The Huawei Mate XS 2 is a foldable phone with an impressive, near-glorious foldable design but it is, sadly, beset by far too many flaws, as its spec sheet reveals…

The Huawei Mate XS 2 is a stunning device with its gorgeous exterior chassis, near-perfect folding mechanism, and its expansive 7.8in, 2480×2200 OLED display which comes with all the mod-cons you’d expect from a high-end flagship phone.

In pictures, you might even think that Huawei has Samsung beat in the design department. But like a Porsche 911 running a Fiat 500 engine, all is not what it seems. Things might look nice on the surface but there are plenty of hidden issues beneath this phone’s sexy exterior.

Huawei Mate XS 2 Specs

Screen7.8in, 2480×2200 foldable OLED (6.5in 2480×1176 when folded) w/ 120Hz refresh rate
CPUQualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 4G
Memory8GB RAM
Camera50 MP, f/1.8 main w/ Laser AF + 8MP, f/2.4mm 3x zoom telephoto w/ OIS, PDAF + 13MP, f/2.2 ultrawide rear. 10.7MP, f/2.2 front
Storage256GB / 512GB onboard, NM card slot
Operating systemAndroid w/ EMUI
Battery4600mAh non-removable, 66W wired charging, wireless charging
Dimensions157x139x5.4mm unfolded / 157x76x11.1mm folded, 255g

As you can see from the Huawei Mate XS 2’s spec sheets, most of the specs – the display, the RAM, the storage, even the camera – are pretty impressive. You have all the right numbers in the right places. Even the battery is pretty respectable at 4600mAh with 66W fast charging.

Huawei Mate XS 2 SpecsPin

But then the cracks emerge. And these aren’t just cracks, they’re huge, gaping holes in the Huawei Mate XS 2’s capabilities as a phone. Let’s investigate these holes in more detail…

Does The Huawei Mate XS 2 Have 5G?

The US government – for a variety of reasons – isn’t keen on Huawei, so a few years ago it decided to make life difficult for the company by using its power to effectively block Huawei from using Google services as well as US-made chipsets from companies like Qualcomm.

The chip issue by itself wouldn’t have been too much of an issue, Huawei does make its own Kirin-branded CPUs, but not allowing Huawei to use Android proper, meaning Android with Google services, was a death blow to the then-increasingly-dominant phone company.

The Huawei Mate XS 2 runs on a two-year-old Qualcomm chipset, the Snapdragon 888, and it does not support 5G which is bad news for any phone in 2022, let alone one positioned at this price point. If you go with this phone, you’re effectively stuck using 4G LTE connectivity and for a phone that costs as much as the Huawei Mate XS 2 does, that really is just no good.

Does The Huawei Mate XS 2 Run Google Play?

Of course, the 800-pound elephant in the room is the fact that the Huawei Mate XS 2 does not run any Google services. This means there is no Google Play, so no access to popular apps and games; no Chrome; no Gmail, and, finally, no YouTube. And this, again, is not good – not for users in the EU, UK, and USA.

You can sideload apps, of course, or use Huawei’s Google Play alternative, App Gallery, but if you think this will act as a viable alternative to Google Play you’d be dead wrong – it’s basically terrible. Meta has not made apps for it, for instance, so there’s no Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp.

You’ll also struggle to find nearly all of the most popular apps right now inside App Gallery. Again, I cannot stress this enough: Android phones RELY on Google services.

In the West, this is what makes them Android phones – there aren’t any decent alternatives available. And App Gallery, despite Huawei’s best efforts, is still utterly useless for nearly everything.

Huawei Mate XS 2 Price

How much does the Huawei Mate XS 2 cost? Quite a lot. In fact, given all of the problems we’ve discussed, I’d argue the price is, quite frankly, ridiculous. If you want to buy this phone, it’ll cost you around $1750/£1999 which is an insane figure for a phone that ships without Google services, 5G, or a modern CPU.

What Happened To Huawei?

Once one of the top phone brands in the world, Huawei has been effectively exiled from the US market, barred from using the latest American-made CPUs, and can no longer run Google services – stuff like Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, and the Play Store – on its phones.

Most companies would have given up. But Huawei has a pretty large user base in China, its native country, where users are used to not having access to Google services anyway because they’re not allowed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Huawei Mate XS 2 Specs: It’s Missing A LOT of Stuff…Pin

I’m not going to go over why Huawei was banned from using Google services of US-made chipsets, as it has been done to death on this site and elsewhere. Without Google services, most phone brands would just throw in the towel or, at least, not bother with Western markets like the USA and the UK.

But Huawei isn’t doing that; it still likes to release its phones into markets where having access to things like Google services (and 5G) on your phone is as common as having running water in your home. For some reason, Huawei believes it can get around this and charge a huge amount of money for the Huawei Mate XS 2.

As with all of its pre-ban releases, I’m afraid, this just isn’t the case. As nice as this phone looks, it is essentially useless to most Android users without access to core Google services and popular apps.

The Huawei Mate XS 2, whichever way you slice it, is just not worth it, not when you can get another phone for the same price (or less) which comes with full Google support and things like 5G and a newer chipset, like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

If you want a foldable phone, get one from Samsung.

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