Like the Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X looks like a normal smartphone while folded up, but then unfolds to become a tablet-like device.

Yu took shots at both the iPhone XS and the Galaxy Fold, noting that Mate X is much bigger. Its flexible OLED display measures 6.6 inches while folded up, and 8 inches when unfolded. That compares to the Fold which is 4.6 inches when folded up, and 7.3 inches when in tablet mode. Yu also emphasized that the Mate X will be completely flat when folded, with no gap between the different screens, thanks to its innovative and complex hinge.

The Mate X will also work with 5G networks, when they arrive, out of the box.

The Mate X doesn't have a hole-punch in the display for the camera, nor does it have a camera notch. Instead, the cameras are housed on a side panel. Yu didn't dig into the cameras' capabilities, which might indicate some compromise on Huawei's usual high standards for its snappers.

Mate X users will be able to run multiple apps simultaneously while the device is in tablet mode, and it's powered by a 4,500 mAH battery.

All of that means the Mate X does come for a massive price tag of around R43,000, compared with around R31,000 for the Galaxy Fold. Yu said the Mate X would be available from the middle of 2019.

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