The foldable concept made real

Just like its Korean rival Samsung, Huawei also announced their own foldable smartphone during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. And unlike Samsung, the Chinese giant actually had a working unit for the press to take a look at. While access to the device was heavily restricted (read: no one except Huawei execs could touch or manipulate it) our very limited time with the Mate X still left us pretty damn impressed at what they’ve accomplished so far.

The hinge is mightier than the screen

While it’s easy to point to a foldable phone’s screen as the most important part of the design, Huawei spent quite a bit of resource trying to get the hinge just perfect. The hinge on the Mate X is composed of 100 different parts working together so that the screen of the phone closes seamlessly, without any gap in the middle.

What that means is that the phone folds up neatly into a package that’s easily usable as…well, a phone. The phone, when completely folded up, measures in at just 11mm thick, which is pretty damn good, considering, well, it’s a folding phone.

The screen is a specially made 8-inch flexible OLED display without a notch. When it’s folded completely in, you get a 6.6-inch display on the front. There’s no need for a notch anymore since there’s also a screen on the rear which you can use as an electronic viewfinder when you’re shooting selfies.

The frame of the phone is made out of aluminum and looks pretty sturdy, and there’s a small plastic handle at the end of the phone that serves as the repository for all the important bits, namely the cameras, processor and the antennas.

Because of the phone’s unique structure, Huawei had to split the battery of the device into two, with one in either side of the hinge. Combined, the batteries give the phone around 4500mAh of juice, which can quickly be charged up via the 55w SuperCharge charger.

Powering the phone is Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor, paired with the company’s new, Balong 5000 5G modem. Huawei is claiming that the Balong 5000 is capable of speeds of up to 7.5Gbps.

As impressive as the Mate X is, Huawei was a bit unclear on some of the specifics regarding the phone’s screen, specifically, durability. The flexible OLED display is always exposed to the environment, and since they couldn’t use glass protection on top of it, we’re wondering just how tough that display is to scratches and daily abuse.

Regardless of our concerns, Huawei’s Mate X is certainly impressive. It’s a very clear challenge to Samsung at a time when the Chinese giant is looking to grab even more customers away from the Korean chaebol.

As for Philippine availability, it’s still up in the air. While its 2299 Euro(~Php 135.7k) price tag is pretty steep because of regional pricing, there are certainly people out there willing to shell out top peso to get a piece of the foldable pie.