Huawei has taken the wraps off its second-generation foldable phone. Only there’s a lot about it that’s very familiar – it clearly resembles last year’s Mate X with only a few things changed. So what’s the difference?
The Mate X didn’t really make it beyond China after its reveal this time last year. We’re now expecting the Mate Xs to get a launch in Europe instead. Because the handsets weren’t launched in Europe the models we saw didn’t have any Google apps. With Huawei’s US trade ban in place, we now know the Mate Xs will launch without Google apps.
What’s the same?
- 161.3 x 78.5 x 11 mm, 300g
The main design of the phone remains unchanged – it’s essentially still the same size, although it weighs 5g more, probably due to the redesigned hinge (see below). Again the screen folds away from the hinge once released by a button and again the display is on the outside of the phone so the front part is usable as a standard phon Don’t expect any form of water or dust resistance from either device.
The hinge part includes most of the hardware including the fast 55W charging port (fast charger included), SIM card slot, cameras, volume rocker and release button.
- Foldable OLED 8-inch 2,200 x 2,480
- Front screen when folded is 6.6-inches
The foldable OLED display remains the same in terms of specs. Fully unfolded it’s 8-inches in size with a 2,200 x 2,480 pixel resolution that clocks in around 414ppi. When folded, the front screen is 6.6-inches with a 1,148 x 2,480 resolution. The only time the rear display kicks in when folded is when you take a selfie,
- Quad-camera setup
- Leica optics again
The camera setup has four lenses and as with other Huawei devices the lenses are engineered by Leica. There’s a main 40 megapixel lens straight out of the P30 Pro (f/1.8, 27mm wide), an 8 megapixel f/2.4, 52mm telephoto lens, a 16 megapixel f/2.2, 17mm ultrawide lens and finally a Time of Flight 3D lens. 4K video recording is supported at 30fps.
- New 100-element hinge
The Mate Xs includes a completely redesigned 100-element hinge to make the phone more robust. Otherwise, the physical design remains the same aside from a mere 5g of extra weight.
- HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G platform
- Support for more 5G bands
- Upgraded graphics processor
The core hardware has received an upgrade from the Mate X – instead of 2018’s flagship Kirin 980 platform, it’s now the successor, Kirin 990. It remains a 5G phone which is remarkable given the tiny size, but it’s now more capable with an increased number of 5G bands supported. To cope with the heat, the phone has cooling which flexes through both sides of the screen. There’s also a new graphics processor as part of the main platform. In a strange step – presumably because of licensing fees – it no longer appears to support aptX HD.
- EMUI 10 based on top of Android 10
- No Google apps or Google Play Store
- Download apps from Huawei’s app gallery
The software has also been upgraded from the Mate X that we saw last year. It’s now EMUI 10, the latest version of Huawei’s own software which is based on Android 10. That’s instead of Android 9 and EMUI 9.1. As we mentioned earlier, there is no Play Store or Google apps and you need to download apps from Huawei’s currently limited App Gallery.
- It’s got more expensive
Finally, while we don’t have any concrete UK pricing, the Mate Xs drops in at just under 2,500 Euros. That’s a rise of around 300 Euros from where the Mate X was supposed to be, not that it actually launched.