Technology has made a lot of strange and downright wacky devices a reality and foldable smartphones fit neatly into that thinking. Introducing the Mate X, which is Huawei's version of a smartphone you can bend into your pocket – and Huawei Australia confirmed it will be available in Australia this year.
It was unclear whether foldables were going to be a thing at IFA 2019. After Samsung's issues with the Galaxy Fold, and the delay of Huawei's own offering, 2019 has become a kind of bendable purgatory. So imagine my surprise when I found myself racing across Berlin to have a spontaneous, ten minutes hands on with the Mate X.
It's been a rough year for the Chinese smartphone brand and for a while, we weren't really sure if we'd see any Huawei devices come to Australia after Trump announced bans on the company working with its OS supplier, Google. Huawei has pushed through all those doubts and unveiled the Mate 30 Pro overnight, which is coming soon to Australia. Now, it has confirmed the Mate X is on its way to Australia too. Huawei Australia has not specified an exact date.
How the hell does the Mate X work?
Gizmodo Australia's editor had a quick date with the foldy device at the 2019 IFA and it's a big boy. It's got a 6.6-inch front display and 6.38-inch rear display, which fold out so they're perpetually exposed (as opposed to the Samsung Galaxy Fold).
Showing it's not just a gimmick (but also, it definitely is), the Mate X will come packed with a hefty camera, similar to the P30 Pro's. It's got a 40MP wide angle, a 20MP ultra-wide angle, an 8MP telephoto lens as well as a Time-of-Flight lens. Strangely, it's missing a selfie camera though. It'll come with Huawei's new Kirin 990 CPU chip, 512GB storage, 8GB of RAM and a mammoth 4,500mAH battery.
Notable, however, was a bit of a crease where the display folded, which could niggle at some people's OCD (surely, not just mine).
Huawei Australia has yet to confirm a release date or price but says it'll be out in Australia before the end of 2019.
It was unclear whether foldables would be a significant part of the conversation at IFA this year... until both Samsung and Huawei came in swinging with both of their bendy devices. I had a chance to play with both throughout the week, and have some initial comparative thoughts.