Huawei Mate X: Controversial Chinese firm latest to take on Samsung Galaxy Fold with its own bendy phone

Foldable handsets that flip out and become tablets are set to become 2019's biggest new phone trend

Andrew Griffin
in Barcelona
Sunday 24 February 2019 17:16

Chinese phone company Huawei has unveiled its own foldable phone, the latest bendy phone to hit the market.

Its Mate X will take on the Samsung Galaxy Fold as well as a whole host of other foldable handsets.

Manufacturers claim that the new phones – which include screens that can bend out, fold over and become twice as big, like a tablet – will allow people to combine a traditional phone and an iPad-sized screen all in one.

The release comes at a controversial time for Huawei, which has been accused by countries around the world of being too close to the Chinese government. The phones are difficult to buy in some counties like the US, which has repeatedly said the phones are unsafe.

But it said those same technologies that have proven so controversial – the 5G networks that it is looking to provide in the UK and elsewhere – mean that this phone is quicker than any other. The company said the Mate X is the "world's fastest foldable 5G smartphone".

Its position as a manufacturer of 5G network infrastructure has given it a "unique advantage" as it enabled the company to test the phone on internal 5G networks before release, it claimed.

Richard Yu, chief executive of the firm's consumer business, said: "The Huawei Mate X's revolutionary form factor is achieved by Huawei's relentless effort in R&D (research and development).

"It represents a voyage into the uncharted. As a new breed of smartphones, Huawei Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all-new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience.

"The Huawei Mate X will be the first key for consumers to open the door to 5G smart living."

The company confirmed the new device would cost 2,299 Euro - higher than Samsung's Galaxy Fold, which has been given a price tag of 1,980 dollars.

The Chinese firm's presence in the 5G infrastructure market remains a geopolitical talking point, with the United States warning European countries it may find it difficult to work with anyone who choose to use Huawei products in their networks, after raising security concerns over the Chinese company.

But Huawei appears to be ignoring these on-going issues as it continues to expand its phone business.

Now the second largest smartphone maker in the world, it is also due to unveil a new range of flagship devices in Paris next month.

In terms of its foldable device, The Mate X will also come with fingerprint sensor built into its power button as well as featuring a camera system engineered with German camera firm Leica.

The company also said the device will contain a large 4500mAh battery, as well as "SuperCharge" - enabling it to charge from zero to 85% in only 30 minutes.

Additional reporting by agencies

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