Samsung vs. Huawei: Battle of the Foldable Phones

The mobile phone giants are both launching new foldable phones. Who leads in this race?
Wednesday 27 February 2019
Huawei's new foldable 5G smartphone HUAWEI Mate X. Photo: AFP

The Huawei Mate X will be selling in select markets in June or July while the Samsung Galaxy Fold will go on sale on 26th April. What’s the most obvious difference? The price. The Galaxy Fold retails at US$1,980 while the Huawei Mate X retails at US$2,600, a price difference of US$620.

While there’s still a lot to learn about both phones as there is no official information about its release in Malaysia yet, here’s what we can gather so far.

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Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer products division presents the new Huawei Mate X foldable smartphone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Photo: AFP

The screen

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold takes the shape of a book and in its tablet mode its screen measures 7.3 inches, protected by an outer cover. In phone mode, it comes in at 4.6 inches. Huawei takes the opposite approach, with the screen hugging the frame. In phone mode, the Mate X is about 6.6 inches and 11 millimeters thick when folded, much thinner than Samsung’s 17 millimeter Galaxy Fold.

The cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a total of six cameras – three on the back, two on the front and one on the cover. Huawei Mate X has four cameras as confirmed by Huawei consumer CEO Richard Yu, with three being rear cameras. When it comes to asthetics, there are major design differences between the two phones. The Mate X has a unique hinge system and protruding back housing the three cameras while the Galaxy Fold has a notch inside with three dedicated front cameras.

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Samsung’s Mobile Division President and CEO DJ Koh holds the new Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during the Samsung Unpacked event. Photo: AFP

The connectivity

Huawei made sure to highlight the foldable phone’s 5G connectivity, a technology at the center of its quest for global dominance in the smartphone market. Samsung will offer a version with 4G and a version with 5G.

What critics say

Phone makers have begun rolling out foldable phones with a bang, but analysts remain skeptical. “No matter how innovative and technology advanced the new device is, it will take a lot more time for a critical mass of consumers to experience the benefits of foldable phones and 5G technology,” said Thomas Husson, an analyst at Forrester.

Samsung and Huawei are convinced that phones that act like tablets will catch on. The Huawei launch drew huge crowds. Fans were seen queueing outside the venue hours before the kickoff and those who couldn’t get in watched the event outside on a big screen. At times, they burst into excited applause.

So which phone is better? And will tablet phones catch on? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: CNN International

Related: United States Formally Files Criminal Charges Against Huawei