Huawei Mate Xs vs. Huawei Mate X: What’s the difference?

Folding phones have been widely hailed as the future of smartphone design, but there have also been doubts about their durability, and they come at a high price. Huawei’s first foray into foldable phone territory was last year’s Mate X, and it’s back in 2020 with a new, improved version called the Mate Xs. So what’s the difference between the two? That’s just what we’re here to examine as we compare the Mate X and Mate Xs to find out how they measure up and highlight all of the important differences.

Specs

Mate Xs Mate x
Size Unfolded: 161.3 × 146.2 × 5.4 mm

Folded: 161.3 × 78.3 × 11 mm

Unfolded: 161.3 × 146.2 × 5.4 mm

Folded: 161.3 × 78.3 × 11 mm

Weight 300 grams (10.58 ounces) 295 grams (10.41 ounces)
Screen size 8-inch OLED folds down to 6.6 and 6.3 inches 8-inch AMOLED folds down to 6.6 and 6.3 inches
Screen resolution 2480 × 2200 pixels unfolded, 2480 × 1148 pixels front, 2480 × 892 pixels back 2480 × 2200 pixels unfolded, 2480 × 1148 pixels front, 2480 × 892 pixels back
Operating system Android 10 Android 10
Storage space 512GB 512GB
MicroSD card slot No, NM card No, NM card
NFC Yes Yes
Processor Kirin 990 5G Kirin 980
RAM 8GB 8GB
Camera Quad-lens ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 40MP with OIS, 8MP telephoto, and TOF camera rear Quad-lens ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 40MP with OIS, 8MP telephoto, and TOF camera rear
Video 2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 30 fps 2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth version 5.0 5.0
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes (side) Yes (side)
Water resistance None None
Battery 4,500mAh

Huawei SuperCharge (55W)

4,500mAh

Huawei SuperCharge (55W)

App marketplace Huawei App Gallery Huawei App Gallery
Network support No official US support No official US support
Colors Interstellar Blue Interstellar Blue
Price 2,500 euros (around $2,700) 2,300 euros (around $2,500)
Buy from Huawei Huawei
Review score Hands-on Hands-on

Design, display, and durability

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At first glance, the Huawei Mate X and Mate Xs look identical and the exteriors mostly are. The huge, almost-square 8-inch OLED screen folds back to give you a more conventional smartphone-sized device with a rectangular 6.6-inch screen. Huawei has made tweaks to the hinge in the Xs, adding covers to stop dust and other unwanted particles from gaining access. It has also adjusted the resistance, making the screen a little easier to fold. Once folded, you push a button to release the screen and unfurl it again.

When the Mate X or Xs is open you get to enjoy an unparalleled, sharp, 8-inch screen that offers plenty of room for anything you’d care to do, but is best for movies and games. The resolution and sizes here are the same with both devices. Folded shut the screen on the back turns off and you get an all-screen front that looks a lot like any other big phone, except there’s no hole-punch camera or notch. The camera module is also on the back, and it works as a front-facing camera when you use the back portion of screen, offering superior selfies.

While this smart design with a screen that folds facing out makes a lot of sense, it also exposes the screen to everything, and because it’s plastic, it will pick up scratches more easily than glass. On the other hand, it should be less prone to cracking when dropped as the screen is flexible, though we would not recommend testing that theory. Since Huawei has made minor changes to improve durability on the hinge, we’re giving the newer Xs a slight win here.

Winner: Huawei Mate Xs

Performance, battery life, and charging

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This is a clear and easy win for the newer Huawei Mate Xs, which boasts Huawei’s Kirin 990 processor with 8GB of RAM. Not only does the latest chipset offer more grunt, but it also supports 5G. In fact, the Mate Xs probably supports more 5G bands than any other device on the market right now. There’s 512GB of storage inside both phones and you can expand that with one of Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) cards.

There’s no difference in battery capacity here, but 4,500mAh should be enough to see you through an average day with change and Huawei’s SuperCharge goes up to 55W for seriously speedy recharging.

Winner: Huawei Mate Xs

Camera

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

The camera in the Huawei Mate Xs cherry-picks the best elements from the Huawei P30 Pro and the Mate 30 Pro. There’s an excellent 40-megapixel main lens with an f/1.8 aperture, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens that enables 3x optical zoom. Completing the camera suite is the time-of-flight sensor, which provides accurate depth information. It’s a powerful and versatile combination. The clever design also brings the back screen to life when you turn the phone around enabling you to use the same top-notch camera to take awesome selfies. It doesn’t look as though Huawei has made any changes to the camera suite that was in the Mate X with the Mate Xs, so this is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

While the Huawei Mate X was released with Android 9 and EMUI 9 on top, it has since been updated to Android 10 and EMUI 10, which is also what you’ll find on the Huawei Mate Xs. The big thing to note with either of these phones in the software department is that they don’t have Google services, apps, or the Play Store, you’ll have to rely on Huawei’s App Gallery out of the box. This may prove a major inconvenience if you use a lot of Google services, though you can always install something like Amazon’s App Store if you want to install apps that aren’t offered by Huawei.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The Huawei Mate Xs should get a wider launch than the Mate X which has never been sold outside of China, but it’s set to cost a staggering 2,500 Euros, which is around $2,700 at the time of writing. While it’s likely to be sold throughout Europe, it probably won’t be made available in the states. You can take a look at the full list of supported networks and bands at the Huawei website, and it’s a long list that includes 5G, but it’s advisable to check in with your carrier before you consider buying one.

Overall winner: Huawei Mate Xs

The Mate Xs is more of a refinement of the Mate X than an all-new device. A more durable hinge, better folding action, and a speedier processor are welcome upgrades, but the price bump isn’t so pleasing. Lack of availability stateside and the absence of Google may limit its appeal in some markets, but if you’re excited about folding phones this is a device you need to take a closer look at.

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