Huawei Mate X2 Launch Teases Excellent Hardware That Won’t Be Coming to the US

Due to the United States’ trade sanctions against Huawei, Samsung and Motorola make the only folding screen smartphones currently available here. But if you live elsewhere and don’t rely on Google apps or services, this might interest you. The Huawei Mate X2  has just been announced; it’s their foldable flagship smartphone updating the 2019 Mate X, and it appears to be an amazing piece of hardware.

When it’s closed, the Huawei Mate X2 is thin and compact and features a 6.45″ FHD+ 90Hz OLED  display. But when you open it, a gorgeous 8″ OLED display that is also 90Hz is revealed. The Mate X2’s chassis is made of steel and carbon fiber, so it’s light yet strong. On the back of the device, there are quad Leica cameras and an LED flash. The Mate X2 also features a dual-speaker stereo sound system and the impressive Kirin 9000 chipset.

Huawei Mate X2 Launch Teases Excellent Hardware That Won't Be Coming to the US

When unfolded, the Huawei Mate X2 has a sloped rear side that is 4.4mm on one end. With the balance point shifted slightly away from the device’s center, Huawei says that the Mate X2 is perfectly balanced whether unfolded or when closed.

Huawei Mate X2 wedge design

The Mate X2 has an intricate multi-dimensional interlocking mechanism that allows the hinge to create “a water drop-like cavity for stowing the display when the device is folded.” This means that the Mate X2 has a nearly imperceptible gap with minimal creases on the screen when the device is unfolded. Openings along the sides are hidden to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system and protect the interior screen, as the phone folds almost completely flat, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

Huawei Mate X2 compared to Samsung Galaxy Fold 2

Using Smart Multi-Window, Active Floating Windows, and App Multiplier, Huawei says that with app-developer support, the Mate X2’s large display will make multitasking a breeze.

  • Multi-Window lets users quickly preview content on another app without minimizing the active app, such as previewing an email attachment on the Email app.
  • App Multiplier allows users to open multiple instances of a single app, which can come in handy at times, like referencing another document saved in apps such as Notepad. Through MeeTime, content can be shared between contacts quickly and as easily as by dragging the files onto the chat interface, with no limit to file size, quantity, or format.
  • Active Floating Windows are not only resizable and can be stowed into the App Bubble; they can also replace any active Multi-Window at any time. Whether the user needs a smartphone for work, entertainment, social media, or shopping, HUAWEI Mate X2 can do it all.

Huawei Mate X2

The Huawei Mate X2 comes with an Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera which includes a 50-megapixel Ultra Vision camera with one of the first sensors to incorporate an RYYB color filter array (CFA) as well as 4-in-1 pixel binning and Full Pixel Octa PD AutoFocus capabilities. With that configuration, it should capture great photos even in crappy lighting situations.

The 8-megapixel SuperZoom camera has a telephoto Camera with a periscope optics design; it provides 10X optical zoom, 20X hybrid zoom, and 100X digital zoom for long-range photography. The 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera handles wide scenic shots and macro mode for items as close to the lens as 2.5cm.

Because the phone is foldable, you can use the Leica Quad Cameras to take your selfies; since they support high-resolution, ultra-wide, and high dynamic range capture, you’ll not only be able to fit all your friends (and their masks) in your groufies, you’ll all look good. But if you want to snap a quick selfie with the 16-megapixel camera when the phone is folded, it’s also a wide-angle and should be able to handle groufies.

Huawei Mate X2 Specifications

Dimensions Folded (Height, width, depth): 161.8mm (H) x 74.6mm (W) x 13.6~14.7mm (D)
Dimensions Unfolded (Height, width, depth): 161.8mm (H) x 145.8mm (W) x 4.4~8.2mm (D)
Weight: Approx. 295 grams (battery included)
Colors: Black, White, Crystal Blue, Crystal Pink
Exterior Display: OLED, up to 90Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate; Screen size: 6.45″; Resolution: FHD+ 2700×1160 Pixels; Color: 16.7 million colours; Aspect Ratio: 21:9; Pixel density: 456 ppi
Interior Display: OLED, up to 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate; Screen size: 8″; Resolution: 2480×2200 Pixels; Color: 16.7 million colours; Aspect Ratio: 8:7.1; Pixel density: 413 ppi
CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 9000; 1*[email protected] + 3*[email protected] + 4*[email protected]
GPU: 24-core Mali-G78
NPU: Dual Big Core + Tiny Core NPUs(Neural-network Processing Unit)
OS: EMUI 11.0 (Based on Android 10)
Memory: 256 GB / 512 GB
Front camera: 16 MP Selfie Camera (Wide Angle,f/2.2)
Rear cameras: 50 MP Ultra Vision Camera (Wide Angle, f/1.9 aperture, OIS; 16 MP Cine Camera (Ultra-Wide Angle, f/2.2 aperture); 12 MP Telephoto Camera (3x Optical Zoom, f/2.4 aperture, OIS); 8 MP SuperZoom Camera (10x Optical Zoom, f/4.4 aperture, OIS); LED flash
Battery & Charging: 4500mAh (Typical Value); Max 55W Wired HUAWEI SuperCharge

Huawei Mate X2 Launch Teases Excellent Hardware That Won't Be Coming to the US

The Huawei Mate X2 will be available in China in either a 256GB model or a 512GB model in black, white, crystal blue, and crystal pink. Pricing is set for the 256GB model at 17,999 yuan (which converts to a hefty $2,783.00) and 18,999 yuan for the 512GB version (which converts to $2938.00). It will be available in China on February 25th.

Even though the Mate X2 is really expensive, it’s a phone that I wish was available here running Google apps and services. You can read more about the issues of not having those services in Myriam’s review of the Huawei P40 Pro+ — another Huawei smartphone that has amazing hardware and cameras but no Google apps or services.

Competition is good, and when it’s present, manufacturers have an incentive to be more reasonable in their pricing while continuously improving their features. Can you think of a single competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Fold Z in the US? The answer is, unfortunately, no.

Huawei Mate X2 Pricing

Here’s the full launch event. It’s in Chinese, but there is an English transcription at the bottom of the video and many shots of it in action.

You can learn more about the Huawei Mate X2 here.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.