Huawei has just announced its brand new flagship foldable smartphone, the Mate Xs 2, which is set to be one of the thinnest and lightest options you can buy.
Having a massive panel like this in your pocket unlocks plenty of capabilities, such as tablet-esque multi-tasking and a far better gaming and productivity experience. Huawei is looking to capitalize on this with a fully evolved design that packs improved internals, upgraded materials and a new, fashionable aesthetic. Now the event being held in Milan makes sense.
Huawei Mate Xs 2
I’ll reserve full impressions for a full hands-on, but let’s be honest: this thing is gorgeous. The elegant unibody design boasts a flat, seamless fold that sits flush against the camera bump for a full wrap-around display.
Impressively, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 is the lightest foldable phone ever at just 8.9 ounces (for comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 is 9.5 ounces). This has been made possible through ultra-light glass fibres, aerospace-grade titanium alloys and a super-light high strength steel developed by Huawei.
The screen is on a unique double-rotating Falcon Wing Hinge Design, which stretches the display and flattens any potential bumps or ridges, to make it as flat and smooth as a mirror, which means you can make the most of that 7.8-inch True-Chroma Foldable display with a 2480 x 2200 resolution, high refresh rate and an anti-reflective Nano Optical layer.
Keeping this screen running at its smoothest is a Snapdragon 888 chipset, thermally managed by Graphene liquid cooling for better heat dissipation. And in that camera bump, you’ll find a triple camera system with a 50MP True-Chroma main shooter with f/1.8 aperture, 13MP Ultra-wide with f/2.2 and an 8MP 3X telephoto with f/2.4 and OIS.
Plus, thanks to the wraparound display, while there is a front-facing snapper, you can use the main camera to take super high-resolution selfies.
You can get the Mate Xs 2 in three finishes, including black, white and a violet leather. You can pick one up for €1,999 (around $2,100) and it will launch in June.
Bent out of shape
Naturally, there are always going to be some concerns about foldables. Namely, the durability of an outward folding display — especially with how light and thin the Xs 2 is. But Huawei is keen on highlighting the aerospace-grade titanium alloys and high strength steel structure, which are both ultra-light and provide plenty of fracture toughness.
Finally, the 4,600mAh battery capacity would be fine on your standard flagship phones. But will it be enough to power a 7.8-inch high-resolution display with 120Hz refresh rate, alongside the other top-of-the-range internals all day, all without any concerns of exhausting it halfway through the day?
I’ll officially answer that question in my review, but let the record show I’m a little concerned about that.
The Huawei Mate Xs 2 is certainly going to be a fashionable talking point that turns heads, especially when compared to the huge swathe of generic slabs out there.
Foldables are still very much in their infancy, so consider this the equivalent of a Ford GT40: a slick piece of hardware with plenty of power under the hood that grabs attention, which only a handful of people will buy, as everyone else will buy something in their price range.
If you do have that thirst for a foldable and you’ve got the money for it, is the Huawei Xs 2 the right option for you? We’ll need more time with it first before giving you an answer.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.