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Huawei Mate XS 2 Review

Huawei Mate XS 2 Review
09 February 2023

    Recently, more and more iPhone enthusiasts have begun to look towards Android devices. The reasons, I think you know well – you just do not want to give up the usual things like paying with your smartphone in stores and apps removed from the App Store. I started looking at Android – flagships, thinking that if you choose something to replace the iPhone, then something that Apple does not yet have in principle.

    For example, something flexible: for a long time, I just wanted to try a similar form factor and see if it really brings value in everyday use. And then Huawei Mate XS 2 came to the test, which colleagues have already dubbed perhaps the most convenient folding smartphone on the market due to its record thickness for a clamshell and a display that folds outward, not inward.

    Great flexible display

    “Falcon Wing” is how Huawei called the design, used in a smartphone which combines a flexible display and a hinge that allows the screen to wrap around the body when folded. Huawei Mate XS 2 DispalyDisplay:

    • Huawei. Yes, unlike the Galaxy Fold line, in this case there is only one display, and its left side (slightly less than half) becomes the back of the device when folded. Thanks to this design, Huawei was able to solve two problems at once.
    • 11.1 mm. In- Firstly, in when folded, the smartphone turned out to be very thin – 11.1 mm.
    • Galaxy Fold 4. In – secondly, “falcon's wing” made it possible to make the hollow on the fold less noticeable visually and to the touch. Yes, it is still viewed at an angle and groped with fingers, but to a lesser extent than that of the same Galaxy Fold 4.
    • Device. Out of habit, sometimes you do not immediately understand how to use the device. But I decided for myself this: when both hands are free, I open the device, when only one is free, I don’t open it.
    • Waterfall screens. At the same time, I was very pleased that when closed, the display curved on the left completely repeats the shape and tactility of the right side – in this regard, my inner perfectionist was calm. But the fact that in the closed state the working part of the display slightly bends on the left, repeating “waterfall screens”, and rests on the frame on the right, a little embarrassing – clearly lacks symmetry.
    • Programmatically. Although Huawei could programmatically make the working part on the left a little narrower, and then everything would be as perfectionist as possible.

    Let's talk more about the display, starting with the characteristics. When folded, the display measures 6.5 inches. Expanded – 7.8”. Resolution 2480×1176 dots and 2480×2200 dots respectively. Density – 424 PPI. Technology – OLED. The refresh rate is 120Hz and the touch layer is 240Hz. Brightness – up to 800 nits in automatic mode. Huawei Mate XS 2 screen is simply gorgeous. Bright, juicy, large both folded and unfolded. Every time you take out your smartphone, I experience genuine pleasure from working with it, whether I opened it or not.

    The case when the picture on the screen completely complements the feeling of a device from the future. From the settings, by the way, changed only the screen mode from dynamic frequency to constant 120 Hz because occasionally, there was jitter. As for the operation of the software, in the vast majority of cases there are no problems – when folded, the regular version is launched, and when unfolded, the tablet one. Moreover, The app's interface almost always adapts to opening and closing smoothly, and only in rare cases does it alert a service notification that it's a good idea to restart the app.

    At the same time, Huawei has a well-designed interface for working with several applications on the screen at the same time: You can open two applications at the same time in split mode, when the display is divided into two equal parts. You can open programs in windows and resize them — up to two apps are supported simultaneously on top of a third one open in full screen.


    50 MP main camera (27 mm equivalent, f/1.8). 13MP Ultra-Wide Angle (13 mm equivalent, f/2.2). 8MP telephoto lens (95 mm equivalent, f/2.4, 3.5- multiple optical zoom, autofocus). Huawei Mate XS 2 FeaturesCameras:

    • The main module. The main module is simply excellent – the quality of photos in automatic mode with proprietary post-processing algorithms is beyond praise.
    • Telephoto lens. Telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and 5x is absolutely not enough resolution of 8 megapixels – when you zoom in, there are numerous photos on it, in some places there is not enough sharpness and clarity.
    • Night mode. In night mode, the main module does the best job, as expected.
    • Ultrawide lens. The ultrawide lens looks noticeably darker, but it is worth noting that the noise is minimal – it was good. But getting a good photo with a telephoto lens in night mode is difficult – you don’t even have to try.
    • Front camera. As for the 10MP front camera, it's hardly worth using it for anything other than video calls and face unlock. Especially that, thanks to the foldable design, you can shoot “selfies” on any of the main cameras. Ultra-wide-angle selfies were especially pleased.
    • Video. Video quality (up to 4K and 60 frames per second) is on par with other Android flagships, that is, not bad, but far from the iPhone.

    In general, I was pleasantly surprised by the photo opportunities here, even though there is a special emphasis on them, as in the company's classic flagships, Huawei does not. In some places, the photos turned out even better than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and in other cases they were in no way inferior.

    EMUI 12

    Before the Huawei Mate XS 2 test, I last interacted with EMUI about 3 years ago, and then I didn’t like it at all because it was illogical, unsympathetic, with an abundance of interface bugs and other problems. However, during this time she managed to become quite smooth, nice and beautiful shell, which, in my opinion, is not inferior to any of the current systems from other Android manufacturers. In general, credit! By the way, Android 10 is hidden under the shell, what's the difference, if almost all built-in apps and services have nothing to do with Google.


    Huawei Mate XS 2 is equipped with a Snapdragon 888 4G processor, with all its pluses and minuses. The platform is powerful, I did not notice any performance difficulties, but at maximum load it can heat up and lose power, like all smartphones with this “stone”. However, this can only be noticed with a very active game. Snapdragon 888 4G Internal memory – 512 GB, in my opinion more than enough. In addition, it can be expanded with NM Card proprietary format cards. RAM – 8 GB, a normal amount, although to whom then he will be upset, expecting at least 12 GB in such a device from the future. I didn’t experience any particular problems even with 8 GB adjusted for Android, in which even with 16 GB of “RAM” programs can be unloaded from memory seconds after closing. That's how lucky.

    Decent autonomy

    Inside Huawei Mate XS 2, two 2300 mAh batteries (4600 mAh in total) are hidden, located on opposite sides of the hinge and allow the smartphone to work from morning to evening. Not until late at night, of course, as is the case with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. but for a flexible smartphone with a huge 7.8-inch display, the result is decent. Huawei Mate XS 2At the same time, using the smartphone mainly in the expanded form does not significantly reduce autonomy: I got about 5 hours of display when folded and about 4.5 hours when unfolded. Huawei Mate XS 2 comes with a 66W adapter, which allows you to fully charge your smartphone in less than an hour (50–55 minutes). Interestingly, when charging, the smartphone asks it to be expanded – this way the battery will heat less, which means it will charge faster.

    Cons of a smartphone

    Now let's talk about compromises, which you have to go when choosing this smartphone. Poor oleophobic coating and susceptibility to scratches. As is the case with other folding smartphones, on and the display of Huawei Mate XS 2 is glued with a special film that should never be peeled off, as it protects the flexible matrix. And you can’t stick a protective glass on a flexible device. It's just the second movie on top of the standard one. In this regard, the screen is instantly covered with prints.

    Although they can be easily removed with a microfiber cloth, you rarely see a clear display when you take your smartphone out of your pocket. Moreover, due to the design, no matter how you put your smartphone on the table when folded, you still put it face down. And this is fraught with scratches because you are unlikely to be able to constantly put the device on a soft surface. After a month of rather careful use, the part of the display, bent back, received a couple of scratches. Let not deep and not critical, but still noticeable, especially on a white background.

    No protection against moisture and dust

    Apparently, Huawei has not yet figured out how to protect flexible smartphones from moisture and dust, while the current Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has IPX8 protection. This requires even more caution when using. No eSIM support. In 2022, eSIM has already become the standard for flagships, and it was all the more surprising to learn that Huawei's most advanced smartphone currently does not have it. Only two physical“sim cards” and that's it. It's a pity because many are already accustomed to buying remote roaming packages, and all operators are already freely issuing virtual SIM-cards. Maps.

    No 5G support.No 5G Other

    • No wireless charging.  Although I am not a fan of such technologies due to the slow charging speed and the“wobbly” battery, but I know that many people use them regularly. But, again, due to the design, Huawei did not manage to implement wireless charging in this smartphone.
    • No Google software. Although I stated at the beginning, that in 2022, not depending on Google is a plus, some problems still arise. For example, Huawei still does not have Android Auto tax, which means that the smartphone cannot be connected to the car (except via Bluetooth). Notifications may not work in some applications due to that they are linked to GMS.

    In general, I really liked the device. Despite all the roughness, it really looks like a device from the future, having which you feel like you are on the crest of a technological wave.

    Firstly, recommend trying it for those who want to switch from iPhone, but at the same time get a gadget of an entirely different level. Secondly, for those who are tired of traditional flagships and want something radically new. I am convinced that both of them will get numerous positive emotions. And now you know the nuances.
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