Hands-on (sort of) with Huawei’s folding Mate X


Huawei showed off its forthcoming Mate X folding phone-let (or tab-phone) at a media event in Johannesburg today. While we were able to hold the device, we weren’t allowed to fold it, so we had to rope in the help of a Huawei representative for the video below. Nonetheless, we got to check out the camera setup and try various apps, and our early impressions suggest it’s going to be a highly desirable — and crazy expensive — when it arrives in June or July of this year.

The specs for the Mate X are pretty well known (head over here for a reminder), but the key ones concern the foldable FullView display. When unfolded, it is 8in of nearly square (2480 x 2200 pixels) OLED deliciousness. When folded, the front display is 6.6in and the rear is 6.38in. The leftover 0.22in houses the charging port and the triple camera setup and make the Mate X more comfortable to hold.

Flap like a… falcon

One of the key features of the Mate X is its ‘falcon wing’ hinge which Huawei says contains over 100 components and took three years to perfect. It’s also hands-down the best name for a hinge we’ve ever heard. We couldn’t test how it feels ourselves, but will be putting it through the requisite stress testing when we have time with a proper, final-production review unit.

Huawei says the Mate X will support both NSA & SA (non-standalone and standalone) 5G networks, which means it will work with Rain’s NSA 5G network that’s due to come online in September. Also, as the Mate X supports dual-SIM, you’ll be able to pop your regular voice SIM in the other slot. Though your voice SIM will have to go in SIM slot 2, as online SIM slot 1 supports 5G (the second is limited to 4G).

Like regular charging, but with a cape

The Mate X includes a total of 4500mAh of battery power, split between the two panels, and supports Huawei’s new 55W SuperCharge system. That means you should be able to get up to 85% in a mere 30 minutes. Even more pleasingly, there’ll be a 55W SuperCharge Adapter in the box. We’ve been very impressed with the fast-charging capabilities of the Mate 20 Pro, which isn’t far behind.

We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information on the Mate X’s release date or local pricing.


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