Huawei and Samsung have wowed the smartphone world this year with their Mate X and Galaxy Fold, the first production-ready folding screen handsets. In an effort to expand its reach, Huawei will launch the Mate X in India this year.

Despite being the second-largest smartphone vendor in the world, Huawei has failed to make a significant splash in India. Rivals like Xiaomi, Samsung, and Oppo have squeezed the Chinese company out of the top of the market. With the Mate X, it seems Huawei will try to corner the bleeding-edge Indian flagship market.

The launch of the Mate X in India will also be significant for other reasons. Huawei’s folding smartphone supports 5G connectivity so will arrive in India as one of the first 5G devices. However, it is worth noting that the country has yet to roll out a 5G network yet, but at least the Mate X will be future-proof.

If you are unfamiliar with the Mate X, alongside Samsung’s Galaxy Fold it represents a seismic leap in smartphone technology. Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in February, the handset is a book-formed folding phone. The screen can be opened to create a tablet-sized device or closed to create a dual-screen experience.

When folded, the Huawei Mate X has a 6.6-inch AMOLED Ultra HD screen that extends to 8-inches when opened. In its tablet form, the device is a svelte 5.4mm, but doubles up to 11mm when closed.

As usual, Huawei has used its own CPU architecture in a smartphone, this time the Kirin 980 chipset on 7nm architecture. The company has paired this octa-core CPU with a massive 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

Around the back of the Mate X are three Leica optimized rear cameras, including a 40MP wide-angle main lens with an aperture of f/1.8. Sitting alongside that snapper is a 16MP, 17mm ultra-wide camera, and an 8MP telephoto lens. Boosting depth imaging capabilities, the Huawei Mate X has a Time of Flight sensor.

Huawei has opted to embed the fingerprint scanner into the power button instead of beneath the camera module on the back. As usual, the company has gone big with the battery, which on the Mate X means a 4,500mAh juicer with support for 55W fast charging and Huawei’s own SuperCharge software that allows and 85% charge in 30 minutes.

No word on price in India just yet, but the Huawei Mate X is one of the most expensive mainstream smartphones ever made. It will cost $2,600 in the United States, which is around 1,79,900 INR, so we have doubts about how successful it can be for the company in India. Certainly, the handset is unlikely to give Huawei’s market position in the country any significant boost.

As noted, the Mate X will face competition from the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which is similarly spec’d and priced, but does not feature 5G support.

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Luke is a qualified writer from the UK who has been writing about all things technology for nearly a decade.