Huawei Mate Xs 2 is finally moving out of China and will arrive in Europe starting in June.
We were fortunate enough to attend the launch event and have some early working impressions to share with him.
The Huawei Mate Xs 2 will be available in three colors – black with what Huawei calls a criss-cross leather texture, white with a “natural” leather texture, and violet. The Mate Xs 2 is a significant departure from its predecessor Mate Xs in terms of design, but it has a lot in common with its hardware. The camera setup, for example, is very close in terms of specs, as is the battery.
But the display and the body are completely different. The Huawei Mate Xs 2’s screen extends to a slightly smaller diagonal of 7.8 inches and retains 6.5 inches of usable space when folded. The resolution is the same at 2200 x 2480 pixels, but this year’s panel can be refreshed variably up to 120 Hz.
The body is 45 grams lighter and a bit smaller overall, both of which are immediately noticeable.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 specs at a glance:
- the body: 156.5 x 139.3 x 5.4 mm, 255 grams; .
- an offer: 7.80 inch foldable OLED, 1B colour, 120 Hz, resolution 2200 x 2480 pixels, aspect ratio 10.15: 9, 424 pixels per inch; Folded cover screen: OLED, 6.5 inches, 1176 x 2480 pixels.
- Slices: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 4G (5 nm): Octa-core (1 x 2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3 x 2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4 x 1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.
- memory: 256 GB 8 GB RAM, 512 GB 8 GB RAM; UFS. NM (Nano Memory), up to 256 GB (uses a shared SIM slot).
- Operating System/Software: HarmonyOS 2.0.
- Back camera: wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, laser autofocus; telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, 81mm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f / 2.2, 120 °.
- front camera: 10.7 MP, f / 2.2.
- Video capture: back camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/240fps; front camera: 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30 / 240fps.
- battery: 4600 mA; 66W fast charging, reverse charging.
- Miscellaneous: fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC. Infrared port.
We really liked the display on the Huawei Mate Xs 2. It’s a foldable exterior design, which wraps the display around the phone’s body, not positioned on the inside. When unfolded, you’ll get an almost wrinkle-less experience.
It’s hard to show in pictures, but the Huawei Mate Xs 2 unfolded panel is stable and flat. You cannot feel a cutout in the surface, although it can appear when light hits it at certain angles. But trust us, in normal, everyday circumstances, the frizz is barely visible and we’re pretty impressed.
The screen is a huge leap forward from the Mate Xs. The painting becomes very bright and displays beautiful colors. Huawei calls it a True-Chrome foldable display. The screen dimensions are 8: 7.1 when fully extended, and 19: 9 when folded, providing a very traditional one-handed experience.
Huawei has implemented an anti-reflective nano-optical layer.
The other immediately noticeable improvement over the previous Mate is in the hinge. The external folding is achieved thanks to the Huawei Falcon Wing Hinge’s dual-rotation hinge. It is much more powerful than the previous generation and allows you to support the Mate Xs 2 in practically any position you want. This enables great use cases such as taking a selfie with the main cameras.
Huawei says the hinge uses ultra-lightweight, self-developed steel. The body itself uses lighter materials, which helps the phone achieve an impressive weight of just 255 grams (for comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold3 weighs 271 grams). Huawei used ultra-light glass fiber for the phone’s back panel, aerospace-grade titanium alloy, and the aforementioned ultra-light steel.
Huawei calls the name Mate Xs 2’s desgin 3D Fiberglass. Patterns are used in the back panel texture to create a leather finish. The black model, which we had a chance to play with, looks just like leather even if it’s actually plastic.
The finish also looks nice, especially when watching a video or using the phone with two hands. The Mate Xs 2’s profile when unfolded is just 5.4mm, which does sound thin, but we’re here to tell you it looks slimmer! With a thick sliver at one end of the phone, the Mate Xs 2 looks a bit like a Kindle Oasis.
Being foldable, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is useful for taking selfies with its main cameras. The proper in-screen selfie camera is good for baffling and we’d still give it up for video calls. But we choose the triple main camera to take pictures of ourselves every time.
Weirdly, Huawei insists on giving you a square viewfinder to preview your selfies with the main camera. The final shots are in the original 4:3 side of the sensor, which is fine, but makes framing very difficult. Then there’s the fact that you still can’t use the ultra-wide camera to take a selfie, just like on the Mate Xs, which is weird.
Huawei opted for the Snapdragon 888 chipset on the Mate Xs 2 and it lacks a 5G modem, unlike the 5G-enabled Mate Xs and Kirin 990. Very large with a capacity of 512 GB.
Software-wise, the Mate Xs 2 runs with HarmonyOS and EMUI 12. It’s a responsive operating system well-adapted to use the foldable form factor with options like Smart Multi-Window, Split-screen, Floating windows, swipe gestures, and the option to rotate the screen the way you want .
But the Mate Xs 2 is limited to the apps in Huawei’s App Gallery only. And while it has grown exponentially, the lack of Google Apps and full support for the Android App Store will put many power users away.
Interestingly, the Mate Xs 2 doesn’t hit the highest refresh rate of 120Hz under all conditions – for example, the original browser and settings were noticeably more choppy, possibly due to the pre-release module we had.
The Huawei Mate Xs 2 will arrive in Europe in June and will start at €1,999 for the 8/512GB model. And while there’s little chance of it breaking sales records, the unique design may tempt quite a few buyers. We hope we’ll have a better idea when the phone arrives at our office for a full review.