Huawei just launched its updated $2,700 Mate Xs foldable phone, and it still won't have Google apps and services


Huawei Mate XS

  • Huawei announced on Monday it’s releasing a new, more powerful version of its folding Mate X phone.
  • The new iteration is called the Huawei Mate Xs, and has an extra camera, a more robust hinge, and a better processor than the firm’s first stab in 2019.
  • The Mate Xs will come without Google services due to Huawei still being on a US trade blacklist.
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Huawei is doubling down on its folding phone from last year.

Unlike rival Samsung, Huawei is not making a new kind of foldable device but bringing out a new iteration of its 2019 Huawei Mate X.

The new and improved version will be called the Mate Xs.

The Mate Xs features the same dimensions as 2019’s Mate X, with some extra tweaks. The device is 6.6 inches folded and 8 inches unfolded; boasts four cameras rather than three; and has a more robust screen and hinge. Like its predecessor, it will be a 5G device.

The Xs will cost €2,499 ($2,700), a price increase on the original Mate X which cost a whopping €2,299 ($2,600) when it first premiered at Mobile World Congress in 2019.

Huawei’s CEO of consumer business Richard Yu announced Monday that the Mate Xs will go on sale worldwide in March, but did not give a specific date. It isn’t clear whether the phone will be available in the US, but it’s unlikely.

This is the fourth flagship Huawei phone — including the original Mate X — to be released without access to Google services. Huawei lost access to Google services after it was placed on a US trade blacklist in May last year. This means Huawei phones released after summer 2019 don’t come preloaded with Google apps, including the Google Play Store.

Google warned in a blog post on Saturday that “sideloaded” apps — i.e. apps downloaded from sources other than the Play Store — could pose a security risk to Huawei users.

Current Huawei phones run on an open-source version of Google’s Android operating system, rather than the full licensed version the company had access to before the blacklisting.

This is a developing story…

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