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Huawei’s folding Mate X ships next month


Huawei’s much-delayed folding phone, the Mate X, is finally going on sale next month. The company announced the news at a launch event today attended and reported on by Sina Digital.

The Mate X is a 5G phone with Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor and Barong 5000 modem, and it has a dual-cell 4,500mAh battery that can reportedly be filled to 85 percent in half an hour with 55W fast charging. When unfolded, the screen is 8 inches diagonal, and when it’s closed it’s like having a phone with a 6.6-inch screen on the front and a 6.38-inch panel on the back.

Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which opens up like a book, the Mate X’s screen wraps around the outside of the clamshell device. This should make it more usable as a conventional phone than the Galaxy Fold, but the plastic-covered screen faces an even greater durability challenge since it’s constantly exposed.

We’ll have to see how the Mate X holds up because it is not a cheap device. It’ll start shipping in China on November 15th for 16,999 yuan, or about $2,400, which gets you a model with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

As for an international release, Huawei tells the media in a statement that “Our strategy is based on carriers’ 5G roll out in different regions. So far, Huawei has made the Huawei Mate X available in the China market on November 15. A global launch plan is under review.”

Meanwhile, Huawei also announced that it’s shipped 200 million smartphones already in 2019, having reached that milestone 64 days earlier than it did last year. The real proof of the company’s resilience, however, will come once we have year-on-year results that factor in Google-less phones like the Mate 30 Pro.

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