Huawei Debuts Folding Phone

China’s Huawei unveiled its latest folding smartphone and its first such device to be available internationally, competing in a niche category with new models from Samsung and Motorola.

The company revealed the new 2,700-dollar Mate Xs by video instead of a press launch, as the tech show in Spain where it had planned to hold the unveiling was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The display wraps around the 5G phone’s outside when closed and unfolds to a tablet-size eight-inch screen. It has a redesigned four-layer screen and upgraded “falcon wing” hinge.

However, the Mate Xs also faces a disadvantage as it lacks the full Android operating system by Google. The Trump administration last year blocked Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology on national security grounds.  Instead, it runs a stripped-down open source version of Android. Users can still download apps but they’ll be from Huawei’s own app store, not the Google Play store.

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