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This might be the most exciting new foldable smartphone of 2021

Published Feb 18th, 2021 6:50AM EST
Huawei Mate X2
Image: Samsung

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  • Huawei is about to launch a brand new foldable device, and it released a new Mate X2 teaser to promote the phone’s new design.
  • The third Mate X foldable will feature a foldable screen that folds inwards, just like the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
  • A separate report says that Chinese display maker BOE is mass-producing in-folding OLED panels for foldable phones and that BOE will supply the Mate X2 screens.

Huawei stunned the world about two years ago at MWC 2019 when it launched its first-ever foldable phone. The announcement came just days after Samsung announced the first-gen Galaxy Fold. But the Mate X looked a lot better than the Fold, teasing that the foldable phone experiences we were craving were going to be spectacular. In the months that followed, we learned that foldable phones are hard to manufacture, and it might be years until the technology is where we’d want it to be. The high price and delayed launches did not turn the Mate X into a massive success, and the US ban did not help. The Mate Xs that followed was better than the original, but it was still an expensive device that had a significant flaw. The phone shipped without the Google apps that make Android what it is.

Huawei has not given up on foldables, even if it’s struggling to compete in the business. The company is about to launch a new Mate X successor, featuring a brand new design. And Huawei just released another teaser to confirm the new foldable screen technology.

Huawei teased a few weeks ago the significant design change coming to the Mate X series. The teaser revealed that the 2021 model would sport a foldable display on the inside, like the Galaxy Fold devices.

Huawei has released another image on Weibo in anticipation of the February 22nd launch event, which further confirms the new design change. The teaser image that follows shows a foldable phone from the side opened at an angle. The glow from the screen appears inside the hinge, indicating the foldable display is placed internally, just like the Galaxy Fold.

Huawei Mate X2
Huawei Mate X2 launch event teaser. Image source: Huawei

The placement of the two sides of the phone also teases the time of the upcoming launch event. Huawei will launch the Mate X2 at 8:00 PM in China on February 22nd, at this year’s edition of MWC Shanghai. The original Mate X model was unveiled at the main MWC show. That’s the Barcelona event scheduled for late February every year. The novel coronavirus pandemic forced the GSM Association to change the 2021 schedule. MWC 2021 Barcelona will take place in late June this year.

Huawei hasn’t revealed other details about the Mate X2 aside from the teaser images, but Business Korea did learn a very important detail about the handset. The foldable will use an OLED display from Chinese screen maker BOE.

The company’s in-folding OLED panels are being mass-produced in China, which is a major success for the company. A report revealed recently that BOE is aggressively chasing Samsung Display’s lead in OLED screen technology for mobile devices. Business Korea notes that the Mate X2 will use OLED displays from BOE, adding that the handset will be the first Huawei smartphone with an in-folding display. However, it’s unclear whether the Mate X2 will feature a glass display like the Galaxy Z Fold 2, or a plastic screen.

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.