In the current foldable phone market there are two opposing schools of thought: either the screen folds inwards, protected from the outside case, or it folds outwards and has the screen constantly exposed on the outside.
The former is the method used by Samsung’s first phone, the Galaxy Fold. The latter is the chosen method of Huawei, among other Chinese manufacturers.
Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and so which of the two you like will almost certainly come down to your own priorities. But then again, neither company is without its controversies. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launch was delayed due to issues with durability, while Huawei hasn’t been out of the news for a while thanks to its issues working with US companies following the trade restrictions.
Either way, we’re now looking at an October launch for the Huawei Mate X, and we were able to get more time with it while out in Berlin for IFA 2019.
Huawei was one of the first to show off its foldable smartphone, the Mate X is an exciting start. Yes it’s big and chunky, and it’ll undoubtedly take time to mature into a product that most consumers will want to use, but it’s a very promising device and form factor with tonnes of potential.
- Screen is usable when folded
- Hinge feels sturdy
- Camera system on the back has proven quality
- 55W charging is rapid
- It’s going to be very expensive
- Phone is chunky when folded
- You can see a bump on the display from an angle
- Unfolded – 161.3 x 146.2 x 5.4 mm
- Folded – 161.3 x 78.3 x 11 mm
- Roughly 295 grams
- Release button for unfolding
- Leather case
Folded up, from the front the Mate X has the appearance of a large regular smartphone, and that’s arguably the Huawei method’s biggest advantage over the Galaxy Fold. It’s still very much usable as a smartphone even when it’s closed, that full screen on the front doesn’t pose the limitations that Samsung’s outer screen might.
Of course, this poses an issue when it comes to durability. Since there’s no flexible glass on the market yet, current foldable smartphones rely on a transparent polymer covered by a protective film, similar to a screen protector.
And that means that when it’s shut, there’s potential for that folded edge to be exposed to the elements, and that includes any rough impurities in your pocket, inevitably leading to scuffing; which is why Huawei is supplying the Mate X with a gorgeous leather case. More