Huawei joins Samsung in launching foldable smartphone

The new 'foldable' smartphone. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
The new 'foldable' smartphone. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Chinese phone maker Huawei has followed Samsung in unveiling a foldable smartphone.

The Huawei Mate X has a flexible OLED display which covers both the front and back of the device, but can be unfolded to become an eight-inch screen tablet.

Last week, fellow smartphone giants Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Fold device, which features a normal front screen, with a larger tablet display opening out from inside the device.

Huawei claims the Mate X is the “world’s fastest foldable 5G smartphone”, saying 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.

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).

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“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.