Huawei Mate 20 X: Tech titan takes on the Nintendo Switch

This is a post for my dad. We were discussing phones a few months ago, and he proudly showed off his latest investment from the gadget shop – a shiny turquoise device with a brand logo that I’d never heard of. I told him that he’d been seduced by a gushing salesman; he told me this new brand was going to topple Apple and that he was leading the way as an early adopter. “I’m a pioneer, son!”

And whilst it’s fair to say that the Huawei phone hasn’t quite usurped Apple in the battle for smartphone domination, you can’t fault the company for its fearless ambition. Recently, it revealed its romantically-named Huawei Mate 20 X, a pretty giant device that’s hoping to break sales records (if not the seams of your pocket.) The ‘phablet’ sized phone comes with a triple rear camera and a 2244 x 1080 display, making it an optimised device for all-things media.

But that’s not all. In a bold move, Huawei has stated that it’s taking on the Nintendo Switch in the second phase of its world domination package. At a recent press conference, the brand made a direct comparison to the small-time portable gaming experience from Nintendo, describing its Huawei Mate 20 X as a “better portable game machine” than its Japanese competitor. Yikes. How true is this?

Well, Huawei has developed a special clip-on accessory which transforms the smartphone into more of a gaming pad (a bit like a Switch but with just the one Joy-Con) so the player wouldn’t be fully reliant on an optimised touchscreen. Moreover, the Mate 20 X has a mammoth battery – 5,000mAh apparently. And whilst I have no idea what this means, it does afford the phablet twice the battery life of the Nintendo Switch, so whatever title you’re playing will last longer, if nothing else. Of course, such a large battery (all 5,000 mAh of it) necessitates a bigger casing, which explains the Huawei’s rather indiscreet size, and its price point; if you’re planning to pick up one of these bad boys – looking at you, father – it will set you back a not-insignificant 899 euros.

At the moment, though, it’s hard for me to take these ambitious claims seriously. Yes the Huawei Mate 20 X looks very shiny and impressive, and yes the gaming thing is cool, and yes the special graphene-based cooling system is innovative, but I can’t see anyone actively choosing this product over the Nintendo Switch. This is because the console’s appeal doesn’t just lie in the fact that it’s portable; it’s the fact that it’s portable and playable on a TV. Also, the Switch has the insanely good games such as ZeldaMario, and Super Smash Bros. These titles are enough to woo people to the system regardless of any portability. Now, if by some miracle Huawei / Google / Android was able to secure an exclusive license for a hot IP then I think that would be a real, uhh, game changer. “Cyberpunk 2077: Only on Huawei.” Oof. I can’t see it happening, but still.

What do you think of Huawei’s bold movement against Nintendo? Are you tempted to trade in your Switch and become a pioneer like my dad? Or would you consider purchasing both? Let me know in the comments below.


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