Huawei Mate Xs 2: Sophisticated Style, Premium Build
A stylish step forward for foldables, the Huawei Mate XS 2 shows off sophisticated style with premium build quality
Stylish, sophisticated, and premium. These are the words that come to mind when you bring out the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2. It’s a conversation-starter—it would incite a “may I touch?” inquiry when you whip it out of your tiny purse. It can match your evening clutch for a night out, but when you have to work, it can give you the screen real estate to go over your documents and write.
I’ve been fascinated with folding phones for a while now—having owned ‘vintage’ folding phones in the early 2000s. At that time, my phone was bulky at 27mm thick, it had a QUERTY and a could run email, word processing, and spreadsheet, apart from messages. Even then, it was a joy to have a mini-computer that you could take with you wherever.
The HUAWEI Xs 2 has refined that experience of the folding phone and, in this iteration, perfected it. It was a new way of thinking, an entirely new vision of foldable with the Falcon Wing Hinge.
Do you remember when HUAWEI launched the Mate X in Barcelona in February 2019? It was unprecedented—it was the world’s fasted foldable 5G phone. “We rely on smartphones, because everyday we are using more and more smartphones—less time we are watching tv, using PC, more time with the smartphone. We always need a more large screen, we need one that is portable, with larger battery life. We use more, we need more,” says HUAWEI CEO Richard Yu. The next year, they experimented with an inward-folding Mate X2 and the clamshell P50 Pocket.
An ambitious, gorgeous design that learned from both the Mate X and Mate X2, it’s sturdier, stronger, yet thinner and much lighter. It comes with the new-generation double-rotating Falcon Wing Hinge design that allows it to open and close fluidly, and lets it open completely flat with no visible crease. It’s so flat that you can run your finger and barely feel the crease.
Sturdy build and feel
Even while it’s thin, there’s no feeling of fragility. It has a Composite Structure Screen with a protective film, support layer, and rotating shaft. This layered structure and high-performance materials act as shock absorber and buffer, and we saw this in some of the tests, giving improved resistance to drops, crushing, or impact.
Even the little details give the phone more protection—there’s a gap in the aluminum alloy protective frame around the screen, which keeps the phone scratch-resistant, especially when you place the phone on a desk, or when it touches a flat surface.
It features a 3D Fiberglass Design which gives it some warmth. There’s the glossy metal middle frame that makes the design look sleek, while the leather pattern at the back gives it personality, and eliminates the chances of the dreaded fingerprints at the back.
It also comes with a case with a monogrammed pattern of H, which works well in protecting the phone while folded, and providing new angles for viewing or displaying the phone.
The phone comes in three colorways—white and black, while other territories have the color violet.
It's thin, light, and ultra-chic!
In fashion, the say: You can never be too thin, or too beautiful. In this case, beauty comes in the innovation—it’s a phone, yes, it’s a tablet. Both coexist within its tiny frame. You can bring your office with you in a clutch that you take with you for dinner.
Why not? It just weighs 255g with a thickness of 11.1mm when folded, and 4.5mm when unfolded. That’s one of the things that will impress you the most—it’s just as thin as your credit card case, and double it’s length!
It’s also a handy size for one-handed use—it’s 156.5mm x 75.5mm when folded, and extends to 139.3mm wide when unfolded.
Yet, there’s so much to it when you unfold it to display the immersive 7.8” high resolution screen, packed with 1.07 billion colours, and support for the P3 wide colour gamut on the True Chroma Display. It has a 120Hz screen refresh rate so swiping and scrolling is fast and responsive.
It gives off a comprehensive, all-scenario colour management for both the system and third-party applications, so your games, movies, and apps run with top-grade color grading and color spectrum standards.
It comes in flagship-grade camera levels.
Naturally, one would expect a lot from the camera, and this doesn’t disappoint. It has a 50MP True-Chroma Camera, a 13MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera, and an 8MP Telephoto Camera, which pretty much provides all the possible lenses and features you’ll need for work and play.
It has HUAWEI XD Optics technology which takes in more light and heightens the level of detail, as well as the XD Fusion Pro True-Chroma Image Engine, which gives true colors.
We’ve tried the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 in different conditions: from dark or backlit conditions, landscapes, or using the 2.5cm macro shooting. We also like the night mode which give clear, high quality shots of both people and places.
Here’s a nice tip: the screen that goes around the phone can also be used as viewfinder to take good-quality-selfies via the Mirror Shooting mode! Otherwise, you can still use the ultra-wide angle selfie camera for quick selfies and video chats.
30-minute charging for emergencies
The Huawei Xs 2 comes with 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge—which means you can be charged to up to 90% in just 30 minutes. This would help because the phone’s screen does eat up battery quickly, so it’s also good to have 4600mAh anode battery to keep you from charging too often.
The ecosystem can maximize your productivity
As expected from a productivity device, it keeps in mind the needs of the heavy users. It runs on EMUI 12, and HUAWEI kept it simple by consolidating different menus into the Control Panel. Using gestures (also to maximize screen size), you swipe down from the upper right for the Control Panel, swipe down for notifications, and swipe up to display the apps.
Then there are the multi-tasking features such as the Smart Multi-window functionality where you can easily select another app to form a new split screen. This is very useful because you can do drag-and-drop cross-window sharing between opened screens. You can also add a floating window by just swiping up.
What’s also impressive is if you have other HUAWEI devices, you can collaborate between devices. For example, from your MatePad, you can activate Multi-screen collaborations, which means you can send messages, or check photos from your phone using the tablet screen.
The same thing goes for laptops using the PC Manager—you can open a mirror version of your phone on your HUAWEI MateBook 14s, and work from there.
Or you can use HUAWEI vision to set your smart TV as your phone’s display!
Work and play with apps
One question I often get asked when talking about HUAWEI is how to work around the lack of Google Play Store and other Google Devices. The short answer is that, it can be an inconvenience, but over time, you’ll realize that there is life outside of Google (and Apple).
There’s Petal Search for shopping, finding apps, and more. If you really need a certain app that’s not available in the HUAWEI AppGallery, you can opt to sideload it, but at your own risk. Because the screen is big enough, you can just open the Google services you need with the browser, like how you do it with your computer.
There’s actually a lot to explore—the HUAWEI GameCenter, where you can find games such as Divine W, Ragnarok X: Next Generation, and Mobile Legends. HUAWEI Music is a treasure trove of curated playlists with a lot of OPM tracks, while HUAWEI Video has thousands of hours of content which are not easily found anywhere else—from K-dramas, Filipino teleseryes, western movies, documentaries, and shows for kids, you can binge watch all of these for free. Finally, HUAWEI Books is also a favorite, where you can get both e-books and audiobooks of various titles, most of which are romance and best-sellers, though I’ve also found a some literary theory books that are hard to find.
You might also want to make use of the Health app, which gives advanced data especially when paired with devices such as the HUAWEI Watch D with its Blood Pressure Management, ECG Analysis, and Skin Temperature recording. It tracks everything—from your heart rate, sleep patterns, stress levels, blood oxygen, and can give you relevant information for your health as your form new health goals.