China's Huawei unveils 5G phone with folding screen

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Next-generation high-speed networks are still a far away from mainstream availability, so device makers are looking at new device form factors to conjure up excitement. On folding the device, the main screen reduces to 6.6 inches with a resolution of 2480×1148 pixels. While the price tag is exorbitant, it's hardly surprising as the phone offers two nascent technologies, 5G and foldable display technology.

Huawei, the world's second-largest smartphone vendor after Samsung, said it had taken the lead on developing phones for 5G - which promise super fast internet speeds for consumers and businesses - because it was also involved in developing the networks.

Industry experts believe Huawei has landed the first blow in the battle of the foldable phones following the announcement of its Mate X.

The first is that Huawei didn't need to equip with Mate X with a third screen as we saw on the Galaxy Fold, because when closed, the Mate X's 8-inch 2480 x 2200 bendy screen simply transforms into two displays in front and back measuring 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch, respectively.

Samsung's Galaxy Fold keeps its 7.3-inch main display on the inside. The second screen is also useful as it can show your subjects a real-time preview of the photograph. However, when you open the Mate X's fold, you'll get a huge 8-inch display with a almost square aspect ratio of 8:7.1 and a resolution of 2480×2200 pixels.

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Samsung, meanwhile, said that the new phones and wearable devices like the Bluetooth-connected Galaxy Buds that fit into a person's ears will be shown on electronic billboards in New York, Paris, Milan, Madrid and Moscow. Huawei has priced it at a whopping and mind-numbing (as one adjective didn't feel quite right) 2,299 euros for the 8GB+512GB variant and Interstellar Blue color.

The Mate X boasts some power in it, too. There's a Kirin 980 processor and the Balong 5000 modem on board.

To recharge that big 'ole battery, Huawei gave the Mate X an incredible 55-watt power adaptor that can juice up the phone from zero to 85 per cent in just 30 minutes. These then unfold to create an eight-inch tablet display.

"No matter how innovative and technology-advanced the new device is, it will take a lot more time for a critical mass of consumers to experience the benefits of foldable phones and 5G technology", Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said.

We were lucky enough to get a small demonstration of the Mate X and were impressed with what we saw. The video looked great on the 8-inch screen and Huawei confirmed that it will be able to play back 4K video. However there is visibly a triple camera layout and it uses Leica lenses similar to the Mate 20 Pro.

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