Huawei Mate Xs Android smartphone. Announced Feb 2020. Features 8.0″ Foldable OLED display, HiSilicon
Last year, Huawei stole the show with Mate X, a pliable smartphone whose screen is folded outside of the smartphone from all the other manufacturers present at the Mobile World Congress. It has been sold only in China for the Huawei Mate X. The Huawei Mate Xs, the second generation, will now conquer foreign markets. We shall see this test if, in spite of the absence of Google services, Huawei Mate X will contend with the foldable competition.
✓Robust folding mechanism
✓Very good cameras
✓Good battery life
|✕Very high purchase price|
✕No Google services
Huawei Mate Xs – release date and price
Just before we launch the actual Mate Xs handling, the big surprise comes. The Mate X is just €200 more expensive than the Mate X from last year, but Huawei chose the correct price because of €2,499. The fact that we won’t see many Mate Xs in the hands of passersby already seems certain.
Old design, new hinge
Huawei has practically nothing visually changed, and if so, the changes have a practical purpose. The company says the panel has been updated and revamped. Huawei has selected to show outside, and is the “FALCON Wing” hinge comprises over a hundred parts that match the entire length of the arch. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Fold, there is no palatinate.
Even after two weeks now, I still have a little thrill when I open and close this device. But the fear of damaging this expensive phone is gone after a few days of heavy use.
When folded, the Huawei Mate Xs looks very thick. I had a hard time putting it in my pocket, especially in jeans. When I managed to do it, the 300 grams of the device pulled the pockets of my pants down. Add to that my constant paranoia of scratching the exterior display of the Huawei Mate Xs when I put it down or put it in my pocket.
For daily use Huawei included a “bumper” case. But to be honest it ruins this model’s beautiful look. Additionally, it only partly protects from shocks or wounds. Finally, I kept the phone in my hands forever and walked around with it, as if I were walking on crutches. You can even read on it with one hand for a long time, without using the other.
Huawei Mate Xs – Screen
Even when folded the narrow display edges of the 6.6-inch AMOLED panel catches our attention. Yet when it’s extended to a height of 8 inches, the actual “Wow” effect occurs. As we have already stated, due to the display placed outside, Huawei does not need a palatinate.
You can see a slightly bent edge on the left side when the phone is folded. The panel is not smooth but instead bent outward. You feel like you are pressing a tiny cavity when you touch the screen.
I prefer the folding mechanism of the Huawei Mate X so far, after reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Fold among other foldable models. As regards folding, the thickness of the frame has especially bothered me. Huawei’s display area seems to me smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip’s.
Huawei Mate Xs – Software interface
When it comes to software, you’ve got to look at the Huawei smartphone from two angles. The operating system of Android itself is open source. Huawei can continue to do so without violating the U.S. trade embargo. What Huawei has to compensate for: create an alternative to Google services and its application ecosystem.
Here, Huawei relies on HMS, Huawei’s Mobile Services and its own AppGallery. Nor does Huawei have to reinvent everything, but it needs to internationalize a system that has been tested in its own country for years. It is, of course, increasingly relying on local teams who are in direct contact with application developers and who are helping to manage the system.
You can still access a lot of data that you have stored on your old smartphone using Google’s mobile and cloud services. The application of Huawei, Phone Clone, will be used to set up Mate X.
You will, therefore, be able to transfer applications and data, photos and videos, settings, SMS and your contact list. It worked very well for the duration of the test. Even the chats and WhatsApp data were transferred.
The transfer of all of my Google Apps to Mate X by Phone Clone was not complete. This transfer method has been refused by Google Maps, Google Analytics and Google Podcast.
In reality, all applications that use Google’s mobile services in the background are no longer working correctly on Huawei devices running EMUI 10. This is very annoying for gamers like me who have constantly put their scores on Play Services.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel, as Huawei’s AppGallery is showcasing more and more games. Through this download site are officially available snapchat, telegram, Microsoft Office or even Fortnite. It’s certainly just the beginning and I think it will take time before the program is completely functional.
There is an app discovery feature if you can not find your favorite app in the Huawei app list. Huawei will then direct you to third-party providers so you can access your preferred program.
Additionally, it is still possible to use web applications and to store the respective bookmarks as an application icon on the Huawei Mate Xs main screen. So there are many ways to include the normal applications and facilities to Mate X. It takes just a bit of effort and some patience.
Huawei Mate Xs – Performance
Huawei has it all planned here, right down to the latest in-house chip technology. Instead of the two-chip combination of the Kirin 980 modem and Balloon 5000, Huawei Mate Xs is now equipped with the Kirin 990 with integrated 5G modem. The Kirin 990 has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory, which can be expanded using Huawei NM memory cards.
This Kirin 990 update should not only increase the computing power of the Huawei Mate Xs, but also improve efficiency in terms of power consumption.
Huawei Mate Xs – Camera
While the Huawei SoC has again offered a major update with the Mate Xs, the camera hardware still has the old configuration of the Huawei Mate X of 2019. The camera configuration consists of the following elements:
- 40 MP, f / 1.8, 27mm wide-angle camera with PDAF
- 8 MP, f / 2.4, 52mm telephoto
- 16 MP ultra-wide-angle camera, f / 2.2, 17 mm
- ToF sensor for 3D depth information
A handy feature of the Mate Xs, which the Mate X already had, is the fact that you don’t need a standalone camera, as you place the smartphone in selfie and use the flipped portion of the screen as a viewfinder. In terms of quality, you get the same photo and video quality as with normal recording methods.
To find out if the Mate Xs’ camera is really good, we will have to do a real camera test.
Huawei Mate Xs – Battery life
Huawei has also not changed the battery compared to the 2019 Mate X. It remains at 4,500 mAh. But contrary to what was promised on the Huawei site, the manufacturer does not deliver a 55-watt power supply but a 65-watt charger. It is the same type of charger as that found in Huawei MateBook D 14 or MateBook Pro laptops. With this power supply, the battery is half charged in less than 20 minutes and fully charged in 59 minutes.
The battery life is ten hours and twenty minutes, which is huge. In everyday life, I have been able to operate the Huawei Mate Xs for a whole working day, although we cannot currently speak of a normal daily life, with the exit restrictions to which we are currently submitted. Switching between Wi-Fi and LTE networks are minimized. In addition, I could only operate the Mate Xs on the 4G network. So I could not examine how a 5G connection affects the life of the batteries. It’s a shame, but that’s all there is.
Huawei Mate Xs – Technical specifications
|BATTERY CAPACITY:||4500 mAh|
|SCREEN SIZE:||8 inch|
|REAR CAMERA:||40 Megapixel|
|ANDROID VERSION:||10 – Q|
|USER INTERFACE :||Huawei EMUI|
|INTERNAL MEMORY :||512 GB|
|CHIPSET:||HiSilicon Kirin 990|
|NUMBER OF HEARTS:||8|
|MAXIMUM CLOCK FREQUENCY:||2.86 GHz|
|CONNECTIVITY:||HSPA, LTE, Bluetooth 5.0|
A question of taste and purse
The Huawei Mate Xs, like its predecessor, is a beautiful foldable smartphone. But what’s amazing is also its size. It costs 200 euros more than the Mate X at 2,499 euros and is therefore definitely not open to everyone. You can have a well-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro or the MateBook X Pro in the higher edition for the purchase price of a Mate Xs and the Huawei P30 Pro.
Nevertheless, after nearly two weeks, I must say I prefer the Huawei Mate Xs to the Mate X launched a year ago. It is less fragile than I thought, and less sensitive. I have to say, it’s very robust and that’s what impressed me the most.