Despite the challenges due to US government restrictions, Huawei will continue introduce a new flagship foldable smartphone that’s called the Mate X2. The device will be officially revealed in China on the 22nd February 2021.
The new Huawei Mate X2 will replace the current Huawei Mate Xs. Based on the teaser image, the new flexible screen will now fold at the opposite direction. This matches the previous speculation that Huawei will replace its outward-folding screen with an inward folding design that’s similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 2. From the speculated illustration below, the Mate X2 will come with a secondary cover screen for its “phone mode” and it gets a punch-hole for its selfie camera. For a more immersive viewing experience, the main internal screen appears to stretch edge to edge without any punch-holes or notch.
The new Mate X2 is expected to run on Huawei’s top-of-the-line 5nm Kirin 9000 which is also powering the current Huawei Mate 40 series. The Kirin 9000 is Huawei’s final in-house developed flagship processor after the company was cut off from supplier TSMC.
Huawei’s head of Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, had mentioned on his Weibo account that the Mate X2 will shape the future of smartphones. He said he has been using it for a while and the new device is packed with surprises.
The Mate X2 will be Huawei’s 3rd attempt at a foldable device. The current Mate Xs as shown above is their first foldable device to launch outside of the China market. The Kirin 990 5G powered phone was released in Malaysia in March 2020 with a retail price tag of RM11,111. This is Huawei’s most expensive phone yet and due to the current situation, it doesn’t come with Google apps and services pre-installed.
Unlike the Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series, the Huawei Mate Xs features a single 8″ Full View display which can be transformed into a 6.6″ “phone” when folded in half. The rear gets a quad-camera setup which also doubles up as a selfie camera. If you need to take a picture of yourself, the rear 6.38″ display area can be used as a preview screen to frame your shot.
It is interesting to see that Huawei is adopting a totally opposite approach for its new foldable device. The current outward folding display on the Mate X and XS appear to be more efficient since it doesn’t require an additional screen. However, the concern is the screen’s durability as the inward-folding design will help protect the screen when it’s not in use.
At the moment, it isn’t clear if Huawei has plans to release the Mate X2 outside of China considering the limited quantity of Kirin 9000 chips in their stockpile. More details will be revealed in two weeks.