Samsung Galaxy X under siege as Huawei confirms 5G folding phone

2019 looks set to be the year of fabulously fast folding phones

Huawei 5G folding phone

In a move that's sure to have the team working on the Samsung Galaxy X scurrying in defense, Huawei has just confirmed that the folding phone that it will be releasing in 2019 will also come with 5G connectivity.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, and reported by Telecoms, Huawei Chairman Ken Hu said: "In our first [5G] smartphone we’re going to introduce a foldable screen."

Huawei has previously confirmed that it is developing a folding phone, which it will release in 2019. The company also said in an interview with T3 that it would be releasing 5G phones in the same year. But this is the first time that the company has gone on record to state that its upcoming folding phone will also be a 5G phone.

Putting 5G connectivity into a folding phone makes sense to us: 5G handsets are likely to require more cooling than their predecessors and they'll also benefit from larger batteries because the faster speeds will enable (and no doubt encourage) people to use their phones for more battery-intensive tasks. So the bigger the phone casing – and it's certain that a folding phone will be bigger than a non-folding one – the easier that is to do. This might also explain why many phone manufacturers – Apple included – are starting to release larger handsets.

Huawei has not confirmed a release date for the new smartphone, but we know that the company wants to beat Samsung and Sony to release a 5G unit – and we're looking at a likely Spring 2019 announcement for a 5G Samsung Galaxy S10 and a 5G Sony Xperia. So if Huawei is to win this particular race, we'd expect the Chinese manufacturer to officially unveil its 5G folding phone before next year's Mobile World Congress, which starts at the end of February 2019.

What might this new phone look like? Take a look at the concept video by TechConfigurations for one idea.

 Lead image credit: TechConfigurations (opens in new tab) 

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to TechRadar.com in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of FitandWell.com and PetsRadar.