Hands-on with Huawei’s insane Mate Xs foldable smartphone

Huawei has unveiled its new Mate Xs foldable smartphone, which it says is a direct improvement on the previous-generation Mate X.

The device’s Falcon Wing hinge mechanism has been improved, and its display wraps around the edge and back of the handset when folded.

Like the previous-generation Huawei foldable smartphone, the Mate Xs folds outwards and sports a camera ridge on one side which can be used as a grip when it is unfolded.

Huawei has upgraded the hardware for the Mate Xs, with the device now boasting 5G capabilities and a quad-camera system thanks to the addition of a TOF depth sensor.

This rear camera is used both as the primary and secondary camera, as users can turn the device around when folded and use the rear screen to take selfies.

It sports 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, and it is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 990 chipset.

Features and pricing

Like the previous-generation Huawei Mate X, the Mate Xs is powered by a 55W fast-charging system which allows users to charge their phone from flat to 85% in 30 minutes.

The device allows side-by-side multitasking when using the 8-inch display, letting owners use half the screen for one app and the other half for another.

Huawei’s Mate Xs smartphone runs Android 10 with Huawei Mobile Services instead of Google Mobile Services, which means that Google apps will not come pre-installed and it will instead use its AppGallery.

The company said that the Huawei Mate Xs will be priced at €2,499. There is currently no confirmed launch date for the device.

Huawei South Africa told MyBroadband that there is currently no local pricing or release date information available for the Mate Xs.

Hands-on

The Mate Xs was present at the South African launch event for the smartphone, and we got to test out the impressive new device.

Huawei’s new hinge design makes the folding mechanism feel a lot more solid than the previous device and there is barely any noticeable crease when the display is unfolded.

The improved camera system delivers excellent photos and high-quality video, and the ability to mirror your subject on the rear panel when the phone is folded is a helpful advantage of its folding design.

When it comes to software, the Mate Xs cleverly circumvents the lack of integrated Google services by making applications such as YouTube and Gmail accessible through a web browser shortcut and a native mail app respectively.

The camera ridge makes the device much easier to hold when unfolded, and the release button on the back means you will never accidentally unfold the smartphone.

Specifications of the Mate Xs and photos of the device from the launch event are below.

Huawei Mate Xs
OS Android 10
Display 8-inch 2,480 x 2,200 AMOLED (Unfolded)
6.6-inch 2,480 x 1,148 AMOLED (Folded front display)
6.3-inch 2,480 x 892 AMOLED (Folded rear display)
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 990
RAM 8GB
Storage 512GB
Rear camera 48MP + 16MP + 8MP + TOF
Connectivity 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Cellular 5G
Durability IP68
Battery 4,500mAh
Price €2,499

Huawei Mate Xs

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Hands-on with Huawei’s insane Mate Xs foldable smartphone