- Huawei on Sunday announced a foldable smartphone called the Mate X, which will cost $US2,600 when it launches.
- The announcement comes days after Samsung unveiled its own foldable smartphone, and there are some key differences between the two.
It’s only February, but it looks like smartphone makers have already established this year’s biggest trend.
While 2017 was all about introducing phones with nearly borderless, edge-to-edge screens, and 2018 was about refining that design, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the foldable smartphone.
Samsung unveiled its first foldable smartphone, the appropriately named Galaxy Fold, during an event last week alongside the company’s new Galaxy S10 lineup. Just days later, the Chinese phone giant Huawei debuted its own bendable smartphone, the Mate X, to kick off Mobile World Congress on Sunday. Both devices effectively double as phones and tablets, functioning as a phone when closed and a tablet when unfolded.
Although the two devices might sound similar in concept, there are some noteworthy differences between the two. Here’s a look at how they compare based on what’s been announced so far.
Huawei’s phone has a wraparound display.
The most noticeable discrepancy between these two devices is in the way that their screens fold.
The screen on Huawei’s Mate X wraps around the device, resulting in a paper-like crease down the center that’s barely visible when the device is open.
Samsung’s phone opens like a book.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold features a hinge that gives it a clamshell form factor. When unfolded, it opens up like a book to reveal a larger tablet screen on the inside of the device.
Huawei’s device features a larger screen than Samsung’s in both phone and tablet mode.
The Huawei Mate X includes a 6.6-inch screen on the front of the device and a 6.38-inch display on the back of the phone when folded. When unfolded, these displays combine to form an 8-inch tablet display.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold, by comparison, has a 4.6-inch phone screen and a 7.3-inch tablet screen.
Huawei’s phone also has a higher price to match that bigger display.
The Huawei Mate X will cost $US2,600, while Samsung’s Galaxy Fold starts at $US1,980.
There are also other design differences between the two phones other than their display sizes and folding mechanisms.
Huawei’s Mate X features a grip along the side that’s noticeably thicker than the rest of the device – it’s where the phone’s charging port and cameras are.
The cameras on the Galaxy Fold are on the back of the device, similar to the camera placement on more traditional smartphones.
Compared with the Galaxy Fold, the Mate X also appears to have a much thinner border around its display when in phone mode.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has more memory than Huawei’s foldable phone.
If Samsung is going to give you double the screen, it’s going to provide double the memory to match. The Galaxy Fold includes 12 GB of RAM, offering twice as much memory as the company’s entry-level flagship, the Galaxy S10e. Samsung is positioning the Fold as a powerhouse that can read and write data faster than any other phone or tablet.
The Huawei Mate X, by comparison, includes 8 GB of RAM, the same amount as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+.
Samsung’s phone also has more cameras than Huawei’s.
As is the case with previous Huawei devices, the Mate X uses Leica technology in its cameras – which include a 40-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has six cameras, which include two 10-megapixel selfie cameras, an 8-megapixel RGB depth camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 6-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera.
But it’s impossible to tell which phone snaps superior photos without actually using them, as there are many factors other than the sheer number of cameras or megapixels that contribute to image quality.
Huawei’s phone has a larger battery than Samsung’s.
Huawei’s Mate X has a 4,500 mAh battery, while Samsung’s Galaxy Fold has a 4,380 mAh battery.
But, as is the case with camera quality, size and capacity alone isn’t enough to determine which phone will offer better battery life in everyday use because there are a variety of elements that can impact power consumption.
Samsung’s phone will be released sooner than Huawei’s.
Samsung announced that the Galaxy Fold will launch on April 26, while Huawei’s foldable Mate X is slated to be released in the middle of 2019.
Although Samsung’s phone is launching in roughly two months, it did not allow press to use the device after its Unpacked press conference on February 20.