Bucking the foldable trend (Updated)

Huawei Mate Xs 2 open settings menu in hand

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Huawei has launched the Mate XS 2 foldable.
  • It uses an out-folding design rather than the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s in-folding design.
  • The company has since launched the device in global markets as well.

Update: May 18, 2022 (8:23 AM ET): It’s taken a few weeks, but Huawei has announced the global launch of the Mate XS 2 today. The new foldable goes on sale in Europe from June, so what should you expect in terms of pricing?

Well, Huawei has issued a recommended retail price of €1,999 (~$2,103) for the sole 8GB/512GB variant. This makes it more expensive than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was at launch, coming in at €1,799 (~$1,893).

Original article: April 29, 2022 (2:39 AM ET): The Huawei Mate X joined Samsung’s Galaxy Fold as the first two foldable phones from major manufacturers. The Mate X and its Mate XS follow-up differed from Samsung’s foldables by being out-folding designs instead of book-style in-folding devices. Now, the company is back with an out-folding device as it’s launched the Huawei Mate XS 2.

The Mate XS 2 indeed looks like a more refined version of the Mate X and Mate XS at first glance. There’s that familiar form factor as well as a rear camera housing that doubles as a grip when the device is unfolded.

Perhaps the most notable visual tweak is that it now has a punch-hole cutout for a 10.7MP selfie camera on the foldable screen. The company has also opted to use a “3D micro-fiber” back of sorts, with each color variant seemingly offering a different texture.

Huawei Mate XS 2 colorways

Huawei’s latest foldable is equipped with a 7.8-inch 120Hz foldable OLED display (8:7.1, 2,480 x 2,200), folding to give you a smaller, 6.5-inch 19:9 screen. There’s no word on additional protection such as ultra-thin glass though, which would be a shame given that out-folding screens aren’t as well-protected against damage as in-folding panels. Nevertheless, the firm suggests that you won’t notice any crease on the folding panel, while the screen also supports stylus input via an optional pen.

Otherwise, the Mate XS 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 888 4G SoC, 8GB to 12GB of RAM, 256GB to 512GB of storage, a 4,600mAh battery (or 4,880mAh battery for 12GB/512GB model), and 66W charging. So those hoping for the latest flagship silicon, 5G connectivity, and wireless charging might be disappointed here.

More Huawei coverage: Everything you need to know about Huawei phones

Switching to the camera arena, the rear camera system consists of a 50MP main shooter, 13MP ultrawide camera (with a macro mode), and 8MP 3x telephoto lens. Much like the older Mate X and Mate XS phones, you can also take selfies with the rear cameras by using the other half of the screen as a viewfinder.

Other notable features include a side fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.2, Harmony OS 2, support for Huawei’s NM card format, and Wi-Fi 6.

Huawei Mate XS 2 pricing and availability

Huawei Mate Xs 2 home screen standing

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Mate XS 2 is only available in China right now, starting at 9,999 yuan (~$1,515) for the 8GB/256GB variant all the way up to 12,999 yuan (~$1,969) for the top-end 12GB/512GB model. Expect to find the foldable in white, black, and purple color options.

Huawei Mate XS 2: Hot or not?

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There’s no word on wider availability just yet, although Huawei is one of the few Chinese brands to occasionally offer foldables outside China. However, it’s worth noting that the Mate XS 2 won’t have Google integration if it indeed launches globally.

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