Huawei has so far focused on book-style foldables but, for some time now, talk of a new entry in the company’s folding phone portfolio has been mounting, with a horizontally-hinged device thought to be called the Huawei Mate V apparently on its way to market.
The Chinese company already offers up what could be considered the most powerful and premium foldable currently out there, in the Mate X2, which is the third entry in its lineage. However, Huawei is yet to dip its toes into the world of more compact clamshell foldables, something these latest leaks and rumours now point to.
When will the Huawei Mate V launch?
Despite hearsay of the Mate V stretching far back into 2020, the phone is yet to materialise and without so much as a tease from Huawei, we’re still in the dark about its existence in any official capacity, which extends to its pricing and availability.
Even so, one of the latest leaks does discuss when the Mate V – if it exists – might arrive, with Weibo-based tipster Bald Panda promising a debut before the end of 2021.
How much is the Huawei Mate V?
With no precedent set by Huawei directly for a device like the Mate V, there’s no easy way to divine potential pricing.
The most prominent competitors are, of course, Motorola’s revived Razr and Samsung’s ever-improving Galaxy Z Flip family.
At launch, the Razr 5G sported an RRP of £1,399/€1,499/US$1,399, while the original Z Flip was similarly steep, at £1,300/€1,500/US$1,380. Samsung has worked hard to refine the hardware and cost of its foldable clamshell, with 2021’s Z Flip 3 clocking in at a marginally more palatable £949/€1,049/US$999.
Depending on Huawei’s intentions with the Mate V – with regards to target market and hardware competitiveness – it might price it similarly to the Mate X2 (i.e. the most expensive and premium device in its class). Alternatively, it may try and compete with the existing market and match its most prominent competitor – the Galaxy Z Flip 3 – by planting itself around the £/€/US$1,000 mark. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon.
What features does the Huawei Mate V offer?
First, let’s talk about that name.
LetsGoDigital spotted that on 3 July 2020, Huawei filed a trademark with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) for the brand name ‘Mate V’.
The application was made by a Munich-based intermediary, called Forresters, which Huawei has used for similar services in the past; registering the likes of ‘Huawei AR Glass’ and ‘VR Glass’.
While the filing doesn’t only cover smartphones, based on Huawei’s previous move to use letters with its other foldables – the Mate X, Xs and X2 – it’s a grounded assumption that this new clamshell patent could end up becoming the Mate V, not least because the side profile of a partially folded foldable resembles a ‘V’.
As for the hardware itself, TigerMobiles initially spotted that Huawei had registered a patent with the CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) for a new clamshell-style foldable phone back in August 2019. Its existence only came to light in mid-2020 because the patent’s authorisation date was cited as 7 July 2020.
Also in 2020, a rumour picked up by Digital Chat Station suggested Huawei would be using UTG (ultra-thin glass) on its upcoming foldables, which aligns with the possible display tech this concept that’s thought to be the Mate V may leverage.
Beyond its nature as a foldable, the Mate V features a tall display with what appears to be a sizeable notch, assumed to house both a front-facing camera and, potentially, biometric components – as found on the likes of the company’s Mate 30 Pro.
The phone’s apparent proportions also allude to a tall, narrow aspect ratio, surpassing a 21:9 footprint – as found on the likes of Sony’s Xperia 1 III flagship. For reference, the Razr 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 3 both feature 22:9 display displays.
The right side sports the only visible hardware controls; with a volume rocker sat above, what’s assumed to be a red-accented power key, while a USB-C port is visible along the bottom edge. No sign of a 3.5mm headphone jack, though.
The silhouette of a camera arrangement leaves room for multiple sensors, while its surround also plays host to what’s thought to be an external display, likely meant to function in a similar fashion to that of the original Galaxy Z Flip’s; relaying notification information, the time and potentially serving as a viewfinder for the camera, when the phone is closed.
Tipster Bald Panda – who posited the phone’s pre-2022 arrival – also stated on multiple occasions that the Mate V will run on a Kirin 9000 chipset, as found in the company’s recent P50 smartphone series.
We’ll update this with more Mate V rumours and leaks, as they come to light.