First look at Huawei's new foldable Mate Xs and MatePad Pro tablet
The Chinese tech giant pushed through with its Barcelona launch with new flagship products: A second-gen foldable phone, a new tablet and the upgraded MateBook Pro X laptop. Here's a quick look at all three.
The highly anticipated Mobile World Congress 2020 may have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, but even without the three-day tech event that was supposed to have been held this month in Barcelona, Huawei pushed through with its own virtual launch on Tue (Feb 24, Monday evening in Singapore).
At the event, which was livestreamed straight from the Spanish city, the Chinese tech giant unveiled three of its newest products: The Mate Xs foldable phone, MateBook Pro X laptop and MatePad Pro tablet. Here’s a quick rundown.
After launching its Mate X foldable smartphone last year, Huawei has unveiled the second generation version, the Mate Xs.
The new flagship, which is 5G-enabled, will have dual screens when folded: A 6.6-inch main screen and a 6.38-inch secondary screen. When unfolded outwards, the device transforms into an 8-inch tablet.
Design-wise, it uses what Huawei calls a “Falcon Wing”, which has more than 100 interlocking parts and a hinge made with a zirconium-based liquid metal, which facilitates a full 180-degree fold.
As for the flexible display, it’s made of two layers of aerospace-grade polymide that’s been fused together with an optically clear adhesive, which Huawei says makes it durable enough while allowing for high image quality.
Running on the EMUI10.0.1 operating system, the Mate Xs has a multi-window function, which allows for two apps to be displayed side-by-side – and interact with each other. In other words, text, images and documents can be transferred simply by dragging and dropping content from one app to another. There’s also a floating window function to let users launch a third app for small tasks such as responding to text messages, without exiting the other apps.
The Mate Xs also supports multi-screen collaboration, which allows for data transfer and multi-screen control between the phone and Huawei’s MateBook and MatePad Pro, by creating a mirror screen of your phone on Huawei’s laptops and tablets, and allows for an easier drag and drop.
As for its cameras, we already know Huawei’s excellent reputation, and the Mate Xs doesn’t disappoint. It comes with a Leica SuperSensing quad camera system comprising a 40MP SuperSensing camera, a 16MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera and a 3D Depth Sensing camera. It will also allow for up to 30x zoom and instead of just relying on the rear cam for selfies, the Mate Xs lets users take self-portraits using the secondary screen as well.
Next up: The Huawei MatePad Pro, which is also touted as the world’s first tablet that features both wireless charging and wireless reverse charging. It’s a handy feature to have since it’s got a 7250 mAh battery, which ensure a full day’s use – and enough juice to help friends out.
The tablet – which comes with and without 5G capabilities – has a 10.8-inch display with what Huawei says is the world’s highest tablet screen-to-body ratio at 90 per cent, thanks to its super narrow 4.8mm bezels. All that screen is enough for your Netflix binges, and aside from its 2K QHD (2560×1600) resolution, it’s also claims to have audio quality that rivals that of home theatre setups, thanks to Harmon Karmon quad speakers and its Histen 6.0 3D audio technology.
And as mentioned in the Mate Xs, Huawei’s multi-screen collaboration feature lets users connect various devices for simple file transfers and mirror screen functions. Ditto the multi-window function for displaying up to three apps simultaneously.
The tablet, which is available in Forest Green and Orange Vegan Leather finishes, can also be paired with the Huawei M-Pencil stylus, which has a new Screen-Off Shorthand feature, as well as a magnetic keyboard.
THE HUAWEI MATEBOOK X PRO LAPTOP
Finally, there’s the new laptop. Huawei fanboys and girls will be pleased to know that the company is making its computers available to the Singapore market for the first time, beginning with the MateBook X Pro.
In terms of looks, it comes in a metallic unibody, with a premium sandblasted finish that looks elegant and feels smooth to the touch. It will be available in Mystic Silver, Space Grey and Emerald Green variants.
The ultra-portable offering weighs in at 1.33 kg, with a thickness of 14.6mm, and will have a 13.9-inch screen that offers a 3000x2000 resolution. Slim bezels on all sides has resulted in a screen-to-body ratio of 91 per cent, while an unconventional 3:2 aspect display ratio makes it better suited for productivity and content creation compared to mainstream widescreens.
Other bells and whistles: A fingerprint power button, which lets users authenticate their identity quickly; a recessed camera to maximise the screen’s display area; a 10-point touchscreen with anti-fingerprint coating and a finger gestures function for smoother navigation; what’s supposedly the world’s fastest Wi-Fi on a notebook; Bluetooth 5.0; quad speakers; and a huge 56Wh battery that means it can last an entire day on a full charge.
And since it’s targeted at business users and professional content creators, the MateBook X Pro is powered by tenth generation Intel Core processors, meaning you can expect a smooth experience whether you use it for video editing, gaming or watching movies.
It’s also designed to synergise with Huawei’s other devices such as wearables and phones, with features that lets users transfer files via WiFi, and the new multi-screen collaboration mentioned earlier.
WHAT’S HUAWEI WITHOUT GOOGLE?
Huawei might have the confidence to launch a bunch of new products right now, but if there’s one question that continues to loom over it since last year, it’s the absence of Google and much of its services.
Its Mate 30 phones were launched last year without Google Mobile Services, thanks to the US trade ban. But the company had promised to beef up its own Huawei Mobile Services, with chief executive Richard Yu even saying they were prepared to drop US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) to help grow HMS’ AppGallery instead.
One of the results is the unveiling of Quick Apps, a new category for 5G-ready devices, which currently has 1,700 apps in various categories such as entertainment and productivity.
During his presentation, Yu also shared how the company achieved 150 billion yuan (S$30 billion) in sales in 2019 despite a tough year for the company, and how it will be spending 15-plus billion euros (S$22.7 billion) a year on research and development.
He ended the the livestream with a teaser, inviting everyone to stay tuned for the laugh of the P40 series in Paris on March 26, which he described as "the world's most powerful 5G smartphone."
Huawei’s Mate Xs will be on sale in Singapore in March, which the MateBook X Pro will be available in April. The non-5G version of the MatePad Pro will also launch in April, while the MatePad Pro 5G launches in June.
Mate Xs is priced at 2,499 euros (S$3,787), the MatePad Pro at 799 euros and the Matebook X Pro from 1,499 to 1,999 euros. Prices in Singapore will be announced at a later date.