Huawei has launched a new folding smartphone, the Huawei Mate X2. It’s a sequel to the Huawei Mate Xs (itself a refreshed version of the original Mate X), but this time goes in the opposite design direction. Instead of an outwardly folding design, where the screen folds on itself to create a smaller device, it takes on a dual-screen book-style fold, like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2.
Unfolded the 8:7.1 aspect ratio OLED screen measures 8-inches and has a 2480 x 2200 pixel resolution, while folded, the slim outer, 21:9 aspect ratio OLED screen measures 6.45-inches with a 2700 x 1160 pixel resolution. The Mate X2 screens both have a 90Hz refresh rate, while the outer has a 240Hz touch sampling rate, and 180Hz on the inside. It’s covered in a special layer for low reflection and less glare.
The new dual-spiral hinge is made of steel with carbon fiber sides to lower the weight, and enables the phone to fold flat, leaving no gap between the screens. The hinge also minimizes the crease on the screen. Unusually, the phone has a “wedge” shape, so it tapers from one side to the other when unfolded, resulting in a super slim 4.4mm thickness at its thinnest point. The Mate Xs was 5.4mm thick unfolded. It’s still a heavy phone at 295 grams though.
The thicker side of the phone accommodates the camera module. Once again it has been co-developed with Leica, and features a 50MP main camera with optical image stabilization, an 8MP camera for 10x optical zoom shots, a 12MP 3x optical zoom camera, and a 16MP ultra-wide camera. The camera also has a macro mode using the wide-angle camera. The rear camera can be used for selfies when the phone is unfolded, plus there is a 16MP camera in the folded up front screen.
It uses the 5G Kirin 9000 processor, which is also found in the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, plus other features include a dual-SIM tray, dual speakers, a 4,500mAh battery with 55W SuperCharge fast charging, and a choice of either 256GB or 512GB internal storage. The phone’s software is the China-specific version of EMUI 11 built over Android 10, which has been enhanced for the folding screen, with changes to the camera app, the keyboard, and the multi-tasking system to make use of the larger space.
Currently only announced for China, the Mate X2 costs the local equivalent of $2,780 for the 256GB version, rising to $2,940 for the 512GB version. It comes in several colors, including white and black, plus brighter Crystal Blue and Crystal Pink. No international release has been announced yet, but even if it does come in the future, due to continued sanctions against Huawei by the U.S. government it won’t come with Google Mobile Services or Google Play installed.
If you want a folding smartphone right now, thecan be found for around $1,800. It’s slightly smaller than the Huawei Mate X2 with a 7.6-inch unfolded screen and a 6.2-inch outer screen, but it does have Google Play onboard.