back to article Huawei's new Mate X2 foldable phone costs almost $2,800

Talent borrows, genius steals. With that in mind, here's Huawei's first new pholdable in almost two years*: the Huawei Mate X2. This pricey handset borrows the same dual-screen approach used by Samsung's Galaxy Fold series, with one smaller outer display and a larger tablet-sized display that opens like a book. Derivative? …

  1. oiseau Silver badge


    Nothing to write home from Shenzhen about.


    Or here * at ElReg for that matter.


    * ie: yet another extremely fragile, useless and absurdly expensive gadget aimed at mobile gamers.


    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing

      The nature of consumer technology is that you see lots of flawed devices in a new category for a few years before you see a decent implementation.

      Anyway, your comment is the first suggestion I've seen that is gamers who want an expensive folding phone. Can't think why they would. Seems a better match for folk who need a usuable instance of Excel that fits in a trouser pocket.

      1. RM Myers

        Re: Nothing

        Seems a better match for folk who need a want to flaunt their ability to have a usuable instance of Excel that fits in a trouser pocket. FTFY

        1. Youngone Silver badge

          Re: Nothing

          Nope. I gave up on ever being cool many years ago, but I will buy a product like one of these when they're a third of the price and will last more than a few months.

          As noted, pholdables are in the R&D stage but they'll be useful at some point.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Nothing

            "As noted, pholdables are in the R&D stage but they'll be useful at some point."

            Absolutely. Some of us remember when having a mobile phone was only for rich poseurs! Likewise laptops.

          2. Barry Rueger

            Re: Nothing

            ...and will last more than a few months.

            That's why I expect Huawei will be the first big success. Their phones are very well built, and very rugged. My P20 was the first phone I've ever owned that survived the two year contract, and I'm sure my P30 will do the same. If anyone can build a foldable phone that doesn't break it will be Huawei.

            By the same token the lack of the Play store may not be an issue. The Chinese market does mobile in ways that Google can only dream of - whole swaths of the economy rely totally on WeChat and Alibaba for transactions. I have no doubt that the Huawei app store will grow and prosper, and just maybe will manage to avoid the heaps of pure dreck that fills the shelves of Google's offering.

            I would not be surprised to see Huawei do the app store game much, much better than Google.

          3. RM Myers

            Re: Nothing

            And Youngone, that was the point I was trying to make. Anyone buying this phone now is much more likely to be using it to attract attention than for a practical purpose. The product just isn't mature enough for anything more than R&D, which means Huawei employees. However, as long as no one is forcing me to buy the phone, I have no problem if someone else wants to buy it.

            Different strokes for different folks.

        2. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Nothing

          > Seems a better match for folk who want to flaunt their ability to have a usuable instance of Excel that fits in a trouser pocket.

          Hahaha! That would only impress a special kind of woman. When you find her, hold on to her!

          Why am I thinking of Gary Larson's 'Punk Accountants' right now?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Punk Accountants'

            For a moment there, after your remark "impress a special kind of woman"; my brain read instead "pink accountant" and thought - what new euphemism is this?

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Nothing

        Agreed here I actually remember the first mobile phones and they were hugely expensive and impractical.

        I could see gamers wanting it, and content consumption, especially where I am in SEA, most people here tend to use their mobiles for those very things over laptops. But it will be a long time before the price drops enough to actually match the average pocket in SEA from the looks of things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing

      More Chinese rubbish, Get a computer if you need a computer and get a phone if you need a phone and save a grand instantly !,, Simple

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Nothing

        The first e-ink displays were very expensive, but for a small group of users (including pilots) the weight saving over several kilograms of paper documents would pay for itself. With volume, prices fell until a fairly inexpensive jacket-pocket device for reading books appeared, with appeal to a lot of people.

        Nobody complains that an e-book reader is an underpowered computer with a slow black and white screen and awkward input... it's a device for reading books!

  2. TWB

    Any folding phone owners here?

    Seriously - I'd love to hear from any reg readers who have owned one for a while and if they really are amazing and cannot live without them or maybe wish they still had the cash they'd splashed.


    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Any folding phone owners here?

      A few Reg readers have said they've bought the dual-screened Microsoft phone and are pleased with it. I know it doesn't fold, but 1, it gives the same screen real estate as a folding phone, albeit with a bezel down the middle, and 2, its significantly more expensive than a normal phone.

      Unlike a folding phone where flexible screens are a relatively immature technology, there is no reason to suspect the Microsoft phone of being particularly fragile.

      Obviously there are people who have bought folding phones, but there are a lot of people on this planet for whom a few thousand dollars is pocket change.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Any folding phone owners here?

      It's not a folding phone; it's a unfolding phone, and folding tablet.

      Not just semantics: it reminds us that to use it at its best requires apps tuned to a tablet. And by any metric, the ecosystem of apps for Android tablets is lacking - the iPad having the lion's share of developer interest and revenue. Heck, even Google is more interested in ChromeOS for tablets than it is Android.

      Apple are testing the technology, but they don't have to rush an unfoldable iPhone to market. *If* they do, however, then it will also be a foldable iPad Mini with stylus support and no shortage of good apps for productivity and creation. As the cost comes down, foldable Android devices will fill much the same role as Android tablets - which is very often the role of a cheap video player for children.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Any folding phone owners here?

        In the meantime, it's be cool if they could make the app think it's on a phone sized virtual screen and put two side by side and just use the whole screen for those apps capable of it. There also plenty of apps which can tell if they are on a phone or tablet and adjust their layout, eg browsers, WPS Office etc.

  3. ecofeco Silver badge


    Fools and their money...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: 2K??

      A 48K ZX Spectrum was about £140 back in 1983. That's about £500 in todays money. And that was a cheap computer. The Compaq Portable was about £2100 at launch, something like £7500 in todays money.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: 2K??

        It's only foolish to spend thousands on a phone or other toy if that money would otherwise improve your lifestyle. If you've already got several houses, cars, educated kids, good shoes whatever, then you won't miss the cash. The bigger fools have caned their money on coke.

        Is that state of affairs right? Well, that's not really a question a phone vendor can be expected to answer.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 2K??

      "fools and their money" seems an idiotic proverb to sling around in the modern world, as it's usually aimed at people who always seem to have plenty of money to part with, by people who don't.

      Most of the people who buy one of these, or take it on a monthly contract will not notice the cost. Because by leading a life of a fool they have somehow become wealthy.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 2K??

        "Because by leading a life of a fool they have somehow become wealthy."

        ...or still live with their parents and still can't afford to move out because a) it's expensive to move out and b) they can't save because they keep buying new shiny on "cheap" monthly rental plans.

        After all, it's "only" £xx per month for a new phone. And "only" £xx for Spoify. And Netflix. And amazon. And a nice new car. And, and, and all the many other $something as a Service that people end up paying for nowadays instead of saving up and buying outright.

  4. Phil Kingston

    10 year contracts here we come

  5. Ringo Star

    Bahahah 2 grand and no play store...

  6. onemark03

    Are you ever going to get $2,800 worth of use out of it? I doubt it.

  7. Roland6 Silver badge

    >Huawei also claims it'll eventually be able to run the homegrown Harmony OS, although take that with a pinch of salt. As reported earlier this month by Ars Technica, Huawei's HarmonyOS spin for phones appears to be a fork of Android 10 rather than a distinct operating system built from the ground up.

    The reads more like a poor attempt at satire and humour.

    Given the current Mate X2 OS is "based on the open-source version of Android 10, skinned with its own EMUI 11 environment.", then there is a very good likelihood it will be able to run HarmonyOS, assuming Huawei release HarmonyOS for the Mate X2...

    See no reason why Huawei needs to build a distinct OS from the ground up, given they can use and already have Android skills. In fact using Android means there will be less work if and when the Trump sanctions are lifted, or if Huawei, leaves the door open to custom ROMs...

  8. Mark192

    It says something about the maturity of the tech sector that there's a sizeable group who decry the new, cutting edge stuff because it's expensive and they don't need it.

    Were they once enthusiastically following new and emerging technology? What changed?

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