New and improved Huawei Mate Xs foldable smartphone is here

Huawei Mate Xs

After just a year, the original Huawei Mate X smartphone now has a rightful successor

It has been a year already since Huawei first introduced its first ever folding smartphone called the Mate X. Today, the said innovative device just got its official successor and it is simply called the Huawei Mate Xs. Unlike the original iteration which was only made available in China, this upcoming follow-up will make its way to the international market. Looks like Huawei is now much more confident with this one and they are now more than ready for the global rollout of its foldable smartphone. Just like what the rumors were speculating, Huawei made some significant enhancements with the Mate Xs smartphone.

The Huawei Mate Xs is no doubt an incredible smartphone, every gadget and smartphone enthusiast will definitely in awe in the presence of this device. There is just one problem though, at least depending on how you look at it. This device does not come with Google Services much like the recent smartphones from Huawei. Though I heard, Goolge has applied for a license to the US government requesting to allow them to work with Huawei once again. If that application is approved, it would to be a great news not just for Huawei but also for its fans around the globe.

Until then, users can download apps from Huawei's own AppGallery, which by the way, now houses more apps (and counting) than ever before, boasts Huawei. That's because the company has been tirelessly working with hundreds if not thousands of mobile app developers worldwide grow its app selection as fast and as much as possible.

Can you still sideload apk apps of your choice? Sure you can, but Google does not encourage it due to security and privacy risks.

What's new and improved?

While everything looks exactly the same as the first generation Mate X at first glance, most especially on the outside appearance, there is actually a couple of enhancements that Huawei pointed out at the launch. One of those is in the processor department. If you can still remember, the original Mate X was equipped with Kirin 980 chipset with the Balong 5000 modem alongside it for the 5G connectivity. In the Mate Xs, both the processor and the 5G modem are now integrated in the latest Kirin 990 processor.

huawei mate xs hands on review

The falcon hinge on the Mate Xs is where the other "what's new" part is found. Huawei says the components and mechanical parts in the hinge alone are now between 100 and 150 moving parts. Of course since I was not able to experience the original Mate X last year, I have nothing to compare the Mate Xs with. However, during my very limited time with the device at a local event organized by Huawei Philippines, I could say that the folding and unfolding the Mate Xs felt robust and satisfying at the same time. There is still a release button for unfolding the device which means, the phone does not rely on magnet to keep it folded and I think that's a nice little touch there.

Another improved component of the Mate Xs is found on the screen, according to Huawei. Though we do not have folding glass materials here like the one found on the also recently-launched Samsung Galaxy Flip Z, Huawei made sure to have some enhancements on its OLED plastic display. The company said the display now has four layers with polymer material is now added in the mix for a much better display protection.

huawei mate xs philippines

When unfolded, the Huawei Mate Xs offers a huge 8-inch display. Folded, the device becomes a typical 6.6-inch smartphone for the main screen. The secondary screen on the back has 6.38" to offer. The images I have in this post do not do enough justice on how vivid and alive the colors and images are in person with the Mate Xs. Being offered with OLED display panel, it provides much better viewing experience compared to the usual non-AMOLED display panels. The crease though, more importantly in the middle, is more visible in tablet mode compared to smartphone mode.

huawei mate xs philippines

Together with the powerful and 5G capable Kirin 990 processor are the Mali G76 GPU, Dual Big Core + Tiny Core neural processing units, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB internal storage. The storage can still be expanded up to another 256GB but only via NM card by Huawei. The phone is obviously fast and reliable even when running multiple apps on the display. Yes, you can run up to three different apps simultaneously on the screen.

In the camera department, the Mate Xs packs four of them all co-engineered with Leica. The main shooter has 40MP sensor while the fourth one is a ToF camera for depth sensing. There is no separate front camera though as these quad rear cameras serve as the front cameras as well to when the device is folded. And that's one of the things I like about the Mate Xs compared to its rival Galaxy Fold. This means, whether you take a photo of a beautiful scenery of a selfie photo of you, you get the same photo and video qualities no matter what.

huawei mate xs

Some final words

I would say, if not for the official SRP and the lack of Google services, the Huawei Mate Xs is a technological marvel of a smartphone. It's exciting, it's cool, and it's unique. An absolute head turner when used in public places such as coffee shops. Of course that impression of mine is based on my very limited time with the device. It's my first time using and seeing it in person and by what I experienced and observed, it is a very good device, at least as of the moment. If it becomes more accessible to many in terms of price and Google services becomes an official reality again with this one, it is going to be a great foldable smartphone around and competition will definitely have a hard time beating this gadget to the punch.

Huawei Mate Xs specs:

  • 8" (unfolded), 6.6" (main folded), 6.38" (secondary folded) Quad HD OLED Display
  • 2480 x 2200 resolution
  • Kirin 990 5G processor
  • Mali G76 GPU
  • Dual Big Core + Tiny Core NPUs (Neural Processing Units)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB storage
  • Supports NM Card up to 256GB
  • 40MP + 16MP + 8MP + ToF Quad rear cameras, co-engineered with Leica
  • Rear cameras act as front cameras when folded
  • EMUI 10.0.1 based on Android 10
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5, 
  • Supports up to 5G network
  • USB-C
  • Type-C earjack
  • 55W SuperCharge tech
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 2,499 Euros (Php138K)
In terms of global availability and pricing, Huawei revealed during the global livestream announcement that the Mate Xs will retail for 2,499 Euros and will start shipping in March of this year. That's around Php138K when directly converted to Philippine peso. 

Huawei Philippines did not share as to when this Mate Xs will be released in the local market and how much it is going to be for. If you are interested and getting one for yourself, you may need to wait a little bit longer to the official date and figure. 

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