Tech Guide got to spend some more time using the stunning Huawei Mate X foldable phone at Mobile World Congress. After being one of the first publications to get our hands on the device, we spent our second session with the phone taking a deeper dive into the features and performance.
The Mate X was even more impressive than the first time we saw it.
That first time was the equivalent of seeing the iPhone for the first time in 2007.
Up close, you can see the device has been very well crafted.
We had a chance to dive into a few apps rather than just being limited to the home screens the first time we saw it.
It is more compact than you think and holds the folded screen securely in place.
To set the screen free there’s a small button along the grip which runs down the side of the smaller 6.38-inch display (the front screen is 6.6-inches).
A small click can be heard and the screen comes loose of the clip slightly – providing enough of the edge to easily unfold the screen flat to its full 8-inch size.
In the unfolded mode, the screen was flat and solid.
We got a chance to type on the screen and it felt just like typing on a regular tablet.
We had the browser open and what we typed was techguide.com.au – and after a second or two our site appeared in all its glory.
Tech Guide looked amazing in the Mate X display and we were able to scroll the home page and open a story.
There was so much space to view the site – it provides a far richer experience than scrolling on a narrow phone screen.
But if that’s what you want you can fold up the screen and read it that way.
You can also bend the screen and rest it on a surface like a tent and look at the screen hands free.
It’s also possible to still scroll in this mode – and it’s pretty cool watching the page move up the screen and up over the fold and down the other side.
The next thing we did was watch YouTube to demonstrate the quality of the screen which we were told was 4K.
The display didn’t have the same depth and lustre as a regular glass-covered screen when we looking at the home screen and app icons but when we fired up YouTube it looked amazing.
We were able to watch the video in landscape mode on the front screen.
But then when we opened the Mate X to its full size, the video switched to full size on the 8-inch screen.
The widescreen video was letterboxed with black bars top and bottom. The Mate X 8-inch screen is square so this black bars top and bottom were not out of the ordinary.
But one thing which stood out for us wasn’t what we saw – but what we heard.
The speakers on the Mate X sounded amazing.
The video was of a forest scene and the sound was crisp, clear and loud.
It sounded like Dolby Atmos.
When I asked how many speakers it has and if it actually had Dolby Atmos – I was told by a Huawei representative that that were not releasing that information at this time.
But what I heard with my own ears sounded brilliant.
Moving on to the camera we watched a photo being taken with the subjects – us – able to see ourselves on the screen facing us so we could adjust our pose.
You can also take pictures with the screen completely unfolded and you’ve got a lot more to frame up.
And, of course, you can also view your pictures and videos in all their glory on the 8-inch 4K screen and also pinch to zoom right in.
The Huawei Mate X is a fascinating device that certainly got everyone’s attention in Barcelona.
This device represents a revolutionary change to a product that hasn’t had much change for more than a decade.
Yes it’s going to be super expensive and Huawei probably won’t sell truckloads but the company can sit back and say to the world – “look what we made” and bask in the wonder.
We will look back at this time and remember when the smartphone as we know it changed forever.
* Stephen Fenech travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Huawei