Huawei Mate X2, hands on: A feature-packed foldable flagship Review

Huawei may possibly have shed accessibility to Google Cell Providers, but that hasn’t stopped the corporation pushing on with smartphones, constructing its own app retail outlet, and getting a usually bullish mindset. Its Mate forty Pro, for example, a best-flight handset costing £1,099.ninety nine (inc. VAT) at launch previous year, sported a great camera, quick charging, a super display screen, and some neat software program attributes. But with no key Google providers, it was often going to wrestle in the Uk.  

As soon as the world’s variety-one smartphone vendor, Huawei (which no extended involves Honor), occupied seventh put in Q1 2021, in accordance to analyst firm Canalys, shipping 18.six million models throughout the world. Meanwhile, best-put Samsung shifted 76.5m phones in the to start with quarter. In its property China territory, Huawei was 3rd in Q1 2021, driving Vivo and Oppo, with 14.9m models transported.

What we have below is Huawei’s most recent flagship folding smartphone, the 8-inch (inside), six.forty five-inch (exterior) Mate X2. 

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The Mate X2 has not, at the time of producing, been provided a Uk release date or rate, but forex conversions advise that if, or when, it lands on our shores you shouldn’t hope considerably modify out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was sent ran on a Chinese software program edition, so although I could set it to English language I you should not sense it can be fair to fully overview and benchmark it. As a result, this is extra of an extended hands-on preview. 

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Huawei is no stranger to folding handsets. Its Mate X appeared in November 2019, and was adopted in March 2020 by the Mate Xs. These two earlier handsets experienced a folding display screen wrapped about the entrance and again of the phone, allowing you to open it out for a greater view as essential. The Mate X2, by comparison, appears to be at to start with like two phones hinged jointly down a very long edge, with a camera array on the again and a typical (six.45in.) display screen on the entrance. The hinge permits the two sections to open out and reveal the more substantial (8in.) folding display screen. This extra Samsung Fold-like style is an improvement since the huge display screen is shielded when it can be not in use. 


The Kirin 9000-powered Mate X2 has a six.forty five-inch exterior display screen, opening to reveal an 8-inch interior display screen. Both are 90Hz OLED panels.

Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you would hope, the Mate X2 is big, significant, and a bit unwieldy as opposed to a standard smartphone. It weighs 295g, and steps 161.8mm superior. When folded it is 74.6mm huge and a maximum of 14.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is one hundred forty five.8mm huge with a maximum thickness of 8.2mm, tapering on the outer display screen segment to 4.4mm. 

There is a super-reflective complete to the glass again that, sadly, was incredibly keen on grabbing my fingerprints, but that aside, construct high quality is fantastic. This aluminium-body phone is solidly designed, with fantastic consideration to element. 


Folded, the Mate X2 steps 161.8mm tall by 74.6mm deep by 14.7mm thick. It weighs a significant 295g.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls in just your spending budget, you can get a handset with best-finish technical specs. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly quick — just about every faucet, just about every display screen refresh was smooth and rapid. Obviously this is a 5G handset, and my overview unit experienced 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. According to Huawei’s web site, a 512GB edition will also be out there. Interior storage can be boosted by way of Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, which share one of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the side-mounted electrical power button.  


Unfolded, the Mate X2 is one hundred forty five.8mm huge with a maximum thickness of 8.2mm.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery could verify a weak level in day to day use, relying on how considerably you use the massive 8-inch interior display screen. I failed to sense a formal battery rundown examination was a fair examination at this phase, but I did come across that consistent use of the interior display screen was, as predicted, challenging on the battery. For example, a half-hour movie stream to the huge display screen took seven% of cost from the battery. Rapid charging will evidently appear in helpful, but there is certainly no aid for wi-fi charging. I hope to do formal battery tests with a ultimate edition of the handset, at which time I am going to operate other effectiveness benchmarks. 

The main software program is Android 10 (minus Google Cell Providers), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on best. This involves Huawei’s AppGallery, as well as music, movie, wallet, health and fitness and other applications. There have been some Chinese applications on my overview unit, for example, which will certainly not be current on a Uk phone, but it appears to be as however Huawei will choose the identical tactic it has with latest Google-free phones in terms of furnishing its possess apps. 

There are 4 rear cameras: 50MP f/1.nine huge angle 16MP f/two.two ultra-huge angle 12MP f/two.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/4.4 super-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the ultra-huge angle camera feature optical graphic stabilisation (OIS). On the entrance, in an in-display screen lozenge, is a 16MP f/two.two selfie camera. There is no camera on the interior display screen, but it can be utilised to body shots taken with the major camera array (the camera software program automatically detects no matter if you want to use the outer or interior display screen for this reason). 

The outer display screen is a incredibly serviceable six.forty five-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh amount and a 240Hz contact sampling amount. This is fantastic for several duties, but inside of there is certainly an 8-inch OLED display screen with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz contact sampling amount.  

The interior display screen sits in rather huge bezels by present day specifications, but that will not current a usability situation and graphic high quality is just fantastic. It can be not rather sq., with edges measuring 13.5cm and fifteen.five cm. The display screen rotates by means of all 4 attainable orientations, so you can effortlessly choose the somewhat wider or somewhat taller selection. It can be divided into two, displaying what in influence are twin entrance-display screen-sized windows, allowing you to, for example, examine a web site on one side with social feeds ticking about on the other.  

The hinge system is smooth as silk. I was not the to start with to see the sample I was sent, and repeated opening and closing of the handset experienced resulted in a bit of unevenness in the display screen about the hinge region, creating a bumpy area visible when the display screen was off, but not when it was switched on, so the all round viewing working experience was not hampered. The consequences of extended-time period utilization are unattainable to know at this phase.  


Huawei Mate X2 colors: Crystal Blue, Crystal Pink, White, Black.

Graphic: Huawei


The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding device, with best technical specs, a strong construct and an 8-inch interior display screen which is just amazing. It is possible to command a incredibly superior rate when it launches outside China, and will still be hampered by the absence of Google Cell Providers. It can be also reasonably significant and, whilst I failed to do a formal battery rundown examination, I concern battery lifestyle could be a key draw back. 

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