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Revisiting Huawei Mate Xs - Foldable 5G marvel

OPPO
The main benefit of a foldable phone is that you can enjoy a tablet-sized display that still can fit in your pocket. But with the high-end Huawei Mate Xs, there's more to expect.
Meet Huawei Mate Xs - 2020's foldable marvel
Meet Mate Xs

First announced in the Philippines, about four months ago, the foldable device has a lot of similarities with its predecessor Mate X like the screen size for example.

But, Huawei made noteworthy improvements on this one, primarily on the durability factor and internals.

So the question is, do Huawei Mate Xs features justify the whopping price tag of PHP 139,999?

Revisiting Huawei Mate Xs - Foldable 5G marvel of 2020

Unboxed!
Unboxed!

Inside the black box, the package contains the Mate Xs, 55W power brick, USB Type-C cable, a bumper case, stock earphones, and documentation. Huawei equips its screen with a pre-installed screen protector for added durability.

The protector has various cutouts along the edges of the display making sure that no sensors are blocked.

When opened, the Huawei Mate Xs is an almost square 8-inch tablet that is pretty slim and comfortable to hold even with a thick bump in the center.

This bumper resembles a frame that is possibly meant to protect the exposed edges because of this phone's all-screen design.
The back panel of the device
The back panel of the device

On its bottom, made out of a zirconium-based liquid metal that is Huawei claimed to be tougher than steel. It is also said to be more resistant to shock and made out of 100 components inside to improve and strengthen its folding mechanism. The spine contains all four Leica cameras positioned vertically.
Top view
Top view

On top, you can find the slot for its sim cards and its memory card, along with some microphones and sensors.
Bottom view
Bottom view

On its bottom, you can find the charging port, the speaker grille, and some microphones also.

The phone measures at 161.3 x 146.2 x 5.4 mm when unfolded and 161.3 x 78.3 x 11 mm when you fold it.  In general, you won't consider 300 grams as lightweight and it appears thick but the ergonomic design enables you to have a more secure hold.

Luxurious and premium build!

Like the Mate X, this device still packs an 8-inch OLED screen when unfolded and a 6.6-inch screen when folded. The 6.39-inch secondary screen at the back is handy for taking selfies. Similar to the other foldable phones, there's a slight crease in the middle. 
The crease is not that distracting as expected
The crease is not that distracting as expected

With a 2480 x 2200 resolution at 414 ppi, it delivers punchy and lively colors. It also has excellent contrast and dynamic range so you can enjoy it for multimedia purposes.

The default setting is said to be on High but it has a smart resolution feature to lower its battery consumption.

Almost creaseless screen!

Considering it has an 8-inch screen, Mate Xs is very handy in terms of handling multiple tasks simultaneously. It has a multi-window feature, and in fact, it can run three. Users can maximize this by composing a quick email, searching the web, or having a video call at the same time.

This can be an awesome tool for professionals or entrepreneurs who are swamped with their schedules.

Inside, it has great specs since it sports a 2.86GHz 7nm+ EUV Kirin 990 5G octa-core processor that is paired with 8GB RAM and Mali-G76 MP16 w/ GPU Turbo. Kirin 990 5G is one of the most balanced chips in terms of speed, AI performance, and optimizations.

You can still expand its 256GB memory storage up to 512GB via an NM card slot. To keep the performance in check, Huawei equipped an additional new Flying Fish Fin cooling system that is solely designed for foldable smartphones.

We can see that the tech giant designed this device to handle heavy-gaming and multi-tasking. Undeniably, its RAM and storage are more than sufficient to avoid lag.
5G-ready!
5G-ready!

It also has a built-in Balong 5000 5G modem with multi-mode design (4G/3G/2G support), dual SIM 5G support, and SA/NSA. It is one of the few foldable phones with 5G connectivity. 

The device connects via Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, 5G Bluetooth 5.1, OTG, and supports A-GPS,  Beidou,  QZZS, Galileo, and GLONASS. It also two SIM card slots and a dedicated NM card slot.
Decent battery for a phone with two screens
Decent battery for a phone with two screens

Meanwhile, this device is packed with a 4,500mAh battery that is coupled with a USB Type-C port. It got a total of 11 hours and 13 minutes on our PC Mark battery benchmark from 100 percent down to 20 percent.

Basically, it can last for a day on a single charge. That's not bad for a phone with technically two screens.

Huawei includes a 55W SuperCharge Support for this premium phone, that can charge the device up to 85 percent in just 30 minutes.
Leica quad-camera system
Leica quad-camera system

At the back is a SuperSensing Leica Quad camera system: a 40MP main camera with an f/1.8 wide-angle lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, and a 3D depth-sensing camera.
It has multiple modes for shooting like other Huawei devices
It has multiple modes for shooting like other Huawei devices

Note that it also features OIS and AI Image Stabilization. There is also Huawei’s Night mode, both portrait and aperture modes for bokeh effect images, and a Macro mode too.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight normal
Daylight normal
Ultra-wide daylight
Ultra-wide daylight
Close-up photo
Close-up photo

In daylight, both main and ultra-wide camera produces clear images packed with details. Also, it was able to perform quite well in terms of color accuracy and white balance. It has an impressive portrait mode that can give a natural-looking fade effect around the subject.
Night mode photo 1
Night mode photo 1
Night mode photo 2
Night mode photo 2

In low light, Mate Xs has the ability to shoot decent night shots though there are blurry parts because of noise reduction.

You can use the rear cameras for selfies!

Seeing that Huawei Mate Xs lacks a dedicated selfie camera, the rear cameras act like one. Users can utilize the quad cameras for this purpose, they can enjoy different kinds of selfies like telephoto, ultrawide, and others.
Same cameras for selfies
Same cameras for selfies

Selfie Camera Samples

Indoor selfie
Outdoor selfie
Selfie in a dim environment
Ultra-wide selfie in a dim environment

For selfies, the cameras were able to capture images pretty clearly with vibrant color, wide dynamic range, and good contrast in daylight. In poorly lit areas, the selfies started to lose sharpness because of noise reduction. It's still a great thing that it was able to retain a lot of details in this kind of setting.

The rest of the features

EMUI 10 clean UI
EMUI 10 clean UI

The phone runs with an Android 10 OS with EMUI 10.0.1 skin. Similar to other Huawei's recently-launched phones, the Mate Xs do not offer Google services and it comes with Huawei Mobile Services instead.

But you don't have to worry about that since to has an AppGallery for downloading applications.

Sensors include the accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, magnetic, pressure, and sound. In addition to that, it features a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a face unlock feature if the user prefers to use facial recognition.

Huawei Mate Xs Specs

Display: 8-inch curved OLED screen w/ 2480 x 2200 resolution at 414 ppi, 6.6-inch 2480 x 1440 at 435 ppi folded, 6.39-inch 2480 x 892 at 412 ppi back
CPU: 2.86GHz 7nm+ EUV Kirin 990 5G octa-core processor w/ Triple NPU (2x Big-Core + Tiny-Core)
GPU: Mali-G76 MP16 w/ GPU Turbo (New-Gen)
RAM: 8GB
ROM: 512GB expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Camera: 40MP f/1.8 Wide w/ PDAF, CAF, AIS + 16MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide Angle + 8MP f/2.4 3x optical zoom w/ OIS + ToF 3D Depth Sensing + Color Temperature Sensor + dual-tone LED flash
Battery: 4,500mAh w/ 55W SuperCharge
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.0.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), 4G LTE, 5G, Bluetooth 5.1 LE, OTG, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo (E1 + E5a dual-band), QZZS (L1 + L5 dual-band), dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Flying Fish Fin cooling, 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC, USB-C, stereo speakers, 
Colors: Interstellar Blue
Dimensions: 161.3 x 146.2 x 5.4 mm (unfolded), 161.3 x 78.3 11 mm (folded)
Weight: 300 g
Price: PHP 139,999

Quick thoughts

The future today
The future today

There's no doubt that the Huawei Mate Xs sports an ambitious design that seems to be future-inspired. It comes with super-fast speeds as well as an impressive Leica camera system that you can use for photos and videos even for selfies.

Of course, it has the next-generation 5G connectivity making it a future-ready handset. Also, since it has two screens, the device offers several multitasking functionalities that your regular smartphone can't offer.

So, if you can spare almost PHP 140K, this device has the versatility like no other.

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