Huawei reveals faster foldable phone, with reworked hinge
A year after entering the foldable phone arena with the Mate X, Huawei has announced the next flavor. The Mate Xs looks pretty much the same as before but gains a faster processor and new hinge.
"The Huawei Mate X was our first foray into the foldable category and it set the standard for the industry," said Huawei's Richard Yu. "The Huawei Mate Xs is raising the bar further with even more powerful connectivity and integrated user experiences. It’s the fastest 5G smartphone of its class. Prepare to meet the unprecedented – again."
Outwardly the Mate Xs looks very similar to last year's Mate X, with a 6.6-inch main OLED screen (2,480 x 1,148) to the front and a secondary 6.4-inch display (2,480 x 892) around back when folded – to form a dual-screen smartphone – and an 8-inch mini tablet (2,480 x 2,200) when unfolded outward to 180 degrees.
There's native support for multi-window functionality, and Huawei says that users are assured top-notch onscreen image quality, color saturation and brightness thanks to the use of optically clear adhesive between two layers of aerospace-grade polyimide. This should allow for "a high degree of durability" too.
The newly-developed mechanical hinge is made with a zirconium-based liquid metal that's said to offer more durability, and comprises over a hundred interlocking components.
Powering the Mate Xs is the Kirin 990 5G system-on-chip, with an octa-core processor that includes two "super-sized" Cortex A76 cores, two "large custom" Cortex A76 cores and four smaller Cortex A55 cores. Graphics chops is served up by a 16-core Mali-G76 GPU, with AI catered for by a neural processor unit built on Huawei’s Da Vinci architecture.
As its name suggests,, the SoC also includes an integrated 5G modem that supports 2G, 3G, 4G and the full 5G spectrum. And there's a bespoke 5G antenna designed specifically for the Mate Xs too.
Mobile photographers are treated to a Leica quad vertical camera array along the phone's side – the main camera is a 40-megapixel main camera with a wide-angle lens and f/1.8 aperture, there's an ultra-wide angle 16-MP snapper with an f/2.2 aperture, an 8-MP telephoto camera with optical image stabilization and f/2.4 aperture, and a 3D depth sensing camera. Light sensitivity of up to ISO204,800 is supported. Orienting the camera array in this way means that the quad camera array can be used for selfie modes.
The Mate Xs doesn't run Android, but a Huawei OS called EMUI10.0.1 that's based on the Android Open Source Project platform, so you won't be able to access the Play Store but the company has revamped its own app distribution platform and the Mate Xs will be one of the first to launch with the new AppGallery.
Elsewhere, the phone features a 4,500 mAh battery, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, and USB-C cabled connectivity, but no 3.5 mm headphone jack. Flexible graphene is at the heart of the Flying Fish Fin Cooling System, to keep the device from running hot.
The Mate Xs will go on sale globally from next month for €2,499 (about US$2,700), with 512 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. That's quite a bit more than Samsung's troubled Galaxy Fold from last year and its latest folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip at $1,380.
Product page: Huawei Mate Xs