February 25, 2019
Huawei Mate X is Huawei’s upcoming folding smartphone
Samsung recently announced its 2019 flagship Galaxy Fold, a phone with a folding screen that costs close to $2,000 without bringing substantial innovation to justify that price, and now Huawei announced their take on folding phones.
The Huawei Mate X will be their 2019 folding device, and surprisingly… it looks like it brings actual improvements compared to previous generations of smartphones.
Huawei revealed its Mate X phone on the eve of MWC Barcelona, a four-day showcase of mobile devices, as the company battles U.S. allegations it is a cybersecurity risk.
The device can be used on superfast next-generation mobile networks that are due to come online in the coming years.
Device makers are looking to folding screens as the industry’s next big thing to help them break out of an innovation malaise, although most analysts think the market is limited, at least in the early days.
The Mate X is the answer to a question Huawei faced as it sought to satisfy smartphone users’ demands for bigger screens and longer battery life, said Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer business group.
“How can we bring the more big innovation to this smartphone industry?” Yu said at a glitzy media launch.
The Mate X will sell for 2,299 euros ($2,600) when it goes on sale by midyear. That’s even more than Samsung’s recently revealed Galaxy Fold, priced at nearly $2,000.
Here’s a link to the MWC Barcelona live stream in case you’re interested in watching it.
Yes, it will cost even more than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, but Huawei said it’s working on eventually lowering the price.
How do they justify the price? Huawei claims the Mate X will be the world’s:
- Slimmest folding smartphone
- Fastest charging smartphone
- Fastest 5G smartphone
…and from what I’ve seen, they’re right.
The Mate X has some interesting features compared to the known alternatives:
- The screen folds outwards, which means that it uses the same screen when folded and when unfolded
- 11 millimeters thick when folded compared to Samsung Galaxy Fold’s 17 millimeters
- No gap when folded
- It doesn’t look like two phones taped together
- Best selfies in the industry (more on this later)
- Huawei invented its own protective case for the Mate X
- It will include the fastest 5G modem in existence
- It supports the 5G of today as well of the 5G of the future, they claim
- Dual sim card or one sim card and one SD card; it has expandable memory
- 4500mAh battery
- 55W Supercharge, FASTEST in the world (more on this later)
- Bigger screens
- It doesn’t look like a brick
Let’s start with the screens.
When unfolded, the Mate X’s screen is 8 inches. When folded, you have a 6.6 inches screen on one side, and a screen close to 6.38 inches on the other side due to the side grip where they put the cameras and charging port taking up a bit of space.
Due to the screen folding outwards, when someone is taking a picture of you, you can see in the screen that is facing you what the final picture will look like.
Here’s an image showing what I mean:
This means that the device doesn’t have a “rear” or “main” camera module and another “selfie” camera module on the front, which is quite a clever way of increasing the quality of the selfies. They use just one camera module for both “selfies” and normal pictures.
The phone camera module consists of three lenses:
- 8 megapixels telephoto
- 20 megapixels regular
- 20 megapixels wide angle
It is capable of 5x optical zoom.
Contrary to what happens with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the Mate X has no gap when folded.
— Ben Wood (@benwood) February 24, 2019
They promise Mate X’s supercharge technology is capable of charging 85 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes, which is insane. That’s 600 percent faster than the iPhone XS Max.
So… what are the main advantages of the Mate X compared to previous generations of smartphones?
- The insanely fast charging
- Better selfies
- Fastest 5G
That’s about it.
What can you do with these 2019 smartphones that cost more than $2,000 that you can’t do with $300 smartphones?
- Charge them pretty fast
- Take better pictures
- Navigate the internet and download stuff faster
That’s also about it.
So… does that justify a $2000 jump in price?
Many seem to believe it does. We’ll see how these folding phones do in sales.
In case you want to see it in action, here’s a video:
What’s clear is that so far Huawei has made the biggest improvements to smartphones this year.