(Pocket-lint) - During its Mate 20 series launch event, Huawei announced a super-sized handset and promptly compared it to the Nintendo Switch for portable gaming. Even calling the phone "the best portable mobile gaming machine".
The Huawei Mate 20 X has a mammoth 7.2-inch display and powerful enough processor to munch through Android games like a Pac-Man through pellets. However, the comparison has been mocked by the gaming community.
Admittedly, some of the tech specs of the handset are better than the Switch's.
On stage, Huawei Mobile boss Richard Yu compared the Mate 20 X's 7.2-inch display to the Switch's 6.2-inch equivalent. He also pointed to the fact that it has a better resolution of 1080p over the Nintendo machine's 720p resolution. Both of which are inescapably better.
On top of that, the display in the Mate 20 X is AMOLED. The Switch has an LCD screen that cannot compare in contrast and colour reproduction.
He also rightly claimed the battery in the phone is larger and will therefore last longer than the one on the Switch.
But that's where the one-upmanship ends. Comparing them as games machines based on top-line spec is like comparing an Aston Martin DB11 to a Land Rover Discovery. One is faster, sleeker and, arguably, prettier, but it's not fit for purpose if all you want to do is drive up a rocky mountain.
Here then are our reasons why the Huawei Mate 20 X is not on the same planet as the Nintendo Switch when it comes to gaming.
1. Build and design
The Mate 20 X is a phone, first and foremost. It is thin and while tough for a phone, is not designed to be thrown in a rucksack. The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, is a sturdy, robust bit of kit that may well weigh a lot more but can equally take more abuse.
One is designed to fit in a (massive) pocket, the other to be played with by kids. 'Nuff said.
Yes, the Mate 20 X has a game controller accessory that clips on the side, but that is seemingly all it does. Can you use it as a motion controller? And as you only get the one, can you play two player games without investing in another Bluetooth device? Most likely not in both cases.
In addition, all Switch games are designed with the Joy-Cons in mind. The vast majority of Android games are designed to be played on the touchscreen.
And with only one controller unit on the left-hand side, how are you meant to hold the Mate 20 X in your right hand without impacting on the action?
The Mate 20 X sports the new, Huawei-made Kirin 980 processor, which is undoubtedly one of the best around for mobile gaming and other smartphone functionality. However, the custom Nvidia-made Tegra chipset in the Switch is specifically built for gaming. It has no other purpose.
You only need to look at the Switch versions of Doom or Skyrim to see what is possible.
4. Home use
Simple one this, the Switch isn't just a portable gaming machine. It is a home games console too, with its own dock that transforms the unit into a 1080p games machine to rival others.
We would imagine you can output video from the Mate 20 X, as with other phones, but playing on a phone connected via cable has never been a pleasant experience. And if you add wireless connectivity and/or Bluetooth controller to the mix, latency and lag becomes an issue.
Finally, and most importantly, games availability is why the Mate 20 X will never be a match for the Nintendo Switch.
There are many Android games we enjoy - several of which are cross-platform, such as Fortnite and Minecraft. But few are in the same league as those available on Switch. Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Skyrim, Splatoon 2, the list goes on.
None of these titles are even possible on mobile phones. Even if they were, the economics of apps are vastly different to those of console games and publishers and developers alike do not like to cross the streams. Nobody will spend millions developing a game for Android as it doesn't make financial sense.
The Mate 20 X does benefit from a much larger selection of games for sure, but few could be defined as more than casual and even fewer could be called triple-A. How often have you spent 40 hours playing an Android game?
That really says it all.
So, while we applaud Huawei for focusing on the games market with a dedicated phone (as with its sub-brand Honor with the excellent Honor Play), it is a mistake comparing it to a genuine, bone fide, much-loved games console. Try comparing it to a tablet instead, it's certainly big enough.