The first Honor foldable phone could be launching soon

Huawei Mate X2
The Huawei Mate X2. (Image credit: TechRadar)

It's been a while since we last heard rumors about a foldable phone from Honor, but a fresh leak suggests a foldable called the Honor Magic X could be launching imminently – and may even see the light of day before the end of the year.

This latest tip comes from Huawei Fans on Chinese social media network Weibo (via Notebookcheck), and offers up the tidbit that the incoming handset is going to be built along similar lines to the Huawei Mate X2.

Honor originally started out as a spin-off brand for Huawei of course, so it makes sense that the two companies are still sharing some technical information – and as the Mate X2 is a very decent foldable phone, most people are unlikely to be disappointed with the news.

More to come

The only other tips that this source offers up are that the foldable is likely to be out before the end of the year, and that Honor has a lot of confidence in it. That potential launch window matches up with what we heard back in February.

An unfolded screen size of around 8 inches has previously been talked about, which matches the size of the Huawei Mate X2. On the inside, we might see the phone powered by the Snapdragon 888 or the Snapdragon 888 Plus.

Honor might not be stopping there either: the rumors are that it's also developing a clamshell-style foldable to take on the Motorola Razr and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, though up to this point we've not heard too much about it.

Analysis: here come the foldables

Z Flip 3

The Galaxy Z Flip 3. (Image credit: Carlos Pedrós)

Foldable phones aren't a new idea at this point, but it does feel as though mid-2021 marks something of a watershed moment – a moment when this form factor went from niche and experimental to something that mainstream buyers would consider picking up.

That's almost entirely down to the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, two phones that are well-made, well-specced, and not completely unaffordable. While early foldable phones had questions around their reliability, that's not the case with these too.

With Honor, Google, and others expected to enter the fray soon, anyone interested in picking up a foldable phone is going to be spoilt for choice. In the near future we might see sales of these units actually reaching a noticeable share of the market.

A lot of that still depends on the price of course – foldable phones remain very much at the expensive end of the smartphone spectrum. The technology they use means foldables will stay pricey for now, but we're hoping that Honor manages to stick to its traditions and bring out something that's reasonably affordable.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.