Despite the ultimate reveal of the Huawei Mate X last year by Huawei, it never made it past briefings, press conferences and early adopters in China. It was delayed to the point that it disappeared into obscurity, even more so after the feedback from the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Motorola Razr. But now Huawei's foldable smartphone returns in the Huawei Mate Xs, that looks like a much needed upgraded for the Huawei Mate X.
Not to say that the changes are major to the point that you can't recognise its predecessor. It still has that 8-inch unfolded display, transforming to a 6.6-inch phone in standard smartphone mode once folded, and can be unfolded with a release button. But now the hinge is a lot stronger, with up to 150 components from the previous 100. From what little I've tested, it's definitely impressive. I especially loved the fact that I could man-handle the device with one hand without the Huawei staff breathing down my neck and telling me to be careful.
While unfolded, the device can't really lay flat on a surface so it's much better to hold on to it instead. Regardless, when unfolded, the device is a beauty even with the slight visible crease. In terms of camera, it has a 40MP f/1.8 main shooter, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS and 16MP f/2.2 ultrawide snapper. There is also a ToF module for even better edge detection and great-looking bokeh shots. The battery of the Mate Xs is 4500 mAh with 55W fast-charging capabilities.
Running on a Kirin 990 5G chipset, the device boasts high 5G speeds and capabilities though on the most part it remains untested. On the downside, it's hard not to feel the lack of Google apps as the device remains using Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) which can be hard for most people to adapt to just yet, and for good reason.
But as a foldable device, the Huawei Mate Xs is set to be the best in the market and something I can truly see more people actually using. Though with the lack of Google apps and a price tag of €2499 (that's ~RM11,340!) it's unlikely for that to actually happen. Though it's possible for the price to drop below RM10k for the Malaysian market, it's still too much of a novelty for the majority of people in general to own one just yet.
On the bright side, if all foldable smartphones are this sturdy in the future, things will start looking up for the foldable smartphone department.