Huawei wants to make a new breakthrough with Huawei Mate X, a folding phone that is packed with innovations such as 5G connectivity and a dual battery that can be recharged quickly.
Mate X is a totally new Huawei device that uses two screens that rotate and become an 8-inch tablet, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in 2019. For the folding process, Huawei uses what is called the Falcon Wing Layout to fold the panel to a larger display.
It’s an impressive design, but it won’t be cheap: Mate X costs $ 2,299 for a storage variant with 8GB RAM/512GB. The initial price for Samsung Galaxy Fold was $1,980.
Huawei presented Mate X at an event on February 24 to open the World Mobile Phone Congress this year, and we had the opportunity to test Mate X ourselves. We were surprised to see it. This is perhaps the most refreshing technology we’ve seen in years – assuming we can reach the final product.
There’s been a lot of upgradation in the Mate X since we first tested the Huawei Mate X back in February. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold had to make its April launch, but some critics who had early access to the device found the glitches in the device. Samsung did not launch the folding mobile before solving issues found in it by the reviewers. Samsung released the Galaxy Fold in South Korea and U.S by solving these problems later.
Why does this matter for the Mate X? Since Samsung’s mis-advertisement seemed to be warm enough to get Huawei to postpone the Mate X’s launch from the Chinese phone manufacturer. The Mate X had been pushed back twice instead of debuting in June, when originally planned — first in September and now before later in autumn. “In order to avoid the bad reputation, we do not plan to launch a product for now”, a Huawei spokesman told CNBC.
Yet Huawei may be ready to finally unleash the Mate X, Huawei’s CEO Rickard Yu, said at a briefing with journalists at the IFA Trade Show in September that folding devices could be delivered as early as “this month”. The Agency Division Registry, indicating that U.S. companies cannot provide hardware or software for the Department. This doesn’t concern the Mate X but because of the ban it ruined plans for a new MateBook laptop.
Features of Mate X
At a time when folding devices are very young, Huawei called it a “slimmest” folding phone. The handset is only 11 mm (or 0.43inches) in length. Compare it with the existing 17 mm thick Samsung Galaxy Fold.
When the handset is folded, it splits in two panels. A 6.6-inch display which would be your smart phone’s “primary” view and a 6.38-inch rear display that has the camera and the USB Type-C port.
The machine is heavier. But not as heavy as you might expect, than your regular smartphone. Honestly, when the Mate X was folded in tablet mode, it felt very light-weight.
At Mobile World Congress, Huawei said that it was always ironing off the design code, which seems to be the case on the basis of our experience. The Mate X knows it needs to change the camera orientation, that’s because when a phone is folded, it didn’t always know which side of the display to use.
The foldable screen flexes 180 degrees fully and then locks the latches. At the top of the bar, under the lenses, there’s a key that activates the screen so it can be folded. Whilst we ourselves could not fold the phone— Huawei’s representatives did that for us.
4K & Flexible Display
The Mat X provides a 6.6-inch face front screen with a resolution of 2480x 1148 and an aspect ratio of 19.5/9 when shut down. A compact display of 6.38″ (2480x 892 resolution and 25:9 aspect ratio) rear screen adds to that.
Unfolded 8-inch Display
We saw Mate X switching from a mobile into a laptop while browsing YouTube. The video looked amazing on the 8-inch screen when a colorful Macaw parrot video was played on the Mate X. The bird in red, yellow and blue, together with the greenery of the tree, was just like the bright, luminous and satisfying portrait we had seen in previous Huawei flagships.
Ironically, the vertical or horizontal orientation of the Mate X can be used accordingly. But as a bonus it’s a kind of ‘top’ of the screen which can provide you with a more ergonomic touch style interactions if you set the Mate X Flat with the bar at the opposite end from where you are sitting.
The sidebar of the Mate X has its Leica camera lens, so its lenses stretch from edge to edge. Lenses can be used for taking pictures or selfies in any direction. That ensures you always use the right (and only) lens regardless of the way you shoot— and you can use all of the resources in the camera app, from photos to landscape modes and more.
Photography with the Mate X
The secondary display also has some very fun functions, including stand-in as a mirror while photographing someone. It helps them to see how they will look before a photo is taken. It’s an incredibly useful feature (while you might end up looking at yourself as the shutter clicks like we did in the mirror preview). We tested it for ourselves in a private demonstrations of Mate X.
The cameras’ strip is at the center of the unit. This is where Huawei has inserted the 5G modem and all the Leica lenses in the Kirin chip.
Huawei did not give us a definitive answer as to how the phone uses the cameras. As we know that the lenses of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro were of equal quality. We are quite sure that the lenses that are used in Mate X also appeared in the P30 Pro. The Matte X specification booklet notes that this device provides a 40-megapixel wide-angle, 16-MP high-angle, 8-MP telephoto zoom lens).
Performance & Power
The upcoming Mate X has a ‘power’ house in it. To connect 5G networks in Huawei Mate X, it will use quartet of 5G antennas. Huawei predicts that the download of a 1 GB video on this device would take about 3 seconds only.
The chipset that powers the Mate X is not confirmed yet. According to Huawei, two different models will be sued as a processor in Huawei Mate X. The earlier version featured a Balong 5000 modem and a Kirin 980 processor on board, and that’s what Huawei is expected to launch first. But the newly announced Kirin 990 chipset will also be part of one of the version, which will feature 5G compatibility and promises enhancements in quality over Kirin 980. You waited for a folding phone for this long time, so why shouldn’t wait for the Mate X version of Kirin 990?
Talking about battery, Mate X will have dual batteries up to 4,500 mAh. Huawei aims to provide 55-watt fast charging in Mate x. All said, within half an hour, the Mate X will be 85% charged.
Huawei has achieved something unique on paper with the Mate X. This folding phone has made sure to provide exciting features.
Samsung’s problems have led Huawei a further chance to make an early bid for the best folding smartphone. Based on our first thoughts on Mate X, we are most excited about the foldable Huawei.