• Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is expected to release a new foldable smartphone later this year, not long after Samsung’s follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Fold likewise hits the market.
  • Newly disclosed patent documentation shows the new Huawei phone taking design cues from the Galaxy Fold, including with a foldable screen on the interior as well as a quad-camera setup on the front.
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Huawei seems inclined to borrow a page from Samsung’s design playbook for a future foldable phone that the Chinese smartphone maker has patented new designs for, following the release of the Huawei Mate X and Mate Xs. Both of these come with the folding screen on the exterior of the device — a key design feature that may not necessarily be carried through to the new foldable phone that the company is expected to introduce later this year.

The expectation is that Huawei is going to shake up the design a bit for its next foldable, not unlike Samsung’s tweaks that were made from the Galaxy Fold to its next foldable model, the Galaxy Z Flip (and with yet another tweaked design coming soon in the form of the Galaxy Fold 2). In fact, speaking of Samsung, it seems that Huawei may be considering design cues similar to Samsung’s for the Galaxy Fold, at least based on newly approved Huawei design patent documentation.

As spotted by Dutch tech news blog LetsGoDigital, Huawei on Wednesday was approved for a patent in China showing its design for a foldable phone that can expand into a tablet. Like the Galaxy Fold, the folding screen is on the inside this time around, and no notch or hole-punch camera can be seen on the device.

Image Source: LetsGoDigital

In addition to an extra screen on the interior, this design also departs from the Fold in that Huawei envisions a quad-camera setup adjacent to the front display. The Mate Xs, announced earlier this year, likewise has a quad-camera system, though it seems Huawei is also planning to give this new handset a zoom lens, which would be along the lines of the P40 Pro+. Putting the camera on the front supports uses like video calls and selfie-taking, while the back is nice and smooth and can thus be placed flat on a surface with a lens bulge causing it to be partially raised. 

LetsGoDigital speculates that Huawei will likely release its next foldable in the fall, around October. It’s not yet clear if the company will stick to these patent designs for the new handset, but there’s certainly at least an outside chance – especially since Samsung’s Galaxy Fold follow-up would be hitting the market a month or two before that. Meaning both companies would be putting strong contenders up against each other at around the same time in an attempt to keep growing the market for foldable devices.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.