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

Huawei could have missing accessibility to Google Mobile Companies, but that hasn’t stopped the company pushing on with smartphones, setting up its own app retailer, and having a typically bullish mind-set. Its Mate 40 Professional, for case in point, a top rated-flight handset costing £1,099.99 (inc. VAT) at launch past 12 months, sported a wonderful digital camera, quickly charging, a super monitor, and some neat software program characteristics. But without having key Google products and services, it was often going to battle in the British isles.  

As soon as the world’s number-one particular smartphone seller, Huawei (which no for a longer period involves Honor), occupied seventh position in Q1 2021, in accordance to analyst firm Canalys, shipping eighteen.six million units worldwide. In the meantime, top rated-positioned Samsung shifted seventy six.5m phones in the initially quarter. In its home China territory, Huawei was third in Q1 2021, behind Vivo and Oppo, with 14.9m units shipped.

What we have here is Huawei’s hottest flagship folding smartphone, the 8-inch (interior), six.45-inch (exterior) Mate X2. 

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

The Mate X2 has not, at the time of composing, been given a British isles launch date or price tag, but forex conversions recommend that if, or when, it lands on our shores you should not anticipate a lot adjust out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was despatched ran on a Chinese software program variation, so though I could set it to English language I do not feel it truly is truthful to absolutely critique and benchmark it. As a end result, this is far more of an extended palms-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 former handsets had a folding monitor wrapped all over the front and again of the cellphone, enabling you to open it out for a bigger look at as necessary. The Mate X2, by comparison, seems at initially like two phones hinged collectively down a extended edge, with a digital camera array on the again and a standard (six.45in.) monitor on the front. The hinge allows the two sections to open out and expose the larger sized (8in.) folding monitor. This far more Samsung Fold-like design and style is an enhancement since the huge monitor is guarded when it truly is not in use. 


The Kirin 9000-powered Mate X2 has a six.45-inch external monitor, opening to expose an 8-inch internal monitor. Each are 90Hz OLED panels.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you would anticipate, the Mate X2 is big, heavy, and a bit unwieldy in comparison to a standard smartphone. It weighs 295g, and actions 161.8mm significant. When folded it is seventy four.6mm large and a greatest of 14.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is one hundred forty five.8mm large with a greatest thickness of 8.2mm, tapering on the outer monitor portion to 4.4mm. 

There is a super-reflective complete to the glass again that, however, was quite keen on grabbing my fingerprints, but that aside, establish quality is fantastic. This aluminium-body cellphone is solidly built, with fantastic consideration to depth. 


Folded, the Mate X2 actions 161.8mm tall by seventy four.6mm deep by 14.7mm thick. It weighs a significant 295g.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls inside of your spending budget, you are going to get a handset with top rated-stop specifications. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly quickly — each tap, each monitor refresh was easy and fast. The natural way this is a 5G handset, and my critique device had 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. In accordance to Huawei’s web-site, a 512GB variation will also be out there. Inside storage can be boosted through Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, which share one particular of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the side-mounted electric power button.  


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

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery may well show a weak place in day to day use, relying on how a lot you use the large 8-inch interior monitor. I didn’t feel a formal battery rundown exam was a truthful exam at this phase, but I did discover that regular use of the interior monitor was, as predicted, tricky on the battery. For case in point, a 50 percent-hour online video stream to the huge monitor took 7% of cost from the battery. Rapidly charging will evidently come in helpful, but there is certainly no assistance for wireless charging. I hope to do formal battery exams with a final variation of the handset, at which time I’ll operate other general performance benchmarks. 

The core software program is Android 10 (minus Google Mobile Companies), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on top rated. This involves Huawei’s AppGallery, furthermore audio, online video, wallet, overall health and other applications. There were some Chinese applications on my critique device, for case in point, which will of course not be current on a British isles cellphone, but it seems as however Huawei will choose the very same strategy it has with the latest Google-totally free phones in phrases of delivering its have applications. 

There are 4 rear cameras: 50MP f/one.nine large angle 16MP f/2.2 ultra-large angle 12MP f/2.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/4.4 super-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the ultra-large angle digital camera feature optical graphic stabilisation (OIS). On the front, in an in-monitor lozenge, is a 16MP f/2.2 selfie digital camera. There is certainly no digital camera on the interior monitor, but it can be employed to body photographs taken with the principal digital camera array (the digital camera software program automatically detects irrespective of whether you want to use the outer or interior monitor for this function). 

The outer monitor is a quite serviceable six.45-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh level and a 240Hz touch sampling level. This is wonderful for quite a few responsibilities, but within there is certainly an 8-inch OLED monitor with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz touch sampling level.  

The interior monitor sits in rather huge bezels by present day benchmarks, but that does not current a usability issue and graphic quality is basically fantastic. It really is not rather square, with edges measuring thirteen.5cm and fifteen.five cm. The monitor rotates through all 4 attainable orientations, so you can quickly choose the a little wider or a little taller option. It can be divided into two, displaying what in result are dual front-monitor-sized home windows, enabling you to, for case in point, read a web-site on one particular side with social feeds ticking above on the other.  

The hinge system is easy as silk. I was not the initially to see the sample I was despatched, and recurring opening and closing of the handset had resulted in a bit of unevenness in the monitor all over the hinge space, making a bumpy area obvious when the monitor was off, but not when it was switched on, so the in general viewing encounter was not hampered. The effects of for a longer period-expression utilization are impossible to know at this phase.  


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

Image: Huawei


The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding machine, with top rated specifications, a stable establish and an 8-inch interior monitor which is basically awesome. It is probably to command a quite significant price tag when it launches exterior China, and will nevertheless be hampered by the absence of Google Mobile Companies. It really is also rather heavy and, although I didn’t do a formal battery rundown exam, I concern battery everyday living may well be a key downside. 

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