I’ve finally been able to spend some real time with the foldable Huawei Mate X, the Chinese company’s folding phone rival to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone and Motorola’s folding Razr.
After a whole day using it all over Paris, I’ve gotta be honest, this foldable Android device is damn cool.
I’ll start with the obvious, the actual folding mechanism. The Mate X’s flexible OLED screen folds backwards on itself, in contrast to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which closes in on itself like a book, or the Razr, which folds shut like an old clamshell phone. That means you can use the entire 8-inch display even when the phone is closed. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, there is no internal Mate X display.
Now we can debate all we want about which screen design and mechanical hinge are best, but this is purely about the Mate X, so I’ll tell you what I’ve found to be great so far.
First of all, that folding display just looks amazing. The way the screen bends back around on itself, without any kind of distortion to the images, is awesome and I love the way the interface — no matter what you’re looking at — instantly resizes into the correct aspect ratio. When I first saw this at MWC earlier in the year I had a genuine rush of excitement at witnessing something so futuristic. Months later, and even having used the Galaxy Fold since its launch, I’m no less excited about the way the Huawei Mate X bends.
Trust me when I say that from the moment you get it out of the box, you’ll want to fold and unfold the Mate X time and time again. Your friends will want to have a go, your colleagues will want a go and even random strangers in bars will want a go.
But there’s more to like about this foldable phone than just its ability to draw attention on a night out. By folding backwards as it does, that big screen is essentially split in half, giving you a 6.6-inch display in its regular, “closed” phone format, outsizing all but the biggest phablet giants. (You get full use of the screen only when you unfold the phone.) As a result, videos and photos look great, particularly because there’s no notch interrupting the view — something I’ll come back to later. More