This year saw the advent of a new form factor for mobile devices in the vein of smartphones and tablet computers. By that it is meant the combining of the two’s respective shapes in the foldable phone. These are smartphones that can unfold into a tablet, with the latter’s touchscreen able to optimally fold and crease without being damaged. Chinese startup Royole technically got the ball rolling for commercial foldable phones with their Flexpai, but bigger company Huawei and Korean giant Samsung increased exposure to the tech with their Mate X and Galaxy Fold devices respectively. Now, Huawei seems to be planning an incremental upgrade.
The Verge has it that Huawei may have taken what reviews they have gotten from their recently-released Mate X foldable phone into consideration, in time to make changes to the device that will be rolled out next year. Huawei consumer business head Richard Yu dropped these hints in an interview at the company’s headquarters, along with plans to expand the Mate X’s release footprint beyond its initial China exclusivity to overseas. The foldable smartphone became available in Huawei’s home turf this November, priced at $2,400.
In terms of design, some reviewers are actually partial to the Huawei Mate X’s solution to the folding screen dilemma compared to the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The Mate X’s big tablet screen actually folds back, so that in “phone mode” the screen actually wraps around on both sides. This is in comparison to the Galaxy Fold which has separate tablet and phone screens, with the tablet folding inwards. This mechanism has been noted as having gaps and creases that are easy for dust particles and dirt to get into, something Samsung has already tried to address in their own revamp of the Galaxy Fold design.
The expected updates by Huawei to their Mate X foldable also pick up on the issues picked up on by their Korean competitor, namely a strengthening of the critical hinge mechanism that protects the folding screen on the sides and reinforcement of the touchscreen itself. They are also looking to introduce a better processor for the Mate X units coming out in 2020. Speaking of which, during the first quarter of next year Huawei is looking to introduce the initial-release Mate X to European markets. This move will coincide with the release of their next mainline smartphone the P40, slated to come out in March.
Image courtesy of Forbes