This morning, we told you that the word from China was that Huawei had started mass production of the foldable Mate X with a release taking place as soon as this month
. The last time we had a look at the outward-folding handset was back in July when Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, was photographed holding the device. At the time, we noticed some changes in the Mate X
since its February unveiling. For example, the middle hinge and the camera module appeared to be made of carbon fiber
and a fourth camera was added to the module on the back of the phone.
While Huawei has not confirmed a release date for the Mate X, a video showing the device being unboxed has surfaced on YouTube
lending some credence to the rumor of an October launch. Originally, the phone was penciled in for a Summer release. But while Samsung was busy trying to repair its own foldable device after influencers exposed several weaknesses, Huawei decided to push back the release in order to make sure it didn't run into the same problems that Samsung did. During the delay, the company decided to outfit the Mate X with the most recent Kirin 990 chipset instead of the Kirin 980 SoC.
When open, the Mate X forms an 8-inch display with a nearly square resolution of 2200 x 2480
Because the Mate X folds outward, there are two AMOLED displays when closed. The front screen weighs in at 6.6-inches with a resolution of 1148 x 2480 pixels. The screen in back measures 6.4-inches with a resolution of 892 x 2480. When the handset is fully opened, it creates an 8-inch tablet with a near-square resolution of 2200 x 2480. The Mate X sports 8GB of memory and 512GB of expandable storage. Those seeking additional storage can access a 256GB microSD slot. A quad-camera system is in the back featuring a 40MP primary, an 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, a 16MP ultra-wide camera, and a time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensor. This technology measures the time it takes for infrared beams to bounce off the subject and return to the camera allowing the phone to gather more accurate depth calculations for portraits. Keeping the lights on will be a 4500mAh battery.
The CEO of Huawei's consumer unit, Richard Yu, was photographed using the Mate X during the summer
Because of its placement on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List, Huawei has not been able to access its U.S. supply chain since the middle of May. As a result, it cannot obtain a license to use the Google Play Services version of Android with core Google apps like the Play Store, Search, Maps, Chrome, and YouTube. Since the phone will probably be available in China only, at least for some time, this might not matter. The price, equivalent to $2,600 U.S. Dollars, might limit sales although there are first adopters with cash in every country. Most likely Huawei will repeat what it did with the Mate 30 series and pre-install the Mate X with the AOSP open-source version of Android. Huawei's own Android app storefront known as App Gallery will be onboard.
The first foldable phone was launched last year when the Royale FlexPai hit the market. Samsung was scheduled to be the first major manufacturer to release a foldable with its inward closing unit, but days before the April 25th release date the Galaxy Fold was delayed indefinitely
. Influencers failed to heed Samsung's warnings not to peel off a protective film from the internal screen leading several review units to fail. Additionally, debris was able to get inside the hinge of at least one unit which created a bulge on the screen. Samsung, along with AT&T and T-Mobile, canceled pre-orders. Samsung made some changes to the phone such as extending the length of the plastic film to tuck it in under the bottom bezel. This prevents it from being peeled off. The tops and bottoms of the hinges were capped to prevent dirt and debris from entering the device and metal layers were added to help support the Infinity Flex display. The Galaxy Fold
was officially launched last month.
Those in the U.S. are more excited about the Motorola RAZR (2019)
, which is expected to show up before the end of this year as a Verizon exclusive
. Unlike the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X, the RAZR doesn't transform from a phone into a tablet. When closed, it fits easily in the pocket like the original RAZR did when it was launched in 2004, and opens up to reveal a 6.2
-inch to 6.5-inch screen with a tall and thin 22:9 aspect ratio.