On Thursday, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei released Mate Xs 2, the second generation of its foldable Mate Xs series, priced from RMB 9,999 ($1505).

Why it matters: Huawei first adopted an outer folding design for its foldable phones in 2019, differing from mainstream models that folded inward, thereby solving the key issue of the prominent crease on the screens of foldable phones. With new hardware updates, Mate Xs 2 is vying to be a strong competitor in this vertical.

Details: Targeted at the high-end market, Huawei highlighted Mate Xs 2’s top-line tech specifications at the launch event on Thursday.

  • According to the company, the new foldable phone continues with an outer fold option and has a 7.8-inch display, which downsizes to 6.5 inches when folded. 
  • The maximum size of the model is slightly smaller than the 8-inch display on the recently released Vivo X Fold but is 18% lighter in weight.
  • The OLED display on the Mate Xs 2 supports a 120 Hz refresh rate, with high rate dim illumination tech, that can reduce the harm to users’ eyes in dark environments.
  • The phone is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor and has two combinations for memory storage: 8 GB RAM plus 256 GB or 512 GB storage and 12 GB RAM plus 512 GB storage. Huawei is having difficulties buying 5G chips due to US export restrictions. 
  • The Mate Xs 2 features three cameras, which gives users the option of framing from ultra-wide to telephoto, with a maximum of 5,000 pixels image quality when shooting with the main camera. The phone also supports filming in 8K resolution.
  • Although Huawei’s outer folding design solves the creasing issue, it makes the display more fragile, especially the phone’s folded spine. Huawei has yet to introduce extra protection that can solve this issue. 

Context: In 2021, Huawei shipped 900,000 units of foldable phones, accounting for 10% of the market, a distant second to Korean manufacturer Samsung, which accounts for 88% of the market.

  • While many Chinese phone manufacturers have released their own foldable phones, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, Huawei remains predominant among Chinese brands.

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a]technode.com or Twitter @zhounanyu.