Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

Reviews
Scarlette Lennon5 August 2022Last Update : 2 days ago
Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

Introduction

Huawei is a pioneer in foldable phones and still makes two different types – those that fold in on themselves and those that have the display wrapped 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.

Appearing a full two years after the previous outie, the Mate Xs 2 comes with several hardware tweaks. A slight drop in screen size from 8″ to 7.8″ will have little impact on usability, but should have helped bring the weight down to a much more manageable 255g. This display also now comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, besting even the Mate X2’s 90Hz inside foldable, 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.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

Things have also changed in the rear camera setup. A primary 50MP module similar to the P50 Pro’s (minus OIS) replaces the 40MP module on the old model, although the ultrawide module has been bumped down to 13MP from 16MP on the Xs. At the opposite end of the zoom range, the 3x-ish telephoto packs a notch more zoom power than you can get on most foldables at the time of writing.

A chipset upgrade is also in place, although it’s not the cutting-edge silicon you’ll find in the Mate Xs. Instead, we’re seeing last year’s Snapdragon 888 in 4G-only form – the US-China dispute that hit Huawei the hardest is still taking its toll. It’s also reflected in the Google-less software suite, which remains one of the strongest arguments against getting a Huawei phone – although we’ve heard some people mention it as a pro too.

The minor increase in battery capacity (4,500mAh to 4,600mAh) will hardly be noticeable, although it’s still nice that it didn’t suffer from the weight cuts. Meanwhile, the 66W charging support promises fast charging.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 specs at a glance:

  • Body: Unfolded: 156.5×139.3×5.4mm; folded: 156.5×75.5×11.1mm; 255 g.
  • Screen: 7.80″ Foldable OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, 2200x2480px resolution, 10.15:9 aspect ratio, 424ppi; folded screen: 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 256 GB (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: HarmonyOS 2.0.
  • Rear camera: wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, Laser AF; Ultra wide angle: 13MP, f/2.2, 120˚; Telephoto: 8 MP, f/2.4, 81 mm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
  • Front camera: 10.7MP, f/2.2.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/960fps; Front camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps.
  • Battery: 4600mAh; Fast charging 66W, reverse charging.
  • Various: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; Infrared port.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 unboxing

The Mate Xs 2 comes in a package befitting its price tag and exclusive status – it’s a decently large box by today’s standards, made of thick dark gray cardboard and with gold lettering. The phone lies open in a tray on top, and the accessories are further divided into separate boxes below.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

This year’s case solution offers a bit more protection compared to the Xs’ stick-on plastic bezel protector, though it comes with its own quirks, which we’ll discuss on the next page. Still, having a case in the box means Huawei isn’t cutting corners all the onus of keeping the exposed foldable screen on you as the end user, which is nice.

Huawei Mate Xs 2 review

Also included is a Huawei Super Charge adapter rated at 66W output, although it has a USB-A output, and we tend to frown on those in 2022. We’d cautiously speculate, that it has something to do with charging the two separate batteries in the two halves of the phone, which is easier to do quickly with a proprietary charging technology. But then the previous model had a USB-C based adapter, so it’s not, and this situation leaves us a bit confused. Of course, you get a USB-A to C cable.

What’s gone is the pair of wired USB-C earbuds that the 2020 Xs came with. That’s already two downgrades, although the earphones in particular won’t be missed, we reckon.

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