A year after introducing its first foldable smartphone (which didn’t actually start shipping until a few months ago), Huawei is back with the Huawei Mate Xs.

The new folding phone… looks an awful lot like the old one. But it has some key updates. The Kirin 980 processor from the original Mate X has been replaced with a Kirin 990 5G chip.

Huawei says it’s also improved the hinge and cooling system for the new smartphone.

Like its predecessor, the new Huawei Mate Xs is an 8 inch, 2480 x 2200 pixel tablet when unfolded. But fold the screen in half and you have a 6.6 inch primary, 2480 x 1148 primary display on the front and a slimmer 6.4 inch, 2480 x 892 display on the back that you can use as a viewfinder when snapping selfies with the phone’s rear cameras.

There are no front-facing cameras. So you’ll either need to flip the phone around to shoot a self-portrait or make a video call. But the good news is that means you get the same high-quality camera selection no matter how you’re holdinf the phone.

Those cameras include:

  • 40MP primary camera
  • 8MP telephoto camera
  • 16MP ultrawide camera
  • Time of Flight camera

Other features include a 4,500 mAh battery, support for 55W fast-charging, and a 5G modem — all of which last year’s model also had. But this time it’s baked into the Kirrin 990 5G SoC, so there’s no need for a separate modem chip.

The new foldable phone also has an updated hinge which should allow the device to fold flatter in tablet mode, decreasing the prominence of a visible crease.

Huawei says the new Mate Xs should be available in March, with a model sporting 8Gb of RAM and 512GB of storage selling for €2,499 (about $2,700).

Like all recent Huawei smartphones, this one will ship without the Google Play Store, but will instead have Huawei’s own version of an app store.

 

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  1. Unfortunately, this will have Huawei’s poor SkinnedOS implemented (EMUI) and it won’t have access to Google Services. Not to mention their stance on developer community is not very friendly. And the bootloader is locked. It’s an easy fix sure, (AndroidOne), but unfortunate major disadvantage people need to comprehend.

    The other thing to point out is the device isn’t IPx8 Waterproof, and it isn’t even Sand/Ingress protected IP6x either. The entire device is covered in Glass, but it isn’t as structurally sound as say the LG G6. So these aspects need to be addressed before they can justify selling this for $950 and above.

    Lastly, I sort of wished it was (ever so) slightly smaller. This won’t fit into most pockets, which is my main gripe. Also they could have positioned one front-firing mono loudspeaker on the strip where the “Huawei” logo is. However, kudos to Brad/Huawei for stating the screen resolution for each separate side, and being thoughtful to not include the side/curving that costs the user something like 2480 x 160 pixels. Overall, this is the best design when it comes to “folding phones”, and the specs listed above are some of the best you can get in 2018-2020. Samsung needs to step it up further with their Luxury/Flagship Note line of devices instead of playing it safe.

  2. “Like its predecessor, the new Huawei Mate Xs is an 8 inch, 2480 x 220 pixel tablet when unfolded. ”

    I just love those rectangular pixels.

    1. bradlinder – Brad Linder is editor of the mobile tech blog Liliputing, an independent journalist and podcast producer and editor based in Philadelphia.
      Brad Linder says:

      They make it harder to see the screen, thus more typos, obviously!