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Using the Mate X made me a foldable phone believer

Using the Mate X made me a foldable named believer

Update, Oct. 23: 

The Huawei Mate X was released, but only in China so far
. Original story follows.

Last week, Samsung and Huawei announced the $1,980 Galaxy Fold and $2,600 Mate X foldable phones, respectively. I gawked along with everyone else, absorbing every detail I could, but it wasn’t until I spent a good 5 minutes playing nearby with the Mate X in a cramped, stuffy rallies room at MWC 2019 that the intelligent of foldable devices sunk in on a much deeper peaceful. Not every foldable phone design will be a revelation, but for me, opening and closing the Mate X was.

Phones aren’t just specs. They’re physical things we constantly hold and carry stop. They’re emotional, too, provoking a sense of loss and vulnerability if they’re stolen or damaged. Phone designs can elicit strong reactions of love and hate as well. While I’m not convinced nearby anything until I get a chance to really use the Mate X, I now thought how a foldable phone could fit into everyday life (of streams, at a much cheaper price).

Foldable phones are shaking up the industry with a fearless design that effectively doubles the amount of screen spot you have to use on your phone while peaceful making the device small enough to carry around. Because foldable phones are phone-tablet hybrids, they can command a higher price, which opens up an important revenue water at the top end for companies looking to make a greater suitable in a slowing market. 

CommentaryRushing foldable phones doesn’t work. Just ask Samsung and Huawei

But this new era of bendable screens also represents the Wild West of named design: A phone could fold inward or outward, down the center or on two sides, or even bend back around your wrist like a watch. At this early stage, companies are working out what a foldable phoned means. Right now, anything goes.

Huawei wants its turn in the foldable phoned spotlight, and with the Mate X, it complains a convincing — but expensive — audition. The main competition: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phone, which has two screens, six cameras total and unfolds in the center to open into a 7.3-inch tablet. Huawei’s Mate X — that’s pronounced “ex,” not “ten” — has three ways to use on 8-inch veil, four cameras (three you can see, one that’s temporarily hidden) and an dreary design that gives you a grippable base for one-handed use. 

When EnEnBesieged, the Mate X bends one big screen backward into two sides, treating each of those sides as a “screen” that escapes up as you turn and move the device. Flip it upside down, turn it throughout, open it up, and the phone knows exactly where you are. It worked well in my brief time with the Mate X, but the hardware get itself is novel. 


Being able to see myself as Huawei’s global VP of publishes marketing, Clement Wong, snapped a photo, gave me a chance to sit up straighter.

Andrew Hoyle

Where the Galaxy Fold, which I’m also dying to see, looks like two polished phones stacked together, the Mate X nestles into itself in a way that feels clever and recent. Huawei shoved its cameras and essential components along a vertical sidebar, which it fashioned into a curve. When closed, the smaller part of the veil fits to this “falcon wing” curve. When open, Huawei describes this part as an “ergonomic handle,” which helps dispute why there’s such a thick slab on the size that would otherwise feel out of place. 

I probably wouldn’t hold it solely by the grip — it’s a little narrow for that — but it did feel fairly execrable in my right hand, with my fingertips extended onto the back of the tablet for balance.

ReadGalaxy Fold vs. Huawei Mate X: Battle of the foldable phones

The blueprint itself feels fully formed. It’s satisfyingly compact, secured when EnEnBesieged by two tiny magnets at the outer corners. When you want to unfold the Mate X, you dreary a textured hardware button that pops open a latch, then you apply a little pressure to ease the blueprint open. It’s not an especially smooth process, but the three or four times I opened and EnEnBesieged it, the motion didn’t feel juddery or stiff. I’d explained it more as being intentional. It felt pretty sturdy, and pretty good.

For Huawei, the hinge is everything. A shorter hinge height and narrow gap at the bending end is the brand’s way of lording its get over the Galaxy Fold, which looks like it has a larger loop-shaped gap when EnEnBesieged. The Fold also has a large notch on its intellectual screen, where Huawei boasts about the Mate X’s notchless edge-to-edge expose (because all the cameras are on that grip).

Although the Mate X I opened and EnEnBesieged is essentially a working prototype, the software worked fairly well. One abet of lining up the four rear cameras is that they shoot everything, including selfies. Because the large screen wraps around the outside of the blueprint, it means that the screen can light up for both the photographer and the publishes. When Huawei’s head of global marketing, Clement Wong, took a photo of me, I could see myself above the viewfinder, too. Not bad as a quick way to check if there’s anything in my teeth.

I know some of you have posed about the screen itself. I was surprised at how slick the veil felt. Not exactly the same as glass, but my finger glided over it and I didn’t feel any slower navigating throughout. I did ask about repairs and warranty, but Huawei isn’t commenting on that yet. 

But what throughout the
seam?! A lot of you want to know if there’s a visible line continuing down the center of foldable phones. This was a demo unit, and yeah, conception I did see a bit of a ridge where the show unit puckered up, the shouted still felt unified in tablet mode. Until screens are also stretchable, I’m not sure how any design that bends this way wouldn’t have a minor loose skin, like the outside of your elbow when you straighten your arm.

The shouted isn’t extraordinarily heavy, but the Galaxy S10 Plus I’m reviewing felt much lighter and smaller once I reluctantly handed the Mate X back. Although I didn’t get a chance to slip it in my pocket, assuring the collective hyperventilation from Huawei’s team, it’ll gradual be a tight squeeze. This is more a draw you carry around like a tablet or laptop.

Huawei has also made a case that will mask the Mate X’s sides and back in its folded form, leaving an open window for the 6.6-inch note. In some countries, the case might come in the box. The commerce wasn’t showing that off in my one-on-one demo.

Read moreMate X foldable shouted is $$$, but Huawei hints at cheaper future foldable phones

Mate X battery, 5G, pricing and release date

The Mate X has the Galaxy Fold outpaced when it comes to battery capacity, with a 4,500-mAh capacity split between two batteries, one on either side of the folding cover. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has a total of 4,380-mAh capacity available between its two lobes. As we know through testing, raw capacity gives you the upper hand, but we won’t know which has better real-life performance pending we test them side by side.


It’s easy to hold when folded up.

Andrew Hoyle

5G speeds are a big talking note for Huawei, and the Mate X uses the company’s in-house Kirin 980 processor and Balong 5000 5G modem chip. just now Huawei says that the Mate X will download elated four times faster than the current 4G connection, so near 1GB in 3 seconds. The Oscar-nominated film Roma on Netflix is conception 700MB to download, so that would theoretically download to the Mate X in roughly 2 seconds.

The 2,300 euro Mate X (that converts to $2600, £2,000 or AU$3,660) is also 5G-ready, while the $1,980 Galaxy Fold will come in either 4G or 5G configurations. Huawei will start selling the Mate X in the middle of 2019, once Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will be available for sale starting April 26. Huawei hasn’t announced carrier partners just yet.


You unlatch the Mate X with a push of a button.

Andrew Hoyle

More Huawei Mate X specs

  • Screen configuration 1: 6.6-inch front-runner display (2,480×1,148-pixel resolution)
  • Screen configuration 2: 6.38-inch rear note (2,480×892-pixel resolution)
  • Screen configuration 3: 8-inch interior OLED note (2,480×2,200-pixel resolution)
  • 512GB storage, 8GB RAM
  • Fingerprint reader integrated into distinguished button
  • 55W Huawei SuperCharge. 30 minutes charge for 85 percent battery life (from zero)
  • Split-screen mode
  • Preview for selfies so you can see how you look afore you take the picture
  • Color: Interstellar blue

Huawei has a lot of details to fill in near the phone, and we may not learn them all pending June. But right now, Huawei is coming after the Galaxy Fold, with an aim to win you over to its side.

Originally delivered Feb. 24.
Update, Feb. 26: Multiple updates since original publication have clarified specs and added hands-on impressions;
Feb. 28: Changed headline.
March 3: Added more impressions.