Huawei will soon launch in France, its very beautiful and very expensive competitor of the Galaxy Z3 Fold

Huawei will soon launch in France, its very beautiful and very expensive competitor of the Galaxy Z3 Fold

Since the beginning of its smartphone adventure, Huawei has been keen to compete with Apple quality on all fronts. With the European launch of its fourth generation of folding smartphone, the Mate Xs 2, the Chinese giant also wants to tackle the Korean giant Samsung, king of the genre with its Folds and Flips.
Lighter, with more usable screen area, stronger, no crease effect on the screen, etc. Almost all of Huawei’s comparisons were aimed at Samsung’s flagship.

Already launched in China, the Mate Xs 2 is a jewel of hardware – we had it in our hands and the level of finish is excellent. Its new hinge is promised to be super resistant, the fold is really invisible, and the display surface very comfortable.
The screen is intentionally larger (7.8” versus 7.6”), more defined (2480 x 2200 versus 2208 x 1768 pixels) and denser in pixels (424 dpi versus 374 dpi) than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. All while being less heavy, with 255g against 271g for the Samsung device. Huawei even highlights that its terminal weighs about the same as an iPhone 13 Pro Max with its shell, for a doubled screen surface.

Huawei’s presentation emphasized materials such as advanced fiberglass, complexity and solidity (reinforced hinge, multi-layer screen protection). They allow Huawei to claim some pretty impressive comparison numbers. Compared to the Mate Xs (2and folding generation at Huawei), the Mate Xs 2 is 2.5 times more resistant to falls, 2.8 times more resistant to impacts and 1.4 times more resistant to pressure. A very important reinforcement work for a phone with such a mechanism.

In terms of technical specifications, the screen is obviously at 120 Hz, and the Snapdragon 888 which powers it is supported by 8 GB of RAM and has 512 GB of storage.

Photographic triptych

The photo score consists of a classic triptych: the ultra wide-angle (eq. 13 mm f/2.2, 13 Mpix) and the wide-angle (eq. 23 mm f/1.8, 50 Mpix used in 12.5 Mpix) of the P50 Pro and an evolution of the small telephoto lens of the P40 Pro+, an 85mm f/2.4 equivalent of 8 Mpix (elongated compared to the original 80mm).

A trio of modules that benefit from Huawei’s know-how in image processing (XD Optics for the reduction of optical defects, etc.). But we feel that Huawei is no longer at its maximum. If we can not blame the absence of 8K, the limit of 4K video at 30p (instead of 60 fps) is regrettable and below the competition.

The front camera consists of a new 10.7 Mpix sensor, the size of which is unknown, topped with ultra-wide-angle optics opening at f / 2.2 (without further precision for the focal length).
During our hands-on, the camera was quick to focus despite the dire light conditions, but still lagging behind Apple’s – that’s always been the case for Huawei’s AF.

Limited to 4G, and still without Google

Let Huawei be a king of hardware, it sounds like a bit of a no-brainer. If the Chinese giant had succeeded in becoming world number one, it was not by chance. The Chinese company was – and still is – a reference in terms of quality, manufacturing and technologies, particularly in imaging.

But since this golden age, Donald Trump and his administration have been there, and the Mate Xs 2 suffers from this American war. Deprived of Android and Google services (Google Mobile Services), he must be content in Europe with his fork of Android EMUI 12, and his app store AppGallery.
If Petal Search and the application loading system (” sideloading ” APK files) is a crutch, the user experience of Europeans and Westerners very focused on Google apps and services is far from being equivalent to the comfort of Android, where there is no need for hacking.
Despite the heavy investment in Harmony OS, Huawei, through its representatives, who we spoke to, seem very keen on getting the license back. But it depends less on Alphabet/Google than on the US government.

Same story on the hardware and communication side: world champion of 5G equipment and 5G SoCs (Huawei was the first to integrate a 5G modem into a high-end chip), the Chinese firm is deprived of production of its chips… and therefore of 5G. The US government has agreed to let Qualcomm sell the older generation chips (Snapdragon 888), but with the 5G modem disabled.

Also see video:

Also see video:

The Mate Xs 2 therefore offers the peak performance of the terminals of 2021. And the biggest 5G patent holder in the world is stuck at 4G. If this is not serious in everyday life, this limit goes against the very marketing discourse that Huawei has held in recent years to highlight its know-how.

The Mate Xs 2 is supposed to arrive in France from June at 1,999 euros.