The Huawei Mate X is the foldable smartphone that our sci-fi imaginations dreamed up years ago, and it’s came to life at MWC 2019 where we got to play with it.
Our extended hands-on time proved that the Mate X has a solid-feeling hinge so that it can transform from a 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch phone into a full 8-inch Android tablet.
It’s Huawei’s FullView bezel-reduced screen that makes this foldable phone look better than the Samsung Galaxy Fold, which we only got to see at a distance. Only Samsung reps got the privilege of going hands-on with that phone.
The Huawei Mate X also has some serious horsepower backing it up, with 5G, the new Kirin 980 chipset, and a hefty 4,500 battery capacity backing it up.
How did it feel? What’s it going to be like to use? Richard Yu, Executive Director, CEO of the Consumer Business Group gave us the first hands-on time at MWC 2019 and we got more time with the foldable later on at the show. Here’s what we think.
Huawei’s Mate X dropped with gusto at MWC 2019, and with a price tag that makes the highest-specced iPhone look affordable ; Huawei, once synonymous with budget devices, is most definitely getting comfortable in the big leagues.
The Mate X costs €2,299, which converts to about $2,600, £2,000, AU$4,770 with 512GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM, and Huawei has hinted there will be other variants down the line.
This foldable phone will launch in the UK on EE, Three and Vodafone this year. The official release date window is June, July, or August, Huawei told TechRadar.
That doesn’t mean The Mate X will launch everywhere. As revolutionary as this foldable phone looks, there are no US release date plans, said Huawei reps, meaning you may have to import this 2-in-1 5G device to get it in North America.
One thing that wasn’t made clear in our initial briefing on the Mate X was how the clasp system used to keep the screen firmly flush when the phone is in its folded ‘phone state’ worked.
It turns out that a button on the back of the phone can be pressed, releasing the back portion of the display so it can be unfurled into an 8-inch tablet.
The front of the phone really is all-screen – 6.6-inches of it, in stark contrast to the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s humble 4.6-inch external display outlined with beefy bezels.
This is where the Mate X really stands out. Samsung’s single outer screen in folded mode takes us back to the days of heavy bezel outlines and small displays, just when we got to favorable screen-to-body ratios on phones. Huawei skips ahead with its FullView 8-inch display.