Spent 2 weeks with the foldable HUAWEI Mate Xs and I never want to go back

Yes, I spent two weeks with the foldable HUAWEI Mate X and I never want to go back … I admit I was a bit skeptical of the whole concept of foldable smartphones when it first appeared a few years ago Years. Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled with the technological advances. However, I could only call it a gimmick, especially given the first prototypes and implementations.

Then Samsung announced its Galaxy Fold, which did nothing but solidify my previous beliefs (and fears). I thought this was a niche product at an insane price. For me personally, it was against the purpose to open (unfold) a device in order to properly interact with it. Using the phone, which was only folded up by interacting with the small outer display, didn't appeal to me.

Then HUAWEI launched the Mate X, changed the paradigm and took a completely different approach than Samsung. for which it was heavily criticized. This was the turning point for me. This particular approach was theoretically much more engaging and practical than the collapsible design.

The first wave of reviews came out and unfortunately I didn't have a chance to play with the Mate X. However, HUAWEI announced an updated version of the device (both in terms of specifications and in terms of build) called Mate Xs. I spent a whole week with it and never want to go back!


First impressions

For the first time in a long while, I was excited when I opened the box it came in. Sure, I'm moderately looking forward to every new smartphone I can play with, and although everyone looks and feels more or less the same, it's different. Completely different!

I admit I wasn't afraid to fold it (it comes unfolded in the box), but I was really worried about unfolding it for the first time. I could describe the tactile feeling you get by comparing it to what you feel when you break a bar of chocolate in two. … Just that you're afraid to literally damage a device worth nearly $ 3,000.


In addition to this special feeling, which is created by the newly designed hinge, the incredibly thin form factor of the phone is added. When folded, it is about 11 mm thick (or thin) like a normal unfoldable smartphone, when unfolded it is only 5.5 mm thick (or thin) with 5.5 mm. It feels very fragile, but luckily it's not as fragile as you think.

I went ahead and got on the phone and set it up as my daily driver. determined to work and play exclusively on it. The setup process is similar to that of any other HUAWEI smartphone, and when I recently did this with the P40 Pro, I was on autopilot.

The whole process took place in the folded mode because I wanted to focus on it first. before being distracted by the ability to double the screen size. It was hard at first not to develop, but I said to myself it's only a matter of a couple of hours before I can do it. I also connected it to a charger, so I'm starting the trip with the phone set up and fully charged.


HUAWEI Mate Xs Pros

"Wow" and "f… me!" Were the most common reactions of the people I showed this phone to, which was pretty much what I initially felt, when I finally got my hands on it. Obviously, the main benefit is the wow factor of the approach, which is so futuristic and science fiction these days that it often creates a mental block for those who are not so familiar with technology as we are, the technical media and our tech-savvy readers.

But beyond that and if you get the practical benefits, this form factor can kill both the smartphone and tablet form factors. You're basically expanding a full-size phone to a mini-size iPad device, and that's exactly what the Mate Xs has over its rivals.

The advantage is that you can use the phone fully when folded. It gives you the option of a full 6.6-inch display compared to the 4.6-inch cover display of its main competitor, the Galaxy Fold . This is enough to consume content without having to open the device. This extends the canvas to 8 inches, compared to 7.3 inches at the competition.


Another advantage of this approach is that it removes bezels, nicks and perforations so your content is not interrupted. HUAWEI has stuffed all the hardware, including the battery and cameras, in the thick part to the side, which contains the buttons and the fingerprint scanner. Without a selfie camera (your main cameras act as a selfie shooter) there is no hardware degradation of the screen.

Speaking of cameras: The Mate Xs uses a Leica brand system that consists of 40 MP, 1: 1.8, 27 mm (wide), 8 MP, 1: 2.4, 81 mm (telephoto) with 3x optical Zoom and 5x hybrid zoom, a 16 MP, 1: 2.2, 17 mm (Ultrawide) shooter and a TOF 3D depth sensor.

With the software you can activate the back display (when folded) so that your subject sees your frame of the picture in real life. The rear display is also activated automatically when you take selfies with the main shooters while turning the phone over to achieve this.

In the fully expanded mode, you can use the large display in different ways. You can use the entire artboard to browse websites and generally consume content, or you can conveniently multitask by opening up to three apps at the same time. Two of them are side by side on the large display, are divided and offer you almost two full-size experiences at four inches. You can also add a third app that hovers over everything. This is where multitasking is taken to the next level.

 HUAWEI Mate Xs multitasking

There are of course other advantages too, such as the quality of the display, battery life and extreme performance of the Kirin 990 chip, 5G functions, camera quality, but we will do this in our upcoming full test to treat. This editorial is about my experience with the Mate Xs and how my view of foldable smartphones has changed fundamentally.

HUAWEI Mate Xs Cons

The main advantage of the Mate Xs I've talked about in this segment above is also the main disadvantage of the phone in a strange way. A fold-out design means that no matter how you put it down, your phone is always on the exposed display. This naturally makes it sensitive to scratches and since glass cannot be bent, the display is very fragile and is only protected by a thin plastic layer and a screen protector (you should not remove ! 19459020!).


The hinge was redesigned from the original Mate X to be more stable and to do its best and to prevent dust / dirt from getting under the protective film and ultimately destroying the display. However, this and the entire concept of a foldable smartphone completely kills all IP protection types for dust and water. Keep it as far as possible from moisture (even droplets) and hope that your bags not only contain no sharp objects, but hopefully contain no fluff.

What is not certain is what happens to the pre-installed screen protector, if it does exist, will start to peel off by itself or will be scratched. We suspect that removing and replacing HUAWEI may be required.


Then there's the topic of the price: It costs a whopping 2,299 GBP or around 2,800 USD / 2,575 EUR. This phone is certainly not for everyone, but there are now two filters for the potential customer: 1. You have the price first and 2. You have the foldable form factor. There will be some who would love it but would not be able to afford it, and there will be some who could afford it but who would not believe in the approach that limits the audience to fans of this design who have deep pockets.


As skeptical as I was about leaflets (and I still am when it comes to other approaches), I quickly fell in love with the HUAWEI Mate Xs. When I checked phones for more than a decade, I was refreshed to be as excited about a device as I was when we switched from resistive touchscreens to capacitive.


Since this is my personal story, you may not find it all because you may be a fan of the collapsible design, and that's great! If your workflow only needs a small display to get things done before you open your phone, you should definitely keep this up. This also gives you security from the point of view of durability.

However, it is crucial for me that multitasking can be folded and that multitasking can be brought to another level after unfolding. Yes, I've got used to constantly putting it on a shammy in the office and on soft surfaces when visiting friends (as often as you can visit people during the current restrictions), and while it was a real annoyance at the beginning it quickly became Habit.

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