Huawei unveils Mate X, joins Galaxy Fold in foldables game

It folds like Samsung's Galaxy Fold, but it's a fundamentally different phone.

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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Roger Cheng
2 min read

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business, shows off the Mate X

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Galaxy Fold isn't the only foldable device in town. Say hello to the Huawei Mate X.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer products business, on Sunday unveiled the Mate X at a press conference ahead of the MWC Barcelona trade show.

Watch this: Huawei Mate X is a foldable phone with 5G

While the Mate X can fold like Samsung's marquee smartphone, it's a fundamentally different device. The Galaxy Fold has two displays -- one in the front and a second, larger screen on the inside that unfolds like a clamshell. The Mate X has screens on the front and back of the device, which join together into a larger, continuous display after you fold it out.

The Mate X will also include a 5G connection and cameras that pack Leica technology.

Foldable smartphones represent one of the hottest topics in the industry because of their potential to revolutionize the shape and design of everyday smartphones, which are currently stuck being rectangular slabs of plastic, glass and metal. They're the stuff of sci-fi movies and novels, and bring a genuinely exciting element to an industry that has settled into maturity.

The Mate X will cost $2,600 (2,299 euros) and launch in the middle of the year. It will have 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space.

Yu acknowledged that the price is high, but touted the innovation inside.

Huawei Mate X triple threat: Foldable phone with 5G, lots of cameras

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The phone has a 6.6-inch front screen and 6.38-inch back screen, and can unfold for a combined 8-inch display.

Huawei earlier leaked images of the Mate X itself by putting up a poster at the MWC Barcelona venue.

Read our first impressions of the Mate X here.

Watch this: Galaxy Fold: First impressions of Samsung's foldable phone