The Samsung Galaxy Fold
was delayed just days before its April 26th launch and a new release date still has not been announced. That would seem to be the perfect opportunity for Huawei to sneak in and launch its foldable Mate X
first to soak up all of the media attention that comes with kicking off a new smartphone category (with all due respect to the Royale Flexpai of course). But this has not been Huawei's quarter, to say the least, and exactly a week ago the company had to temporarily shelve its $2,600 5G foldable
The good news is that we already have a good idea when the Mate X
will be ready. TechRadar spoke
with Vincent Pang, the President of Huawei's Western European Region and the executive says, "It's coming in September – at the latest. Probably earlier, but definitely September is guaranteed." Pang also said that the phone will have Android pre-installed at launch. A couple of months ago you would have thought that we were out of our minds for even highlighting that, but with the company unable to secure supplies from U.S. firms, this is a welcome surprise to many who would have shunned the device otherwise. After all, it would appear that the Mate 30 line will be running Huawei's own HongmengOS.
So why will the Mate X get Android? The executive says that because the foldable device was announced in February, well before Huawei's placement on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List last month, the phone is not covered by the ban.
Huawei has been working on the Mate X screen to prevent a repeat of what happened to Samsung
Peng says that the Mate X will be available in any country with 5G service except for the U.S. of course. U.S. lawmakers consider Huawei to be public enemy number one because of the possibility that the communist Chinese government will demand that Huawei gather intelligence and send it to Beijing. There are fears that Huawei's phones and networking equipment contain backdoors that will act as a conduit to key members of President Xi Jinping's administration. Huawei has always denied this.
The Huawei Mate X will launch no later than September says Huawei executive
While the September launch seems like a delay, the truth is that Huawei was supposed to release the Mate X in the summer, which ends on September 21st. However, for some reason, most of the media had been expecting the phone to be made available in July. Meanwhile, Huawei has been in no rush to put the device up for sale. Unlike the Galaxy Fold
, which has a 4G LTE version that will be released first, the Mate X features 5G connectivity and the next generation of wireless is rolling out very slowly. Peng stresses that the ban has nothing to do with the Mate X's release date. Huawei has used the last few months to improve the P-OLED screen on the device. Peng says what Huawei is doing to prevent it from getting caught up with the same problems that Samsung had with its foldable is "... a secret. But we have done a lot of tests, especially for that." You might recall that several influencers damaged their Galaxy Fold review units by peeling off a plastic film that they thought was supposed to be removed. This and several other problems led Sammy to delay its release.
The Huawei Mate X closes outward unlike the inward folding Galaxy Fold. When closed, the front display will measure 6.6-inches with a resolution of 1148 x 2480. The back screen weighs in at 6.4-inches with a resolution of 892 x 2480. Opened, the pair combine to produce an 8-inch display with a 2200 x 2480 resolution, not quite a square. The Kirin 980 SoC will be under the hood; that is the same chip found in the P30
, P30 Pro
and the Mate 20 Pro
. It comes with 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage with a 256GB capacity microSD slot. A quad-camera setup is on the back featuring a 40MP primary camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, a 16MP Ultra-wide camera, and a Time-of-Flight depth sensor. A 4500mAh battery keeps the lights on.
If you're in a country that welcomes Huawei and have $2,600 burning a hole in your pocket, September can't come soon enough.