The future of the foldable Huawei Mate X is unsure, now Google has decided to stop providing the Chinese company with the full Android build. The move follows president Trump’s executive order to ban US companies from conducting business with Huawei.
Huawei may still bring the phone to market with the full Android experience, as the licensing deal with Google precedes the US ban, but future software updates may be at risk. Also new foldable models will suffer from the ban. Google is only allowed to provide Huawei with the basic open source version of Android, that doesn’t include the Play Store and Google services such as Gmail and the smart voice assistent.
Chip manufacturer NXP (maker of the near-field communication chip in the Mate X) has also announced to stop delivering to Huawei. NXP is a Dutch company but has production facilities in the US and is therefore forced to comply with the presidential order.
The move by Google is the latest and most dramatic setback for Huawei since the ban on 5G network equipment. Huawei is accused by the US government of spying via its network infrastructure and at the same time a trade war between China and the US is looming.
Huawei introduced their foldable phone in February during an event in Barcelona. The device has a single display that can fold in half. When unfolded it becomes a tablet with 8 inch diagonal screen and when folded it’s 6.6 inches for the front panel and 6.38 inches for the back panel. The resolution of the display when unfolded is 2480 x 2200 (more than 5K). Folded that becomes 2480 x 1148 for the front panel and 2480 x 892 for the back panel.
Huawei beats Samsung with the thickness of the device. When folded, it’s only 11 millimeters thick (whereas Samsung was 17mm). It’s also pretty light, we noticed during a brief hands-on with the device.
According to Huawei, it folds fully flat due to a special hinge they designed.
The phone/tablet is powered by a 4500 mAmp battery and runs on a Kirin 980 CPU, clocked at 2.6 GHz. There’s also a Mali-G76 GPU and a ‘neural network processing unit’
The device has 5G cellular networking capability and a dual sim-slot. It runs Android 9 with 8 GB RAM and 512 GB storage. It has Bluetooth 5.0 and a USB type-C connection. It’s packed with sensors: a gravity sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope, compass, fingerprint sensor (built into the on/off button on the side), hall sensor, barometer, Infrared sensor and colour temperature sensor
The three camera’s are made by German brand Leica: a 40 megapixel sensor with wide angle lens, 16 MP ultra wide angle and a 8 MP telephoto. It’s not clear if all these lenses can be used in video and if seamless optical zoom is possible.
The foldable phone is available in one color: Interstellar Blue. The price tag is even more hefty than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. You’ll have to shell out €2295 for the privilege of owning one.