At MWC 2019, if you didn’t bring a folding screen of some kind to show the press, then you brought a knife to a gunfight! Huawei brought a big gun, however, and the new Huawei Mate X is a spectacular example of a folding screen done right.
The Mate X is Huawei’s first stab (I’m sorry, I’ll stop with the bad puns soon, I promise) at a phone with a folding screen, and from our (much too short) time spent in its presence, it appears to be the one to beat. While the Samsung Galaxy Fold is impressive, the Mate X has some cool features that make it a bit more practical and “real world” than the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
The Huawei Mate X employs what they are calling a “falcon wing hinge design” which has an outside curvature putting the large folding screen on the outside of the device rather than on the inside. When unfolded, you’ll have a glorious 8″ FullView display with an 8:7.1 aspect ratio and 2480×2200 resolution. When you have the Mate X folded in its more compact half-size, it has a 6.6″ display with a 1.95:9 aspect ratio and 2480×1148 resolution. When unfolded, the Mate X has an impressively thin 5.4 thickness; when folded, the Mate X is just 11mm thick. Compare that to the Samsung Galaxy Fold which measures 6.9mm when unfolded and 17mm thick when folded.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X has a built-in ergonomic grip (which is where you’ll find the USB Type-C charging port) to help you hold the phablet (can we still call it that?) comfortably and securely.
The Mate X will use the world’s first 7mm 5G chipset, the Kirin 980; Huawei says that makes the Mate X the world’s fastest 5G phone. The Huawei Mate X will also have their Balong 5000 modem, which supports download speeds of up to 4.6Gbps; they say that in a real-world scenario, that modem can download a 1GB movie in 3 seconds.
Like all other flagship models, the Mate X will have Leica optics, but Huawei will also be adding some cool new camera features that take advantage of the folding display. For instance, if someone is taking your photo, you’ll be able to see exactly what they are seeing (at the same time) because the Mate X will mirror the photo as it’s being shot on both sides of the display.
Of course, a huge screen calls for a huge battery, and the Huawei Mate X has that under control with a 4,500mAh battery. You won’t have to worry about it taking all day to charge your phone, as the Mate X comes with a 55 Watt charger that is able to SuperCharge the phone to 85% from empty in just 30 minutes (!!).
Realistically, the Huawei Mate X will probably never be available in the United States. That’s too bad, though, because as folding screen phones go, this one looks like the one to beat. Those who can get their hands on one had better like blue, because it comes in an “interstellar blue color,” and I don’t think anyone will have a problem with that.
Outside of the US, the Huawei Mate X will be available in the middle of this year for €2299.