Huawei Introduces the Mate X

Vlad Savov, the Verge:

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold announcement isn’t even a week old yet, and we already have a competitor that is thinner, has a bigger screen, and folds flatter. Say hello to the Huawei Mate X. Launching this very moment at MWC 2019, the Mate X has an 8-inch wraparound OLED display, a folded thickness of a mere 11mm, and a formidable spec sheet highlighted by 5G, a 4,500mAh battery, and Huawei’s in-house Kirin 980 processor.

Nice name. Huawei really is in a class of one when it comes to lifting ideas from Apple and others to the extent that it reportedly engages in industrial espionage.

I got to see, but not touch — again, this is a theme with foldable devices so far, no touching — the Mate X up close at MWC, and the most immediately impressive thing for me was how casually the demonstrator was handling it. There was no white-gloves tenderness about his use of the device: he unfolded and folded the Mate X quickly and naturally, and I got no sense of any fragility about the slate. My overriding concern about foldables is that they’ll fail to be perfectly flat when actually opened up, but the Mate X again stands up to scrutiny. Though I can still see small bits of unevenness where the hinge resides, those don’t seem like deal breakers.

This is probably the most convincing product I’ve seen so far in this emerging category of bendy phones, but I’m still not sold. The best argument I can think of for this is the frequency with which someone uses landscape mode. If you rotate your phone sideways a lot for games and more complex apps, perhaps this is more compelling to you. I’m in the other group of users: those who have rotation lock enabled and virtually never turn it off.

Still, there’s a part of me that thinks that, so far, this is a high-tech solution searching desperately for the problems it’s trying to solve.