When Huawei first unveiled the Mate X folding phone, it looked mighty impressive. But that phone has stalled – possibly never to be released, who knows? – and folding phones as a whole, in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Fold delay, don’t seem likely to get off the ground.
What’s so different about this second-gen attempt? Well, the original’s screen – sort-of ‘screens’, despite being one OLED panel folded across the frame – was always exposed to the elements and prone to scratches. The second-gen model, this patent shows, has a usual front screen like any other smartphone, with a larger tablet-size screen that can unfold – but that is always protected in its folded position.
That could be the design feature to seal the deal of such a device. As we said in our Failing Folding Phones feature, we believe the Mate X might never be ready because that screen will scratch all too easily. By having a true two-screen phone Mate X 2, that issue could be avoided.
It also makes for a much neater design than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. This Huawei offering won’t have huge notches and bezels. But we do wonder if that second screen will ever truly be of great use, or if it’ll mainly remain tucked away the majority of the time and barely be worth its presumably huge cover price.
That said, this sort of platform could be a great opportunity for Huawei to rise up again and show off its forthcoming operating system. With Huawei in control perhaps a multi-screen device will show off how such a new OS can work to everyone’s benefit.
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