Huawei has unveiled its latest foldable phone in China: the Mate Xs 2.
With a return to Huawei’s original inward folding design and a significantly lower price tag than before, this marks an attempt by Huawei to carve out its own unique pocket of the foldable market while becoming competitive with its rivals on price.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Mate Xs 2.
Will the Huawei Mate Xs 2 be released worldwide?
Huawei unveiled the Mate Xs 2 on 28 April 2022 at a launch event in China.
As with most Huawei devices these days, we weren’t sure whether Huawei planned on bringing its latest foldable to the international market, but only a few days on from its Chinese unveiling (on 10 May), the company announced its English-language ‘Huawei Flagship Product Launch’ event, scheduled for 18 May at 2pm CET (8am EDT, 1pm BST, 5:30pm IST).
May 18th. 14:00 CET. Save the date.
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile)
May 10, 2022
The Mate Xs 2 is expected to launch alongside the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro, which also launched in China on 28 April, however, it’s thought that both might not actually go on sale in international markets for a few more weeks.
How much does the Huawei Mate Xs 2 cost?
It won’t surprise you to hear that the Mate Xs 2 is expensive, but it’s actually substantially cheaper than Huawei’s previous large form factor foldables:
- 8+256GB: ¥9,999 (around $1,500/£1,200)
- 8+512GB: ¥11,499 (around $1,750/£1,400)
- 12+512GB: ¥12,999 (around $1,950/£1,600)
That means that Huawei’s foldable is no longer sitting pretty in its own price tier, but is much closer to its biggest rivals, and even undercuts Samsung’s latest:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 – ¥14,799/$1,799/£1,599
- Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold – ¥9,999 (around $1,500/£1,200)
- Oppo Find N – ¥7,699 (around $1,200/£900)
- Vivo X Fold – ¥8,999 (around $1,400/£1,100)
What are the Huawei Mate Xs 2 specs and features?
As mentioned above, one of the most notable things about the Mate Xs 2 is that it uses the same outward folding design as its predecessor. That’s despite Huawei switching to an inward fold – the same style as rivals from Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo – for the Mate X2.
That means the Xs 2 is relatively unique in the market. That said, the design looks broadly similar to the first Mate Xs, though has had a few subtle tweaks – especially to the camera layout – and comes in a choice of three colours: black, white, and purple.
It’s about the same size, with a 7.8in display – 120Hz AMOLED, naturally – at a resolution of 2480×2200, which when folded still gets you a large 6.5in screen. When unfolded the phone is a mere 5.4mm thick, and when closed it’s still relatively slender at 11mm, and in total it weighs 255g.
Like other Huawei devices, the Mate Xs 2 is 4G-only. The company’s much-publicised trade restrictions mean that, for the time being, it’s unable to access 5G modems for phones, so Xs 2 buyers will have to be happy to live without the latest and fastest connectivity. Wi-Fi has been enhanced to make up for that though, with the first tri-band Wi-Fi support in a phone.
It uses the Snapdragon 888 4G as its chipset, rather than the more recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That’s probably part of how Huawei has hit a lower price, and while we’re sure many will see it as a disappointment not to use the latest chipset, the 888 is still more than powerful enough for everything except the most demanding gaming.
The battery varies oddly. Most versions of the phone come with a 4600mAh battery, but the top-spec 12+512GB variant uses a larger 4880mAh capacity – though either way you’re getting a bigger battery than on Huawei’s previous foldables. Charging is faster too, with 66W wired charging on every model.
This time around Huawei has included a 10Mp, f/2.2 punch-hole selfie camera on the main display, so you can take advantage of the big screen for video calls.
The rear cameras have been upgraded too, with a triple-lens array: a 50Mp, f/1.8 main camera; 13Mp, f/2.2 ultrawide; and an 8Mp, f/2.4 3x telephoto zoom lens with OIS.
Like Huawei’s other recent phones, it runs HarmonyOS. That’s Huawei’s own mobile operating system, based on Android but distinct from it, and designed around interoperability with the rest of Huawei’s product ecosystem.
We’ll hopefully have hands-on impressions with the Mate Xs 2 come 18 May, so stay tuned for more insights.