Huawei and Samsung announced their first flagship foldables around the same time. Both companies adopted a different approach, with Samsung using an inward-facing display and Huawei an outwards.
Most people preferred the Huawei design, thanks to the large more usable display that would then provide a massive outer display. But this design also raised concerns about its durability.
Sadly, that was the least of their problems, the launch was delayed, and by the time it was made available, Huawei was no longer allowed to use Google.
The Samsung Fold was not without problems either; there was an initial delay, then a further delay when influencers and reviewers started to break their phones.
The Samsung Fold 2 largely ironed out all the issues and most people that bought it absolutely love it.
Huawei is now back with the Huawei Mate X2. It has ditched the outward folding screen in favour of something more similar to Samsung. However, the 2nd outer screen is significantly larger than the Fold Z 2.
Huawei Mate X2 vs Samsung Fold Z 2
The Huawei uses a 6.45″ OLED external display running at 90Hz 2700×1160 while the Samsung is 6.23″ OLED running at 60Hz and 2260×816.
The inner display on the Huawei is larger too, with 8 inches running at 2289 x 2200 vs 7.7 inches and 2208 x 1768 on the Samsung.
The Huawei has a better camera set up with an impressive quad-cam on the rear similar to the Huawei P40 Pro+, which utilizes two optical zoom lenses, one at 3x and the other 10x. The primary camera is the impressive 50MP sensor we have seen on Huawei flagships, while the Samsung uses the 12MP Dual Pixel, which is used on the lower-spec flagship Samsung phones.
By all accounts, the Huawei Mate X2 should be a better phone all around. However, as usual for Huawei recently, its appeal is limited by a lack of Google.
The phone will no doubt be in limited supply, so the initial launch is in China, where it will no doubt sell out immediately; the lack of Google is not an issue there.
The launch price is steep, approximately £1980 and £2090 for the 256GB and 512GB versions converted from the Chinese price. If the phone ever does land in the UK, you can expect it to be higher than this. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is also very expensive, but still more than any normal person would be willing to spend at £1800.
Foldables are the future, Samsung and Huawei are leading the way in this new tech, but with Huawei being hindered so badly by politics, this will inevitably slow down the progression of the technology.
Full Press Release
Huawei has now announced the Mate X2, the new-generation foldable flagship smartphone that unfolds new and exciting experiences with a brand-new Falcon Wing Design opening up new possibilities in the realm of mobile technology.
Featuring an all-new compact design with a deliberately shifted point of balance, HUAWEI Mate X2 handles exceptionally whether folded or not. The unfolded display is one of the industry’s largest, offering a consistent user experience across the two forms. Engineered with precision, HUAWEI Mate X2 folds perfectly into a compact form factor, and unfolds beautifully into a flat display. The high-strength steel and carbon fibre composite chassis makes for a light yet robust device. Combining the Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera, powerful dual-speaker stereo sound system and the blazing fast Kirin 9000 5G chipset, HUAWEI Mate X2 exemplifies some of the best technology the industry has to offer.
“With some of the best software and hardware innovations at its core, HUAWEI Mate X2 represents a giant leap forward and sets the bar for future foldable devices,” said Richard Yu, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Consumer BG. “While the HUAWEI Mate Xs was largely regarded as the best-in-class foldable device, we continued to push for new ways to further improve the foldable experience. The HUAWEI Mate X2 represents the future of smartphone technology, with pioneering innovations and a truly fantastic user experience across the board.”
Falcon Wing Design: beauty that belies sophistication
HUAWEI Mate X2’s Seamless Foldable Design folds perfectly into a compact shape with smooth corners all around. Unfolded, it has a sloped rear side that allows the device to be as thin as 4.4mm on one end. The point of balance is shifted slightly away from the centre of the device, so it is perfectly balanced whether unfolded or closed.
With its dual-screen design, HUAWEI Mate X2’s flexible inner display measures 8 inches diagonally, one of the largest of its kind. On top of that, HUAWEI Mate X2 also introduces a magnetically-controlled nano optical layer to minimise reflection. It works seamlessly with the 6.45-inch OLED display on the outside. Both displays have a super high resolution, a high touch sample rate and a refresh rate of 90Hz to offer a consistent experience as users switch from one mode to another.
When folded, HUAWEI Mate X2 is a beautifully engineered smartphone. The outer display’s 21:9 aspect ratio is compatible with most mainstream apps. Unfolded, it transforms into an expansive smart device with the golden aspect ratio of 8:7.1 to offer more immersive and impactful visual experiences whether held vertically or horizontally.
Beneath its minimalist appearance, HUAWEI Mate X2 hides another industry-first innovation: an intricate Multi-Dimensional Hinge that Huawei spent over five years perfecting. Through a multi-dimensional interlocking mechanism, the hinge creates a water drop-like cavity for stowing the display when the device is folded. This allows the device to fold perfectly with a near imperceptible gap, and minimises the crease on the outer screen when the device is unfolded. The openings along the sides are also hidden to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system and potentially damaging the screen.
Unfolding new experiences
With two displays, HUAWEI Mate X2 offers the best of both worlds. The larger display offers an expansive viewing area, while the foldability of the device maximises portability. Leveraging extensive research on human factors, Huawei designed the foldable form factor from the ground up to support the unique smart experience. From internet browsing and productivity tasks in the office to media consumption, online shopping and gaming at home, HUAWEI Mate X2 delivers incredibly immersive experiences unlike any other.
Inspired by the “long-take” camera technique, Huawei made the user interface transition effects on HUAWEI Mate X2 smoother and more responsive. The exclusive dynamic theme further elevates the unfolding experience, featuring a bed of flowers that bloom every time the user opens up the device.
HUAWEI Mate X2’s large display is complemented by a suite of smart features designed around multi-tasking. With Smart Multi-Window, Floating Window, App Multiplier, App Bubble and more, users can efficiently multi-task even on a single display.
Multi-Window lets users quickly preview content on another app without minimising the active app, such as previewing an email attachment on the Email app, or opening a hyperlink on the Notepad. 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.
Delivering the best of next-generation smartphone performance
Beyond its outstanding aesthetics, HUAWEI Mate X2 is a highly versatile powerhouse that combines flagship audio-visual capabilities with a blazing fast and power-efficient chip that supports high-speed, stable connectivity.
As a flagship smartphone designed by Huawei, an industry leader in mobile camera technology, HUAWEI Mate X2 is equipped with the Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera to let consumers document and share their lives in crystal clarity, at any time of the day. The 50MP Super Sensing Wide Camera has one of the first sensors to incorporate a RYYB colour filter array (CFA), as well as 4-in-1 pixel binning and Full Pixel Octa PD AutoFocus capabilities for snappy focus and capturing high quality images even in low light scenes. The 10x Telephoto Camera features a periscope optics design, and supports 10 times optical zoom, 20 times hybrid zoom and 100 times digital zoom for long-range photography. The 16MP Ultra Wide Camera not only offers an impressive field of view for scenic shots, but also supports macro mode for shooting objects as close as 2.5cm from the lens.
The unique foldable design of HUAWEI Mate X2 lets users take advantage of the powerful Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera for self-portraits. With a selfie camera supporting high-res, ultra-wide and high dynamic range capture, selfies will never be the same again.
In terms of audio, HUAWEI Mate X2 is fully equipped to be a personal pocket cinema. The dual-speaker stereo sound system uses ultra-thin, large-amplitude drivers with ultra-light carbon fibre domes and supports the Huawei Histen sound effects to deliver deep lows, and clean highs to express even the most delicate details from any source.
Powered by Kirin 9000, the most integrated and versatile 5G system-on-a-chip (SoC) with the most transistors to date, HUAWEI Mate X2 provides excellent performance, power efficiency and high speed connectivity.
HUAWEI Mate X2 also has an all-new smart antenna system that dynamically selects the best antenna with respect to the changes in signal strength and the mode of the smartphone. Whether folded or unfolded, held vertically or horizontally, this system ensures strong signal reception for the optimal user experience.
Benefitting from Huawei’s leading industrial design expertise, HUAWEI Mate X2 has a massive 4500mAh battery and supports 55W HUAWEI SuperCharge, the fastest charging solution yet available on foldable devices. With this, even quick coffee breaks make for meaningful charging opportunities.
Available in White, Black, Crystal Blue and Crystal Pink, HUAWEI Mate X2 will arrive in select countries starting 25 February 2021 for suggested retail prices. Availability in UK and Europe to be confirmed.