Samsung, Huawei & more unveil folding phones: Australian round-up

Samsung, Huawei & more unveil folding phones: Australian round-up

Matt Blowes February 26, 2019 IT Trends, Hardware

Samsung-Galaxy-Fold_5Folding phones are a clear mobile market trend for the start of 2019. Many manufacturers are rushing to preview their devices before they are released later in the year.

Despite the hype, Australia may miss out.

Out of three  manufacturers who have shown off folding phones, Samsung, Huawei and Oppo, none have announced availability in Australia. 

Grey importing may be the only option for Australians looking to purchase a folding phone, or the industry preferred term, 'foldable' phone. 

Traditional handsets will still be released alongside other key markets. Samsung's recently announced Samsung Galaxy S10, will hit the Australian market from March 7. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

Perhaps the two foldable phones most likely to sell, and the two that look more developed, are the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X. Both were shown off within days of each other and are clear competitors. 

Video speaks better than words when it comes to foldable devices, here they are in action:

Huawei Mate X

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold 

 (enjoy the eerie atmospheric audio on this video)

Unfortunately, both Samsung and Huawei did not allow journalists to try out the new foldables. 

Both devices will be expensive. The Samsung Galaxy Fold will launch at the end of April in the US for US$1980 (~AU$2,770 before GST). It does not have a release date or pricing for Australia. 

Meanwhile, the Huawei Mate X will be €2,299 (~AU$3,650), released in the EU sometime mid-year. Again, the device does not have an Australian release date or price.

Despite the high price-tags and uncertainty over their release in Australia, both phones give foldable phones a more promising future than the huge Flexpai foldable phone shown off at CES in January

Folding phones add 5G connectivity

Being foldable isn't the only innovation found in these new phones. Being consumer-grade prototype devices, they also include 5G connectivity.

While Telstra and Optus are making big promises about their future 5G networks, there is still no way of easily connecting as a consumer.

Telstra promise that once devices are available for sale in Australia, customers will be able to connect to over 200 towers already online in "every major city" in Australia. However, no 5G network maps have been released. 

Telstra CEO Andy Penn said at the Mobile World Congress conference, the 5G enabled LG V50 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy 5G S10+ and future Oppo 5G phone would be available by the end of June. 

For now, Australians will have to continue waiting to get their hands on foldable, 5G capable phones.

Sentrian Fibre1000

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