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

Maria J. Danford

Huawei could have shed entry to Google Cellular Providers, but that hasn’t stopped the company pushing on with smartphones, building its own app shop, and using a generally bullish perspective. Its Mate forty Pro, for instance, a top-flight handset costing £1,099.ninety nine (inc. VAT) at start previous year, sported a wonderful camera, fast charging, a tremendous display screen, and some neat software options. But with no essential Google products and services, it was always likely to struggle in the Uk.  

Once the world’s range-just one smartphone vendor, Huawei (which no lengthier features Honor), occupied seventh location in Q1 2021, in accordance to analyst firm Canalys, shipping and delivery eighteen.6 million units around the world. In the meantime, top-positioned Samsung shifted 76.5m telephones in the initial quarter. In its house China territory, Huawei was third in Q1 2021, driving Vivo and Oppo, with fourteen.9m units delivered.

What we have here is Huawei’s latest flagship folding smartphone, the eight-inch (inside), 6.forty five-inch (exterior) Mate X2. 

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

The Mate X2 has not, at the time of crafting, been presented a Uk launch day or price tag, but currency conversions propose that if, or when, it lands on our shores you should not expect a lot transform out of £2,000. 

The Mate X2 I was sent ran on a Chinese software edition, so when I could established it to English language I don’t experience it can be fair to thoroughly assessment and benchmark it. As a consequence, this is more of an extended palms-on preview. 

Prime ZDNET Assessments

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 former handsets experienced a folding display screen wrapped all-around the entrance and back of the cellphone, making it possible for you to open it out for a bigger perspective as necessary. The Mate X2, by comparison, seems at initial like two telephones hinged jointly down a prolonged edge, with a camera array on the back and a typical (6.45in.) display screen on the entrance. The hinge will allow the two sections to open out and reveal the more substantial (8in.) folding display screen. This more Samsung Fold-like layout is an improvement for the reason that the huge display screen is safeguarded when it can be not in use. 


The Kirin 9000-powered Mate X2 has a 6.forty five-inch external display screen, opening to reveal an eight-inch internal display screen. Both are 90Hz OLED panels.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

As you would expect, the Mate X2 is huge, heavy, and a little bit unwieldy in contrast to a normal smartphone. It weighs 295g, and measures 161.8mm superior. When folded it is 74.6mm huge and a highest of fourteen.7mm thick. Unfolded, it is one hundred forty five.8mm huge with a highest thickness of eight.2mm, tapering on the outer display screen area to 4.4mm. 

There is a tremendous-reflective complete to the glass back that, sad to say, was really keen on grabbing my fingerprints, but that aside, create quality is great. This aluminium-frame cellphone is solidly built, with excellent notice to element. 


Folded, the Mate X2 measures 161.8mm tall by 74.6mm deep by fourteen.7mm thick. It weighs a hefty 295g.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If the Mate X2 falls in your spending budget, you’ll get a handset with top-conclude specifications. The 5nm Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 9000 SoC is blisteringly fast — every single faucet, every single display screen refresh was sleek and immediate. Normally this is a 5G handset, and my assessment device experienced 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. In accordance to Huawei’s website, a 512GB edition will also be offered. Inside storage can be boosted by using Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) cards, which share just one of the handset’s two SIM slots. There is a fingerprint sensor in the aspect-mounted energy button.  


Unfolded, the Mate X2 is one hundred forty five.8mm huge with a highest thickness of eight.2mm.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Mate X2’s 4500mAh battery may well confirm a weak issue in every day use, relying on how a lot you use the massive eight-inch inner display screen. I didn’t experience a formal battery rundown check was a fair check at this phase, but I did obtain that dependable use of the inner display screen was, as anticipated, hard on the battery. For instance, a 50 %-hour video stream to the huge display screen took 7% of charge from the battery. Speedy charging will obviously appear in helpful, but you will find no aid for wi-fi charging. I hope to do formal battery tests with a ultimate edition of the handset, at which time I am going to run other overall performance benchmarks. 

The main software is Android 10 (minus Google Cellular Providers), with Huawei’s EMUI 11 on top. This features Huawei’s AppGallery, as well as tunes, video, wallet, wellness and other applications. There were some Chinese applications on my assessment device, for instance, which will obviously not be current on a Uk cellphone, but it seems as while Huawei will take the identical tactic it has with new Google-totally free telephones in conditions of supplying its individual applications. 

There are four rear cameras: 50MP f/one.9 huge angle 16MP f/2.2 ultra-huge angle 12MP f/2.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and 8MP f/4.4 tremendous-zoom (10x optical zoom). All bar the ultra-huge angle camera element optical graphic stabilisation (OIS). On the entrance, in an in-display screen lozenge, is a 16MP f/2.2 selfie camera. There’s no camera on the inner display screen, but it can be used to frame photographs taken with the primary camera array (the camera software automatically detects whether or not you want to use the outer or inner display screen for this purpose). 

The outer display screen is a really serviceable 6.forty five-inch OLED panel with 2700-by-1160 (456ppi) resolution, a 90Hz refresh amount and a 240Hz contact sampling amount. This is great for several jobs, but within you will find an eight-inch OLED display screen with 2480-by-2200 (413ppi) resolution, 90Hz refresh and 180Hz contact sampling amount.  

The inner display screen sits in rather huge bezels by present-day expectations, but that doesn’t current a usability difficulty and graphic quality is merely excellent. It’s not rather sq., with edges measuring thirteen.5cm and 15.five cm. The display screen rotates by way of all four attainable orientations, so you can easily decide on the somewhat wider or somewhat taller solution. It can be divided into two, exhibiting what in result are twin entrance-display screen-sized home windows, making it possible for you to, for instance, read a website on just one aspect with social feeds ticking above on the other.  

The hinge mechanism is sleek as silk. I was not the initial to see the sample I was sent, and recurring opening and closing of the handset experienced resulted in a little bit of unevenness in the display screen all-around the hinge space, building a bumpy surface obvious when the display screen was off, but not when it was switched on, so the general viewing encounter was not hampered. The outcomes of lengthier-term utilization are unattainable to know at this phase.  


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

Impression: Huawei


The Huawei Mate X2 is an astounding system, with top specifications, a strong create and an eight-inch inner display screen that’s merely remarkable. It is probable to command a really superior price tag when it launches outside China, and will however be hampered by the absence of Google Cellular Providers. It’s also somewhat heavy and, although I didn’t do a formal battery rundown check, I panic battery lifestyle may well be a essential downside. 

Modern AND Connected Information

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 assessment: Foldable perfection approximately reached

Huawei initial quarter profits down sixteen.five% many thanks to Honor sale

Huawei continued to earn gain in 2020 but did not see development outside of China

Huawei Mate forty Pro, palms on: An great 5G flagship, but Google is however overboard

Huawei Mate forty sequence: Flagship telephones with minimal attraction outside China

The most effective telephones in 2021: Ideal general, foldable, stylus, and more

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