Foldable questions: Huawei Mate X2


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Hi everyone!

 

As you or may not have seen on our Twitter feed, I currently have a Huawei Mate X2 with me on loan from Huawei, and I only get to have it for a week. We haven't had much of a chance to cover foldales before, so I wanted to hear everyone's thoughts and questions on it (and foldables in general). Anything you'd like me to address in a hands-on/review article? Just let me know here and I'll try my best to answer your queries in said article.

 

Thanks, everyone!

 

EDIT: For some additional context, we did cover the launch of the Mate X2 here: https://www.neowin.net/news/huawei-introduces-the-mate-x2-with-an-inner-folding-display. Be sure to check it out beforehand.

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Hello,

 

A few questions:

  • Do applications specifically have to be written to take advantage of both screens? 
  • Any notable or interesting demo apps for this?
  • Can you run two applications side-by-side?  If so how well does that work?

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

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On 03/05/2021 at 05:24, goretsky said:

Hello,

 

A few questions:

  • Do applications specifically have to be written to take advantage of both screens? 
  • Any notable or interesting demo apps for this?
  • Can you run two applications side-by-side?  If so how well does that work?

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Hi, sorry for the delayed response. I'm currently in the process of finishing up my review, and I was hoping to have a section dedicated to questions, but it doesn't look like there are enough to justify that. So here are some answers to your questions>

 

  1. The only notable advantage of the two screens is just being able to use apps on a bigger canvas, so for the most part, as long as the app is designed to scale to the screen size, it shouldn't matter. However, as a developer, it also apps to design apps that know how to scale while they're open, because some apps may ask you to close and reopen in order to update the interface.
  2. Like I said, there's not a lot of special stuff about the two screens, but some of the apps that work well with the big screen are Telegram, YouTube Vanced (official YouTube doesn't work because Huawei), and the new Edge browser.
  3. You can run two apps side-by-side like on any modern Android phone, and it works fine. You can also open more apps in floating windows. Huawei also includes a feature to multiple apps so you can open more than one instance of the same app, but the app has to specifically support it, and none of the apps I use does.

Hope that helps!

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I've played with a foldable before but it wasn't really for me. When folded it's too chunky, and unfolded I didn't find any major advantage to the larger screen compared to my S20.

 

A question that isn't specific to the Mate X2 would be, how do covers and screen protectors work and fare? In your last picture it looks like there is a screen protector on the outside screen, but I guess there wouldn't be a need for one on the inside/larger screen? You would be expected to fold it away rather than leaving it in tablet mode and putting it in a shoulder bag?

 

This is perhaps a basic question that has been asked before for many other devices, but it looks like the forward camera is on the top left of the screen. Does that cause an issue for something like video calls? Do you find that your portrait is offset to one side? And it looks like there is no camera on the enlarged screen, so I guess you wouldn't be able to have a video call on the larger display? That would be a pity, since for something like a group call the extra screen space would help fit more people on the screen at one time.

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9 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

 and unfolded I didn't find any major advantage to the larger screen compared to my S20.

Exactly, it's maybe for people who prefer a tablet-like experience.

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19 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

I've played with a foldable before but it wasn't really for me. When folded it's too chunky, and unfolded I didn't find any major advantage to the larger screen compared to my S20.

 

A question that isn't specific to the Mate X2 would be, how do covers and screen protectors work and fare? In your last picture it looks like there is a screen protector on the outside screen, but I guess there wouldn't be a need for one on the inside/larger screen? You would be expected to fold it away rather than leaving it in tablet mode and putting it in a shoulder bag?

 

This is perhaps a basic question that has been asked before for many other devices, but it looks like the forward camera is on the top left of the screen. Does that cause an issue for something like video calls? Do you find that your portrait is offset to one side? And it looks like there is no camera on the enlarged screen, so I guess you wouldn't be able to have a video call on the larger display? That would be a pity, since for something like a group call the extra screen space would help fit more people on the screen at one time.

For the first question, you'd be correct. The case is designed to protect the phone mostly when it's folded, and you're supposed to store it in that position rather than putting it anywhere while it's open. That would bring about a whole slew of issues, like putting pressure on the hinge in the wrong direction and scratching the screen (it's made of plastic).

 

For the second question, I've never really had a problem with cameras being off to the left side in phones as far as my position in the frame goes, I think it's just natural to slightly adjust the angle so you're more centered.

 

And yes, regarding video calls, that is what I would consider a big problem with this phone (and it's in my current draft for the review). You can't take video calls on the big screen, unless you want to show off whatever is in front of you rather than yourself. The camera app also lets you use the cover display as a viewfinder if you want to take selfies with the main camera (which is better), but sadly that doesn't work with video calls, either.

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