Huawei’s Mate X Is the Foldable Phone You Might Actually Want

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Android, Hardware with 33 Comments

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold, almost everyone was really surprised by the phone. Samsung’s take on the foldable phone was so far the best we had seen — and surprisingly, that didn’t last too long. Huawei unveiled its own foldable phone, the Mate X, just yesterday and it’s much more than the Galaxy Fold.

Huawei’s Mate X comes with a huge 8-inch (8:7.1 aspect ratio) display when opened, and when folded, you get a full 6.6-inch (19.5:9 aspect ratio) display on the front, as well as a 6.38-inch (25:9 aspect ratio) on the back of the device. The display on the back serves as a secondary display, that can, for example, show the camera preview when you are taking pictures with the rear camera. But more importantly, the 6.6-inch display on the front that you get when folded beats the Galaxy Fold’s tiny 4.6-inch display. That was really the biggest down point of the Galaxy Fold, making the device look really odd when folded.

Even then, the Huawei Mate X is only 5.4mm thick when opened, and that’s thinner than the newest iPad Pro. When folded, the device is only 11mm thick, and that’s still thinner than most other foldable devices that we have seen so far.

Design wise, the Mate X easily beats the Galaxy Fold — there are no notches on the display, and you are getting an almost edge-to-edge display design that looks really beautiful.

Under the hood, the Mate X comes with the “world’s first” 7nm 5G chipset with the Kirin 980 and Balong 5000. It comes with up to 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage. The device has a 4500mAh battery that can be quickly charged with Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge that can give you 85% charge in just 30 minutes.

Huwaei still has some work to do on the software front, though. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, you can only run 2 apps side-by-side at a time on the Mate X, which isn’t too bad but the Galaxy Fold’s ability to run three apps at a time is going to be really useful. At 2,299 Euro (roughly $2600), however, the Mate X costs much more than the $1980 Galaxy Fold. It will be available sometime around mid-2019.

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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Huawei’s Mate X Is the Foldable Phone You Might Actually Want”

  1. nordyj

    I think we have a long way to go before a foldable phone makes sense in replacing a phone and tablet as separate devices. Maybe once we've hit the gen 3 devices they'll be more appealing. But for now, I'm excited for the S10+... just not the Fold, or really anything from Huawei. Just one guy's humble opinion, though, as I'm a firm believer in "use what works for you".

  2. roho

    $2600? I'm more in on the new Nokia phones which are less than $200.

  3. graham best

    My question is if the features for an Android tablet are worth $2,600, especially since there are very nice Windows tablets available for that price. My understanding is that Android tablets have struggled at any price as there isn't software that takes advantage of the larger screen size. Remember, the lesson from Windows Phone is that great hardware means nothing without great software.

  4. webdev511

    except for the price...well no the price kind of kills it.

    • wright_is

      In reply to webdev511:

      That is always the problem with generation 1 products. You have to wait for the innovation to mature and become affordable. We are still in the preview stages, it is still a long way from mainstream. It will be interesting to see what it brings in 3 - 5 years.

  5. mmcpher

    I really like the Huawei form factor, particularly the 8-inch, 6.6 and 6.38 screen sizes and am curious about the different aspect ratios. These are interesting developments and may be what lies ahead, at least until a different future materializes. I don't know how much longer we can continue to elongate and reconfigure the slight slab variations of conventional phone form-factors and keep everyone from passing out from boredom and sticker shock. Oh, and by piling on ever more cameras (see, https://www.theonion.com/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades-1819584036) .


    It's been amusing to see the same people who ridiculed the very concept of a foldable phone and declared they would never materialize now jumping up to pick apart devices they have not yet held or used. People with hostile attitudes toward such a device (and that's a strange thing to be angry about) and who are among the least likely to ever buy one, are worked up with concerns about the possible appearance of line on the screen, or some wear-and-tear creasing or bubbling, or, even worse, the unimaginable catastrophe of scratches on the screen! Look, all of these things are certainly legitimate concerns and the reflexive, if sensible, general advisements against ever buying a first-gen device still carry real weight. But there are certain, necessary trade-offs in selecting a device like this that are not going away in the next iteration or the next after that. Screen protectors will be an issue, aesthetic screen factors such as clarity, coloration, brightness (relative to a non-folding device) will continue to be a trade-off, or let's hope so or the prices will never settle to earth. But to a certain segment of the market, screensize/portability, is not a gimmick or frill. We are not today all squinting at 14-inch monitors and the Galaxy Notes are soon to reach double-digits despite all of the early naysayers.

  6. Daekar

    This entire thing is an object lesson in keeping a grain of salt handy when you read these articles. The technology press is like a bunch of lemmings which case after the shiniest bauble without actually considering the more subtle ramifications of design. Disappointing to see this extend even to the articles on Thurrott. Poor Paul has been writing articles like he's a newly-inducted member of a Huawei cult.

  7. Eqweytr

    As Robertjasiek mentioned in the standard comments, this phone has a problem (link in german):


    ”The display surface can show problems very soon:

    https://www.notebookcheck.com/Die-ersten-Probleme-der-Falt-Handys-Huawei-Mate-X-zeigt-Falten.410737.0.html



    Yes, the rendered images look impressive but in reality this phone has a big crease that needs to be pushed down when the screen is unfolded:

    https://m.imgur.com/a/z7sgEdS


    this is one of the many issues that these first generation foldable displays probably has.


    how scratch-resistant is the display? It’s not glass but plastic so probably very poor.

    how durable is the folded display? Imagine if you were to drop it on a hard surface or corner...yikes


    As a concept it looks superior to the Samsung fold but I think Samsung has the better solution with having the folded display inside and being protected by more durable materials.

    remember that this a phone that you carry in a pocket and is much more susceptible to accidental drops and dents than a tablet or laptop.

  8. Rob_Wade

    Ha, that's laughable. I paid far less for my Surface Pro 6, which is INFINITELY more useful and productive than that piece of junk (or Samsung's joke, for that matter). If I'm not carrying my SP6, I certainly don't want to carry a piece of hardware that large. I can barely use my 5.2" phone one handed as it is, why on earth would I carry something even BIGGER? This is ridiculous.

  9. michael_babiuk

    At $2600 dollars for a device that is basically a one trick pony that can't protect its displays from scratches? I think I will pass - as will most every normal consumer.

  10. dontbe evil

    and once again apple is millions of years behind

  11. MarkPow

    I think the foldable phone form factor is impressive, Huawei's even more so, however, until they decrease in price to £400-£800, I won't be a buyer.

  12. ggolcher

    Maybe I'm old fashioned and out of touch, but I just don't see the value or attractiveness of a foldable device.


    To me it seems like a gimmick with limited utility (similarly to Windows Mobile's capacity to become its own desktop device)

    • webdev511

      In reply to ggolcher:

      Continuum was genuinely useful. The HP device in its dock with a mouse keyboard and monitor. well let's just say I wasn't feeling compelled to lug a Surface Book home when I knew I'd be going back to the office the next morning. I wouldn't be completely surprised to see this type of functionality make a comeback UNLESS the Windows on ARM Super-Utlrabooks are so light and full featured it makes me reconsider.

  13. locust infested orchard inc

    Quote by Mehedi Hassan, "Huwaei (sic) still has some work to do on the software front, though. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, you can only run 2 apps side-by-side at a time on the Mate X, which isn't too bad but the Galaxy Fold's ability to run three apps at a time is going to be really useful."


    This is what Blandroid has to offer, dueling over the supremacy in the capability of running the odd couple of apps simultaneously.


    Oh whoopie-doo-dah, Windows 3.1 released back in 1992 had the enviable foresight (for Adoogle) to be able to multitask as many software applications as the system memory could cater for. And today, almost 27 years later, onlookers are comparing competing Blandroid foldables that can multitask only two versus three apps.


    Hurry up Microsoft and get your act together, for its time to show these amateurs how to really gain maximum productivity from a foldable.

  14. locust infested orchard inc

    To be perfectly honest this article is premature. The World has only witnessed two foldable releases (three if one counts the Royale FlexPai that gazumped SameSong Galaxy Flop back in Nov 2018), and here we have an article stating Huawei Marmite X is the foldable to lust for.


    If I may be permitted to say, the Marmite X does look "gorgeous", an oft-used word by Mehedi Hassan as his seal of approval of a tech product, to the chagrin of the user Bats.


    Let's not preempt the offerings by LG, Motorola, TCL, and others, as they may have superior engineering at a better price.


    Oh, did I not mention Microsoft in the above list ? Hey Panos Panay, in your own time mate, whenever you're confident CShell is perfect and Win32 applications can be executed via containerisation.

  15. RobertJasiek

    The display surface can show problems very soon:

    www dot notebookcheck dot com slash Die-ersten-Probleme-der-Falt-Handys-Huawei-Mate-X-zeigt-Falten dot 410737 dot 0 dot html

  16. locust infested orchard inc

    Article's Headline: "Huawei’s Mate X Is the Foldable Phone You Might Actually Want"


    Correction: The Surface Foldable™ AKA Andromeda‡ is THE Foldable Phone You Will Definitely Want


    ‡ If (and a fairly big if should last week's noises be true) it is eventually released after Centaurus should Microsoft see fit for a pocketable device, only in the fullness of time shall we know.

  17. anthonye1778

    Impressive and sexy, but the price of entry is obviously too high right now. It IS funny, though, how they managed to show up Samsung in almost every way less than a week after Samsung's "groundbreaking" announcement.

  18. mits

    Sounds like the Galaxy Fold would be perfect for you. Small 4.3" display for single handed use and a large 7.3" display for when you need more space and can two hand it...


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