Huawei launches another foldable phone despite US sanctions and coronavirus

Despite the cancellation of MWC, the Chinese firm launches the Mate Xs, the MatePad Pro 5G and a slew of new laptops

Huawei has launched a new version of its foldable smartphone, a Surface Pro-like tablet and updated its MateBook range of laptops despite the cancellation of MWC

Instead of Mobile World Congress, which was shut down due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Chinese firm hosted a virtual keynote from Barcelona. 

Huawei's Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu unveiled a slew of updates for its MateBook range of laptops, a new 2-in-1 called the MatePad Pro and a new version of its foldable Mate X smartphone. 

Mate Xs

The Mate X was first announced at MWC 2019. It followed on from Samsung's Galaxy Fold as the Chinese firm's first foldable smartphone. Despite positive reviews, and the top award from GSM, the device didn't go to market until the end of the year and that was just in China. There haven't been many details as to why -  no reports of defects like the Galaxy Fold - but it has been speculated that the US trade ban, which stopped companies such as Google dealing with Huawei, may have impacted its global release. 

Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei Mate Xs

One year on, however, and the company has launched a new version, the Mate Xs. It's coming to Europe for €2,499 (£2,093), with the basic open-sourced version of Android 10, just with Huawei's EMI skin and no Google apps.

A year on, there isn't much that's different between the Mate Xs and its predecessor. The dimensions are the same; 6.6in main screen that folds out to an 8in tablet. The display is made of two flexible layers; two polyamide film sheets held together with an optically clear adhesive. 

The all-important Falcon Hinge is back, held together with over 100 components, this time it's accompanied by a foldable "Flying Fish Fin" cooling structure. The device is also 5G enabled with the Kirin 990 5G SoC processor inside it and a 4500mAh battery, split into two across the devices. 

MatePad Pro 5G

Huawei also introduced a new tablet into its "Mate" brand of products, a Surface Pro-like device with 5G capabilities. The MatePad Pro comes with a magnetic stylus and keypad and will start from €549 (£460). The device has a 10.8in display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio and only 4.9mm thick bezel. It also has a punch-hole camera. 

Huawei MatePad Pro 5G
Huawei MatePad Pro 5G

Again, it comes with the company's Kirin 990 5G SoC processor, but also a design that keeps those 5G antennas largely hidden underneath its magnesium alloy frame. It comes in three colours, "Afterglow Orange", "Pearl White", "Midnight grey" and "Forest green. The keyboard has 1.3mm travel, according to Huawei and, along with the stylus, can be charged wirelessly simply by connecting it back to the MatePad. 

MateBook Pro and D

There's also a refresh to its laptops, with new versions of the MateBook X Pro (from £1,256), MateBook D (from £649) - the D comes in 14in and 15in versions with the former able to open 180 degrees. Both sizes have 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and Huawei's Shark Fin 2.0 cooling system, said to increase airflow by 27% and performance by 31%. Each has biometric security with fingerprint power buttons recesses and 13hr battery life. 

Huawei MateBook D
Huawei MateBook D

MateBook X Pro isn't too different year-on-year, but its screen to body ratio is now 91%. It now comes in "Emerald Green" along with its usual "Space Grey" and "Mystic Silver" versions.  It also has a Core i7 Intel 10th Gen Processor and fingerprint power button plus the recessed camera in the keypad. 

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