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

Nancy J. Delong

Huawei might have dropped entry to Google Cellular Products and services, but that has not stopped the firm pushing on with smartphones, constructing its own app store, and using a typically bullish frame of mind. Its Mate 40 Professional, for illustration, a prime-flight handset costing £1,099.ninety nine (inc. VAT) at start past calendar […]

Huawei might have dropped entry to Google Cellular Products and services, but that has not stopped the firm pushing on with smartphones, constructing its own app store, and using a typically bullish frame of mind. Its Mate 40 Professional, for illustration, a prime-flight handset costing £1,099.ninety nine (inc. VAT) at start past calendar year, sported a terrific digital camera, quickly charging, a super monitor, and some neat application options. But devoid of important Google products and services, it was always going to battle in the United kingdom.  

After the world’s amount-a person smartphone vendor, Huawei (which no lengthier features Honor), occupied seventh position in Q1 2021, according to analyst firm Canalys, shipping eighteen.six million models around the world. In the meantime, prime-positioned Samsung shifted seventy six.5m telephones in the initial quarter. In its dwelling China territory, Huawei was 3rd in Q1 2021, driving Vivo and Oppo, with 14.9m models shipped.

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

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

The Mate X2 has not, at the time of producing, been presented a United kingdom launch day or rate, but currency conversions suggest that if, or when, it lands on our shores you should not be expecting much improve out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was despatched ran on a Chinese application variation, so although I could set it to English language I don’t come to feel it really is truthful to entirely evaluation and benchmark it. As a result, this is much more of an prolonged 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 earlier handsets experienced a folding monitor wrapped around the front and back of the cell phone, letting you to open up it out for a even larger check out as needed. The Mate X2, by comparison, appears to be at initial like two telephones hinged alongside one another down a very long edge, with a digital camera array on the back and a standard (six.45in.) monitor on the front. The hinge allows the two sections to open up out and expose the larger sized (8in.) folding monitor. This much more Samsung Fold-like design and style is an enhancement because the big monitor is safeguarded when it really is not in use. 


The Kirin 9000-run Mate X2 has a six.forty five-inch exterior monitor, opening to expose an eight-inch inside monitor. Each are 90Hz OLED panels.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you would be expecting, the Mate X2 is significant, weighty, and a little bit unwieldy as opposed to a common smartphone. It weighs 295g, and steps 161.8mm higher. When folded it is 74.6mm huge and a utmost of 14.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is 145.8mm huge with a utmost thickness of eight.2mm, tapering on the outer monitor section to 4.4mm. 

There is a super-reflective finish to the glass back that, sadly, was quite keen on grabbing my fingerprints, but that apart, construct high-quality is superb. This aluminium-body cell phone is solidly designed, with superb interest to depth. 


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

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls in just your spending budget, you can get a handset with prime-close technical specs. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly quickly — every single faucet, every single monitor refresh was clean and rapid. Normally this is a 5G handset, and my evaluation unit experienced 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. According to Huawei’s site, a 512GB variation will also be accessible. Interior storage can be boosted via Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, which share a person of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the aspect-mounted electricity button.  


Unfolded, the Mate X2 is 145.8mm huge with a utmost thickness of eight.2mm.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery may well show a weak level in day to day use, dependent on how much you use the substantial eight-inch inner monitor. I didn’t come to feel a official battery rundown take a look at was a truthful take a look at at this stage, but I did discover that constant use of the inner monitor was, as expected, tough on the battery. For illustration, a fifty percent-hour video stream to the big monitor took 7% of cost from the battery. Rapidly charging will obviously occur in helpful, but there’s no assistance for wireless charging. I hope to do official battery exams with a closing variation of the handset, at which time I will run other performance benchmarks. 

The main application is Android 10 (minus Google Cellular Products and services), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on prime. This features Huawei’s AppGallery, in addition songs, video, wallet, overall health and other apps. There were some Chinese apps on my evaluation unit, for illustration, which will clearly not be existing on a United kingdom cell phone, but it appears to be as although Huawei will choose the same technique it has with current Google-absolutely free telephones in conditions of providing its personal applications. 

There are 4 rear cameras: 50MP f/one.nine huge angle 16MP f/2.2 extremely-huge angle 12MP f/2.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/4.4 super-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the extremely-huge angle digital camera feature optical picture 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 inner monitor, but it can be utilised to body pictures taken with the main digital camera array (the digital camera application routinely detects regardless of whether you want to use the outer or inner monitor for this function). 

The outer monitor is a quite serviceable six.forty five-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh price and a 240Hz contact sampling price. This is high-quality for numerous jobs, but inside there’s an eight-inch OLED monitor with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz contact sampling price.  

The inner monitor sits in fairly big bezels by today’s standards, but that does not existing a usability challenge and picture high-quality is just superb. It’s not fairly sq., with edges measuring thirteen.5cm and fifteen.5 cm. The monitor rotates through all 4 achievable orientations, so you can quickly pick out the a bit wider or a bit taller solution. It can be divided into two, exhibiting what in result are dual front-monitor-sized windows, letting you to, for illustration, study a site on a person aspect with social feeds ticking in excess of on the other.  

The hinge mechanism is clean as silk. I was not the initial to see the sample I was despatched, and recurring opening and closing of the handset experienced resulted in a little bit of unevenness in the monitor around the hinge region, creating a bumpy floor obvious when the monitor was off, but not when it was switched on, so the total viewing knowledge was not hampered. The outcomes of lengthier-time period utilization are unattainable to know at this stage.  


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

Picture: Huawei


The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding system, with prime technical specs, a stable construct and an eight-inch inner monitor that’s just remarkable. It is likely to command a quite higher rate when it launches outside the house China, and will however be hampered by the absence of Google Cellular Products and services. It’s also rather weighty and, though I didn’t do a official battery rundown take a look at, I worry battery lifestyle may well be a important downside. 

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