Android foldables are coming fast, and the first one debuted earlier this week with the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Today at an event just ahead of MWC 2019, Huawei has officially announced the Huawei Mate X, the company’s first foldable smartphone, as well as the first with 5G built-in.

On stage at Huawei’s press conference, the company’s Richard Yu officially showed off the Mate X for the first time. The company’s new foldable phone is set to bring a lot to the table, and that starts with its display. Like Samsung, Huawei is using a flexible OLED display on the Mate X, but it’s a larger panel at 8-inches in total size. That display when opened also contains no notch and has very minimal bezels around all sides.

That display then folds back on itself to become a 6.6-inch “main” display and a 6.38-inch “rear” display. This design leaves that (plastic-covered) screen exposed at all times, but it also has some big advantages. For one, when the device is closed there is no screen gap as you’ll find on the Galaxy Fold. Huawei says that this was possible in part thanks to the patented hinge design which has roughly 100 different components.

Another advantage of Huawei’s design comes from the overall thickness. When unfolded, the Huawei Mate X is just 5.4mm thin. Even when folded, the entire device is 11mm thick, a far cry from what Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is rumored to pack.

Of course, Huawei’s other big selling point on the Mate X is that it’s the world’s first foldable smartphone with built-in 5G. Using the Balong 5000 modem, the phone is set to work with current 4G networks, early 5G networks in multiple regions, and future 5G networks as the technology expands.

The Huawei Mate X offers a Kirin 980 chipset, a huge 4,500 mAh battery, a crazy 55W rapid charger for the USB-C port, and a fingerprint sensor in the power button.

As for pricing and availability, the Huawei Mate X shockingly starts at 2299 euros, roughly $2,600 in US currency. Huawei says the device will be on sale in the second half of 2019, and also mentioned that future models will cost less.

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Ben Schoon

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