If you were to think that smartphones are all in the future folding, how would you imagine them? Clamshell devices that once opened become as large as simple smartphones or devices that once opened become like gods tablets? Personally I think the only ones that make sense are the latter and the new one Huawei Mate Xs 5G has already given me proof.

Personally I believe that the real plus is having two types of experiences or functions in one body and I will try to explain why in our complete review.

Huawei Mate Xs 5G review

Unboxing - Huawei Mate Xs 5G

Given the price, the sales package wants to recall those of a luxury product. In fact, it would be good to start considering it as such and inside there is the following equipment:

  • Huawei Mate XS 5G;
  • protective folding cover that protects the external frame;
  • 55W fast-charging power supply;
  • USB Type-C charging cable;
  • USB Type-C earphones;
  • pin for the SIM slot;
  • warning cards;
  • instruction manual.

Construction and design

There really is so much to say that I don't know where to start, but let's start from the fact that the smartphone is characterized by a flexible display which envelops almost the entire external part. This is because there is a section in very solid aluminum that integrates the cameras with the LED flash and the button that allows you to open the display.

The same polished aluminum it is proposed on the whole side frame while, once extended, the external back cover (and internal at the same time) is made in a thinner layer of satin aluminum.

The only negative aspect of this type of foldable is that, having the external display, we will have to be very careful don't bump him, drop it or immerse it in water. Fortunately in the package there is a folding protective cover that will be applied to the side frame and that will raise the smartphone by a few millimeters from flat surfaces.

I must admit that theexperience of folding a smartphone è strana, the first time you are almost afraid of breaking it, but after repeating the operation a hundred times it already seems more familiar, but above all we understand that in reality the mechanism is not as fragile as we think.

Huawei Mate Xs 5G

The idea with which the Huawei Mate Xs 5G, in my opinion, it is that winning because it makes perfect sense to have a smartphone that can expand its functionality a tablets if needed, rather than having a compact smartphone (which when closed has limited functions) that once opened becomes a standard device.

However the price tag in this case it is the weight , maneuverability, as the Mate Xs 5G has the dimensions of 161.3 x 78.5 x 11 mm (closed) with a weight of approx 300 grams, which will not allow us to use it easily with one hand since the weight and thickness begin to be felt after a few minutes.

Everything changes from open because the size of 161.3 x 146.2 x 11/5.4 mm make it particularly light when viewed as a tablet and the minimum thickness becomes only 5.4 millimeters, therefore much more comfortable to use.

 

Obviously the contexts of use are different, if I am on the metro or in a hurry I will keep it bent, but if I am in a quiet environment or if I want to see movies / play / read then I will open it to exploit its full potential.

However, at the top we find the Dual SIM slot (or SIM + NM Card) with the microphone for noise reduction and the IR sensor to control various devices, while at the bottom we find two other microphones, the USBTye-C input and the system speaker. Finally, on the right side there is the volume rocker and the power button which integrates the fingerprint sensor.

Display

Here the Huawei Mate Xs 5G it gets interesting because we have a flexible OLED display da 8 inches of diagonal with relationship 8/7.1 and resolution 2480 2200 pixels xwhich, when closed, drops to 6.6 inches (2480 x 1148 pixels) on the front and 6.38 inches (2480 x 892 pixels) in the rear one.

The material with which the display was made is plastic and cannot be glass since it does not have the properties to be folded without being broken and on the surface we also find a protective film is it must not be removed which will protect it from any accidental scratches. The only downside to this film is that it holds several fingerprints.

Huawei Mate Xs 5G

As for the crease in the center of the smartphone, I must say that in daily use you don't notice it at all, unless you run your finger over it or hold the smartphone up to the light. For the rest it doesn't bother.

Apart from all these clarifications the è wonderful, has gods vivid colors but never too saturated and the range of minimum / maximum brightness it is perfect because it goes from almost off to a lighthouse in the night, which favors its reading in direct sunlight despite the reflections due to the plastic material. Despite everything, these days it has been a pleasure to read and watch films on this Mate.

Huawei Mate Xs 5G

Within the settings we can then recalibrate the colors to our liking, set the dark mode and the always-on display.

The rear panel can only be used when we take selfies or make videos (stories or video messages) with the front camera, because there is no button that allows us to alternate between the two, but it would still have poco sense to do it. Instead, switching from smartphone mode to tablet mode content and apps adapt to change to go full screen, but we'll talk about this later.

Hardware and Performance

To move this Huawei Mate Xs 5G thinks about the top of the range chipset Huawei, that is,HiSilicon Kirin 990 5Gwhich includes a 7 nm octa-core processor (2x Cortex-A76 at 2.86 GHz + 2x Cortex-A76 at 2.36 GHz + 4x Cortex-A55 at 1.95 GHz), a GPU Mali-G76 MP16 and the NPU Dual Big Core + Tiny Core. Finally, let's not forget the 8 GB di RAM LPDDR4X and 512 GB di UFS storage 3.0 expandable via NM Card to 256 GB.

Needless to say, the smartphone is one splinter and you will not encounter any problems when moving between applications. Likewise also in Gaming everything will go smoothly thanks to the reproduction of contents with maximum details and, furthermore, the experience will be enriched by the magnificent 8-inch display.

Camera

The more than positive aspect of Huawei Mate Xs 5G is that the rear sensors can also be used for i Selfie, guaranteeing you excellent quality. Indeed, the new Mate xs is equipped with a Quad Room da + + 40 16 8 + ToF with opening f/1.8-2.2-2.4 which are a wide angle, ultra wide angle and telephoto lens respectively. We then have an optical stabilization and AIS, hybrid autofocus and LED flash.

In the daytime the shots are really level, we do not go to equalize Huawei P40 Pro, but still remain top of the range. The definition is very good, the management of the lights is excellent and that of the colors maintains high standards.

In short, there would be well poco to say since the images speak, but I add that the wide-angle camera make shots of ottima qualità not deforming the images on the sides and still maintaining a good balance in terms of lights and colors.

I also leave you other shots made with the telephoto which comes at a zoom optical 3x e hybrid to 30x.

In night the quality drops, but the night mode di Huawei will give new life to the shots managing to find the light where other smartphones would not be able to do. In that case the shots can be almost compared to those of a camera thanks to the support ISO to 204.800.

Obviously to get the best out of it you will need to have a good steady hand or a tripod, otherwise you will notice some shake.

Since we are talking about the same sensors, for i Selfie we repeat what has been said poco ago, adding that you will be able to take incredible photos with all the cameras, from the main one to the wide angle, up to the telephoto lens (you never know that you might want to capture details in the faces).

Beautiful photos with the ultra wide angle, although the colors tend to change slightly. At night, however, you will also be able to grasp the details of the sky.

I video can be registered up to a maximum of 4K, but a 1080P you will enjoy the excellent optical stabilization. Shooting is characterized by a very fast autofocus and satisfying colors, you can also switch from wide angle to 10x zoom.

Audio and connectivity

Il Huawei Mate Xs 5G owns one stereo speakeror rather, we only have a very powerful one at the bottom and the ear capsule that will act as additional support, but with less relevant output power.

Despite this, you will be able to enjoy an excellent experience thanks to a good balance of frequencies, full-bodied audio and a very high maximum volume.

Even in call we have no problems either with the capsule audio which is crystal clear, or with that captured by the microphone.

Connectivity side, Mate Xs 5G owns full support to 5G, both NSA is SA, as well as to LTE 4G. Obviously, as usual Huawei connectivity is at the top and we can have a good signal even where other smartphones struggle.

I make a necessary premise because because of the quarantine I was able to test the smartphone only from home and I could not test the cell changes in the city, on the train etc ...

For the rest we find a complete sector thanks to Wi-Fi Dual Band 802.11a / b / g / n / ac (wave2), the Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE, SBC, AAC, LDAC), theNFC,USB Type-C 3.1 with functionality of audio / video transmission e desktop mode e GPS (L1 + L5 Dual Band) / AGPS / Glonass / Beidou / Galileo (E1 + E5a Dual Band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 Dual Band).

We do not have a system of facial recognition since the cameras are present on the back, but we have the fingerprint sensor to the side that is molto veloce e accurate and unlock your device 10 times out of 10.

Software

Il Huawei Mate Xs 5G owns theEMUI 10.0.1 based on Android 10 with security patches currently updated to 1 February 2020.

Apart from the classic goodies and customizations of the proprietary interface that we know very well, here we find a series of ad hoc optimizations for the 8-inch display. In fact, with the display open it will be possible split the screen in two and use two apps simultaneously. Simply a long swipe along one of the edges and select the desired software. I recommend you to watch the video review to better understand how it works.

As if that were not enough there is also the drag and drop text, very useful if you want to save text in notes or for other features.

Switching from normal to "tablet" mode (defined by me) most of the applications they will adapt their contentincluding games. In fact, I did the test with PUBG, Asphalt 9 e Brawl Stars and I have not encountered any kind of problem.

However, with applications like Instagram, stories will cut above and below and we will only see the central square, but I think with an update they will fix this.

In addition to splitting the screen in two, the PiP (picture-in-picture) for some applications, whose window can be moved anywhere, but not resized. Too bad, this last function would have been very convenient.

The Home supports the same number of apps and has the same interface between smartphone and tablet mode, the only difference is that in the latter the icons will be spaced out.

Finally, as I said earlier, it is not possible to switch to the rear display smaller except when we record videos with the front camera in some applications (Camera, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram etc.), but there is a trick, because going to the front camera and swiping from the bottom you will go to the home and you can use the second display. However, I find it quite useless.

AppGallery, TrovApp, Phone Clone and Google Play Store

As you well know, Huawei starting from Mate 30 Pro had to give up Google services, relying instead on Huawei Mobile Services, enhancing and improving its app store, that is AppGallery.

The proprietary solution of Huawei is certainly the tip of the balance when choosing a particular product since it currently includes multiple applications used in everyday life but, unfortunately, it does not allow 100% coverage of the applications that can be downloaded from the Google Play StorePlay Store at the moment it is however installable through a fairly complex procedure which however could be blocked later.

In aid of these gaps we find an application of Huawei called FindApp which allows, if AppGallery does not include the application you are looking for, to download it directly from the manufacturers' sites or through the APKPure. It will be enough to search for the name of the application to view the options available for download or alternatives that can “replace” the app you are looking for.

The combination of FindApp e AppGallery allows you not to have to completely give up your habits but it takes some time to get used to the use of alternative apps.

You can also take advantage of it Phone Clone, the application of Huawei the transfer of data from the previous device to the new one, which allows you to retrieve the phone numbers from the address book (which if they were saved on the Google account would otherwise not be available), all compatible applications, the photo gallery and the rest of the data.

Also multiple applications like Netflix o Disney+ do not benefit from the certifications for the DRM Widevine and therefore do not allow the reproduction of content in HD or higher quality. Unfortunately, this obstacle cannot be circumvented at the moment.

Finally, we point out that some banking applications like Hype do not allow login or payment through NFC and others are limited in part because the functionality requires the presence of GMS.

Such a situation on a top of the range, indeed on a luxury smartphone from 2599 € it is decidedly delicate and although we are talking about one of the most exclusive devices of 2020 it is obvious that having to give up certain applications, which perhaps cannot be replaced at the moment, is hard enough to justify.

The situation will certainly improve in the coming months as the effort of Huawei in expanding the availability of applications on your store is truly remarkable but today it requires a bit of practicality and sacrifice to be able to respond to the most common needs.

Battery life - Huawei Mate Xs 5G

Under the body of the Huawei Mate Xs 5G we find a battery from 4500 mAh with charging support SuperCharge from 55W.

With intense use and often alternating the 8-inch display with the smartphone one I reached one medium about 5 half hours of active display. I must say that I expected much less instead Huawei managed to do a good job from the point of view ofconsumption optimization, also thanks to the absence of Google services.

It is therefore possible to arrive in the evening without too many problems, indeed if used sparingly you will also be able to cover the first morning of the following day.

Conclusions - Huawei Mate Xs 5G

Here we are at conclusions, I immediately cut the head of the bull saying that the Huawei Mate Xs 5G is sold to 2599 € and this no longer makes it a top or any premium smartphone, but it can be defined as a luxury product.

As such it is obvious that it is not for everyone, but it is for a certain niche of people who either lead a particularly comfortable lifestyle or are collectors / enthusiasts of innovation and technology.

Analyzing the smartphone itself I must say that it is a good product, but it still needs some software improvements, but on the other hand we are at the first foldable models and manufacturers will find ways to optimize them both from the point of view of software and display technologies, because There is a risk of breaking it and fixing it would really cost too much.

In conclusion with the Huawei Mate Xs 5G the Chinese company wanted to do one step ahead towards the future, showing his skills to the competition and showing that he is capable of innovate despite the complicated period he faces outside of China.