Huawei announces that the new foldable Mate XS smartphone will be available outside of China for the first time
Huawei has unveiled a new version of its foldable smartphone – the first to be released outside mainland China.
The Mate Xs is the second folding phone from the Chinese technology company after the Mate X, which was launched last year.
Just like its predecessor, the Mate Xs has a screen that wraps around the outside of the device, which can be opened into an eight-inch tablet format display.
Despite unveiling its first foldable phone a year ago, Huawei did not release the original Mate X in the UK after the US trade ban meant it could no longer access Google apps, including YouTube and Google Maps .
The company has since started building its own app store – Huawei AppGallery – to replace Google’s Play Store app marketplace.
The Mate Xs has a screen that wraps around the outside of the device, which can be opened to become an eight-inch tablet size display
The device runs on Android but has no access to Google’s Play Store app marketplace, with Huawei offering apps via its own AppGallery instead
Google urged users not to try to install their apps on new Huawei phones in unofficial ways, and warned that the process was “high risk,” because it couldn’t guarantee that apps installed this way were not ” changed or tampered with in ways that could compromise user security ‘.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Yu said at Huawei’s announcement that the company “will continue to work for the Google ecosystem” and for collaboration with other US companies in the future.
He said that the Chinese company provides “value” for American companies with its technology, and in a swipe about the US trade ban, he said that “technology should be open and available to everyone.”
About the new foldable, Huawei said the Mate Xs had a 6.6-inch front screen and a 6.38-inch screen on the back of the device, which unfolded into an eight-inch screen – similar to the original Mate X .
Yu said the Mate Xs was also “mechanically improved,” with improvements to the hinge of the falcon wing that was used to fold the phone.
The Mate Xs had a 6.6-inch front screen and a 6.38-inch screen on the back of the device, which unfolded into an eight-inch screen
Allegedly Huawei has made improvements to the hinge of the falcon wing that was used to fold the phone
The device also includes a quad camera system, 5G support and a large battery of 4,500 mAh.
Yu confirmed that the Mate Xs would cost £ 2,299 and “next month” would be available worldwide.
The announcement of Huawei follows the launch of smartphone rival Samsung earlier this month with a new folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip.
Unlike Huawei, that device is designed to have a similar size to modern smartphones – it opens vertically like the flip phones popular in the early 2000s and has a 6.7-inch screen and costs £ 1,300.
The new foldable Huawei was unveiled along with a number of other new devices, including the MatePad Pro 5G tablet and various new MateBook laptops.
Industry expert Ben Wood, from analyst firm CCS Insight, said that despite improvements in the design of the foldable phone, he was still worried about the flexible screen on the Mate Xs.
“The Mate Xs appears to be a heavily redesigned update of the original device, especially the vulnerability of the folding screen,” he said.
“Based on a quick practical test, the hinge mechanism seems to have improved considerably, but I still have serious concerns about the long-term durability of this design approach, with the flexible display permanently visible.”
He said the high price meant that the device would be “ultra-niche” rather than for regular phone users.
The Huawei Mate Xs costs £ 2,299 and would be available worldwide ‘next month’.
Analysts claim that the high price means that the device will be “ultra-niche” rather than for regular phone users
Thomas Husson, chief analyst at Forrester, added that Huawei’s attempts to grow his own app ecosystem are likely to take time.
“2020 will be a pivotal year for Huawei,” he said.
“The lack of Google Mobile Services – and more specifically the Google Play Store and Google Maps, YouTube or Gmail – will become a problem for many European consumers to buy a Huawei smartphone.
‘Huawei Mobile Services and AppGallery will be launched on new Honor devices and on the upcoming P40 Huawei smartphones will have trouble becoming a serious alternative in 2020.
“It takes several years to really build an app ecosystem with brands, developers, and publishers.”
Mr. Husson said he also did not expect the Mate Xs to sell in large numbers because of the £ 2,299 price tag.
“The launch of the new Mate Xs remains a niche innovation, because folding smart devices are still very expensive and do not really offer new differentiated consumer experiences,” he said.
In the field of foldable phones available in the UK, the Mate Xs follows the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip from Samsung and the recently launched Motorola Razr.