At the 2019 Mobile World Congress, Huawei has revealed its first foldable phone called the Mate X, which was revealed ahead of the event by way of a billboard.

This device is coming hot on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and it's among the pioneers that are paving the way for the foldable smartphone era.

Mate X Is Now Official

Compared with Samsung's take, the Mate X sports larger OLED screens across the board, and rather than folding inward, it folds outward. When it's fully opened, it measures at 8 inches and has a 2,480 x 2,200 resolution and an 8:7.1 aspect ratio, which is bigger than the Fold's 7.3-inch offering in "tablet mode." When it's closed, two displays are at play: a front 6.6-inch display with a 2,480 x 1,148 resolution and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 6.38-inch one with a 2,480 x 892 resolution and 25:9 ratio on the back, both of which are noticeably larger than the Fold's 4.6-inch screen in "phone mode."

Under the hood, there's a Kirin 980 along with the Balong 5000, Huawei's 5G chipset that makes the Mate X among the first 5G-capable smartphones around. As for memory, it has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of native storage that's expandable up to 256 GB with a Nano Memory or NM card, the company's proprietary storage card format that's comparable in size with a nano SIM. The phone has a dual SIM tray that can take two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and one NM card. Just to be clear, this means that microSD card isn't compatible with the device.

Regarding battery life, the Mate X has two cells, one in each half of it. Combined through software, they deliver 4,500 mAh. According to Huawei, it can charge up to 85 percent in just 30 minutes, thanks to its 55W SuperCharge feature.

In the photography department, it comes equipped with a Leica-branded triple-camera configuration that comprises a 40-megapixel wide angle lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens, and 8-megapixel telephoto lens. This setup is found on a vertical bar on the back of the phone where the power button, LED flash, USB Type-C port, and fingerprint reader are also found. Unfortunately, just like the Galaxy Fold, it doesn't have enough space for a headphone jack.

Out of the box, it runs on Android 9 Pie with an EMUI 9.1.1 skin on top.

Beyond The Mate X's Core Specs

Phone manufacturers have been gearing up for the 5G era, and Huawei is among them. The others include OnePlus and Samsung and its 5G variants of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Fold. Notably, there's a good chance that Apple isn't getting into the game until 2020 because Intel modems aren't coming to phones until then. What this boils down to is that the Mate X is ready for the next-generation mobile broadband.

It's also worth mentioning that the way the Mate X is designed seems to be a smarter choice compared with the Galaxy Fold, particularly how it needs only one panel instead of two. Emphasis on "seems," though. The problem here is that it may scratch easily since it's covered with a "soft screen" instead of the usual Corning Gorilla glass seen in most device nowadays. After all, glass can't exactly fold. In phone mode, its flexible plastic screen isn't just on the front but also on the back, so putting it on just about any surface or even inside a pocket with other things makes it susceptible to damages. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Fold has its plastic display safe and secure when it's folded.

The Mate X is expected to launch sometime later this 2019, and it'll cost a whopping €2,299, which amounts to about $2,609. Most were stunned by the Galaxy Fold's $1,980 price tag, but it seems Huawei is upping the ante on how expensive these devices can go.

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