Despite its issues with the US trade ban, Huawei appears to be set to launch its first foldable-display smartphone in China later this month — the Huawei Mate X. New images of the smartphone were shared by He Gang, head of Huawei’s smartphone division, showing off the phone’s 5G capabilities at China Unicom’s Shanghai Research Institute office. During the tests, the Huawei Mate X managed to reach 1.2Gbps download speeds in the lab environment with 1Gbps download and 100 Mbps upload speeds shown in the image below using the Ookla Speed Test App.
Huawei also showed off the Mate X’s ability to seamlessly switch between 5G/4G/3G/2G networks which will likely be quite handy since 5G deployment in China and Europe is limited to only a handful of regions. Users will have the ability to set the Huawei Mate X to automatically switch between the different networks or manually set the device to connect to the different networks which would likely lead to increased battery life. While the phone does feature dual-SIM support, only one SIM slot is able to support 5G connectivity.
Unlike the other 5G phones which are currently in the wild, the Huawei Mate X doesn’t use Qualcomm’s 5G modem. The phone is equipped with a Kirin 980 which is paired with the company’s new Balong 5000 modem which allows it to connect to 5G networks. Real world 5G tests with Qualcomm’s 5G modems have been hit or miss, but we have yet to see how well the Balong 5000 modem performs in the real world.
Huawei is still silent regarding the June launch of the Mate X in the Chinese market, but the fact that the company is publicly sharing images of the 5G testing process suggests that the retail launch of the phone is still on track. While the Huawei Mate X isn’t the first foldable smartphone, it could be the first high-profile device to ship. Samsung’s failed launch of the Galaxy Fold last month due to a high failure rate of the foldable display has forced the company to reword the design of the phone, but there’s still no indication as to when Samsung plans to get the Galaxy Fold into the hands of eager customers.