Huawei held a virtual press conference from Barcelona in what would have been at Mobile World Congress. It launched an update to the original foldable Mate X, the Mate Xs.

I attended the livestream at Huawei’s Johannesburg office and earlier in the day, had the opportunity to play with the 8-inch device briefly.

The updated phablet is 5.4mm thin at its thinnest point and 11mm at the end with the grip. It weighs 300g, featuring the same design you remember from the X.

In the company’s own words, the Mate Xs is equipped with a flexible display featuring an innovative two-layer polymer structure. “The foldable display is manufactured using a Huawei-pioneered technique adhering two layers of aerospace-grade polyimide with an optically clear adhesive.”

This time around, the hinge has been redesigned. Huawei says it is made with a zirconium-based liquid metal; and the upgraded hinge is more durable, facilitating a full 180° fold.

The Mate Xs is an 8-inch tablet when opened, and folds into a front screen of 6.6-inches and a back screen of 6.38-inches. It might sound confusing but the back folded screen is useful for selfies or if someone is taking a pic of you, you can see yourself directly in the shot – nifty.

The OLED screen has a screen resolution of 2480×2200 pixels when opened, and when folded, the front screen is 2480×1148 and the back screen is 2480×892.

It has a Leica quad camera set-up of a 40MP SuperSensing wide angle; 16MP Ultra wide; 8MP telephoto, and a Time of Flight depth camera, which we’ve seen on previous models. Due to the folding design, the rear-camera doubles up as the selfie cam when folded. 

It is powered by a Kirin 990 5G octa-core chipset, has a 16-core Mali-G76 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, expandable to 256GB. It has a fast-charging battery that is 4500mAh, which can be charged to 80% in thirty minutes. It has 5G and 4G dual-SIM support, and runs on Android 10 with Huawei’s EMUI version 10.

@nafisaakaborhuawei Mate Xs is here! #HuaweiMateXs #huawei #tiktoksa #southafrica #MateXs #technology #tiktoksouthafrica♬ Nanana Remix – tiafuentes212

The Mate Xs supports Multi-Window, which you lets you run two apps side-by-side, and a third via a floating window for smaller tasks like replying to texts. The multi-tasking functions let you drag and drop across the screen, including attachments and photos within the email app. 

The Mate Xs will feature Huawei’s revamped App Gallery running on HMS, which I got a sneak peak here recently:

Though I wish I got to play with any folding phone for more than fifteen minutes, it’s difficult to formulate my own thoughts. I like where the technology is going, and we still have to remember it is early days for folding screens, which can only get better. Only time will tell how durable the screen is and I hope to review it properly.

The Mate Xs will launch globally in March, and is priced at €2499. There is no pricing available for South Africa just yet.