Audience on the Samsung $ 1,980and 2300 euros foldable phones is one thing. Handle one of the first of its kind is another quite. I thought I was crazy about those two yesterday. But after spending a good 5 minutes with Mate X today, I understand the appeal of folding devices at a much deeper level.
Phones are not just specifications. These are physical things that we keep and carry around constantly. They are emotional too. Phone designs can elicit strong reactions. Losing your phone can be disorienting at best and devastating at worst. All foldable phones will not be a revelation, but for me, the Mate X is.
Foldable phones offer a chance to shake up the cabotage industry while effectively doubling the screen space you need to use on your phone. Because foldable phones are hybrids of phone tablets, they can be sold at a higher price, which represents a significant revenue stream for companies seeking higher profits in a slowing market. But this new era of flexible displays also represents the Wild West of phone design: a phone can fold inward or outward, center or, or even lean around your wrist . At this early stage, businesses determine what a foldable phone means. At this moment everything is allowed.
Huawei wants his turn in the folding phone projector, and with the Mate X, he makes a convincing audition – but expensive. The main competition:The phone, which has two screens, six cameras in total, unfolds in the center to open on a 7.3-inch tablet. Huawei Mate X – which is pronounced "ex", not "ten" – has three ways to use an 8-inch screen, four cameras ( , one that is temporarily hidden) and an interesting design that gives you a seizable base for one-handed use.
When it is closed, the Mate X folds a large screen back into two sides, treating each of these sides as a "screen" that turns on when you turn and move the device. Turn it over, flip it over, open it and the phone knows exactly where you are. It worked well during my brief period with the Mate X, but the hardware design is new.
Where the Galaxy Fold, which I'm dying to see, looks like two polished phones stacked, the Mate X nestles smart and cool. Huawei pushed cameras and essential components along a vertical sidebar, which gave him a curve. When it is closed, the smallest part of the screen corresponds to this "hawk wing" shaped curve. When opened, Huawei describes this piece as an "ergonomic handle", which explains why there is such a thick slab on the waist that would otherwise feel out of place.
I probably would not just hold it by the handle – it's a little tight for that – but I felt pretty stable in my right hand, with the tips of my fingers lying on the back of the tablet for more 39; balance.
The device itself feels completely formed. It is compact, secure, when it is closed by two tiny magnets located at the outer corners. When you want to unfold the Mate X, you tap a textured hardware button that opens a lock, then you apply a slight pressure to make it easier to open the device. This is not a particularly fluid process, but the three or four times that I have opened and closed, the motion did not seem chaotic or stiff. I would describe it more as being intentional. I felt pretty strong and pretty good.
For Huawei, the hinge is everything. A shorter hinge height and a narrow gap at the curved end are the means by which the brand adopts its design compared to the Galaxy Fold, which looks like a larger loop-shaped spacing when it is closed. The Fold also has a large notch on its right screen, where Huawei boasts of the Mate X's borderless edge-to-edge display (as all cameras are on this handle).
Although the Mate X that I opened and closed is essentially a working prototype, the software worked pretty well. One of the benefits of aligning the four rear cameras is that they spin everything, including selfies. Because the big screen surrounds the outside of the camera, it means that the screen can turn on for both the photographer and the subject. When Clément Wong, Global Marketing Manager at Huawei, took a picture of me, I also saw myself through the viewfinder. Not bad as a quick way to check if there is something in my teeth.
I know that some of you have asked questions about the screen itself. I was surprised at how slippery the screen was. It's not exactly the same as glass, but my finger was slipping on it and I could not feel any slowing down of the navigation. I asked about repairs and warranty, but Huawei has not commented yet.
But what about the sewing?! Many of you want to know if there is a visible line in the center of foldable phones. It was a demonstration unit, and although I saw a bit of a crest where the series was wrinkled, the phone still felt unified in tablet mode. As long as the screens are not equally stretchy, I do not know how a drawing that bends in this way would not have a loose skin, like the outside of the elbow when you straighten your arm.
The phone is not extraordinarily heavy, but theI felt much lighter and smaller after reluctantly giving up the Mate X. Although I did not have the opportunity to slip it into my pocket, ensuring the collective hyperventilation of the Huawei team, is surely a tight pressure. It's more a device that you carry like a tablet or a laptop.
Huawei has also created a case that will cover the sides and the back of the Mate X in its folded form, leaving an open window for the 6.6-inch screen. In some countries, the case may come in the box. The company did not show it during my individual demonstration.
Battery Mate X, 5G, price and release date
The Mate X has a higher battery capacity than the Galaxy Fold, with a capacity of 4,500 mAh distributed between two batteries, one on each side of the folding screen. The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a total capacity of 4,380 mAh available between its two lobes. As we know from testing, raw capacity gives you the edge, but we will not know what the best performance is until we test it side by side.
5G speeds are an important conversation topic for Huawei, and the Mate X uses the Kirin 980 internal processor and the Balong 5000 5G modem chip. Currently, Huawei says that the Mate X will download content four times faster than the current 4G connection, about 1 GB in 3 seconds. themovie on Netflix is under 700 MB to download, which theoretically would download to Mate X in about 2 seconds.
The Mate X at $ 2,300 (converted to $ 2,600, £ 2,000 or AU $ 3,660) is also 5G compatible, while the $ 1,980 Galaxy Fold will be offered in 4G or 5G configurations. Huawei will start selling the Mate X in mid-2019, while Samsung's Galaxy Fold will be available for sale from April 26th. Huawei has not yet announced a carrier partner.
More specifications Huawei Mate X
- Setup 1: 6.6-inch front screen (2480 x 1148 pixels resolution)
- Configuration 2: 6.38-inch rear screen (2480 x 892 pixels resolution)
- Setup 3: 8-inch indoor OLED display (2480 x 2200 pixel resolution)
- 512 GB of storage, 8 GB of RAM
- Fingerprint reader integrated into the power button
- Huawei SuperCharge 55W. 30 minutes charge for 85% autonomy (from scratch)
- Split screen mode
- Preview for selfies so you can see what you look like before taking the picture
- Color: interstellar blue
Huawei has a lot of details on the phone, and we'll update this article as we learn more at the official launch of Mate X on Sunday. But for the moment, Huawei comes after the Galaxy Fold, in order to generate even more buzz than his rival number 1.
First publication on February 24 at 5:45 pm PT.
Updated 6:51 PT: Clarify clarify the screen settings, three cameras.
8:14 PT: Adds other impressions.
February 25 02h23 PT: Add more links.
10:07 am Pacific Time: Adds new practical impressions.
February 26 at 6:57 PT: Adds changes.