Huawei Mate X: The "world's fastest" foldable 5G smartphone

The Chinese company gets one over Samsung with a foldable device that's 5G ready

Chinese electronics giant Huawei has unveiled a foldable smartphone with 5G capability at just ahead of MWC 2019. 

The Huawei Mate X is the world's first foldable 5G enabled smartphone and comes just four days after Samsung launched its 4G Galaxy Fold. As such, comparisons will be hard to ignore as the Mate X has a larger OLED screen and is much thinner than the Galaxy Fold, but crucially, its more expensive at 2,299 (1,997)

The Chinese firm said the device represented two revolutionary breakthroughs for handsets; the future of design and the future of technology.

"These technological breakthroughs are like this: We are redefining the future of design and also the future of technology, all with one single handset," Peter Gauden, Huawei's global senior product marketing manager.

The device, when folded is a standard looking smartphone, with a 6.6in screen that has a 19:9 aspect ratio and 2,480 x 1,148 resolution. As this is an 'outward curvature screen', there is also a second display on the back, which is 6.38in. But, the interesting part is that it folds out to an 8in 2,840 x 2,000 resolution edge-to-edge, top-to-bottom display.

It is a surprisingly thin device too, at only 5.4mm thin, and when folded the device is double that, but still relatively slim at 11mm.

Huawei has also put some thought into how users will hold the device when it's at it full unfolded size, with it's 'Ergonomic Curvature' - one side of the handset curved into a little bar where certain components are housed and doubles as an edge for users to grip. In its centre, the screen folds with a hinge, that through some deft engineering Huawei has fitted into a thin OLED screen.

Huawei also appears to have stolen the march on Samsung, which not only launched a foldable device but also announced a 5G version of the S10. Here, however, Huawei has combined the two into one handset. There's a 7nm Balong 5000 5G modem mixed with Huawei's powerful Kirin 980 processor running inside it, with a quad 5G antenna design that Huawei says has speeds of 46Gbs promising the fastest 5G connections in a phone to date. According to the Chinese firm, it can download a 1GB movie in three seconds.

And the power to back up this performance comes through a 4,500mAh dual battery that has 55W Huawei supercharge capabilities. This, the firm said can give 85% power from just 30 minutes of charging.

It all sounds fantastic, but as most noted with Samsung's 5G offering, it's not due to be released till the Summer and even then, there's no guarantee when the next generation of mobile connectivity will be rolled out with gusto.

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