The Huawei Wonders have been spending a bit of time with the brand new Mate 20 X (see full specs here
). Here’s how it went when I spent ‘a week with the X’.
Let’s be clear from the start, the Mate 20 X is big. Really big! It dwarfs my current Mate 20 Pro
, which was already pushing my limits size-wise when I made the jump from my old iPhone. But it’s also beautiful. The shimmering Midnight Blue engraved glass back panel looks (and feels) amazing. And that screen!!! Attempting not to be daunted by its dimensions, I popped in my sim, and gave it a go.
The ‘X’ Factor
I mainly use my phone for social media (especially Instagram), web browsing, listening to music and taking photos. The X made all of my usual activities an absolute pleasure. In many ways, it was even better than the Pro!
With its 7.2 inch OLED screen and teardrop notch (all the more room for notifications), Instagram never looked better and general browsing is a dream. Meanwhile, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack meant I could blow the dust off my wired B&W headphones and do some old-school listening.
The X has the same triple-camera set-up as the Pro, so I knew it was going to take amazing pics, but the bigger screen takes setting-up shots and reviewing and editing photos to next-level brilliance.
Out and about, I didn’t find the X too
unwieldy. It fits (albeit snugly) in my usual jacket pocket and the additional weight (43g more than the Pro) wasn’t all that noticeable. The curved back with its hyper-optical grip alongside Huawei’s one-handed UI means that the X is actually very manageable for its size.
As well as the stuff I normally do on my phone, I also spend a lot of time on my iPad, streaming films and tv, reading articles and ebooks and doing a wee bit of online shopping. However, after just a few days, I realised I was reaching for the iPad less and less often.
The Mate 20 X is built for media and gaming, and while I’ve never been a gamer, it soon became my primary mobile viewing device. The X delivers a truly immersive entertainment experience. The FHD+ screen is exceptionally bright and clear and the stereophonic speakers are loud and rich (far more so than the Pro). I also found I was able to read more and for longer and it was great being able to dip into my current ebook whenever I had a few minutes to spare.
The Perfect Travel Mate
Given my experience over the first few days, when it came time to pack for a weekend trip away, I had no hesitation whatsoever in leaving my iPad at home. I like to travel light, and not having to lug about a tablet and additional charger made a big difference.
For the traveller (or commuter) having a single device that allows you to watch, listen, browse and keep in touch is a massive bonus. All in all, it made the 4-hour train journey fly by and attracted envious glances from my fellow passengers as they balanced tablets, phones and laptops on small, crowded tray tables.
The X served me well through the weekend, with its massive 5000mAh battery only requiring one super-fast charge for the return trip. When home, it was with some regret that I packaged it up and sent it on to the next Wonder.
Conclusion - the 'X' Rated
In summary, the Mate 20 X is a big beautiful monolithic glistening glass slab of a phone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it out with the M-Pen, which is sure to add bundles of business and creative possibilities. It might lack the neater form-factor, more secure facial recognition, innovative inscreen fingerprint scanner and wireless charging features of the Mate 20 Pro (at a similar price) but, for what it is - a big, mean, media machine - it’s brilliant.
While 2019 looks to be the year the foldable phone will become a reality, until the creases are smoothed out (pun intended) and the prices come down, the Mate 20 X might just be the best option for those that want a big screen experience in a (just about) pocketable package. In my view, it really does have the ‘X’ factor.
What do you think? Could you handle the X?