In the area of foldable phones, Huawei has gone all in on the larger foldable tablet style – with the Huawei Mate Xs and its predecessor. However, despite previously doubting why consumers would want a smaller foldable, a Huawei foldable similar to the Galaxy Z Flip could be on the way.
“If you open it up and there [isn’t] more smartphone, why … do [a] foldable?” said Huawei UK CEO Anson Zhang back in February, adding “they want a device with a bigger screen but pocketable.” A new report suggests Huawei could now be pivoting to a smaller foldable design soon.
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The assertion stems from patent filings from Huawei – which often don’t lead to an actual final product, so take it with a pinch of salt. The patent consists of 14 images and shows a design similar to the aforementioned smaller foldables.
The images point towards a larger outer display than rivals, covering around two thirds of the half that would be visible when folded. The design would certainly be larger than the smaller strip of the Samsung and appears to be marginally larger than Motorola’s take.
Along with the reimagined foldable design, the new Huawei folding phone would also reportedly sport 5G – keeping apace with other modern flagships.
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Huawei’s potential shift to a smaller foldable phone would be an interesting one given Zhang’s previous intimations about foldables:
“It’s not just for looks for a foldable, for [looking] cool … if you open it up and there’s no more smartphone, why … do [a] foldable? … “You do foldable in order to have better views – reading, video, even multi-task as Richard [Yu] showed.”
Zhang also spoke about how Huawei had actually experimented with a glass fold similar to Samsung’s efforts:
“At the beginning, we have also another solution similar to the glass fold. That way it’s more, let’s say, secured … when you see that one, there’s a gap … at the edge. That is a more simple way to do the hardware design.”
If a smaller Huawei foldable does come to fruition it will be interesting to see how the company has solved any previous design concerns. However, the move was clearly never out of the question, with Zhang saying at the time, “I won’t be surprised if the company released anything in the future.”