Huawei, a pioneer in foldable phones, still makes two different types – those that fold in on themselves and those that have the display wrap around the outside of the body when folded. Another iteration of the latter type is what we have here for you – the Mate Xs 2.
The Mate Xs 2, which appeared two full years after the previous release, comes with several hardware improvements. The slight reduction in screen size from 8″ to 7.8″ will have little impact on usability, but it must have helped reduce the weight to a much more manageable 255g. This display also now comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, boosting even the 90Hz internal folding Mate X2 and a selfie camera (or should we say video call camera) appeared in the top right corner – Mate Xs didn’t. to have one at all.
Things have also changed in the rear camera setup. A 50MP primary module similar to the P50 Pro (no OIS) replaces the old model’s 40MP, although the ultrawide has been downgraded to 13MP from 16MP on the Xs. At the opposite end of the zoom range, it has a telephoto lens with 3x more zoom than you can get on most folding devices at the time of writing.
The chipset upgrade is also in place, although it’s not the high-end silicon you’ll find in the Mate Xs. Instead, we’re seeing last year’s Snapdragon 888 in 4G-only form – the US-China dispute that hit Huawei the hardest is still taking its toll. This is also reflected in the Google-free software package, which remains one of the strongest arguments against getting a Huawei phone – although we’ve heard some people consider it a pro too.
The slight increase in battery capacity (4,500 mAh to 4,600 mAh) probably won’t be felt, although it’s still nice that it didn’t suffer from weight reduction. Meanwhile, 66W charging support promises fast charging.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 specifications at a glance:
- Body: Unfolded: 156.5×139.3×5.4mm; folded: 156.5×75.5×11.1mm; 255 g.
- Display: 7.80″ foldable OLED, 1B color, 120Hz, resolution 2200x2480px, aspect ratio 10.15:9, 424ppi; folded display: 6.50″, 1176x2480px, aspect ratio 19:9.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 4G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3×2.42 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55); Adreno 660.
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS; NM (Nano Memory), up to 256 GB (uses a shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: HarmonyOS 2.0.
- Rear camera: wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, Laser AF; Ultra wide angle: 13MP, f/2.2, 120˚; Telephoto lens: 8 MP, f/2.4, 81 mm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
- Front camera: 10.7MP, f/2.2.
- Video recording: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/960fps; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps.
- Battery: 4600 mAh; Fast charging 66W, reverse charging.
- Different: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port.
Unboxing the Huawei Mate Xs 2
The Mate Xs 2 comes in packaging that befits its price tag and exclusive status – a suitably large box by today’s standards, made of thick dark gray cardboard and featuring gold lettering. The phone lies open in the compartment at the top, and the accessories are further divided into separate boxes below.
This year’s case solution offers a bit more protection compared to the stick-on plastic frame protector of the Xs, though it has its own quirks, which we’ll discuss on the next page. However, the case-in-a-box means Huawei isn’t laying the groundwork All the onus of having that exposed folding screen is on you as the end user, which is nice.
A 66W Huawei Super Charge adapter is also included, although it has a USB-A output and we tend to frown on that in 2022. We would cautiously speculate that it has something to do with charging two separate batteries in two halves of the phone, which is easier fast with proprietary charging technology. But the previous model had an adapter based on USB-C, so that’s not it, and this situation is a bit puzzling to us. A USB-AC cable is of course included in the package.
What’s gone is the pair of wired USB-C headphones that the 2020 Xs ships with. That’s already two downgrades, although the headphones in particular will not be missing, we reckon.