Finally! After many rumors, some postponements, and much expectation Huawei has officially launched its folding smartphone, the already famous Mate X, competing for attention side by side with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, unfortunately, none of them should be officially launched here in Brazil, Still, at the invitation of Huawei Brazil, we could spend some time with this impressive smartphone in Sao Paulo and we bring you our first impressions and the answers to any questions you may have. As a first surprise, the device is very thin when opened and still much thinner than we thought when it is closed. It is narrow and it has a very solid grip, giving it a great build impression. The hinges and their hinged legs look prone to accumulate a little dirt, as well as the body and screen, that accumulate many fingerprints. The phone is dark gray, with many antenna protectors and volume knobs, and also the power button aside That is a fingerprint reader – no under the screen biometrics here. To open the Mate X you have to push a button on the back under the cameras it releases a lock and the screen unfolds a few degrees by itself at the moment, just like opening a wallet. The hinge is very firm and requires a little effort to open and you need to press it in the middle of the screen so that it can be straighten, even making a “creak” sound – a little hinge noise. When opened, the back is matte and has no space between the pieces, it is a perfect fit. On one side is left a wider strip that houses the cameras and also helps with the grip, looking like that e-reader, the Kindle Oasis. By holding this thick band you can get a good weight balance when holding it with one hand and then it becomes very comfortable for reading; a pity that it only serves for right-handed people, because if you rotate it and hold it with the left hand It does not rotate the screen together, because of the sound outputs. The screen is the obvious highlight on this mobile, and without it, we would have a common top of the line, as is the case with Mate 30 Pro itself, which we also saw there. Mate X’s “reason to be” is, of course, the folding screen – and that’s obviously what strikes you right off the bat. Although it was made of plastic, it didn’t even have a scratch. As the units are few and expensive, they are very well looked after by Huawei employees, and the Mate X we tested was stored in a leather wallet. Besides, it has a thin film on top of the display that looks like the one that was not meant to be taken out of the Galaxy Fold, the origin of many problems. When touching it or looking against the light, you will realize that it is a plastic screen, but it does not give a feeling of poor quality. They do not have creases in the fold, but when the smartphone is opened, you can see “waves” on the display, especially near the edges. Nothing, again, that will bother you – but don’t expect a 100% smooth and straight screen when you are looking at it. The Mate X features an AMOLED screen that, when closed, looks 6.6″ with a 19,5:9 aspect ratio and the rear part is turned off without any touch feedback. In the brief test we made, there were no touch errors as soon as we started to close the screen and when we did that, the second half ceased the image, but some video bugs were left over. When opened, we have access to a larger and wider display, with 8″ and a 4:3 aspect ratio. For websites and readings, this turned out to be a great and comfortable format, plus the weight balance I mentioned earlier makes it even better. For other content such as videos and games, there may be losses, as this content in wide format results in black borders at the top and bottom of the screen, especially for videos. There are two sound outputs, one small and discreet (located above on the screen when it is folded and closed) and one at the bottom, also taking into account when it is folded. When it is opened you can choose whether you want them to face the same place or on the sides You just have to turn the device over and put the wider part up. The sound is very immersive, especially when it has the sound outputs faced on its sides, with the Mate X opened – for both, games and videos, it seemed like a good stereo at a very high volume. Regarding the system, this phone brings the EMUI 9, with Android Pie. Android 10 has already promised better integration with folding screens, but Pie can do reasonably well. Like Pie, which is also a version that is used for tablets, Huawei simply took advantage of this and spaced out the buttons and menus. The keyboard is very large in both folded and opened modes, for ease of use. Still, not everything about it is optimised; after a few years in the market adapting to increasingly wider screens, Companies with devices that have a 4:3 aspect ratio, which is almost a square, will face difficulties. These problems are not many and they are not bothersome overall, but they do appear. Huawei also has some shortcuts on its system where you use your knuckles to capture the screen, for example, start a screen recording or split the screen in two to increase productivity. But you will need a few days of use to get the hang of it Also, the Mate X has a ToF camera – a time of flight – bringing the possibility of navigation via gestures with your hand in front of the handset, just like in the LG G8 or Pixel 4. So, closing your hand in front of the screen captures it and keeping it closed and opening it with a “go away” sign. lets you navigate through posts on Tiktok, for example – neither are gestures you’ll catch on the spot. Our pretty short hands-on, from what we could test, it performed smoothly. It didn’t choke or stumble on videos or games like Asphalt – let alone on the system. Inside it comes with the Kirin 980 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. You can even expand it to another 256 GB with Huawei’s nano memory card, which is not a micro SD. Its top of the line hardware, as expected for its price. The Mate X’s battery has 4500 mAh and we will still have to perform more tests to see how it performs. This is a reasonable number whose challenge is to hold the charge for an entire day when you are using an 8-inch AMOLED screen and a high-end processing set. The bundled charger, a Huawei SuperCharge, has 55-watt and promises up to 85% of the battery in half an hour. The Mate X camera set is pretty sturdy – as it doesn’t need a front facing camera, there is only one set so, when you want to take a selfie, you turn the device closed facing the smaller screen. There are four cameras: a 40 MP wide, an 8 MP telephoto lens and an ultra-wide of 16 MP. This set is completed, as I said before, by a 3D ToF sensor, which works for gestures and also for Portrait Mode. The lenses are Leica and it can shoot 4k videos, the set being quite similar to the one found inside the Mate 30 Pro. In the photos taken at our test, we could see that the details are very good with slightly faded colors – the contrast is also good, and when it comes to selfie, even though it’s the same set of cameras, The Mate X ended up exaggerating a little in the smoothening, losing a little in the acuity. Giving that famous “wax-dall-look”. For now, we do not have any release date for the Mate X around here. Its official price in China is ¥ 16,999, which is about R$ 10,000 at today’s currency. A very salty price, which here in Brazil we know that would practically double, leaving very low the chances of a launch in the country. There is no way we could talk about cost-effectiveness here – if you buy a Mate X you are buying an innovative device and therefore, this price; The novelty is expensive, which is something early adopters are already well used to. And it comes, of course, to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and the recent Motorola RAZR, two other prominent folding devices that were recently launched. How about you like the Mate X? What did you think of the folding screen, the hinge system, and the use experience with it opened? Which folding device do you prefere: Huawei’s, Motorola’s, or Samsung’s? Leave your comments below. See you later!