It’s been a few years now since the idea of the ‘foldable smartphone’ became a real thing, and while we saw a couple of iterations on how to best design a foldable device, Samsung’s inward folding idea eventually seemed the best. Huawei had a couple of outward folding devices too, before eventually switching to the inward folding method with the Mate X2. However, their latest iteration of a foldable smartphone brings them back to the start, with the Huawei Mate Xs 2.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 pricing and availability
As is the case with most of Huawei’s foldable smartphones—barring the Huawei P50 Pocket—the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is only available in China for now. There are three configurations up for grabs, with the base model having 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage priced at CNY9,999 (~RM6,587.37), while for CNY11,499 (~RM7,575.57) you get double the storage size. The highest tier model meanwhile has 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for CNY12,999 (~RM8,563.78). It’s mostly screen when folded in but when folded out, it reveals its colour on the underside ranging between white, black and purple.
It’s certainly not cheap, especially when compared to its folding rivals in China such as the Vivo X Fold that starts at just CNY8,999 and is arguably more capable too. Other alternatives such as the uber compact Oppo Find N meanwhile is even cheaper, at just CNY7,699 for its base model.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 specs
With the Huawei Mate Xs 2 utilising an outward folding design, there’s only a single screen here, which is a 7.8-inch, OLED display with a 2,480 x 2,200p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate too. Once folded, the display becomes a much more traditional 6.5-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a 2,480 x 1,176p resolution. There’s no mention of an IP rating by Huawei though, nor is there any word if they’re using ultra-thin glass for stronger protection. Huawei does say that the display won’t have a noticeable crease though, and that the polymer layer on the display will make it stronger than ever.
As for what’s under the hood, if you were expecting the latest and greatest you’ll be sorely disappointed. Perhaps a sign of the difficulty Huawei has procuring silicon, the Mate Xs 2 only has the last generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 under the hood, which has been limited to just 4G connectivity too. This gets paired with up to 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and of course runs its own HarmonyOS 2 rather than Android. Curiously, the models with 8GB of RAM have a 4,600mAh battery capacity while the highest spec version has a larger 4,780mAh battery capacity. It comes with 66W fast charging too.
Meanwhile, in the camera department, you get a triple camera rear setup with a 50MP main shooter flanked by a 13MP ultrawide camera and an 8MP 3x telephoto lens too. As for the front, there’s a 10.7MP front facing camera in a punch hole on the display but unless it’s for a video conferencing call there’s no need to compromise for weaker front facing cameras though as you can simply fold the Mate Xs 2 and use the rear cameras for a selfie with the rear half the screen.
Other notable features include support for Huawei’s M-Pen 2s stylus to use the Mate Xs 2 as a tablet, while there’s also a fingerprint sensor mounted on the side of the device. As for connectivity you’re limited to just 4G as mentioned earlier but you do also get Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 6 and NFC support. The Huawei Mate Xs 2 also has stereo speakers as well as expandable storage though only using Huawei’s proprietary NM memory cards. Once folded out, the back of the Mate Xs 2 has a textured feel to it too thanks to the use of ‘3D micro-fiber’ material.
Overall though, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 looks like a very odd and almost obsolete foldable smartphone in 2022. For one, it’s coming with outdated specs such as a lack of 5G connectivity and the Snapdragon 888 under the hood. The Snapdragon 888 is still a fairly powerful processor of course, but the Chinese market already has a number of other foldable smartphones to pick from, including the Vivo X Fold that has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering it. But given Huawei’s struggles since the sanctions placed on it, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is perhaps the best foldable it can offer right now.