The foldable Huawei Mate Xs sports a clever hinge, but it’s a nightmare to repair

The foldable Huawei Mate Xs sports a clever hinge, but it’s a nightmare to repair
The wind of change is about to blow over smartphoneville, and we can already feel a little breeze. Foldable phones with flexible displays are slowly but surely finding their way to the consumer market. We now have the Galaxy Fold and Z Flip, Huawei Mate X and Mate Xs, and of course, the Motorola RAZR. These devices are now dwelling in people's pockets (bags, suitcases), and it's interesting to get a glimpse of what they will be like to repair.

The Huawei Mate Xs has the leading role in today's play. It brought a new hinge design and updated hardware over its predecessor, the Mate X, as well as the latest EMUI 10 user interface. The Mate Xs is an expensive piece of technology with a price of around $2,400 (if you can find one). Still, iFixit didn't hesitate to tear one to bits to examine the design and build of the phone and award it with a score on their repairability scale.

The video is somehow painful to watch, as many of the components require extra force to be removed (covers, batteries) due to the extra-strong adhesive used. Getting to the flexible display requires going through the hinge and dealing with strong metal clips, which can, as a result, damage the fragile OLED.

The Huawei Mate Xs scored a dismal 2 of 10 on the repairability scale, but there is an upside to this. The new hinge is designed in such a way that dust and dirt have little to no chance to make their way to the display. The excessive and extra-strong adhesive can be viewed as a positive, too, adding to the ruggedness of the device, as long as you don't need to take it apart and fix something. Enjoy or cringe at the full video of the teardown below.

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Mate Xs
  • Display 8.0 inches
    2480 x 2200 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP (Quad camera)
    front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G, 8GB RAM
  • Storage 512GB, Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Huawei Emotion UI

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