Huawei Mate Xs Hands-On: The true folding pro?

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Amongst a series of announcements from Huawei in Barcelona this morning, the Mate Xs was perhaps the most exciting.

I’ll be covering the other new announcements later (there’s a new laptop and tablet, plus fast wireless routers with and without 5G) , but for now I was able to get my hands on the latest incarnation of Huawei’s folding phone – and this one will be coming to the UK soon.

At €2499 in Europe and £2299 in the UK, it’s not going to be cheap (it comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage) but it has been given a series of improvements over the original Mate X.

Three is one network that you’ll be able to buy the Mate Xs, which opens out to give you a huge 8-inch display. When closed, you can use the front part as a ‘regular’ smartphone with a 6.6-inch display (and on the back, a 6.38-inch secondary display).

The Mate Xs has fast 55W SuperCharge charging, wireless charging (including reverse wireless chargig), dual-SIM and dual-mode 5G with support for more 5G bands than rival products (the phone will require an over-the-air update in the future to enable the full functionality).

There’s also a bunch of cool software on there to make full use of the extra screen real estate, while the internals have been upgraded so it now has Huawei’s latest Kirin 990 SoC.

Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei Mate Xs – what’s in the box

On the camera side, there’s the P30 Pro SuperSensing camera (40-megapixel with RYYB sensor and an ISO of 204800), an 8-megapixel telephoto camera that can offer up to 45x zoom with a combination of 3x optical and 30x digital zoom, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and 3D Time-of-Flight camera.

Mate Xs

With the new chipset comes new cooling system, while the flexible display now has a two-layer polymer structure with aerospace-grade polimide and clear adhesive. It allows for improved durability, without impacting image quality or saturation.

Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei Mate Xs

Multitasking has to be good to make use of that extended display, or else it is all for nought. Fortunately, Huawei allows two apps to be displayed side by side, along with other apps in moveable windows on top.

Huawei Mate Xs

It’s not just a case of packing the screen with apps, as you’ll want to be able to interact with them all at once – and transfer content from one to another on occasion.

This is where the innovative drag-and-drop comes into play, which allows you to easily cut and paste by simply dragging text, or embed files as an attachment in an email, for example.

With Android 10 loaded, the Mate Xs follows the recently launched Mate 30 Pro in coming with Huawei Mobile Services and the App Gallery application store, which means you won’t get to run native Google apps – but there are now a sizeable amount of apps to choose from, including many equivalents of the apps you might currently be used to.

More info: Huawei

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