Is Huawei’s new mobile phone a Nintendo Switch killer?


At a multitudinous event in London last month, Huawei CEO Richard Yu surprised everyone when he announced the Huawei Mate 20 X, his company’s latest high-end mobile phone.

And it makes sense that many attendees were in a state of shock, as only two mobile phone announcements were scheduled for the day as Variety reports.

Even more surprising was the fact that at some point during his presentation Yu put out a slide comparing the Mate 20 X to the Nintendo Switch. The Switch as you almost certainly already know is Nintendo latest console, its main gimmick being the fact that it can be used both as a traditional home console (in docked mode) and also as a portable gaming machine like Nintendo’s earlier 3DS.

But given that the Mate 20 X has a gamepad add-on, could it be a viable alternative to the Switch for on the go gaming? And should Nintendo be worried about Huawei’s latest mobile device?

During his presentation, Yu was quick to point out the Mate 20 X advantages: it has a bigger screen (7.2 inches vs 6.2 inches) and is also capable of outputting a higher resolution (1080p), while the Switch can only do 720p. Plus, the Mate 20 X also sports a larger battery than its Nintendo competitor, meaning it should last longer on the road before you have to recharge.

Despite all this though, it’s hard to see the Mate 20 X as a Nintendo competitor.

This is because the Mate 20 X is going to appeal to those who are looking for a mobile phone, and a pretty dear one at that, as its priced at €899 euros (about $1020 US dollars).

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch is a pure gaming machine which retails for far less (typically $300), and the logical choice for those who want a machine for gaming pure and simple. Plus, the resolution advantage only applies to mobile gaming, as the Switch can handle 1080p when in docked mode too.

There’s also the critical matter of the games you can run on either machine. When it comes to the Switch, Nintendo’s first party line-up includes killer games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon and Super Mario Odyssey. On the other hand, Huawei’s Mate 20 X, being an Android phone, lets you access the entirety of Google Play’s catalogue, for instance. The Switch also has strong third-party games like Skyrim available for it though.

In the end, though, it’s hard to beat Nintendo’s unique fusion of hardware and software, and Huawei certainly won’t be doing it with a mobile phone that costs almost three times as much as Switch.

Plus, there’s also the matter of the controls.

No matter how good the Huawei’s gamepad add-on is, it’s hard to think this will beat the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers or gamepad – after all, Nintendo has been designing these things for eons now.

Also, the Joy-Cons also allow Nintendo Switch owners to enjoy local multiplayer with their friends. Those gaming on the Huawei Mate 20 X will be restricted to online play only.

Overall, then, there really is no contest and it’s hard to see Huawei taking sales away from Nintendo, much less being the Switch killer Huwaei’s executives seemingly think it is. Nonetheless, it’s a good thing to see that gamer’s needs are a priority for companies like Huawei, proving how video gaming, and mobile gaming in particular, are increasingly becoming an important part of people’s lives.

Read moreTop things to know about the Nintendo Switch

Mate 20 launch (Huawei Mobile UK / YouTube)