The Mate X2 is only available on import from China at the time of writing this review. That said, the app experience is identical wherever you buy a Huawei phone today, given the Google ban, which came into effect in 2019. In turn, for anyone living in the UK, US, or other western markets, Google’s services – Docs, Drive, Maps, Play Store, and YouTube to name a few, won’t work through their applications. Out of the box, therefore, Huawei’s software and performance may be slick, but there’s more to consider than with any other smartphone from an app-support point of view.
There are some quick wins when you set the phone up. With Huawei’s pre-installed Phone Clone tool, most apps will transfer over from your old phone pain-free. Next, Petal Search is a Huawei tool for scouring third-party app stores like APK Mirror to get new apps onboard. That said, some apps just don’t work properly, like HBO Max and Uber/Uber Eats. WhatsApp backups are also saved to Google Drive, for example – so you can use the chatting app, but you’ll be starting your chats from scratch. While Google Play Games dependent titles won’t work or offer cross-device game saves, Genshin impact plays back smoothly at maximum graphics settings on the Mate X2.
Day to day swipes and taps are smoothly registered too, and the phone supports handy multitasking options, with split-screen app support, as well as a floating window view – perfect when unfolded and working away on a big screen. While Google Docs don’t work, Microsoft’s apps do, so hooking the Mate X2 to a keyboard and mouse, firing up Microsoft Word and living your best foldable work life is still an option.
The Mate X2 benchmarks better than a Snapdragon 865 phone like the OnePlus 8, but worse than the latest flagships with Snapdragon 888s. It also features 8GB RAM, and serves up either 256GB or 512GB storage. With an ample 4500 mAh battery, 55W fast wired charging, though no wireless charging, while the Mate X2 lasts all day and powers up quickly, the lack of wireless charging holds it back from packing literally every smartphone bell and whistle going.