The Galaxy Fold officially has competition. Huawei announced its own foldable phone here at MWC 2019 in Barcelona, the Mate X.
Both phones unfold into a tablet and have the option for 5G. They have eye-watering prices and launch later this year. But the similarities end there.
The Galaxy Fold has one small screen on the outside and a large screen on the inside, while the Mate X uses one screen on the outside in three different ways. It shapeshifts depending on how you hold the device. Samsung’s phone comes with 4G or 5G and six cameras. The Mate X has four cameras (three you can see and one that’ll launch in March) and 5G across the board. And where the Galaxy Fold’s hinge won’t lay completely flat, Huawei boasts about the sophistication of its patented hinge.
We’re still learning more about both phones. My colleague Roger Cheng got a rare chance to hold the Mate X, and we’ve never even seen the Galaxy Fold in person. But here’s what we know about them so far, and how they both plan to take control of our brave new foldable world.
The fold, the screens
Does your phone fold in or out? Samsung’s Galaxy Fold takes the form of a book, with its largest screen on the inside, protected by the outer “cover.” Except in this case, one of the “covers” has a screen on it.
Huawei takes the opposite approach, with the screen hugging the frame. The advantage here is that you have one screen that can act like three, depending on how you hold the phone.
Galaxy Fold screens:
- 6.4-inch exterior
- 7.3-inch interior screen
Huawei Mate X “screens”:
- 8.0-inch OLED display
- In “closed” position, front screen is 6.6-inches
- In “closed” position, rear screen is 6.38-inches
- Lit-up screen switches as you turn the phone
Price and sale date
Affordable foldable phones aren’t here yet, but companies like TCL are working on it. You’ll have to earmark at least $2,000 if you’re going to get either the Galaxy Fold or Huawei’s Mate X. But hold on. Let’s say you have the extra dough to spend. When do you get each phone, and will they sell where you live?
Galaxy Fold: $1,980, on sale April 26 in select markets, including the US.
Huawei Mate X: 2,300 euros, sale date starting in select markets around June or July. Huawei says it isn’t announcing sale markets until 5G networks start taking off. Because of tensions with the US government, it’s doubtful that the Mate X will sell in the US. However the price does convert roughly to $2,600, £2,000 or AU$3,660. More
The specs (that we know about)
GALAXY FOLD VERSUS 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||N/A|
|Camera||16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||4 rear cameras|
|Front-facing camera||Two 10-megapixel, 8-megapixel 3D depth||At least one|
|Processor||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||Kirin 980 processor|
|Fingerprint sensor||Power button||Power button|
|Wireless charging||Foldable display, wireless charging, fast charging||Foldable display, fast charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$1,980||Converts to $2,600 ($2,299 euros)|