A pioneer in foldable phones, Huawei is still making two different types – ones that fold in on themselves, and those that have the display wrap around the outside of the body when folded. Another iteration on the second type is what we have for you here – the Mate Xs 2.
Showing up a full two years after the previous outie, the Mate Xs 2 comes with several hardware tweaks. A minor decrease in screen size from 8″ to 7.8″ will have little impact on usability but has to have helped bring weight down to a far more manageable 255g. That display now comes with a 120Hz refresh rate too, one-upping even the inner-folding Mate X2’s 90Hz, and a selfie camera (or should we say video call camera) has appeared in the top right corner – the Mate Xs didn’t have one at all.
Things have changed in the rear camera setup too. A 50MP primary module similar to the P50 Pro’s (minus the OIS) replaces the 40MP one on the old model, though the ultrawide’s been bumped down to 13MP from the 16MP on the Xs. At the opposite end of the zoom range, the 3x-ish tele holds a notch more zoom power than what you can get on most foldables at the time of writing this.
A chipset upgrade is also in place, though it’s not cutting-edge silicon you’ll find in the Mate Xs. Instead, we see last year’s Snapdragon 888 in 4G-only form – the US-China dispute that hit Huawei the most is still taking its toll. That also manifests itself in the Google-less software package, which remains one of the strongest arguments against getting a Huawei phone – though we’ve heard some people list that as a pro as well.
The minor increase in battery capacity (4,500mAh to 4,600mAh) is unlikely to be felt, though it’s still nice that it didn’t suffer from the weight cuts. Meanwhile, the 66W charging support promises speedy top-ups.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 specs at a glance:
- Body: Unfolded: 156.5×139.3×5.4mm; folded: 156.5×75.5×11.1mm; 255g.
- Display: 7.80″ Foldable OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, 2200x2480px resolution, 10.15:9 aspect ratio, 424ppi; folded display: 6.50″, 1176x2480px, 19:9 aspect ratio.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 4G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Cortex-X1 & 3×2.42 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A55); Adreno 660.
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS; NM (Nano Memory), up to 256GB (uses shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: HarmonyOS 2.0.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, Laser AF; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.2, 120˚; Telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, 81mm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
- Front camera: 10.7 MP, f/2.2.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/960fps; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps.
- Battery: 4600mAh; Fast charging 66W, Reverse charging.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 unboxing
The Mate Xs 2 arrives in a package befitting its price tag and exclusive status – it’s a properly big box by today’s standards, made of thick dark gray cardboard and featuring golden lettering. The phone lies open in a tray on top and the accessories are further compartmentalized in separate boxes underneath.
This year’s case solution offers a bit more protection compared to the Xs’ stick-on plastic frame protector, though it does come with its own peculiarities, which we’ll discuss on the next page. Still, having a case in the box means that Huawei is not offloading all the responsibility for keeping that exposed foldable screen on you as the end user, which is nice.
Also included is a Huawei Super Charge adapter rated for 66W output, though it does have a USB-A out and we tend to frown upon those in 2022. We’d be cautiously speculating it has something to do with charging the two separate batteries in the two halves of the phone, which is more easily done quickly with a proprietary charging tech. But then the previous model did have a USB-C based adapter, so it’s not that, and this situation has us a bit perplexed. You do, of course, get a USB-A-to-C cable included.
What has gone missing is the pair of wired USB-C earbuds that the 2020 Xs shipped with. That’s two downgrades already, though the earbuds in particular won’t be missed, we reckon.