Huawei Mate X First Impression: A Different Take on Foldables

Huawei Mate X First Impression: A Different Take on Foldables

Hot off of the heels of Samsung Unpacked where we saw the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy Fold finally make an appearance, the Huawei Mate X is the second foldable smartphone to be announced this year. While the Huawei Mate X also has a foldable OLED screen, the similarities pretty much stop there. Although I had the privilege of getting to see the Huawei Mate X in person to capture some photos and a video of it in action, I wasn’t allowed to actually touch the device. Hence, we can’t do a proper hands-on of the device, so instead here are my thoughts based on the rehearsed demonstration.

Huawei Mate X

First, let’s cover the basics. The Huawei Mate X features a Kirin 980 chipset with the Balong 5000 modem meaning it’s Huawei’s first 5G handset, and the company’s most unique device to date. It’s not just a foldable phone either, and the technology is different in a lot of ways compared to what Samsung is offering. Huawei has engineered this device to be the perfect tablet, with an ergonomic bar on the back that can help you grip the device. The bar isn’t just for grip either, as it actually contains four cameras. These four cameras face outward from the back of the device when you are using the primary 6.6-inch display. If you want to take a selfie, you turn the device around and have the cameras point towards you as you use the slightly smaller display. Typically the back camera on smartphones is far superior to the selfie camera, but here they are both the same.

Huawei Mate X

Speaking of display sizes, the primary display of the Huawei Mate X is a 6.6-inch 19.5:9 2480×1148 giant when folded. The back-facing part of the display is slightly smaller at 6.38-inches in diameter with an aspect ratio of 25:9. It has a resolution of 2480×892. When the device is unfolded, it becomes a monstrous 8-inch OLED display with an aspect ratio of 8:7.1 and a resolution of 2480×2200. It’s a smartphone that doesn’t require compromising when traveling, as it’s compact when you need to be productive and large when you need to relax. If you’re worried about it being too thick in its folded position, the device is only 11mm thick. It’s significantly bulkier than most modern smartphones, but not in a way that makes it impractical. When unfolded, though, it’s incredibly thin at 5.4mm.Huawei Mate X

The Huawei Mate X is an impressive piece of hardware with a lot going for it. It has a fingerprint sensor on the power button, a 4,500mAh total battery capacity split across two cells and 55W charging. 55W charging means that you’ll charge from 0% to 85% in half an hour. That alone makes this device impressive. Huawei, unfortunately, is pricing this well out of the reach of most consumers at €2199. You can check out the video down below to get our some more first impressions of the device from XDA TV’s TK Bay, along with a clip of how the device goes from folded to unfolded.

[Video] Huawei Mate X First Impressions

Here are more images from our first impressions video on XDA TV. Check it out!

You can also check out mockups of what the software experience will be like by visiting the Huawei Mate X’s product page.

Huawei Mate X Specifications

DimensionsUnfolded: 146.2 x 161.3 x 5.4 mm

Folded: 78.3 x 161.3 x 11 mm

Weight: 295g

DisplayType: OLED

Size: 8″ unfolded, 6.6″ for front panel, 6.38″ for back panel

Resolution: 2480×2200 unfolded, 2480×1148 for front panel, 2480×892 for back panel

ChipsetHuawei Kirin 980

Balong 5000: 2G/3G/4G/5G multi-mode, SA & NSA support

CPU: 2 x Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz + 2 x Cortex-A76 @ 1.92GHz + 4 x Cortex-A55 @ 1.8GHz

GPU: Mali-G76


SoftwareAndroid 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.1.1
Memory8GB RAM
Storage512GB, expandable via NM card
Cameras40 MP (Wide Angle Lens) + 16 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens) + 8 MP (Telephoto)
Charging55W Huawei SuperCharge
SensorsGravity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Fingerprint Sensor, Hall sensor, Barometer, Infrared sensor, color temperature sensor
ConnectivitySIM: Dual SIM

NFC: Yes, RW mode/P2P mode/Card Emulation

Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, BLE, SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA Audio

Location: GPS (L1 + L5 dual band) / AGPS / Glonass / BeiDou / Galileo (E1 + E5a dual band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 dual band)

Primary SIM card: 

5G NR TDD: N41 / N77 / N78 / N79
4G LTE TDD: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41
4G LTE FDD: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28 / B32
3G WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B8 / B19;
2G GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8 (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz)

Secondary SIM card:

4G LTE TDD: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41
4G LTE FDD: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28
3G WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B8 / B19
2G GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8 (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz)

Ports and ButtonsUSB Type-C (3.1). No 3.5mm headphone jack. Fingerprint scanner embedded into the power button.
ColorInterstellar Blue
AccessoriesFull Protection Case
AvailabilityMiddle of 2019

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

A 21-year-old Irish technology fanatic in his final year of a Computer Science degree. Lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.