2019 has been the year of the delayed foldables. After a few false starts and showing it off on the down low at IFA, Huawei is finally releasing its bendy Mate X.
But you won't be able to get it in Australia yet.
It was unclear whether foldables were going to be a thing at IFA 2019. After Samsung's issues with the Galaxy Fold, and the delay of Huawei's own offering, 2019 has become a kind of bendable purgatory. So imagine my surprise when I found myself racing across Berlin to have a spontaneous, ten minutes hands on with the Mate X.
In fact, it's only going to be available in China for now, and it will be arriving on November 16.
To recap,the Mate X has a 6.6-inch front display and 6.38-inch rear display. The device folds outward, allowing the primary large screen to turn one large screen into two screen, which are exposed at all times.
As we learned at MWC earlier this year, current Mate X devices will have a Kirin 980 processor, though newer models landing early next year will probably get the new 990 instead.
We're not sure why a model is going on sale so late in the year if an upgraded one will be coming soon, but sure.
The phone also comes with 512GB storage, 8GB RAM, a 4,500mAH battery, fingerprint reader power button and 2480x2200 resolution.
It also has almost the same camera setup as the P30 Pro - a 40 MP SuperSpectrum Sensor (Wide angle, f/1.6), 20 MP Ultra-wide angle (f/2.2), 8 MP Tele lens (f/3.4) and a Time-of-Flight lens. The only thing missing is the front facing camera.
It's going to cost 16,999 yuan, which equates to about $3,510. Of course, that doesn't guarantee what the Aussie price will actually be, if it even comes here.
Pricing it above $3,000 is going to make it struggle even further against Samsung, which just this week announced that its own Galaxy Fold will cost $2,999 here.
Considering that Samsung is better known brand in Australia, and isn't looking down the barrel of Android bans, Huawei is going to have to go lower to be competitive and attractive in this market. Not that we're particularly convinced of ever seeing it here.
Fingers crossed, though!
It was unclear whether foldables would be a significant part of the conversation at IFA this year... until both Samsung and Huawei came in swinging with both of their bendy devices. I had a chance to play with both throughout the week, and have some initial comparative thoughts.