After Huawei was placed on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List, the future of the foldable Huawei Mate X got a lot less clear. Last month, Google removed the Mate X and the Huawei P30 Pro from the Android.com website. Huawei claims that it has stockpiled a year’s worth of chips and components in advance, which could still make the Mate X a possible release this summer. But with Huawei’s Oak OS or Ark OS (whatever it will be named) pre-installed instead of Android, it remains to be seen how popular the device will be outside of China.
The outward folding Huawei Mate X, when closed, has a 6.6-inch front facing screen with a resolution of 1148 x 2480 pixels; at the same time the rear display weighs in at 6.4-inches with the same resolution. When the device is opened, the two screens become a nearly square 8-inch tablet with a 2200 x 2480 resolution. Even when Huawei was just your run of the mill national security threat and not banned from its U.S. supply chain, the only way to obtain a Mate X in the U.S. would have been to buy an import. Now, it will be practically impossible to pick up a unit in the states. The proposed pricing for the phone
, announced back when it was unwrapped in February, works out to a stunning $2,600 USD.
The Mate X is not only Huawei’s first foldable phone, but it is also the beleaguered company’s first 5G handset. The next generation of wireless connectivity features dataspeeds up to ten times faster than 4G LTE. While both Verizon and AT&T have hit the 1Gbps milestone for mobile 5G download speed
, a video of the Mate X hitting that benchmark was released by Huawei senior executive He Gang and posted online by AIO Entertainment
. It appears that the device was running on China Unicom’s 5G network. Once 5G becomes more widespread in the coming years, we should see new businesses and services pop up, taking advantage of the faster wireless speeds. As an example, once 4G LTE had a toehold on the world’s wireless networks, a whole new industry was born: ride-sharing. And that led to the creation of two new billion companies that you’ve might have heard of, Lyft and Uber.
The Huawei Mate X isn’t the only foldable with an uncertain future
The Huawei Mate X is powered by the company’s HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC. That is the same chip found in the Mate 20 Pro
, the P30
and the P30 Pro
. As with all Kirin chips, it uses ARM’s A-series of Cortex CPU cores which Huawei no longer has access to. In cutting ties with Huawei, the U.K. based ARM Holdings said last month that its chip architecture uses original technology from the U.S.
, which means that it falls under the ban. Additionally, Huawei will have to find another graphics processing unit (GPU) for its first foldable phone. The GPU that was expected to be on the Mate X, the Mali-G76 MP10, is ARM’s own GPU chip.
The Mate X will also feature 8GB of memory along with 512GB of storage. For those seeking additional storage space, there is a 256GB capacity microSD slot. A quad-camera setup is on back including a 40MP primary camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom (or is it?), a 16MP Ultra-wide camera and a Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth sensor. Keeping the lights on is a 4500mAh battery.
The Mate X isn’t the first foldable phone with problems. Introduced shortly before the Mate X, the Samsung Galaxy Fold
was supposed to have been launched on April 26th. But Samsung has delayed the release of the product after influencers failed to heed Samsung’s warnings and peeled what they thought was a protective film off the screen of their review units. This damaged the device. In addition, debris entering through the hinge caused the screen to bulge out on at least one unit, and there were some other problems as well. Best Buy canceled pre-orders placed through it for the phone and there is no telling when it will finally be released.