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

Huawei might have missing access to Google Mobile Providers, but that hasn’t stopped the firm pushing on with smartphones, setting up its own app retailer, and using a frequently bullish perspective. Its Mate 40 Pro, for illustration, a leading-flight handset costing £1,099.ninety nine (inc. VAT) at start last calendar year, sported a fantastic digicam, speedy charging, a super display screen, and some neat program options. But without the need of key Google expert services, it was always heading to battle in the Uk.  

Once the world’s quantity-1 smartphone seller, Huawei (which no for a longer time consists of Honor), occupied seventh spot in Q1 2021, in accordance to analyst firm Canalys, transport 18.6 million units around the world. Meanwhile, leading-positioned Samsung shifted seventy six.5m phones in the initially quarter. In its home China territory, Huawei was 3rd in Q1 2021, driving Vivo and Oppo, with fourteen.9m units transported.

What we have here is Huawei’s most current flagship folding smartphone, the 8-inch (interior), 6.45-inch (exterior) Mate X2. 

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

The Mate X2 has not, at the time of creating, been supplied a Uk release date or rate, but forex conversions counsel that if, or when, it lands on our shores you shouldn’t be expecting a great deal modify out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was sent ran on a Chinese program version, so while I could established it to English language I will not come to feel it is honest to absolutely evaluate and benchmark it. As a consequence, this is a lot more of an extended arms-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 past handsets had a folding display screen wrapped all around the entrance and again of the cell phone, allowing you to open up it out for a greater view as necessary. The Mate X2, by comparison, appears to be at initially like two phones hinged jointly down a lengthy edge, with a digicam array on the again and a regular (6.45in.) display screen on the entrance. The hinge lets the two sections to open up out and expose the more substantial (8in.) folding display screen. This a lot more Samsung Fold-like design and style is an enhancement due to the fact the big display screen is guarded when it is not in use. 

The Kirin 9000-run Mate X2 has a 6.45-inch external display screen, opening to expose an 8-inch inner display screen. Both of those are 90Hz OLED panels.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you would be expecting, the Mate X2 is significant, weighty, and a little bit unwieldy when compared to a standard smartphone. It weighs 295g, and measures 161.8mm superior. When folded it is seventy four.6mm vast and a optimum of fourteen.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is one hundred forty five.8mm vast with a optimum thickness of 8.2mm, tapering on the outer display screen area to four.4mm. 

There is a super-reflective complete to the glass again that, however, was really eager on grabbing my fingerprints, but that apart, make excellent is superb. This aluminium-frame cell phone is solidly built, with fantastic consideration to element. 

Folded, the Mate X2 measures 161.8mm tall by seventy four.6mm deep by fourteen.7mm thick. It weighs a significant 295g.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls inside your finances, you are going to get a handset with leading-finish requirements. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly speedy — each faucet, each display screen refresh was sleek and fast. By natural means this is a 5G handset, and my evaluate device had 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. According to Huawei’s internet site, a 512GB version will also be accessible. Interior storage can be boosted by using Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, which share 1 of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the facet-mounted electric power button.  

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

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery may prove a weak issue in day to day use, based on how a great deal you use the enormous 8-inch internal display screen. I failed to come to feel a formal battery rundown exam was a honest exam at this stage, but I did uncover that consistent use of the internal display screen was, as predicted, difficult on the battery. For illustration, a half-hour movie stream to the big display screen took seven{446c0583c78045abf10327776a038b2df71144067b85dd55dd4a3a861892e4fa} of demand from the battery. Speedy charging will clearly occur in helpful, but you will find no aid for wireless charging. I hope to do formal battery tests with a remaining version of the handset, at which time I’ll run other functionality benchmarks. 

The core program is Android 10 (minus Google Mobile Providers), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on leading. This consists of Huawei’s AppGallery, additionally songs, movie, wallet, health and other applications. There ended up some Chinese applications on my evaluate device, for illustration, which will clearly not be existing on a Uk cell phone, but it appears to be as while Huawei will choose the very same strategy it has with new Google-free phones in phrases of providing its very own purposes. 

There are 4 rear cameras: 50MP f/one.9 vast angle 16MP f/2.2 extremely-vast angle 12MP f/2.four telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/four.four super-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the extremely-vast angle digicam feature optical graphic stabilisation (OIS). On the entrance, in an in-display screen lozenge, is a 16MP f/2.2 selfie digicam. You can find no digicam on the internal display screen, but it can be utilized to frame shots taken with the key digicam array (the digicam program quickly detects whether you want to use the outer or internal display screen for this objective). 

The outer display screen is a really serviceable 6.45-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh amount and a 240Hz touch sampling amount. This is high-quality for several duties, but within you will find an 8-inch OLED display screen with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz touch sampling amount.  

The internal display screen sits in pretty big bezels by modern requirements, but that would not existing a usability challenge and graphic excellent is merely fantastic. It is not pretty square, with edges measuring 13.5cm and fifteen.five cm. The display screen rotates by means of all 4 feasible orientations, so you can very easily find the slightly wider or slightly taller selection. It can be divided into two, displaying what in result are dual entrance-display screen-sized home windows, allowing you to, for illustration, read a internet site on 1 facet with social feeds ticking over on the other.  

The hinge system is sleek as silk. I was not the initially to see the sample I was sent, and recurring opening and closing of the handset had resulted in a little bit of unevenness in the display screen all around the hinge space, developing a bumpy floor noticeable when the display screen was off, but not when it was switched on, so the over-all viewing experience was not hampered. The results of for a longer time-term use are unachievable to know at this stage.  

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

Picture: Huawei


The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding product, with leading requirements, a stable make and an 8-inch internal display screen that is merely incredible. It is probably to command a really superior rate when it launches outdoors China, and will continue to be hampered by the absence of Google Mobile Providers. It is also somewhat weighty and, while I failed to do a formal battery rundown exam, I fear battery existence may be a key downside. 

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