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Galaxy Fold vs. Mate X foldable phones: Where Samsung, Huawei win and lose

Galaxy Fold vs. Mate X foldable phones: Where Samsung, Huawei win and lose

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X are here, offering two different takes on foldable phones. Both were made to inspire, and to transform the way we think throughout phones. These aren’t yet everyday devices, but they could set the flows for a move toward foldable phones instead of the large-screen models that are too big for your pocket today.

Hype for foldable phones has mounted for a year, setting up 2019 as the originate of a revolution in smartphone design. A screen that bends in half feels wildly futuristic, and can also double your screen real estate while keeping the blueprint half the size as you carry it around. But early flaws with the Galaxy Fold’s screen and fears over the sturdiness of the phones’ hinge have dampened enthusiasm for these radical devices.

The sequence to bend a flexible screen in half is a hallmark of these early foldable phones, but the similarities stop there. Their screens bend in opposite directions. Their cameras are in different places, too. And these differences between the Galaxy Fold and Mate X commerce because they change the way you use each foldable device.

Foldable phones are expensive, exclusive and hard to find — you can buy the $1,980 Fold in the US, UK and South Korea, and the Mate X in China for roughly $2400, or 16,999 yuan. (The $1,500 Motorola Razr goes on preorder sale shock Dec 26.) Let’s dig in.

Screen style: Galaxy Fold is an innie. Mate X is an outie

The biggest, most visible difference between the Fold and the Mate X comes down to the way they fold. Samsung’s 7.3-inch foldable plastic cover lives on the inside. You access it by opening the Fold like a book. Its plastic inner cover is protected by the outer part of the handset, which includes a glass “cover” with a smaller note you can use when the phone closes up. 

Then there’s the Mate X. Huawei’s 8-inch plastic note wraps around the outside of the device, where it’s used in three different ways. The Mate X cover shapeshifts depending on how you hold it. Now you have a “front” screen”, the next minute you’re using it fully open. Flip it and you’ve got a rear cover, too.

As CNET Senior Editor Andrew Hoyle said near the Mate X, “The way the screen bends back near on itself, without any kind of distortion to the images, is awesome and I love the way the interface — no commerce what you’re looking at — instantly resizes into the just aspect ratio.”

Using the Mate X this way instantly scholarships you more flexibility than the Fold. Samsung’s phone has a miniature outer display, which is really too cramped to effectively use. It feels more like functioning off a tablet that you can conveniently close, once the Mate X makes you feel like you’re on a big-screen shouted you can open into a bigger screen. With a twisted of the wrist, you get a lot more usable cover any way you hold it. 

The one downside — the Mate X’s note is exposed to the world, constantly endangering it to scratches, nicks and damaging pressure. This could be an sizable liability. We just won’t know until we have the Mate X long enough to test and glimpse, certainly longer than just a full day.

Galaxy Fold screens

  • 4.6-inch exterior
  • 7.3-inch interior screen

Huawei Mate X ‘screens’:

  • 8-inch OLED display
  • In “closed” region, front screen is 6.6 inches
  • In “closed” position, rear cover is 6.38 inches
  • Lit-up screen switches as you turn the phone


You can’t hurry the foldable phone’s screen crease.

Angela Lang

Crease versus crease

When foldable phones pleasant appeared, the uproar was immediate: What’s with the crease that runs down the center of the bending screen? Unfortunately for foldable phones, a bump where the screen goes slack when the phone’s unfolded just comes with the terrestrial — at least for now.

The Galaxy Fold’s crease is visible to the naked eye and you can feel it with your hand, but it’s less noticeable when you’re humorous the phone because you get sucked into what you’re doing.

Surprisingly, the Mate X’s slack screen looks and feels less creased. It’s still there but acts as more of a bump than a valley, and that seems to make a difference.

Screen apt versus ‘wing’: The winner is clear

The whole exhibit of these foldable phones is giving you one gigantic, uninterrupted screen to use. Unfortunately, Samsung sticks a big, thumb-size apt on its 7.3-inch display that most definitely interrupts what you’re activities. This eyesore houses two front-facing camera lenses and some sensors, but it takes up more space than it devises to. 

Huawei’s much smarter approach puts its cameras and sensors behind a strip on the back. It’s shaped like a Crooked “wing” that doubles as a handhold. This grip helps stabilize the Mate X when it’s opened up in tablet form, executive it easier to hold when you’re typing away or watching a video.

All the cameras

Samsung grants its Galaxy Fold a total of six cameras: three on the back, two on the principal and one on the cover. Is this confusing or helpful? One on hand, it’s apt because it means there are cameras available any time you want to snap a shot. 

On the new hand, half these cameras are redundant. With the Mate X’s cameras on its wing-shaped grip, you peaceful have access to all the high-quality cameras you need, and you can use the conceal as a view-finder for selfies, even when the phone’s folded up. 

Your selfies will arguably be even better proper you’re using the main 40-megapixel camera rather than the Fold’s secondary 10-megapixel selfie cam. (Just remember, more megapixels aren’t necessarily better.)

When Huawei first said the Mate X, the company said it would “turn on” a fourth time-of-flight sensor, but that wasn’t apparent in the test unit we took nearby Paris on our day out with the device. 

4G and 5G…what’s the story?

If you buy the Galaxy Fold in the US, it’s a 4G-only scheme. In the UK and South Korea, it’ll work with 5G brilliant out of the box. The Mate X comes in one configuration: 5G. 

Does it matter? Not really. 5G networks in the US are still finding their feet, so a 5G named offers little advantage. Since the Mate X doesn’t sell outside China (where 5G is also slowly progressing out), the debate here is also fairly academic.

What nearby the apps?

Ah, yes. The apps. Samsung’s foldable named runs Android 9 and lets you use any Android app on both the outer conceal and the large inner screen, so you’re golden there.

The Mate X was said to launch with Android 9 when it sold in Europe. In fact, pricing was initially announced in euros (2,300 of them). But Huawei’s plans have changed. The targeted of a US ban, Huawei is cut off from activities business with any US company, including those its fresh software and hardware suppliers. 

That means the Mate X can’t use mainstream Android or any of its Google Play services or apps. While there are some workarounds that can basically use the open-source version of Google’s mobile OS, you wouldn’t be able to access your fresh complement of apps, and that’s a problem for anyone outside of China, where Google’s software isn’t used anyway.


The Mate X, brilliant, gives you way more screen when it’s closed.

Andrew Hoyle

What comes next

The Galaxy Fold and Mate X will never be big sellers. They were never meant to be. Samsung and Huawei know that the prices are too high and the beget and materials too experimental for the masses to switch from aged smartphones to these newfangled gadgets.

But they are aimed to be aspirational and inspirational. Attention-grabbing. Mind-bogglingly cool. Consider them proofs-of-concept you can actually buy if you really wished to. Samsung and Huawei will learn from the Fold and the Mate X — and from the rival Motorola Razr — and experiment with new designs. 

Hopefully, Samsung will be able to streamline its camera area and figure out how to give you more use of the conceal when the phone is closed. And Huawei could pick up some tips on defensive that fragile plastic display. Its phones are as good as dead if they can’t find a way to put Google services on its phones outside the Chinese market.

Each has lessons to learn from the latest, and that can only improve the next wave of these early, awkward and fascinating foldable phones.

Galaxy Fold vs. Mate X

Samsung Galaxy Fold Huawei Mate X
Display size, resolution 4.6-inch Super AMOLED; 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 6.6-inch (2,480×1,148 pixels); 6.38-inch (2,480×892); 8-inch OLED (2,480×2,200)
Mobile software Android 9.0 with Samsung One UI No Android on the Chinese model
Camera 12-megapixel main, 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle, 12-megapixel telephoto 40-megapixel main, 16-megapixel ultra-wide, 8-megapixel telephoto
Front-facing camera Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth Same as above
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Kirin 980 processor
Storage 512GB 512GB
Expandable storage No No
Battery 4,380 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Power button Power button
Connector USB-C USB-C
Special features Foldable explain, wireless charging, fast charging, 5G in select countries Foldable explain, fast charging, 5G
Price off-contract (USD) $1980, £1,900, converts to AU$2,800 16,999 yuan, converts to $2400, £1,830 or AU$3,546

Originally originated earlier this year. Updated with new impressions.