We tried the Mate X, and we can say that it has a solid hinge, thanks to which the device can turn from a 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch phone into a full-fledged 8-inch Android tablet.
Huawei Mate X also has 5G support, the new Kirin 980 processor and an impressive battery with a capacity of 4,500 mAh.
What is it like? What will the smartphone look like? Richard Yu, Executive and CEO of Consumer Business Group, talked about the new device during MWC 2019.
Price and Release Date
Mate X was presented at MWC 2019. The price of the device is quite high, so that even the latest iPhone looks affordable against its background. Huawei, the company that was once associated with budget devices, definitely feels comfortable in the so-called “major league”.
Mate X with 512 GB of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM will cost about 170 thousand rubles (2299 euros).
As for the release date, according to Huawei TechRadar, the smartphone will be officially released in June, July or August.
This does not mean that Mate X will appear everywhere. According to representatives of Huawei, the company does not plan to enter the US market.
Design and screen
The 6.6-inch screen completely covers the front of the phone, which contrasts sharply with the modest 4.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Fold display, decorated with powerful front panels.
This is precisely where Mate X stands out. The only external screen on Samsung in the folded mode brings us back to the times of frames and small displays. Huawei goes up a notch with an 8-inch FullView display.
Turn the Mate X over and see the back of the display, namely the 6.4-inch screen, which is slightly thinner, which is pretty cool when watching movies in 21: 9 format and possibly to save battery power.
The reason this feature can save battery is due to the Mate X's screen technology. Since this is an OLED display , the screen only highlights individual pixels, leaving unused pixels black. As for older LCDs, they require that the entire panel (i.e. all pixels) be lit at the same time. Huawei benefits from this energy-saving feature inherent in OLED technology in the base design of the Mate X.
To the left of the rear screen is a vertical panel. It is with this panel that the user completely controls the phone: from a system with three cameras to the combined power button / fingerprint scanner. At the bottom of the device is a USB-C port for charging.
Moving parts scare us, especially when they are present on gadgets that cost more than $ 2,000. However, Huawei assured us that the bendable screen of the smartphone passed 100,000 different tests in the laboratory. But the most important thing is that the device looks reliable and beautiful, despite how thin it is.
An even greater fear is that the mechanism responsible for bending the phone gradually wears out. Huawei mentioned that this mechanism is needed to fully extend the smartphone, but perhaps in the next iteration of the patented Falcon Wing loop system, the device will do without it.
Another key issue is scratch resistance or lack thereof. Flexible displays are made of plastic, which is easier to scratch than glass. It is worth recalling the Moto Z Force, which was advertised as a smartphone that has an unbreakable screen that can survive falls from a small height, but at the same time it is scratched quite easily.
In this regard, there is a high probability that the Samsung Galaxy Fold will be more reliable than the Mate X.
The good news is that Huawei representatives said that the Mate X will in fact pass a few more tests for durability and some minor changes will be made to the smartphone before the device goes on sale.
We know very little about the camera on the Mate X, except that it is a system with three modules.
Firstly, the phone does not have a front camera - it only has a main triple camera on the back. However, if you are an avid Instagram fan, then all is not lost, since the rear screen serves as a viewfinder, which actually makes shooting even better, given the fact that rear cameras are almost always superior in quality to selfie cameras.
Secondly, the screen can also be used as a dual viewfinder - one on each side of the phone. This allows you to use the preview function when someone photographs you on a Mate X.
We managed to check the functionality of the selfie camera, and it worked well. On both sides of the folded phone, a live image of what is in the frame appeared, therefore, both the photographer and the person who is being photographed can see everything.
Imagine a world in which no one will ever say again: “Mmm ... can you take a picture again?” Both in this situation can see what is in the frame and act in accordance with their desires.
In fact, there are many reasons why Huawei is silent about the characteristics of the camera on a smartphone, since it may contain future technologies - what the brand wants to announce when it releases its new Huawei P30 smartphone, which is expected to be released in late March.
Of course, this is all speculation, and if you're lucky, sooner or later, Huawei will clarify the situation.
Battery and specifications
The only thing that Huawei was pleased to talk about is power, because a large battery is installed inside the Mate X. In fact, the device has two batteries, the total capacity of which is 4500 mAh.
The battery is slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but the Mate X also has a larger screen in the form of both a phone and a tablet, so it most likely consumes more power.
Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge technology, which will debut on the Mate X, not only outperforms the 40 W charge in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but can also charge the Mate X up to 85% from 0% in just 30 (!) Minutes.
The phone has a Kirin 980 processor in combination with a Balong 5000 5G modem. The smartphone not only charges quickly, but the 5G network itself is very fast: you can download a 1 GB movie in just three seconds.
However, we are unlikely to be able to see such indicators, but now we know for sure that the Mate X is designed for the future in terms of data transfer speed.
As for the internal memory, the device has 512 GB of memory and supports additional storage via Nano Memory - Huawei’s own memory card , which holds up to 256 GB.
How does he work
Mate X has a special version of Android installed, and despite all the bends and deployments, the interface is optimized for the orientation of the tablet or phone in milliseconds.
Mate X has EMUI, Huawei’s Android-based custom shell.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu said that the tablet is ideal for connecting a mouse and keyboard for editing documents, potentially hinting at work in the style of EMUI Desktop in the future, or, dare to assume, a full-fledged Windows?
After spending some time with Huawei Mate X, now we see the once wild idea of a folding phone is much more reasonable. A smartphone and tablet hybrid looks like it came straight from the future.
Here we have a well-designed, foldable phone, incredibly thin, with minimal bezels. Moreover, it has a nice design: the user can easily pull the device out of his pocket and make a tablet out of it, without looking as silly as possible.
Of course, there are some troubling signals, especially regarding longevity and moving parts, and nothing will dissipate them except a month or two of real use. Also, one of the main obstacles to buying is the price - for most people it is prohibitive.
- Folds with two large external screens.
- Expands into an 8-inch tablet.
- The hinge feels secure in the hand.
- Powerful features.
- Very expensive.
- The fragility of the mechanism responsible for bending the device.