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Foldable Mate X flexes its muscle ahead of release, while Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is still vaporware

Published Jun 5th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
Huawei Mate X Release Date
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

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It wasn’t the first foldable phone in the world, but the Mate X stole the show at MWC 2019 back in late February. Huawei’s first foldable handset got tons of attention in Barcelona, eclipsing Samsung’s Galaxy Fold that was unveiled just a few days earlier. Months later, the Galaxy Fold’s launch is still postponed due to a few embarrassing issues that resulted in the swift destruction of the foldable screen. Meanwhile, Huawei is facing an even worse crisis, having to deal with a massive ban on its products in the United States. But the Mate X still looks on track to launch this month in China, and Huawei just showed off the phone’s 5G capabilities in a speed test.

The Mate X was also the first Huawei phone confirmed to feature a 5G modem, although the Chinese smartphone maker already launched a 5G version of the Mate 20 X since then in some markets. In other words, we always knew the foldable phone will support 5G networks once it launched.

As you’ll see in the following images, the Mate X 5G reached download speeds of 1Gbps on 5G, with upload speeds maxing out at almost 100Mbps. The results are on par with what’s available from competing devices on existing 5G networks, and we’ve seen similar 5G tests for the Galaxy S10 5G, the Moto Z3 with 5G moto mod, and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

Image source: Huawei via GizmoChina

Unlike all these phones, however, the Mate X doesn’t pack a 5G modem from Qualcomm, relying on Huawei’s own Balong 5000 chip to pull off 5G connectivity. The images were posted online by He Gang, the head of Huawei’s smartphone division, GizomChina reports.

The test was performed over China Unicom’s 5G network at the Shanghai Research Institute office, with top speeds going up to 1.2Gbps in lab environments.

Image source: Huawei via GizmoChina

The other thing that’s clearly visible in the top image is that the foldable screen isn’t as smooth as a rigid display, which explains the distorted reflection in the screen. Just as we said back in February, you’ll probably notice the area where the screen folds, especially in apps with a dark background, as it’s the case for the Oookla speed test above. However, as long as the screen doesn’t malfunction like the Galaxy Fold, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.