Huawei’s Mate Xs 2 is a fold-out flagship you can judge by its cover
Update: UK availability confirmed - Huawei bucks the trend for inward-folding handsets
Rather than following trends when it comes to folding phones, Huawei wants to be the one setting them. The Mate Xs 2 is its latest flagship effort, and one of the few with an outward-folding display. After first lancing in China and being on sale in Europe for the past three months, it’s now officially heading to the UK too.
The successor to last year’s Mate Xs, the Mate Xs 2 is an improvement in all the right places, with an uprated screen, sleeker design and added stylus support. It’s slightly shorter and narrower when unfolded compared to the old model, and significantly lighter at 255g, versus the Mate Xs’ 300g. It now uses vegan leather on the rear, in a choice of black, white and purple colours.
A tweaked double rotating hinge mechanism promises to be more durable than before. More importantly, it should leave no visible crease when the OLED display is unfolded to its full 7.8in. That could be enough to give it the edge over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and its inward-folding screen. The display itself has been upgraded with a sharper 2480×2200 resolution and faster 120Hz refresh rate. When folded, you’re essentially getting a 6.5in handset running at 2480×1176.
The housing for the three-lens rear camera setup continues to double up as a grip for when the phone is unfolded. It’s packing a 50MP main snapper, 13MP ultrawide that doubles as a macro shooter, and an 8MP telephoto good for 3x optical zoom. You can use the rear cameras for selfies by using the other half of the screen as a viewfinder, but there’s now also a hole punch front-facer. We reckon that might be handy for making video calls without unfolding the phone.
The Mate Xs 2 isn’t an open and shut case
Power comes from a Snapdragon 888 CPU, rather than the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That means 4G connectivity rather than 5G, which might come as a disappointment given the phone’s premium appeal. There’s between 8GB and 12GB of memory and between 256GB and 512GB of storage depending on specification. The top-end model gets a 4880mAh battery, while the standard version makes do with 4600mAh. Both support 66W wired charging, but there’s no wireless charging support.
The Chinese variant runs Huawei’s own Harmony OS software, with global variants getting EMUI, but neither will ship with Google app support. You also get a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 5.2 support and a card slot for Huawei’s bespoke NM expandable storage.
The Mate Xs 2 launched in China in May, with prices starting at ¥9999 (around £1200) for an 8GB/256GB model, reaching ¥12,999 (£1560) for the top-end 12GB/512GB version. It landed in other territories in June, with European pricing set at a considerably steeper €1999.
The UK has to wait until the 12th of September to get their hands on one, although pre-orders open on the 31st of August. It’ll be on sale directly from the Huawei store for £1700, and only in the white colour option. Pre-order customers can snag a free Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro if they move quickly.