Mobile phone blog GSMArena’s Angie Zampona spent two weeks testing the Huawei Mate X — and she is impressed. But there are some trade-offs for living in the future.
She praised many things of the Huawei. First, the weight of the device, which she said is light compared to other flagships, arguing that she is tired of this equivalence between “heavy” and “premium”. The finish on the back feels durable, a black polymer that is not metal but feels very high quality.
Ergonomically, Zampona says it’s really comfortable to hold and operate, even while the keyboard feels too large. A sign that perhaps Huawei and Google need to implement a split-keyboard design like Apple’s.
Hopefully, some of these complaints will be addressed with the release of Android Q, which will be optimized for foldable devices and is pushing developers to embrace a fluid interface that can adjust to all kinds of form factors.
Back to the hardware, Zampona says the OLED screen itself is excellent, with great color, brightness, and saturation. But it has a crease. When you are looking at it normally “most of the time” you “really don’t notice the crease.” She says that “it’s pretty much invisible” unless you tilt the image towards the sun.
She even adds that she suspects that Huawei is not releasing any pens with the machine because people will feel the crease while using it. This, however, hasn’t been confirmed and, as far as we know, the current flexible display technology doesn’t support pen input.
Zampona argues, however, that the Mate X feels like a great work and entertainment machine to carry with you, thanks to the very large screen and the convenience of its folded size.
And while she says that she panicked at the idea of putting the Mate X in a pocket — and wishes it had a case — the phone actually was very durable. By the end of her two-week test, it looked just like it did when she first got it.
But other than these kinks typical of a first generation product, Zampona says that yes, the Mate X does indeed feel like the future — one that is quickly taking shape right now. The crease really doesn’t seem that bad and the software kinks will get solved fast. This is why I’m still predicting that the first round of first generation units will sold out.
So you can accept the current kinks and be an early adopter or wait a couple of years for Huawei and Samsung to iron the crease out (literally). If Huawei’s CEO is right, you will have plenty of foldables to choose from then. But sooner or later, you will have a foldable in some shape or form. The foldables are here to stay because bigger screens in compact sizes just makes sense.