New Delhi :
Chinese tech giant Huawei is selling its first folding smartphone without Google apps or US made processor chips following sanctions imposed by Washington. The Mate X, which unfolds to 14.6 centimeters (5.8 inches) wide, went on sale Friday on Huawei’s online store in China priced at 16,999 yuan ($2,422).
It competes with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launched in September. The Mate X uses Huawei’s Kirin 980 and Balong 5000 chipset instead of chips from Qualcomm or other U.S. suppliers.
It comes loaded with Chinese alternatives to Google music, maps and other apps. The screen of Huawei Mate X unfolds to 14.6 centimeters (5.8 inches) by 16.1 centimeters (6.4 inches).
The smartphone uses Huawei’s EMUI 9 operating system, which is based on Google’s Android. The company can use the open-source version of Android but if US sanctions are fully enforced, it will lose access to Google’s popular music and other apps, making it harder to compete with Samsung.
American officials say companies will be allowed to sell some products to Huawei but they still are waiting for licenses. Huawei smartphones sold in China already use local music and other apps because Google services aren’t licensed by Beijing.
The company has yet to announce Mate X sales forecasts or plans to sell it outside China. Huawei unveiled a smartphone operating system, HarmonyOS, in August that it said can replace Android if necessary.
The company says, however, it wants to keep working with American vendors. Huawei reported earlier sales rose 24.4% in the first nine months of 2019 to 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion).
Its chairman, Liang Hua, warned in July it would “face difficulties” in the second half. Also this week, Huawei said it would pay bonuses totaling 2 billion yuan ($285 million) to 90,000 employees in chip development and some other units as thanks for helping to cope with US sanctions.
The full 180,000-member workforce also will receive an extra month’s salary, the company said. Apart from this, Huawei recently unveiled the Enjoy 10 and Enjoy 10 Plus in the Chinese market.
The key features on Huawei Enjoy 10S include triple rear camera setup, Android 9 Pie, and octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 710F SoC, among others.
The newly-launched smartphone is a successor to the Enjoy 9S that was launched back in March this year. The price for the lone 6GB RAM + 64GB storage configuration of Huawei Enjoy 10S in China has been set at CNY 1,599 (approx. Rs 16,000).
The smartphone is available in Magic Night Black, Emerald Green, and The Realm of the Sky colour options. It is available for reservations through VMall with shipments scheduled in China for November 12.
However, details about its global launch haven’t been announced yet. The smartphone supports dual-SIM (Nano) connectivity and runs Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.1.1 on top.
It sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) OLED display with 20:9 aspect ratio and 90.17 percent screen-to-body ratio.
On the imaging front, Huawei Enjoy 10S comes equipped with the triple rear camera setup that houses a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens, 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.4 lens, and a 2-megapixel tertiary sensor with an f/2.4 lens. Also, there is a 16-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front with an f/2.0 lens.
(With inputs from PTI)