- The folding phone is one of the biggest innovations in the smartphone market and was the main talking point at Mobile World Congress 2019.
- We compared the Samsung Galaxy Fold with the Huawei Mate X to see which one came out on top.
- Watch the video above to see how each phone stacks up in specs, price, and availability.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Shona Ghosh: We are at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona it’s the biggest global conference for mobile in the world and it’s pretty exciting because Huawei has now launched its own foldable phone, The Mate X and that’s a few days after Samsung also launched a foldable phone called The Galaxy Fold.
We’re gonna put the two phones head to head, talk about the specs, the price, availability and give you an early verdict about which phone might be better.
So the Samsung Galaxy Fold is the smaller of the two devices.
If folded in and being used as a smartphone, the screen measures 4.6 inches. It’s good for people who maybe like those smaller screens.
A slightly different story when you unfold The Galaxy Fold and then that’s a 7.3 inch screen, and that’s like a small tablet or an e-reader, again quite a nice size for travelling and for people who don’t really like those jumbo screens.
As always with Samsung phones the display is quite sharp, it’s pretty good, comparable to another Galaxy phone.
We had a bit more of a chance to see the Huawei Mate X close up and we could see the screen was pretty impressive from what little time we had with it.
It’s a much bigger proposition as a device so folded up as a smartphone the Mate X is 6.6 inches, which is huge, that’s actually a jumbo phone really.
Unfolded it becomes quite a nice size tablet which is eight inches.
Huawei device from what we’ve seen, looks a little bit smoother.
Samsung interestingly isn’t showing anyone what The Galaxy Fold looks like up close, so as far as I know no reporters, no analysts, have had a chance to play with The Galaxy Fold.
Now obviously Samsung says that the phone is super durable, it can withstand kind of falls, and that it’s quite tough, but you know we’d need some real-world proof that that’s actually the case.
So in terms of a real world, you know, how the phones perform in the real world, I think Huawei’s a little bit ahead of Samsung on this one.
And what’s a little bit troubling is that Samsung’s phone is due to come out in a couple of months but no one’s really seen properly how the device works.
Another key difference with The Mate X is that there’s no notch on the screen when the Mate X has folded out.
The way Huawei has got around the camera problem, is that it’s coasted it’s camera on Samsung’s on the side of the device, on a sort of dedicated sidebar.
Now that adds a tiny bit of bulk to the device, when it’s folded out, it otherwise looks very slim, but the advantage is that you can hold that kind of sidebar where the cameras are and sort of grip while you’re holding the tablet, that works quite nicely, and then you know when the tablet folds back in, you know the camera array is still visible on the side and you can still use it like any normal smartphone.
The Galaxy Fold has a lot of cameras. There are six cameras on the device in total, which is a lot of cameras.
The reason is because you’re obviously going to be taking photos when you use the device in different configurations.
We don’t know too much about the Huawei Mate X’s camera setup, we know that there are three or possibly four cameras on the back.
The suspicion is that there is, in fact, a fourth camera lens in the back of the device, that Huawei’s gonna reveal at some later date, when it reveals its next batch of phones. Both phones have quite powerful batteries.
The Mate X has a 4500 milliampere battery while The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a 4380 milliampere battery, what we don’t know just yet is exactly what that translates to in the real world with real use, you know whether they will have a day’s full charge or possibly more.
So for me one major point to think about is how thick these devices are going to be because obviously when they’re folded up both The Huawei Mate X and The Samsung Galaxy Fold are gonna be thicker than your average smartphone.
We don’t know how thick The Samsung Galaxy Fold is going to be, Samsung hasn’t really talked about the, the weight or the thickness.
When you’ve folded the device back up into smartphone mode, it doesn’t quite fold flat, it’s not completely flat when you fold it up, so that slightly creates sort of an extra bulk.
For me it sounds like The Huawei Mate X is probably thinner than The Galaxy Fold because The Mate X folds in a really flush way, it’s something Huawei were really keen to emphasise.
There’s, is that the tablet is completely flat and then when folded it folds in a really nice neat way and there’s no gap between the screens when it’s folded up.
One major drawback of the new Galaxy Fold and The Mate X is that they are extremely expensive, so everyone was outraged when Apple introduced the $US1,000 iPhone, now the game has changed considerably with the arrival of folding smartphones which cost about double that price.
An early verdict that I would give is that the Huawei Mate X is probably the superior device.
It just looks much more finessed, it just looks like Huawei has spent a little bit more time working on that hinge mechanisms to make the folding and unfolding really really smooth.
The display looks absolutely phenomenal. Galaxy Fold looks really impressive too, it sounds like the cameras are highly impressive.
For me the much bigger question is whether anyone actually wants a folding phone, there hasn’t been a huge amount of consumer demand for flexible displays it’s something that’s really been driven by the industry it feels like and you know, it’s sort of it’s arrived for the mainstream audience, but whether the mainstream audience takes it up I’m not so sure.
Each phone costs a lot of money, so you really wanna think about whether you truly wanna drop a couple of thousand pounds, euros, dollars, on a device like that before you go out and buy one at the shop.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.