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Huawei Mate X foldable smart phone review

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The Huawei Mate X is one of the most sensational and expensive technology devices we have tested in years.

The good

    The software works well, well-built, attractive to technology fans, it works well to view content

The bad

    Too expensive It may not be useful for everyone There is no 5G network to use it

We sat excitedly in the seats assigned to us, while Huawei CEO Richard Yu was preparing to answer the questions of the select group of journalists in front of him. Just moments before, we were among the first people who tested the Huawei Mate X foldable smart phone, and the experience was sensational.

We spent some time with Mate X in the company of Yu, who spoke with enthusiasm about it during all that time, either showing himself or watching others use the device. "We've been working on this for three years," Yu said, smiling as he demonstrated the functions and design of Mate X. "It's the most difficult smart phone project we've had so far."

And we do not doubt that it was difficult, but the work has paid off. Forget the worries that the Mate X is just a prototype; This is a seemingly finished product with all the details you expect. The Huawei Mate X looks and feels very different from any other product we have tried so far. It is strangely confusing, but not in a negative way, but rather new and avant-garde. This is all you can expect from the new – and expensive – Huawei product.

Unfolding the magic

The phone was folded, so the first thing we did was try to deploy it. There is no obvious grip point, because the screen bends over itself and the edge fits flush with the sidebar. To open the Mate X you must press a button on that bar, and the section of the rear screen is ready for the phone to fully deploy. Because it is such a new experience, it was difficult to know how to hold it and where to grab it at this stage. This is something to change with use, but it shows how different Mate X is currently (and all the new folding phones) with respect to the smartphones we have had so far.

Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

Closed, the Mate X feels quite thick compared to other modern smart phones, but the 11 mm are not annoying. The thickness makes it feel a bit heavy, but that seems to be an illusion since the Mate X is very light and almost perfectly balanced. That edge bar really works for a better grip, and makes the phone simple, natural and comfortable to hold with just one hand.

The open screen is perfect for watching movies, photos, reading books or general media consumption.

The open screen is perfect for watching movies, photos, reading books or general media consumption, but as with any tablet, it doesn't feel natural to use its functions or write on it with one hand. However, over time, users will have to discover new ways to use and interact with these types of phones. We examined the screen, and saw that it is smooth, with no ripples, bumps or imperfections that are immediately noticed, and the viewing angles are excellent.

A slight degree of force is required to close the Mate X, since the Falcon Hinge hinge is mechanical and does not move by itself. The hinge is rigid and of high quality, which ensures that the screen does not open or close indiscriminately. Richard Yu said that the folding screen has been tested at 100,000 folds and that the entire phone has undergone tests of each substantial. Initially, additional tests were required to solve a problem where the lines were shown along the fold itself, but this problem was clearly solved.

Web, visual and multitasking

Android software felt fluid and functional. Samsung, Huawei's current rival in this area, has not yet allowed journalists to try the Galaxy Fold, which makes us assume that it is probably not as surprising an experience as the flashy videos suggest, but it remains to be seen. That is not the case with Mate X. Huawei's CEO Richard Yu said he has been using the phone for about a week, and showed how he browses the web and watches videos on the device we had in front of us. He did that job without problems, and the experience was similar when he was in the hands of several journalists.

review prints huawei mate x foldable phone 6Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

The most impressive was the way it changes smoothly between screens, although technically it only has one screen. The playback of videos on the large screen displayed quickly changed to the main screen when Yu closed the phone, and then to the rear screen when the Mate X turned. We were able to use gesture controls, which worked smoothly, the screen felt normal and There were no negative navigation experiences. However, this is not entirely ready for launch, and in other demonstrations we have seen that the software is confused, but our first impressions are very positive.

Applications

What happens to the apps? Yu said that at first the compatibility with the applications was a concern, but once the tests began, the company found many apps adapted to the design without modifications. Google Maps was specifically mentioned. Naturally, not all applications are ready for this challenge, and developers should get involved to make sure they work properly.