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Huawei Mate X First Impressions: Meet the future of thin flexible display smartphone with 5G

Huawei Mate X is the world's first 5G foldable Android smartphone that was announced at MWC 2019.


MWC 2019 expo is in full swing in Barcelona, and one of the things that has created headlines is foldable 5G smartphone from Huawei called the Mate X. When Royole FlexPai launched at CES in January 2019, the race was to become first in world to launch any kind of flexible or a foldable smartphone.

In all honesty, using the device at MWC, I feel Royole just rushed for the early fame instead of a well-finished product. Samsung, which was second manufacturer to tease its implementation of a foldable phone, finally revealed it ahead of MWC. The Samsung Galaxy Fold, gets a big 7.3-inch display on the inside, and keeps a 4.6-inch display outside. The thick design does get the flexible part right, but reminds a lot of the Nokia communicator (Nokia 9000) in terms of form factor.

Coming to the Huawei Mate X, the flexible display implementation in this device is completely different from the other two. Technically it is the third folding device, but it is still ‘world’s first 5G foldable device.’ In terms of design and form factor, the Mate X appears more realistic, and it is by far the most unique device as well. Though Huawei didn’t let anyone touch the device, we did get to visually experience it up close and personal, and here’s what I feel about this futuristic device from Huawei.

Innovation that took 3 years

The Huawei Mate X’s flexible display folding mechanism is based on ‘Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge’, which is essentially the most important thing that made the phone a reality. It took Huawei three years of R&D to make the hinge, and of course, the company has got it patented as well. Having explained that, Kevin Ho, President of Huawei’s smartphone product line, also briefed on how there is still work left in certain aspects before the Mate X’s official release.

Huawei’s Mate X features a flexible P-OLED panel, and the dual-displays come in sizes of 6.38-inches and 6.6-inches separately in touch-phone form factor. Huawei is calling these panels as the dual true FullView displays. In terms of ergonomics, the Mate X turns out to be only 11mm thick in phone mode despite having double displays, and it transforms into an 8-inch tablet with only 5.4mm thickness.

The handset features side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the power button. Other than that, there will be triple cameras in total on the phone, but specifics about the camera lenses have been kept under warps by Huawei.

5G and 55W Supercharge

For 5G, Huawei has used 7nm multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000 on Mate X. This supports both standalone and non-standalone 5G, which means it is future ready with dual-SIM feature that supports both 4G and 5G. But the innovation doesn’t stop with 5G only. The Huawei Mate X also comes with world s fastest 55W SuperCharge technology, which is 600 percent faster charging tech used in iPhone XS Max. Huawei says that it can charge battery from 0 to 85 percent in just 30 minutes. You will find not one but two thin batteries totaling at 4,500 mAh in the Mate X.

As far as the performance is concerned, the Huawei Mate X uses company’s own 7nm Kirin 980 SoC with 8GB of RAM and 512GB storage. Huawei did mention that it used Android 7.0 Nougat to build upon the final EMUI software for the Mate X, but there is still a lot more to go before the final release.

Watch Video: Huawei Mate 20 Pro First Look

Initial thoughts

The foldable buzz is just being created, and it is safe to say that Huawei’s Mate X is the best-looking implementation yet. Unfortunately, the Mate X won’t be coming to India until the 5G roll out is well and truly on its way. Having said that, we might get to see full or a part of this technology make its way into other Huawei devices in the future. For other markets like China and Europe though, Huawei intends to make the Mate X available by the “middle of 2019”.

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  • Published Date: February 28, 2019 6:53 PM IST