Huawei’s new Mate X2 foldable has Galaxy Fold-style screen

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Huawei unveils the Chinese version of its foldable Mate X2. 

Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

Huawei showed off its third-gen foldable, the Mate X2, on Monday in its native China, setting up a head-to-head battle with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 there. The launch comes as the future of Huawei’s smartphone business hangs in the balance amid tough US sanctions.

As rumoured, the Mate X2 has an inward-folding screen that opens and shuts like a book, extending into an 8-inch screen when unfurled. It diverges from the original design of the Mate X, which has a front-facing single screen that folds outward. The Mate X2 also has four rear cameras, a 4,500-mAh battery, a 55-watt fast charger and a dual stereo speaker system that promises better bass. 

Huawei’s signature chipset, the Kirin 9000 5G, (surprisingly) appears in its newest flagship amid toughened US sanctions. The round of sanctions, leveled by the Trump administration last March, took aim at Huawei’s global chip supply, eventually leaving the Chinese telecom with limited inventory of its self-designed chipset. Last year’s Mate 40 series was reported to be the last of Huawei’s flagship phones to run on the Kirin lineup of processors, which are manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co using the cutting-edge 5-nanometer process. 

The Mate X2 will also be the first commercial phone to run on Huawei’s HarmonyOS operating system starting April as the Chinese company replaces the watered-down version of Google Mobile Services from its devices.

There’s no word on whether the Mate X2 is slated for an international launch, but in China there will be two variants: a 256GB model and a 512GB model, which cost 17,999 yuan (converts to $2,780, £1,980, AU$3,525) and 18,999 yuan (converts to approximately $2,970, £2,090, AU$3,725) respectively.

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Key Specs

Display: 6.45-inch OLED, 2,700×1,160 pixels (closed), 8-inch OLED, 2,480×2,200 pixels (open)

Rear Camera: 50-megapixel (main sensor), periscope telephoto, ultra-wide lens, telephoto lens

Front: Ultra-wide camera

Refresh rate: 90Hz

Aspect ratio: 8:7:1

Colors: Blue, 歡迎光臨 pink, white, black

Special features: Dual sim, dual speakers, 10x optical zoom, foldable display 

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