Huawei has followed up its stunning Mate X foldable with the second-gen Mate Xs, a conservative update that slightly tweaks the specs but mostly just makes the screen and hinge tougher and more durable.

Here’s all you need to know about the high-end flexible Huawei Mate Xs, including release date and pricing details, key features and a complete list of specs too. 

Huawei Mate Xs release date

The Mate Xs is out in China now. More importantly for us, Huawei promises that the phone will see a launch outside of China (the first Mate X never made it outside of Asia) so we should see it in Europe and the UK, but we're not sure whether it will also be in March or if we'll have longer to wait.

How much does the Huawei Mate Xs cost?

The Mate Xs will cost £2,299/€2,499 (around $2,700), for the single spec option, with includes 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage. That makes it the most expensive foldable phone on the market - and even more than the €2,299 Mate X.

For comparison, the closest rival - Samsung's Galaxy Fold - is £1,900/$1,980/€2,000 - arguably not a lot less, but enough to count.

What’s new with the Huawei Mate Xs?

As rumoured, the Huawei Mate Xs has kept the general form factor and features of the Mate X from last year, but with a handful of improvements that enhance the foldable phone experience and improve overall durability. 

In terms of display tech, the Mate Xs features what Huawei calls an “aerospace-grade” OLED Flex Display. That’s the same as the Mate X, but Huawei has introduced a two-layer polymer structure that sits atop the flexible OLED panel to help provide extra durability.

It’s worth noting that the finish is plastic and not glass like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which detracts from the overall premium feel of the handset, but that’s not an issue exclusive to Huawei - it’s something most manufacturers are having to deal with when it comes to flexible displays. The flipside is that without a glass layer, the display feels thin and shallow, and that creates a unique experience when tapping on the display - there’s no ‘break’ between you and the content. 

Alongside the improved display is a brand new hinge that Huawei calls the Falcon Wing. It’s comprised of over 100 components and is said to offer an improved folding experience when compared to the original, although it does add a rather odd ‘ball’ to each end of the hinge that looks like it could be a stylus ripe for pulling out. We also found that it makes a slightly unusual crunching noise when folded and unfolded.

Like the Mate X, the Huawei Mate Xs features an inside-out book design that’s essentially the total opposite to the likes of the Galaxy Fold that fold inwards to protect the display. Huawei’s 8in flexible display wraps around the outside of the phone when folded up, providing a 6.6in display on the front and a 6.38in display on the rear. 

It’s just as chunky as the original when folded, at 11mm, but that drops down to 5.4mm at its thinnest point when unfolded. There’s a single thick edge when unfolded that houses the quad-camera setup, but it’s a nice place to hold the phone in tablet form. In terms of spec, the SuperSensing Leica cameras are amongst the best Huawei has offered to date, although it’s worth noting that it’s the same setup as the Mate X. Are you seeing a pattern emerging here?

The Mate Xs sports a 40Mp main sensor, along with 8Mp 3x telephoto lens, an 16Mp ultra-wide lens and ToF (Time of Flight) camera for enhanced augmented reality experiences. You’ll also find 45x zoom also on offer, but it’s comprised of 3x optical and 30x digital rather than a 45x optical zoom, and it can take macro shots up to 2.5cm away too. 

There’s also a cool feature where you can use the rear display (when folded) as a preview window for your photo subjects, allowing them to frame themselves correctly and know what the image looks like before it’s taken. 

Huawei has also introduced App Multiplier support, allowing vertical-only apps to take advantage of the horizontal layout of the 8in tablet. It achieves this by running two windows from the app side-by-side, providing a full screen experience, but it’s limited to around 1000 apps at the moment. You’ll also find split-screen support, like on the iPad Pro range, and a third floating app window is also available, but it’s limited to official Huawei apps for now. 

Inside, you’ll find the latest Kirin 990 5G chipset, offering 23% better performance than the Kirin 980 from 2019 and both present and future 5G connectivity options (SA and NSA). There’s also the same dual 4500mAh battery in the Mate Xs, split into two across the two halves of the phone, and 55W SuperCharge support with a powerful charger bundled in the box. 

The Mate Xs is certainly an impressive bit of kit, and we can’t wait to spend a bit more time with it over the coming weeks. 

Huawei Mate Xs spec

  • Aerospace-grade 8in OLED Flex Display
  • Three display forms available: 8in, 6.6in and 6.38in
  • 2480 x 2200 (8:7.1 aspect ratio on 8in display)
  • Falcon Wing Hinge
  • 11mm thick when folded, 5.4mm at thinnest point
  • Kirin 990 5G
  • SuperSensing Leica Quad Camera setup: 40Mp wide angle (f1.8), 8Mp Telephoto (f/2.4), 16Mp ultra-wide (f/2.2), TOF Camera. OIS & AIS 
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 55W SuperCharge - 85% of battery in 30 mins 
  • Android 10 Open Source, running EMUI 10

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