Huawei’s Chinese engineers have not skimped on the means to try to “beat” the Korean competitor Galaxy Z Fold 3 with their new Mate Xs 2. Efforts and innovations that are reflected in the price: 1999 euros.
Since the beginning of its smartphone adventure, Huawei has been keen to compete with Apple quality on all fronts. With the European launch of its fourth generation of folding smartphones, the Mate Xs 2, the Chinese giant also wants to tackle the Korean giant Samsung, king of the genre with its Folds and Flips.
Lighter, with more usable screen area, more resistant, no crease effect on the screen, etc. Almost all of Huawei’s comparisons were aimed at Samsung’s flagship.
Already launched in China, the Mate Xs 2 is a gem of hardware – we had it in our hands and the level of finish is excellent. Its new hinge is promised to be super resistant, the fold is really invisible, and the display surface is very comfortable.
The screen is deliberately larger (7.8” versus 7.6”), more defined (2480 x 2200 versus 2208 x 1768 pixels), and denser in pixels (424 dpi versus 374 dpi) than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. All while being less heavy, with 255g against 271g for the Samsung device.
Huawei’s presentation emphasized materials such as advanced fiberglass, complexity, and solidity (reinforced hinge, multi-layer screen protection). They allow Huawei to claim some pretty impressive comparison numbers. A very important reinforcement work for a phone with such a mechanism.
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The photo score consists of a classic triptych: the ultra-wide-angle (eq. 13 mm f/2.2, 13 Mpix) and the wide-angle (eq. 23 mm f/1.8, 50 Mpix used in 12.5 Mpix) of the P50 Pro and evolution of the small telephoto lens of the P40 Pro+, an 85mm f/2.4 equivalent of 8 Mpix (elongated compared to the original 80mm).
A trio of modules that benefit from Huawei’s know-how in image processing (XD Optics for the reduction of optical defects, etc.). But we feel that Huawei is no longer at its maximum. If we can not blame the absence of 8K, the limit of 4K video at 30p (instead of 60 fps) is regrettable and below the competition.
The front camera consists of a new 10.7 Mpix sensor, the size of which is unknown, topped with ultra-wide-angle optics opening at f / 2.2 (without further precision for the focal length).
Limited to 4G, and still without Google
That Huawei is a king of hardware sounds a bit like a no-brainer. If the Chinese giant had succeeded in becoming world number one, it was not by chance. The Chinese company was – and still is – a benchmark in terms of quality, manufacturing, and technologies, particularly in imaging.
But since this golden age, Donald Trump and his administration have been there, and the Mate Xs 2 suffers from this American war. Deprived of Android and Google services (Google Mobile Services), he must be content in Europe with his fork of Android EMUI 12, and his app store AppGallery.
Despite the heavy investment in Harmony OS, Huawei, through its representatives, whom we spoke to, seems very keen on getting the license back. But it depends less on Alphabet/Google than on the US government.