Huawei Mate Xs 2 review – no one folds their weapons, but smartphones

Huawei Mate Xs 2 Review
  • Set
  • Technical Specifications
  • Construction
  • Display
  • Battery
  • Cameras
  • Software
  • Performance

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review in three summary sentences

The Mate Xs 2 may have surprised some people with a return to their roots, but Huawei thus gives more choice to consumers. After all, this is associated with a potentially greater risk of damaging the soft screen, but on the other hand, the design itself fares very well. The key display in this case can boast of good parameters, while the software actually uses its capabilities.


  • Great construction, where even the cameras do not stick out
  • A great screen with well-thought-out proportions
  • Software that already knows to adapt


  • Of course, a delicate display is more prone to damage
  • Higher price than the competition
  • No Google and 5G services

Until a few years ago, few people gave folded smartphones a chance for further development. Meanwhile, individual companies show the next generations of such models and that is why today you are faced with the review of Huawei Mate Xs 2. It is a proposal that evidently continues the vision that was confirmed by the Huawei Mate Xs, and of course appointed by Huawei Mate X. It is so specific that in the meantime we also got to know the Huawei Mate X2 , which abandoned the previous assumptions of how the folded smartphone of this company is actually supposed to fold and unfold. In this way, the manufacturer retains an original approach to this topic in its own way.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 set, technical specifications and price

Huawei Mate Xs 2 set, technical specifications and price

Huawei distinguishes the boxes of its foldable models. They are larger and better finished. After removing the top, we will see the unfolded smartphone, and under it more boxes. This time one with a case, a key for the SIM and NM card tray, and the other with a modular charger (66 W power adapter, USB-C – USB-A cable). To sum up, we do not receive any special additions in relation to the standard, although this one is constantly heading towards savings.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

The case itself is unique because it has to adapt to the smartphone with the display all around. Therefore, by default, the rear part of the panel is covered and if we want to get to it, we have to unhook one of the parts and then unfold the screen. A specific approach, also a bit burdensome when we often unfold the screen, but on the other hand it is definitely well made. 

For greater certainty, we can stick the case to the edge, and in addition, we can arrange the accessory in such a way that it can be used as a stand. The materials used can also be considered premium and, in general, for a foldable smartphone, the protection of individual surfaces is at a high level.

The price of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is still a reminder that folders can be very expensive

While the competition is already trying to lower the prices of their folded smartphones, Huawei decided to leave Mate Xs 2 on a really high shelf. The reviewed smartphone was priced from $2678 , so it is also one of the most expensive models on the market.

Technical specifications of Huawei Mate Xs 2

Technical specifications of Huawei Mate Xs 2
  • 7.8-inch OLED display (6.5-inch when folded)
    • resolution:
      • striped: 2480 × 2200 (8: 7.1, 425 ppi)
      • folded: 2480 × 1176 (19.5: 9, 422 ppi)
    • 89.9% filling of the front
    • 10-bit color (1.07 billion colors)
    • refresh rate:
      • image: 120 Hz
      • touch panel: 240 Hz
  • Snapdragon 888 4G chip
    • lithography: 5 nm
    • CPU:
      • 1x Cortex X1 (2.84 GHz)
      • 3x Cortex A78 (2.42 GHz)
      • 4x Cortex A55 (1.8 GHz)
    • GPU: Adreno 660
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB of on-board user memory
    • UFS 3.1
    • NM memory card reader (up to 256 GB, shared slot with Dual SIM)
  • cameras:
    • front: 10.7 MPx (f / 2.2)
    • back:
      • 50 MPx (f / 1.8, PDAF, OIS)
      • 8 MPx (f / 2.4, PDAF, OIS, telephoto)
      • 13 MPx (f / 2.2, wide-angle lens)
  • battery with a capacity of 4600 mAh
    • 66 W wired charging
  • communication:
    • 4G (Dual SIM)
    • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
    • Bluetooth 5.2
    • NFC
    • USB-C (3.1)
  • fingerprint reader on the edge, stereo speakers, infrared port
  • Android 11 (EMUI 12)
  • dimensions:
    • when unfolded: 156.5 x 139.3 x 5.4mm (hump 11.1mm)
    • folded: 156.5 x 75.5 x 11.1 mm
  • weight: 255 g
  • execution:
    • front: plastic (screen)
    • body: aluminum
    • back: glass (camera line)
  • color versions: black and white

The changes in Mate Xs 2 compared to Mate Xs are theoretically small, but in fact Huawei changed everything, because both the display is new (smaller, but better), the computing system this time from Qualcomm (without 5G), and, surprisingly, even the battery has grown. In this way, the design remained the same, but only within the basic assumptions. The cameras also changed a bit, although the telephoto lens remained the same. For dessert, now also videoconferences will be easier, because an additional matrix has appeared on the screen.

Construction and build quality

Huawei Mate Xs 2 - Construction and build quality

I have already noted that Huawei decided to base the construction of Mate Xs 2 on the company’s earlier vision and ignore what Mate X2 presented. Of course, we are talking at this point only about how to unfold the screen that surrounds the casing and is theoretically unprotected. In its own way, the company has remained unique in the market, although it does involve some compromises. Nevertheless, the materials used and individual details mean that I have no doubts about the class of the device itself. This is a flagship made of flesh and blood, which, due to its slightly smaller dimensions, fits quite well in the hand and you do not have to re-learn to use your smartphone.

The front is a screen covered with a special foil. The software tells you not to delete it at the start and of course it is not very durable. Mate Xs 2 after coming to me had visible marks of dents, so you have to be careful. Nevertheless, the selfie camera is a novelty, which can boast of good quality, and in this respect the company has certainly thought about video conferencing (and face unlocking), as we still cannot move the working area to the other side of the screen.

After turning the equipment over, we kind of have a repeat of what you already know. Of course, there is also a vertical post with components and cameras. Again, I appreciate the lack of protruding lenses in this matter. There has been a bit of change among these, but we can still see a button underneath that is used to release the screen lock.

It only so happens that the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is decomposing

After using the aforementioned button, the Mate Xs 2 screen pops up, but it does not open fully automatically. We have to help him and block him so that the whole surface becomes flat. Huawei does not allow you to set the hinges in any position. Nevertheless, these perform well because they are stiff and there is no unforeseen behavior.

characterizes the Huawei special foil

This design also means that there is no recess in the screen. It is true that you can feel delicate two dimples, but as long as we do not think about them, they have no way of disturbing at all. Naturally, the discoloration can be seen in the photos and these are also visible on a daily basis when the display is turned off. It is this purple glow that characterizes the Huawei special foil. Nevertheless, it also gets lost somewhere in the background during everyday use.

After unfolding, you will notice that the inner part of the casing is bright and it is this color that we mainly choose when buying. The bright part imitates the skin and is very pleasant to the touch, so using the folded Mate Xs 2 is comfortable. Especially since most of the surfaces are incredibly thin.

Edges adapted to the needs of a unique housing

After all, the edges of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 must be unique and so they look . The appropriate curvature allows you to properly grip the smartphone, regardless of its vertical or horizontal orientation. On the individual sides we find:

  • top – additional microphone, speaker, infrared port
  • down – USB-C connector, main microphone, speaker, tray for SIM cards and memory
  • left side – screen curvature
  • right side – buttons for sound regulation, a lock button combined with a fingerprint reader

The last element mentioned is one of the successful ones, because unlocking the smartphone does not cause problems. Moving on to the topic of the speakers, you can also comment positively, or actually it’s hard to accuse them of something wrong. These are very good sound sources that can also boast good low tones, although still in the context of smartphone capabilities. They are loud, sound clean and with a wide cross section, regardless of the set volume.

Display and image quality

Huawei Mate Xs 2 - Display and image quality

The display is a key point in the Huawei Mate Xs 2 and you could already get to know it a bit in the previous category. Therefore, you know that there is some glow from certain angles, but that it is not visible to the user who is looking at the equipment in front of it while it is on. The reviewed model does not make the quality of the presented image dependent on whether the smartphone is assembled or not.

It is one and exactly the same panel, and the only variable is the resolution and aspect ratio. Therefore, regardless of the form, Mate Xs 2 offers really very good image quality. The brightness of 800 nits is the first proof of this type, and then it is only better, because we are talking about full coverage of the DCI-P3 palette with very low distortion (deltaE <2). Although the smartphone does not officially have any HDR certificates, it can also be noticed that when playing such materials, the screen changes to a more contrasting one.

There is also an adaptive refresh rate in the game and Huawei works fine here. In fact, the software dynamically adjusts the value in question from approximately 30 Hz to 120 Hz. When navigating through the overlay, we will most often see the maximum value, although on the desktop it is limited to 90 Hz. A similar surprise is the Petal Search and Maps, where we most often get 60 Hz. This also translates into YouTube videos, although the browser itself already reaches 90 Hz. It is different with games, and here, however, Huawei’s optimization counts – some titles were able to exceed 60 Hz, but this is not a strict rule.

Battery – working and charging time

Huawei Mate Xs 2 - Battery - working and charging time

An interesting fact in the context of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 battery is the fact that the company decided to create several versions of this smartphone. Of course, the main differences are the size of the individual memories. The top one offers 12 GB RAM. Why am I mentioning this on the occasion of the battery? In addition, this top version has been equipped with a larger cell by 200 mAh (4800 mAh), while the other models must settle for 4600 mAh. The difference may not be colossal, but it is certainly unusual.

The capacity itself does not seem huge in terms of the size of the spread screen, but remember that we do not always use all the pixels. Therefore, averaging the work, the entire day of Mate Xs 2 operation is not a problem. I didn’t really save the tested model, so there are no additional compromises. Translating this into the time the screen is on, we are talking about:

  • 6 hours of quiet work (browser, YouTube, simple games)
  • 3 hours of work at full speed.

Fast charging in the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is a technology that we already know from previous flagships of the company. Therefore, we can count on the fact that in 30 minutes the device will be charged to over 80% , and fully charged in about three quarters of an hour. This is an acceptable result, although, of course, we will find faster technologies on the market, but not as part of foldable devices.

Cameras – the quality of photos and videos

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review - Cameras - the quality of photos and videos

The camera app from Huawei has not undergone major modifications for a long time, although it does not feel that it is getting old yet. On the contrary, because I still use it comfortably and the only thing I missed was greater integration with the unfolded screen. If this is folded, we can preview the image to the other part of the panel to take a selfie of better quality. At full resolution, the whole thing is simply stretched. In addition, the available functions and the possibility of their customization are well planned. Only some switches could be better accessible, which would not have to be fumbled in the settings.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 allows you to record videos in the following resolutions:

  • 720p at 30 and 60 fps. (16: 9)
  • 1080p at 30 and 60 fps. (16: 9, 21: 9, full screen)
  • 4K at 30 and 60 fps. (16: 9)

In all resolutions we will use the wide-angle and main lens. The telephoto lens is not available when you select 60 frames per second, regardless of the number of pixels. By default, 3x and 5x zooms are available, where the former is optical and the latter is software-assisted.

The quality is nice, but you can ask for more

Folding smartphones rarely transplant fully flagship cameras from their siblings. Most often they are very good units, but they are not the best and the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is also such a representative. Nevertheless, the company adds the XD Optics and Fusion Pro brands known, among others, from the Huawei P50 Pro and P50 Pocket .

Fortunately, there is no redundant module in the Mate Xs 2 camera set. Let’s start with the telephoto lens, which is distinguished by the lowest resolution (8 MPx), but does not lack optical image stabilization. In practice, the image quality offered is certainly above average, and even good. In fact, problems with detail can be noticed mainly at night, which is due to, among other things, artificial multiplication of pixels. However, the lens still sees quite a lot and has no problems with the tonal range and color distortion.

The situation is slightly different with the wide-angle lens, which sees clearly less at night and the tonal range is the key problem. Nevertheless, the level of detail is satisfactory, as is color recognition. In addition, the wide angle is activated as part of macro shots , which works correctly, and certainly much better than separate 2-, 3- or 5 MPx matrices.

Most importantly, regardless of the lens we choose, the difference in colors is minimal and so we go to the main matrix, which inevitably fares the best from the whole list. This is the unit that we know, among others, from the P50 series and deserves to be called the flagship. Regardless of the aspect we look at, you can see that it is a successful matrix, because it offers a wide tonal range, a high level of detail and a very natural color reproduction.

In movies, I traditionally appreciate Huawei’s image stabilization. In this respect, the company regularly fares positively, despite the fact that it has remained at the same level for a long time. Looking at the image itself, the previous remarks are repeated, so the Mate Xs 2 also works pretty well when recording movies.

Software and performance

Yes, yes Huawei doesn’t have Google Services and you have to deal with it somehow. Every next smartphone test of this company, I can see a clear development of individual tools, led by the Petal Search , which significantly facilitates the adaptation of EMUI to classic Android models. In addition, there are folders to show that there is no shortage of applications on Mate Xs 2, but that it irritates more often.

Looking at EMUI 12 in general, Huawei is definitely at the forefront when looking for a system with well-balanced additions, personalization options and overall ergonomics. All these aspects are really positive. The company also made some tweaks to make the software work well on a larger screen by splitting the workspace, customizing the interface of selected apps, and of course presenting the programs in small windows.

Mate Xs 2, due to the fact that it relies on the computing power of last year’s computing system, has no problems with overheating. The Snapdragon 888 makes itself felt with the extra warmth on the camera post, but the software doesn’t have to turn off the process to cool the situation down. Of course, this is an older unit and offers lower performance than this year’s models, but the available computing power is still huge, so you can talk about its reserve.

Read Also: Huawei MatePad Paper review: a good e-reader and a bad tablet

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review – summary

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review - summary

The biggest problem with Huawei Mate Xs 2 is its price. This is a great smartphone, but he did not notice that the competition has already decreased and has started to develop in other areas. After all, we will not buy a second fold-out smartphone like Mate Xs 2. By taking care of the screen that is more exposed to physical damage, we can enjoy a very comfortable design without protruding lenses, good cameras and … a system without Google Services, but with better and better equivalents from Huawei.

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