The Huawei Mate X is our last hope for a decent foldable phone in 2019, after the Samsung Galaxy Fold turned out a lot less than perfect. The Mate X has now been released, but only to a select number of customers in Huawei’s home nation of China.
We’ve been expecting the Mate X since the summer, but Huawei pushed the release date back twice to continue refining the phone. It finally launched today (October 23) at a conference in Shenzhen, except the product it showed off today is a little different from how you may remember it.
This version is running on the Kirin 980, Huawei’s CPU that debuted in 2018, rather than the Kirin 990 which was initially promised. Huawei now plans to release two versions of the Mate X, differentiated by the processor, with the Kirin 990 edition coming later. As with the Mate 30, the Mate X runs on Android but without Google apps due to the current trade war between China and the US, which Huawei has found itself caught up in.
Previous rumors that correctly predicted October 23 as the launch day stated that Huawei’s making 300,000 Mate X units, which is less than half the number of Galaxy Folds Samsung made for its own launch.
The flexible handset will be available for purchase in China from November 14, and will cost 16,999 yuan, which converts to £1,868 or $2,403. That’s more expensive than the Galaxy Fold’s $1,980 price tag, but perhaps the price difference doesn’t make much of a difference if you can afford to spend twice as much as you would on an iPhone 11 Pro.
In addition, it’s unlikely the Mate X is unlikely to reach the US any time soon, at least by the usual routes, so you’ll have to add even more money on top for international shipping if you’re keen to try out this foldable.