Huawei Mate Xs two-minute review
The MateXsis the latest foldable phone from Huawei and improves upon the original Huawei Mate X ina number ofways. It features an improved Falcon Wing hinge design that is stronger and makes it easier to unfold the MateXs.
Huawei has also improved the durability of the phone with a quad layer construction using polyamide film.
Unlike every other foldable phone that we have seen where the foldable screen is protected inside a clam shell and complemented by an external screen, Huawei sticks the screen on the outside perimeter of its Mate X devices.
The advantage to this design is that you have the primary screen readily available and it's all part of one big display, but this also may make it more susceptible to damage.
We found the use case of the MateXsvery different to the Galaxy Fold, even though both these foldable phones unfold to provide you a larger screen. With the Galaxy Fold, the external 4.6–inch external screen felt too small for regular usage and the device needed to be unfolded almost every time we wanted to do more than a call or answer a quick text.
That's not the case with the MateXswhere we used the display more frequently in its folded state than the unfolded state.
In its folded state, the screen is sized at 6.6-inches which is large enough to compete with non-foldable flagship phones. When unfolded, the 8-inch screen on the MateXsis a sight to behold, and that's especially the case as there's no notch. It’s a great replacement to a small sized tablet and that’s exactly how we used it- sitting on a couch with a cup of coffee or in bed before turning the lights out.
The MateXsfeatures Huawei’s latest Kirin 990 5G chipset which is built on 7nm+ technology and is the only chipset with an integrated 5G modem. Huawei also provided a very generous 512GB of storage on the MateXsand while 8GB of RAM handled all the apps we threw at it without any issues, we would have liked to seeHuaweiequip it with 12GB to make it abitmore future proof.
The primary camera on the Mate Xs is a Leica branded 40 MP, f/1.8 primary camera with an RYYB sensor that’s capable of taking great low light shots. Also present is an 8 MP, f/2.4 telephoto lens fixed at 52mm or 3X zoom and a 16 MP, f/2.2, 17mm ultra-wide module.
Huawei has pretty much been at or around the top when it comes to phone cameras and the MateXs keeps that going with a versatile camera system that sports AI capabilities for impressive shots. An advantage on the MateXsis that the primary camera system also works as the selfie camera with the screen folding around the back allowing you to take as impressive selfies.
All ofthis tech is powered by a 4,500mAh battery that lasts you all day and can be charged quickly using the included 45W charger. The phone lacks wireless charging which is a tradeoff we are willing to accept considering that the screen wraps around back.
What is harder to swallow is the lack of Google Apps and the price tag - the MateXsis an expensive phone at £2,299 / AED 9,999 (around $2,746 / AU$4,205). Then again, this phone isn’ttargetedtowards the average consumer and considering that all foldable phones are expensive, it isn’t surprising.
Want to find out more about how we found the Huawei Mate Xs? Read on below:
Huawei Mate Xs release date and price
- Out now in the UK and UAE, yet to come to US or Australia
- 512GB + 8GB of RAM: AED 9,999 / Euro 2,500
Huawei announced the MateXsat the end of February 2020, and you can now buy it in the UK and UAE. Orders in the UAE are shipping by March 29, but those in the UK are able to get it immediately from Carphone Warehouse.
If you thought smartphones had reached their pinnacle with pricing, think again. TheHuaweiMateXsis priced at £2,299/ AED 9,999(around $2,746 / AU$4,205). and there is only one configuration available for it which is with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage.
Foldable phones are all expensive and the MateXsis no exception though it is pushing boundarieswithits pricing.That being said, thereis no foldable phone like it in terms of design and with the lack of GMS, the Mate Xs is definitely not for everyone. By pricing it on the higher side, Huawei is playing the exclusivity game.
Design and display
- 6.6-inch AMOLED that folds out to 8-inches
- Notch-free viewing experience
- Bright and punchy
All the foldable phones that we’ve seem so far hide the foldable screen inside the device, whether that’s the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Flip or the Motorola Razr. What this leads to is a primary display that’s hidden most of the time and complimented by a secondary display. Huawei throws that notion out of the window by bending the main screen outwards, so that the same screen can be used in both a folded and unfolded state.
There's a button on the back that springs the display up about 60 degrees. Then, you raise it further to a fully flat state where it snaps into place. The reverse of this process locks the screen back onto the phone and that's how it manages to keep the screen flat when the Mate Xs is in folded state.
In a folded state, the OLED screen size is 6.6-inches in size which is about the size of a screen you find on most large phones. It has a resolution of2480 x 1148and is bright enough to be used outdoors in the sun with ease.
The bezels around the screen are slightly thicker than other recent phones, but there's no notch orpunch-holecamera taking up space within the screen.
Unfolding the display results in a gigantic 8-inch screen with a2480 x 2200resolution. The unfurled display is a joy to use and we can comfortably say it's the best foldable display we’ve seen so far.
There is a crease in the middle that’s only visible at certain angles. You don’t feel it as much as you may expect because you’re mostly interacting with the sides of the screen due to its large size.Think of it as a tablet in your hand when unfolded.
Obviouslythe biggest question about the foldable display on the MateXsis about its durability. Considering that the screen is always exposed, would it hold up over time? That is something that we can’t answer yet as we’ve only had the phone for a short amount of time.
What we can tell you is that we used the MateXslike any other phone (and it wasn't in a case) which means it slid across the desk and rested in cup holders while driving. So far, the screen hasheldup well. A little care woulddefinitely goa long way with any foldable phone though, and it's something you should think about when considering the Mate Xs.
- A heavy phone at 300 grams
- Fast fingerprint sensor
- No 3.5mm jack
The Huawei MateXsis a sturdily built phone that feels dense and heavy. At 300 grams, it’sdefinitely onthe weighty side that is felt when using it one-handed for an extended period.
The bulk of components sit along the left edge of the MateXs,which is thicker than the rest of the phone. Huawei has implemented a smart design as this thicker edge not only houses all the components and the camera but allows you to grip the unit when unfolded in a similar way to the design on the Kindle Oasis.
Past this strip, the phone is very thin at just 5.5mm, which allows it to fold into something that’s around 11mm thick.
The right side of the device holds the volume buttons and the power key, which also has a fingerprint sensor embedded. The position of the power button is just a tad bit higher than the middle making it easy to reach, plus our testing found the fingerprint sensor to be fast and accurate.
At the bottom sits the USB Type-C connector placed towards the right. There is no 3.5mm jack on the MateXs though, so instead Huawei has bundled USB Type-C headphones in the box.
On the top edge of the phone sits the hybrid dual SIM tray that can either accept twonano-sized SIM cards or one SIM card and one NM type of memory card.
Since the MateXshas its display on its outside, you are holding a plastic screen which has a much different feel to it than glass and metal. It not necessarily good or bad - it just feels different, though it does attract a lot of fingerprints which show when the screen is off.
- No Google apps or services here
- Huawei App Gallery is a decent start
- APKs install just fine
New Huawei phones aren’t equipped with Google Mobile Services (GMS) due to the US Government restrictions of what many publications are calling the Huawei ban. Huawei has started building its own framework (Huawei Mobile Services) and it attempting to replace the Google Play Store with its new App Gallery. That’s what you get on the MateXs.
While there are third-party apps available on App Gallery such asTikTokand Microsoft Office, it still has a lot of catching up to do.
You won’t find any of the Google Apps on it (that's things like YouTube, Gmail or Chrome) and, at the time of this review, there aren't other popular apps such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp.
Huawei is expected to make some big announcements over the next few months for the App Gallery and we wouldn't be surprised if some of these services end up porting over to its store. There's no gurantee that'll be the case though, and you're severely limited with alternatives to Google's services.
Huawei Mate Xs - Homescreen
Huawei Mate Xs - Email app in unfolded state
Huawei Mate Xs - side by side apps
Huawei Mate Xs - Palabre scaling to tablet
Huawei Mate Xs - Instagram: Apps that don't scale
Thatbeing said, we had both Instagram and WhatsApp running fine on the MateXsby downloading their respective APK files.As long asyou know what you’re getting into, the MateXscan handle most Android apps but there's a lot of hassle to get them.
You will also run across apps will might install but rely on Google's framework to function as they're supposed to. That makes them essentially unusable on the Huawei Mate Xs.
Coming to the built-in apps by Huawei, some of them make use of the advantages of the unfolded display state. For example, the Mail and Notes app from Huawei have two panes giving them a desktop-like experience.
Even the internet browser app displays tabs on top making it easier to switch between them like you do on a computer.
Third party apps,especially ones designed for tablets scale well on the MateXs. Apps such as the Palabre RSS reader and Reddit provide a solid experience in our testing. Games also look fantastic on the large screen, while some 16:9 videos don't scale well on the Mate Xs' squarish aspect ratio.
Multi-tasking is handed quite well on the MateXswhere you can drag apps from a side panel and have two displayed side-by-side with each app taking about the same size as it would on a regular smartphone display. A third app can also be included as a floating window letting you work on three things at one time.
- Comes with a triple camera setup
- What you'd expect from Huawei
- Best selfie camera, as it's also the main camera
Huawei has pretty much been at, or at least around, the top of the game when it comes to phone cameras for the last couple of years. The MateXshas a versatile camera system that we found could take some very impressive shots and featured a fantastic zoom mode.
The camera system is made up of three cameras.The Mate Xs features a Leica branded 40MP, f/1.8 primary camera with an RYYB sensor that’s capable of taking great low light shots.
The primary camera is then paired with an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto fixed at 52mm and a 16MP f/2.2 17mm ultra-wide module. That's a largely similar camera to what we've seen on flagships like the Huawei P30 Pro but it isn't quite as good on the Mate Xs.
Using a combination of hardware and software, the Mate Xs can take photos up to 30x zoom and videos up to 10x zoom. We recommend sticking to a max of 10x on photos and 5x on videos for better quality footage,
An advantage on the MateXsis that the primary camera system also works as the selfie camera.
You can simply rotate the phone and the screen on the back shows you what the camera is looking at, effectively making it one of the best selfie cameras on a phone right now.
Besides taking a selfie, you can also show the subject their framing using the back screen on the phone.Here are some sample shots from the MateXscamera:
Huawei Mate Xs - AI mode
Huawei Mate Xs - Macro
Huawei Mate Xs - Zoom
Huawei Mate Xs - Ultrawide
Huawei Mate Xs - 30x Zoom
Huawei Mate Xs - Night time
Huawei Mate Xs - Night time
Huawei Mate Xs - Super moon
Performance and battery life
- High-end specs with a Kirin 990 chipset
- 5G support
- Battery that can last a whole day
Huawei has equipped the MateXswith its latest chipset which is the 7nm+ based Kirin 990 along with 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage. While we had no complains on the performance of this device, we were surprised to not see it equipped with 12GB RAM like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The Kirin 990 chipset has an integrated 5G modem that supports some but not all 5G networks.That may mean your network or carrier will be able to support the Huawei Mate Xs, but this is something you'll want to check with your service provider before buying the Mate Xs.
The MateXsis equipped with two batteries packs that combined offer a capacity of 4,500mAh. We found it held up quite well during our testing, and it always lasted a full day from a single charge.
Most of the days in our testing had over 35% charge left by the end of the day and only during one instance where we used Waze for 3 hours of driving and extensively used the camerawerewe left with less than 5% by the end.
For a quick recharge, Huawei bundles a 55W charger in the box. We’re disappointed that the MateXsdoesn’t support wireless charging, but the design of the phone with the screen wrapping around the back doesn’t really allow for wireless charging with current tech.
Buy it if...
You want a phone unlike any other
Though there are a few foldable phones already available, none of them are like the Mate Xs. Its expansive 8-inch screen along with the 6.6-inch primary display make it an ideal foldable in both states.
You like using cutting edge technology
The screen first design on the Mate Xs is very new and not comprehensively tested so we can't speak of its durability, but if you like living on the cutting edge then this is the device for you.
You want the largest screen on a phone
If large screens are your thing, there really isn't any phone currently on the market that has as big of a screen as the Mate Xs. It's great for multi-tasking, as well as aging eyes.
Don't buy it if...
You are invested in Google's apps
The Huawei Mate Xs does not come with Google Mobile Services or the Google Play Store. If you often use those services, then the Mate Xs will prove to be a challenging phone.
You're not careful with your gadgets
Coming back to the durability aspect- though we haven't had any problems with the Mate Xs, we've only used it for a little while and if you're not the kind that treats their gadgets with TLC, we suggest waiting a bit longer before you buy this phone.
You're on a budget
The price of this phone is clearly not targeted towards consumers that are looking for an affordable device. It's no secret that all foldable phones are expensive, but this price pushes the boundaries of phone prices further than ever before.
First reviewed: March 2020
Huawei P30 Pro – Best with Google Play Services
If you're willing to compromise on software updates and current-gen hardware, there's still life left in the P30 Pro.
Huawei Mate XS 2's EMUI 12 software
The Mate XS 2 runs on EMUI 12, which is based on an open-source variant of Android 11. Yet it lacks any of Google's popular software and services such as the Google Play Store and Gmail as a result of US sanctions.
Best Huawei phones in 2022 at a glance:
Huawei P50 Pro - the new camera champion. Huawei Nova 10 Pro - the best budget Huawei phone. Huawei Mate 40 Pro - solid Mate flagship.
The Mate Xs 2 is a fantastic piece of foldable hardware, only really held back by concerns about durability, with its soft, foldable display always exposed. There's no 5G support though, and while Huawei's software situation is ever-improving, we still really miss the Google Play Store.Is Huawei still banned by Google 2023? ›
In 2023, Huawei is still hanging on to make up for the absence of Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its smartphones.Why is Huawei banned in US? ›
Huawei was under investigation by FBI in the United States for sending some diamond glass samples developed by the company Ahkan Semiconductor to China without authorization to test and destroy the product in order to steal intellectual property.Is Huawei OK with Google? ›
The new Huawei P40 Pro / Huawei Mate Xs / Huawei P40 Lite 5G runs on Android 10 with EMUI 10, but doesn't support Google apps and services, including Google Play Store. Lots of Apps are available from the Huawei AppGallery, and can also often be transferred from your own phone using the Huawei Phone Clone app.Why does Huawei not use Google? ›
The reason is because Android was created as an open-source project, meaning it belongs to the public domain on the web, free and open for all to use. The ban placed by the US government only stops Huawei using the core part of Google's Mobile Services.Why did Huawei remove Google? ›
Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.Can I use Huawei phone in USA? ›
It's not illegal to own a HUAWEI device anywhere in the world. The HUAWEI ban prevents HUAWEI from working with US-based companies in the creation of its products. It doesn't apply to consumers who currently own a HUAWEI product and doesn't prevent them from buying new ones, either.
Apple's 6.5in iPhone 11 Max Pro is the better match if you're seeking a super-sized screen. For all the things that Huawei went high-end on, the screen actually isn't one of them. It's a FHD+ OLED screen, essentially 1080p but taller, which means it's not as pin-sharp as Huawei's Mate 20 Pro or some other rivals.When was Huawei banned in US? ›
It's the reason why, in 2012, the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment and why the company was added to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List in May 2019, following an executive order from then-President Donald Trump that effectively banned Huawei from US ...What is the new price of Huawei mate XS? ›
Huawei Mate Xs, priced at EUR 2,499 (about Rs 1.95 lakhs), has an 8-inch main display, a 6.6-inch front panel, and a 6.38-inch rear screen.Is Huawei mate discontinued? ›
Huawei has delisted the Mate X2 from its online store in China, reports ITHome. The company has removed both the original 5G model as well as the 4G variant. The smartphone is likely discontinued.Is Huawei mate XS Android? ›
The phone runs on Android 10.0 + EMUI 10.0. For the latest phones and tablets, check out giztop.com and get the best deals, coupons, offers, comparison, reviews and more!Can you use Gmail on Huawei? ›
There are two easy ways to add and use Gmail on any Huawei smartphone. The first is via Huawei's built-in email app, and another is via AppGallery.Can you open Gmail on Huawei? ›
Huawei has implemented its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) alternative that allows you to use almost every Google application on your smartphone. One of the most popular Google applications is Gmail — the ubiquitous email service used by millions worldwide.Can I trust Huawei? ›
Huawei is an independent company, committed to supporting the secure operations of our customers' networks and services. We exist to serve our customers. That means supporting stable, reliable, and secure network operations no matter the circumstance, whether it be natural disaster, social conflict, or cyber-attack.What did Huawei do wrong? ›
Intellectual property theft. U.S. companies and global telecom firms have for years accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets, starting with Cisco's 2003 lawsuit alleging that its source code appeared in Huawei products. (The suit was later settled.)Does Huawei track you? ›
Depending on what permissions you've granted the apps on your phone, it may be tracking other things like how often you visit certain websites or whether you use it to buy stuff. If you use a Huawei phone then it is tracking all kinds of things about you.
Press the internet browser icon. Press the address bar. Key in facebook.com and press the confirm icon. Go to the web page where you can download Facebook and follow the instructions on the screen to install the app.What happens between Huawei and Google? ›
In 2019, Huawei was put on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List which restricted American firms from exporting technology to the Chinese company. Google cut ties with Huawei as a result. That meant Huawei could not use licensed Google Android on its smartphones.Will Huawei ban be lifted? ›
Huawei declares return to normal operations in 2023 despite ongoing restrictions.How Huawei survive without Google? ›
Huawei has managed to develop its own operating system, HarmonyOS. This makes Huawei an independent company where a number of technology devices no longer use Google's Android operating system. In its home country, HarmonyOS is better known as Hongmeng.Can you install Google Drive on Huawei? ›
Download Google Drive from AppGallery on your Huawei devices.What US carriers support Huawei? ›
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.Is Huawei sanctioned by the US? ›
The U.S. Commerce Department first slapped Huawei with export controls against the company's suppliers in 2019, with officials citing national security risks over the possibility that the Chinese government could access sensitive data.How do I update my Huawei phone in USA? ›
Procedure: Touch Settings > Updater to check for new updates. If a new update is found, touch to download it, and then follow the onscreen instructions to update your phone.Are Huawei phones better than Samsung? ›
When it comes to pure hardware and performance each phone has its plusses here. Samsung has the sharper display, and bigger battery, but Huawei has much faster charging and more impressive camera capabilities. Samsung has the higher resolution screen, and it also has arguably the ultimate trump card: proper Android.Are Huawei phones good quality? ›
It probably comes as little surprise that Huawei's latest and greatest Pro model is built with quality hardware. Like the P20, P30 and P40 Pros before it, the P50 Pro is the best of the best when it comes to Huawei's flagship series, offering all the outstanding features we've come to love Huawei for.
Huawei constantly works on perfecting the Android platform. Huawei has a special interface called Emotion, which is the improved version Google Android. In the meantime the Android platform of Samsung smartphones does not undergo much optimization or change. A good camera captures a lot of light.How much is Huawei Mate XS 2 in US? ›
Today, on April 2023, Huawei Mate Xs 2 Price in USA (America) starts from USD 1450 approx. The Smartphone comes with a Hybrid Dual SIM card that accepts Nano SIM.Which is the latest Huawei mate with Google? ›
HUAWEI devices, including the latest HUAWEI Mate50 series, now support Google-related apps. Users can enjoy the best of HUAWEI's technology and features, while easily accessing Google-related apps, such as Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Meet and more.How much is Mate XS in China? ›
Price in China : CNY 18,000
Huawei Mate Xs comes with Android 10, 8.0 inch (Folded cover display: 6.6 inch) OLED FHD Display, HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G Chipset, Quad 40MP + 8MP + 16MP + TOF 3D Rear and uses main camera for Selfie, 8GB RAM and 512GB ROM, Huawei Mate Xs Price range CNY. 19,125 to CNY. 20,625.
U.S. bans new Huawei, ZTE equipment sales, citing national security risk.Is Huawei replacing Android? ›
This morning in a livestream, Huawei officially kicked off the launch of Harmony OS, its in-house operating system and (among other things) its replacement for Android. The company announced a new watch, a new tablet, and a new phone powered by HarmonyOS.Why is Huawei banned from using Android? ›
Why did Google ban Huawei? Huawei was banned from Google's Android operating system because of spying concerns. The company has been accused of installing hardware on its devices that could be used to spy or intercept data, which would violate U.S. privacy laws and undermine the security at stake in our cyber world.Is Huawei allowed to use Android? ›
All Huawei smartphones, tablets and PCs will continue to receive security patches, Android updates and Microsoft support. Anyone who has already bought, or is about to buy a Huawei smartphone, can continue to access the world of apps as they have always done.Can Huawei run Android apps? ›
Launching an Android app in the App Gallery should not constitute any difficulty, as Huawei devices run either on Android or HarmonyOS based on the same source code. So if you want to find out how to add an Android app to the Huawei App Gallery, you have come to the right place.Does Google work on old Huawei phones? ›
Recall that the ban on Huawei only affects smartphones released after the ban. Thus, older Huawei smartphones still directly access Google Play Store.
- The following Huawei phones are not supported by Google Mobile Services (GMS):
- 1) Huawei Mate 30.
- 2) Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
- 3) Huawei Mate Xs.
- 4) Huawei P40.
- 5) Huawei P40 Pro.
- 6) Huawei P40 Pro Plus.
- 7) Huawei Nova 6 SE.
not true anymore starting jan 2022. ATT shutdown 3g and blacklisted many devices. No huawei devices(except 2 devices) work in the USA now for calls, sms or data.Does the Huawei P30 Pro have Google? ›
Like the original P30 Pro, the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition comes with a 6.7-inch screen, four rear cameras and Google's full suite of services, which include Gmail, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store.Why Google not supporting Huawei? ›
The company noted in its official blog that due to the US government placing Huawei on its Entity List on May 16 last year, Google is prohibited from working with the company on new device models or provide apps for preload or download on these devices.Does Gmail work on Huawei? ›
You can download the Gmail app for Huawei phones in a few simple steps through AppGallery. AppGallery divides applications across 18 different categories, including news, social media, and entertainment.Will Google stop supporting Huawei? ›
No. Huawei phones that have already been released have been certified to access the Play Store and receive updates for the current version of Android. That goes for Honor phones too. Existing devices such as the P30 Pro remain unaffected and will continue to use Google apps.Is Huawei worth it without Google? ›
Huawei without Google, does it work in 2022? Well, it does, the Google-divorced devices work a little better than in the past. But does Huawei, which continues to sell its smartphones at more than $1,000 overseas without offering a convincing Android experience, really deserve a medal for that? No!Is Google removed from Huawei? ›
Instead of running Android with Google Mobile Services on board, Huawei had to switch to open-source Android and manage without Google Maps, Google Play Store and Gmail, for instance.What phone do Bill Gates use? ›
The billionaire, in a ask-me-anything session on Reddit revealed that he is a Samsung loyalist. Gates currently uses Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and before this he used Galaxy Z Fold 3 as his primary phone.When did Huawei remove Google? ›
Google apps come with a variety of services and can be found on any Android smartphone. Huawei was also in the same club but everything was changed since the events of May 2019 that lead us towards the removable of Google Mobile Services from phones launched after the above-mentioned timeline.