So here it is, The Huawei Mate X. Initially I had a look at this device at the MWC in barcelona, but within the last weeks I had various opportunities to checkout the device together with Huawei and test out some things. To be honest, its still a prototype and that means I cant show you everything, but here are my personal pros and cons so far.
So we all know the specs of Huaweis latest foldable flagship and I wont repeat them here, because all i want to talk about are usecases, features and how it feels.
The biggest sell for foldable phones at MWC has been the ability to see something on the folded ‘smartphone’ screen and instantly be able to blow it up to tablet view.
Well this is working fine due to Huaweis so called Falcon wing mechanical hinge design. Folding the first half is really easy and then you feel that there is more resistance needed
to fully press it back into the lock. This really stretches the display and makes it feel like a regular phone when it is folded. To be honest, it feels really alot better than
for instance the Royole flexpai which i also checked out. When its unfolded, you definetly see that the glass is actually plastic because the surface is slightly wavy. Also depending
from which angle you look at the phone, you will notice a crease in the middle. The display it self is amazing. It doesnt feel as bright as other phones, but viewing angles, color
reproduction and sharpness is top notch. However the hinge makes a weird sound when you fold it, it sounds a bit like some lock snaps in place and it feels a bit like you would
crush something. The Phone is lab tested to survive this, but you should not bend it in the other direction, this could end really bad.
The reason why i think that the Huawei design is awesome is that due to the new hinge, it comes with a thin and compact design with the folded phone measuring in at only eleven
millimeters thickness, while the phone measures only 5.4 millimeters when in tablet mode. Compared to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, there isnt a too big difference at the first look.
The Question is, what can you do on such a big screen ? Well you can use it pretty good as a big splitscreen. When using splitscreen mode you can easily get 2 18:9 screens either
on top of each other or next to each other. So you can watch a movie and chat with your friend about, read an email and use maps to navigate to your next meeting, or read a book with 2 pages on the screen. So far EMUI on the device itself is pretty much the same like on the mate 20 pro, thats why I dont show you alot of features here. But what i really liked
was using the keyboard in the unfolded mode, as that feels amazing when you put it on the table and write something on it. plenty of space just like on a tablet.
When you fold the phone you have to press it a bit harder to lock it back in place. There is also a tiny button, which is the release mechanism for the screen. Then the screen pops
out a bit and then you have to unfold it yourself. I think its really stable, though i was really scared doing it rough and fast. Huawei hasn’t fully released Mate X camera specs, but we do know it has three lenses in its front grip. They told me not to zoom, so i didnt, and I think I know the reason. As Huawei teaserd, the p30 pro will come with a massive zoom, and i think they will also include it in the mate X, because the phone is launching earliest in summer this year, so plenty of time to integrate the p30 hardware and even polish it.
The second screen can also be used to create a dual viewfinder – one on either side of the phone. This enables you to see a preview when someone’s taking your picture with the Mate X, adding a playful party trick to this pricey powerhouse. Its a really cool feature but also a bit distracting for the subject, because instead of looking into the camera, you try to
look at the picture and maybe act completely different.
So far EMUI has been optimized for the foldable phone. And it changes the display automatically when you rotate the phone and even for a prototype it feels already really polished. Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge tech, which debuts on the Mate X, not only surpasses the 40W charging in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it can also power up the Mate X to 85% from 0% in just 30 minutes. We all know supercharge will on the longrun kill the battery. I see it on my old P10 and even on my p20 pro. So its good and bad, but just imagine having to change the battery on this device will be super expensive. Not only because its complicated, but also because there are 2 batteries inside. Back to the design, and to the left of the rear screen is a vertical bar. This houses the brains of the operation, from the triple-camera system – which Huawei was very quiet about – through to the power button/fingerprint scanner combo, and at the base, the USB-C port for charging. The sidebar is also where the internals are squeezed into.
So overall the Mate X looks like a really good first generation. A bit like the first iphone. Alot of things to improve, but its showing a good direction. Just there needs to be a solution for the screen covering layer which is right now some more robust plastic. Corning is working on some special version of their gorilla glass for foldables and when this is hitting the market, we will see some amazing devices.
The Huawei Mate X isn’t going to be the first foldable phone to launch, but it might be the first you seriously consider. It feels like you’re holding the future in your hand, just keep in mind that this phone, even though it looks stunning comes at a very high price tag and I personally would wait until foldables are more mainstream, but i do have to admit, that i really would love to own one.