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

Victoria D. Doty

Huawei could have shed access to Google Mobile Services, but that hasn’t stopped the company pushing on with smartphones, making its own app retail store, and having a commonly bullish mind-set. Its Mate forty Pro, for illustration, a top-flight handset costing £1,099.99 (inc. VAT) at launch final year, sported a wonderful camera, rapid charging, a super display, and some neat program functions. But without important Google expert services, it was generally heading to battle in the Uk.  

Once the world’s range-a person smartphone seller, Huawei (which no more time involves Honor), occupied seventh put in Q1 2021, according to analyst firm Canalys, shipping and delivery 18.6 million models around the world. Meanwhile, top-placed Samsung shifted 76.5m phones in the to start with quarter. In its residence China territory, Huawei was 3rd in Q1 2021, driving Vivo and Oppo, with 14.9m models delivered.

What we have here is Huawei’s latest flagship folding smartphone, the 8-inch (inside), 6.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 writing, been provided a Uk launch day or value, but forex conversions recommend that if, or when, it lands on our shores you shouldn’t expect substantially change out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was despatched ran on a Chinese program version, so even though I could established it to English language I really don’t experience it is really truthful to completely critique and benchmark it. As a outcome, this is far more of an extended fingers-on preview. 

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Huawei is no stranger to folding handsets. Its Mate X appeared in November 2019, and was followed in March 2020 by the Mate Xs. These two preceding handsets experienced a folding display wrapped all-around the entrance and back again of the cellphone, making it possible for you to open up it out for a even larger check out as required. The Mate X2, by comparison, seems to be at to start with like two phones hinged together down a extended edge, with a camera array on the back again and a conventional (6.45in.) display on the entrance. The hinge allows the two sections to open up out and expose the larger (8in.) folding display. This far more Samsung Fold-like style and design is an advancement mainly because the big display is guarded when it is really not in use. 

huawei-mate-x2-in-hand.jpg

The Kirin 9000-run Mate X2 has a 6.forty five-inch external display, opening to expose an 8-inch interior display. Both equally are 90Hz OLED panels.


Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you’d expect, the Mate X2 is big, large, and a bit unwieldy when compared to a frequent smartphone. It weighs 295g, and measures 161.8mm superior. When folded it is 74.6mm huge and a highest of 14.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is one hundred forty five.8mm huge with a highest thickness of 8.2mm, tapering on the outer display section to four.4mm. 

There is a super-reflective complete to the glass back again that, sad to say, was incredibly eager on grabbing my fingerprints, but that apart, construct high quality is superb. This aluminium-frame cellphone is solidly created, with exceptional interest to depth. 

huawei-mate-x2-small-screen.jpg

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


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls in your spending plan, you can get a handset with top-close specs. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly rapid — each individual faucet, each individual display refresh was sleek and immediate. Normally this is a 5G handset, and my critique unit experienced 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. In accordance to Huawei’s web-site, a 512GB version will also be offered. Inside storage can be boosted by using Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) cards, which share a person of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the side-mounted ability button.  

huawei-mate-x2-big-screen.jpg

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


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery may possibly show a weak place in everyday use, based on how substantially you use the large 8-inch internal display. I did not experience a official battery rundown test was a truthful test at this phase, but I did come across that consistent use of the internal display was, as predicted, challenging on the battery. For illustration, a fifty percent-hour video stream to the big display took seven{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} of demand from the battery. Quickly charging will plainly arrive in helpful, but there is no support for wi-fi charging. I hope to do official battery exams with a last version of the handset, at which time I will run other general performance benchmarks. 

The main program is Android 10 (minus Google Mobile Services), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on top. This involves Huawei’s AppGallery, additionally tunes, video, wallet, well being and other apps. There had been some Chinese apps on my critique unit, for illustration, which will naturally not be existing on a Uk cellphone, but it seems to be as however Huawei will consider the exact method it has with new Google-absolutely free phones in conditions of offering its have purposes. 

There are four rear cameras: 50MP f/1.9 huge angle 16MP f/two.two extremely-huge angle 12MP f/two.four telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/four.four super-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the extremely-huge angle camera function optical image stabilisation (OIS). On the entrance, in an in-display lozenge, is a 16MP f/two.two selfie camera. There is certainly no camera on the internal display, but it can be employed to frame photographs taken with the main camera array (the camera program quickly detects no matter if you want to use the outer or internal display for this intent). 

The outer display is a incredibly serviceable 6.forty five-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh fee and a 240Hz contact sampling fee. This is great for many duties, but inside of there is an 8-inch OLED display with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz contact sampling fee.  

The internal display sits in very big bezels by today’s expectations, but that does not existing a usability issue and image high quality is simply just exceptional. It can be not very sq., with edges measuring 13.5cm and fifteen.five cm. The display rotates as a result of all four feasible orientations, so you can conveniently decide on the somewhat wider or somewhat taller option. It can be divided into two, displaying what in outcome are dual entrance-display-sized windows, making it possible for you to, for illustration, read a web-site on a person side with social feeds ticking over on the other.  

The hinge system is sleek as silk. I was not the to start with to see the sample I was despatched, and repeated opening and closing of the handset experienced resulted in a bit of unevenness in the display all-around the hinge spot, generating a bumpy floor noticeable when the display was off, but not when it was switched on, so the in general viewing practical experience was not hampered. The effects of more time-phrase usage are not possible to know at this phase.  

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


Graphic: Huawei

Conclusions 

The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding unit, with top specs, a solid construct and an 8-inch internal display that is simply just astounding. It is very likely to command a incredibly superior value when it launches outdoors China, and will even now be hampered by the absence of Google Mobile Services. It can be also somewhat large and, while I did not do a official battery rundown test, I panic battery lifetime may possibly be a important downside. 

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