It may only be Monday, but it’s already clear MWC 2019 and the year in general will be all about foldable phones, with every company under the sun unveiling, or announcing plans around the new category.
But out of the sea of news and announcements two names ring the loudest: the Huawei Mate X and the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The two foldables were announced within days of each other and at first glance look incredibly similar. But having looked a little closer, we found the two handsets are very different, with the Mate X looking set to eclipse the Galaxy Fold in nearly every way. However, with neither Huawei nor Samsung having published full specs lists for their handsets this is a very early verdict based off what little we do know about the two foldable smartphones.
Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X compare.
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Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X – Design
Samsung and Huawei have gone down very different routes for their folding phones. While the Fold has one external and one internal display, the Mate X has two screens that face outwards at all times.
Design-wise, there’s only one winner here, and it’s definitely not Samsung. The Mate X is far and away the more attractive of the two devices.
Time will tell us which company’s take is more popular with consumers, but right now I much prefer Huawei’s.
Screenshots taken from Samsung’s launch video show that the Fold doesn’t appear to fold flat, with a prominent gap sitting between the two parts of the handset when it’s closed up.
What’s more, in phone mode the Fold looks like two smartphones glued together, and the fact that Samsung is yet to reveal its physical dimensions suggests the handset is much chunkier than the company had hoped it would be.
The Huawei Mate X looks far more polished. It measures in at 5.4mm thick in tablet mode, and 11mm thick when folded − and yes, it folds flat. 11mm is slightly chunkier than your average smartphone, but easily manageable.
The Yoga Tab-esque side bar, which is designed to help users keep a one-handed grip on the Mate X, seems a sensible addition too, and better still, it’s only visible from the back.
Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X – Screens
The Galaxy Fold’s 4.6-inch, 1960 × 840 phone display is ludicrously small, and makes it look more like a toy than something that’s set to hit the market in a matter of weeks. There’s a huge amount of wasted space on every side.
In phone mode, the Mate X has a 6.6-inch, 2480 x 1148 front display and another 6.38-inch, 2480 x 892 display around the back.
Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story and we haven’t yet had the chance to actually get our hands on either of the two handsets, but the Mate X’s display looks far superior − both on paper and in demonstrations.
Open the devices up and it’s a similar story. The Galaxy Fold has a 7.3-inch, 2152 × 1536 Infinity Flex tablet display with what might just be the biggest notch we’ve ever seen in the top right corner.
The Mate X, meanwhile, has a larger and sharper (and notch-free) 8-inch, 2480 x 2200 FullView display when it’s unfolded.
Both handsets’ large screens look great for multi-tasking.
Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X – Battery and features
Both the Galaxy Fold and Mate X are 5G phones, and both Samsung and Huawei have equipped the handsets with a pair of batteries, with a single cell sitting inside each half.
At the unveiling of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung said its batteries will work in tandem, and that total battery capacity is 4380mAh. The Mate X’s total battery capacity is 4500mAh, though its screens are likely to be a lot more demanding than the Fold’s.
We can’t make a judgment on battery life until we’ve actually spent an extended period of time with both handsets.
However, the Mate X’s 55W SuperCharge feature sounds very impressive indeed. According to Huawei, you’ll be able to go from 0% battery to 85% in just 30 minutes.
Inside the Galaxy Fold is an as-yet unnamed 7nm 64-bit octa-core processor and 12GB of RAM, as well as 512GB of internal storage. It also features AKG-tuned speakers, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and UFS 3.0 support, and can be used to wirelessly charge compatible devices via Wireless PowerShare too.
The Mate X uses completely different hardware. It features a Kirin 980 chip and Balong 5000 5G modem. Huawei says it has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, but is yet to reveal any details about ports, connectivity and storage.
Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X – Cameras
The Galaxy Fold has a whopping six cameras on board.
Three on the rear: a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor; two on the inside: a 10-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel RGB depth camera; and a 10-megapixel sensor on the front.
The Mate X, meanwhile has four cameras, and we’ll update this piece when Huawei reveals more detail about them. We really like the fact that they sit on the handset’s side bar. It means whichever way you happen to be holding the Mate X, you can snap pictures.
Mirror Shooting, which lets the person you’re taking a picture of see how they look while the picture is being taken, is a particular highlight.
Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Huawei Mate X – Price and availability
We can’t help but think that the $1980 (~£1520) that Samsung is asking for for the Galaxy Fold is significantly more money than most consumers would be able or willing to pay.
However, if you are tempted, you have a little bit of time for getting some savings together. The Galaxy Fold is coming to the UK on May 3, with prices starting at €2000 (around £1800 in the UK). Pre-orders will be available on April 26.
The Mate X, meanwhile, will start at €2299 (~£1995). That will get you the model with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
That’s significantly more than what you’ll have to pay to pick up Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. Though admittedly, the Mate X appears to be the superior device.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu says Huawei will “maybe” be able to start selling the Mate X to consumers around the middle of 2019. According to the company, availability depends on the “network deployment status” of 5G mobile operators.
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