Huawei Mate Xs2 Review: Why Huawei is bucking the trend?

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Huawei Mate Xs2

For ordinary consumers, it is estimated that not many people know that the world’s first mass-produced folding screen mobile phone actually adopts the outer folding design. However, due to the immaturity of technology and design at that time, it was quickly replaced by inner folding design with stronger durability. Huawei, the representative brand of outer folding design, also began to change its route after launching Mate X and Mate Xs, and adopted inner folding design on HUAWEI Mate X2.

Just when everyone thought that the inner folding design would dominate the folding screen market, Huawei brought us the latest product of its outer folding series last week, the Huawei Mate Xs 2. In this era when inner folding design has become mainstream, why did Huawei buck the trend and choose to launch an outer folding flagship phone? After a week of experience, the following is a little bit of my feelings.

Huawei Mate Xs2 specs and features:

  • 6.5″ screen + 7.8″ foldable screen
  • 120Hz refresh rate and 424ppi
  • 4G Snapdragon 888 processor
  • 50MP + 13MP + 8MP cameras
  • 4600mAh battery + 66W fast charge
  • $2400 – Check latest price on: AliExpress

01/ Design: Large-screen experience that takes into account both thinness and flatness

For folding screen mobile phones, there are three points of concern in appearance: weight, creases and texture. Then let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Huawei Mate Xs 2’s performance in these three aspects compared with many inner folding flagship phones.

In Huawei’s publicity, one of the main advantages of outer folding design is thin and light. This is also true in my actual experience, although the weight of 255g and the thickness of 11.1mm after folding are still heavier than ordinary candy bar phones. But Mate Xs 2 is definitely the lightest and thinnest among the currently launched horizontal folding screen phones.

Huawei Mate Xs2

When you unfold the screen, the lightness in the hand becomes more apparent due to the change in the center of gravity. At the same time, the thickness of 5.4mm on the side of the screen after unfolding makes people feel as if they are holding a screen instead of a full-featured mobile phone.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Being able to achieve such a thin and light effect is inseparable from the outer folding form it adopts. In the form of outer folding, the mobile phone can save a screen, which is naturally thinner and lighter.

In addition, in order to further reduce the weight of the fuselage, Huawei Mate Xs 2 has also made innovations in materials. For example, its back cover is made of ultra-light glass fiber commonly used in the aviation field, and an aviation-grade titanium alloy is used in the screen support structure. The hinge also uses ultra-light and super-strong steel independently developed by Huawei. Through these ultra-light innovative materials, the overall weight reduction of the fuselage is achieved, and at the same time, it has the characteristics of high strength and high toughness, and is lighter and more reliable.

Huawei Mate Xs2

For folding screen phones, another focus of our attention is the crease of the screen. Huawei Mate Xs 2 uses an upgraded dual-rotor eagle-wing hinge design to make the screen flatter. Officials say its flatness is 70% higher than the previous generation Huawei Mate Xs. In my actual experience, whether it is folded or unfolded, it is difficult to see the existence of screen creases. And in the process of folding the screen, there will be no raised crease. At the same time, the sealing of the outside of the hinge is also very good, avoiding the possibility of sundries intrusion.

Huawei Mate Xs2

The Huawei Mate Xs2 in the unfolded state has a 7.8″ ultra-clear foldable screen with a display ratio of 8:7.1. In the folded state, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 has a 6.5″ screen with a display ratio of 19:9. The normal screen ratio allows the Mate Xs 2 to have a comfortable feel in the folded state.

Huawei Mate Xs2

The 424ppi ultra-high pixel density also allows users to obtain a more refined visual experience. With 1.07 billion colors and P3 wide color gamut color management, Huawei Mate Xs 2 can provide users with a more immersive visual experience and a more shocking visual experience. This screen supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and an ultra-high touch sampling rate of 300Hz, providing users with a smoother visual and touch experience. In addition, this screen also uses 1440Hz high-frequency PWM dimming, which is more eye-friendly than ordinary OLED screens.

For outer folding designs that expose the screen, the durability of the screen itself is very important. In order to solve this problem, Huawei Mate Xs 2 adopts the industry’s first composite reinforced structural screen, as well as the blessing of high-performance materials, which can effectively absorb and buffer external forces. In terms of design, it is similar to the anti-collision structure of automobiles, achieving 2.5 times the drop resistance, 2.8 times the impact resistance and 1.4 times the extrusion resistance, which is better than the previous generation products. However, since the screen itself is not made of glass, you still need to be careful in daily use. The Mate Xs 2 also comes with a protective case, which is recommended for daily use.

Huawei Mate Xs2

As a flagship mobile phone, the use texture of the folding screen mobile phone is naturally worthy of attention, and the most representative of these is the opening and closing feel of the screen. Different from the consistent opening and closing feel of inner folding mobile phones. The damping of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 screen when unfolded is significantly greater than when it is closed. At the same time, it adopts a buckle design to ensure the closure of the screen. If you need to unfold the screen, you must press the button on the back of the fuselage to do it, which is slightly inconvenient to operate.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Open the screen of Huawei Mate Xs 2

Finally, let’s take a look at some details on the appearance. Huawei Mate Xs 2 uses a side fingerprint design, and the recognition speed is good. The dual stereo speakers are arranged on the upper and lower sides respectively, and they have double airtight large sound cavities to create a stereo surround sound field. And equipped with a new AI sound engine, to achieve a more balanced effect in audio width and loudness.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Under the optimization of outer folding design and hinges, materials and other aspects, Huawei Mate Xs 2 makes the horizontal folding screen mobile phone achieve a lightweight and unburdened experience for the first time. However, the opening and closing operation and feel are slightly inferior to the current inner folding flagship phones. At the same time, it will take time to verify how the exposed screen performs in terms of durability.


02/ Experience: Performance is enough, optimization is better

With a large screen, the user experience has naturally become the focus of everyone’s attention. After all, in order to fully utilize the advantages of the large screen, system-level optimization is essential. As one of the manufacturers of folding screen mobile phones, Huawei’s performance in this regard will not be bad. Let’s take a look at it together.

Therefore, whether the system can achieve a smooth transition between the folded and unfolded states has become an important issue. In order to provide a more integrated user experience, Huawei Mate Xs 2 adopts a new folding visual and dynamic effect at the system level. At the same time, there is a built-in smart folding dynamic wallpaper, and the picture can change with the screen opening and closing, making the mobile phone desktop more flexible.

Huawei Mate Xs2

The split-screen function is a standard feature of folding screen mobile phones, and it can indeed greatly improve work efficiency. However, the deep entry and cumbersome operations make it difficult for many users to remember to use these functions. Huawei Mate Xs 2 has made a lot of effort in this regard. A single swipe can realize multiple operations such as split screen, small window, full screen, and retraction, allowing users to operate more quickly and further take advantage of the efficiency of the large screen.

For folding screen mobile phones, another major pain point in use is application adaptation. Many Android applications are simply stretched under the large screen, and the display content is even less than that of the traditional candy bar phone, which is undoubtedly a serious waste of the large screen. In response to this problem, Huawei has launched an adaptive UI engine, which obtains the original layout information through self-learning, and re-optimizes the layout for large-screen displays. The layout is more refined and more suitable for the reading habits of large-screen users.

According to the actual test, it can be seen that with the help of the adaptive UI engine, the App can display more content on the large screen, which further improves the user’s reading efficiency. According to official data provided by Huawei, Huawei Mate Xs 2 has achieved 100% large-screen adaptation in Top 300 applications, and 90% large-screen adaptation in Top 2000 applications. On Huawei Mate Xs 2, users can get a better large-screen experience.

Compared with the unopened state (left), the app can display more content after the application layout optimization (right) is enabled

Finally, let’s talk about performance. Due to supply constraints, Huawei Mate Xs 2 still uses the 4G version of the Snapdragon 888 processor, but its performance is sufficient for daily use. To actually test its performance, we tested it directly with “Genshin Impact”. Under the setting of extremely high image quality + 60 frames, the average frame rate of Huawei Mate Xs 2 is 46.6 frames. The frame rate curve is relatively gentle, and the actual game experience has no obvious lag, reaching the average level of the Snapdragon 888 processor.

Overall, Huawei Mate Xs 2 focuses on optimizing the user experience while providing better performance. By further simplifying the operation logic of small windows and split screens, it is more convenient for users to use. The innovative adaptive UI engine solves the big problem of App optimization, which plagues folding screen mobile phones, and helps large screens go further in productivity.


03/ Photograph: Continuing the excellent performance of Huawei Imaging

In terms of imaging, the Huawei Mate Xs 2 also did not fall behind. It is equipped with a combination of 50MP primary color camera + 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera + 8MP 3x telephoto camera. At the same time, the XD Optics computational optics technology has been upgraded again. Through the new optical system image information restoration technology, the clarity is further improved by 10%. As for the specific performance of this combination, let’s take a look through the proofs.

First of all, in a well-lit environment during the day, the 50MP main camera of the Huawei Mate Xs 2 performs very well. The picture resolution is excellent, the picture color is real and natural, the style is fresh and beautiful, and the imaging style is plain and natural, which is very suitable for friends who want to pursue real pictures.

Huawei Mate Xs 2

Main camera 1X zoom

On the ultra-wide-angle lens, the color adjustment maintains the same style as the main camera. After turning on the AI ​​enhancement function, the colors are relatively bright. In the face of some relatively large scenery environments and tall buildings, the ultra-wide-angle lens of Mate Xs 2 can directly produce spectacular proofs, which is very practical.

Huawei Mate Xs 2

Ultra wide-angle lens 0.6X zoom

In the telephoto proofs, thanks to its telephoto lens, the proofs of the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 can still guarantee good resolution at 3.5X zoom. The depiction of the external details of the building is in place, and the architectural details in the dark area under the eaves can still be accurately presented.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Telephoto lens 3.5X zoom

In terms of night scenes, the HUAWEI Mate Xs 2 can take a photo with a good overall effect even in a low-light environment. The overall picture does not blindly increase the brightness, but takes care of the overall look and feel of the picture. Details in highlights and shadows are preserved, and the amount of noise is well controlled. It looks relatively pure and has obvious advantages over other folding screen phones.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Main camera 1X zoom

In addition to the excellent image quality, Huawei Mate Xs 2 also supports more interesting gameplay. For example, the mirroring smart shooting function allows the subject to preview the shooting picture. Open the camera in the folded state and click the function button to enable the mirroring smart shooting function. At this time, the main screen and the sub-screen can display the framing screen at the same time, and both the photographer and the subject can preview the shooting effect.

Passers-by that you don’t want to see mixed in in the photos you took? Huawei Mate Xs 2 integrates a new generation of AI elimination function in the Gallery App. When editing a picture, after selecting the “eliminate” function, just click to intelligently identify the selected object to eliminate. AI image processing technology will intelligently identify the background and fuse colors and outlines. No need for advanced PS skills, it’s easy to get started.

Overall, the image quality of Huawei Mate Xs 2 can fully meet the needs of users for daily photography. The proofs are bright and pleasing during the day, pure and natural at night, and the overall imaging effect is excellent. Interesting functions such as Mirror Smart Shot and AI Elimination make taking pictures more interesting and help users fall in love with taking pictures.


04/ Battery Life & Fast Charge: 4600mAh battery + 66W fast charge

Due to the design of a large screen, the battery life of Huawei Mate Xs 2 has also attracted the attention of many friends. In order to solve the battery life problem, the Mate Xs 2 is equipped with a 4600mAh battery and a 66W super fast charge. Next, let’s take a look at its strength in terms of battery life and charging.

In terms of battery life, we tested the phone with a 5-hour heavy battery life model. During the test, the phone system volume and screen brightness were both set to 50%, Wi-Fi and bluetooth were turned on, and the smart refresh rate was turned on. The test content includes 30 minutes of 30fps 1080P video recording, 45 minutes of 1080P video playback, 50 minutes of Tik Tok video playback, 60 minutes of high-frame mode “Honor of King”, 45 minutes of Weibo, 30 minutes of AliExpress homepage browsing, and 50 minutes of QQ voice chat.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Judging from the results, Huawei Mate Xs 2 has 37% of the battery remaining after the 5-hour test, and the battery life is quite satisfactory. If you are a heavy mobile phone user, the Mate Xs 2 may require you to increase the charging frequency.

In terms of charging, Huawei has equipped the Mate Xs 2 with 66W super fast charging, which belongs to the first echelon of current folding screen mobile phones in terms of power. So how about the actual charging speed of the Mate Xs 2? Let’s see through testing.

Before testing, I first drained it completely, connected the Huawei 66W charger, and started timing after the phone was turned on. According to the measured data, under the current room temperature environment, the Huawei Mate Xs2 can be charged to 31% in 10 minutes and 85% in 30 minutes. This result can be regarded as an excellent level in the current folding screen mobile phone. It’s worth noting that if you want to get faster charging speeds, you need to keep the phone in the unfolded state, which helps the phone cool down.

Huawei Mate Xs2

Overall, the overall performance of Huawei Mate Xs 2 in terms of battery life and fast charging is acceptable. In daily light use, it can basically be charged once a day, and in heavy use, it can also quickly “return blood” through 66W super fast charging. It is believed that with the blessing of the 4600mAh battery and 66W super fast charge, the user’s battery life anxiety can be alleviated.


05/ Conclusion

After reading the performance of Huawei Mate Xs 2 in all aspects, I think I can try to answer the question in the title. Today, when inner folding design has become mainstream, Huawei’s launch of the Mate Xs 2 is not simply for the sake of being different. On the contrary, Huawei uses the “non-mainstream” design of outer folding to solve one of the biggest pain points of current folding screen mobile phones-thickness and weight. Its weight of 255g is very close to that of a candy bar flagship mobile phone, so users do not need to choose between a large screen and a thin and light one.

In addition, the double-rotor eagle-wing hinge design and composite reinforcement structure make the screen crease lighter and more durable, and the adaptive UI engine allows the large screen to display more information. It can be said that Huawei has indeed optimized the pain points of current folding screen mobile phones on the Mate Xs 2, bringing users a better experience. Constrained by supply problems, Huawei has not given up on the mobile phone market, but has further explored user pain points with limited resources. It is believed that with the help of this spirit, Huawei’s mobile phone business will surely persevere and continue to bring better products to users.


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