Huawei Mate X VS Samsung Galaxy Fold
if you just sci-fi movies foldable phones are the future, a tablet as powerful as a computer that you can fit in your pocket, but how close are we to that and what does the future actually look like .
however due to a number of failures of these review units, Samsung is recalling the fold and delaying the launch date from May 2nd until further notice .
but before Samsung takes back their version of the folding future !? we are nasphones.com and here’s a quick comparison of the Kuo a made X and the Samsung Galaxy fold two very different approaches to the future of folding phones .
which way should a flexible display fold, both Samsung and Huawei have their own answer and neither one is perfect, Samsung solution is to have the phone open up like a book .
naturally and without any buttons the fragile plastic screen is on the inside and supposedly that keeps it from being exposed to things that might scratch it .
I say supposedly because there’s a gap when the fold is closed and things like coins and paperclips can easily pass through it and actually they’re sort of attracted to the phone anyway because it’s magnetic .
there’s a small screen on the outside so you can use a phone when it’s closed and there are cameras and pretty much every surface so you can always take a selfie .
this means you get video chat capabilities on the big screen or as there’s only one way that you can use the main X for selfies, also you can’t really talk about the fold without talking about the hinge .
Samsung’s hinge allows for significantly less effort to open the fold than the mate X, the mate X takes three or four times as long to open it sounds like a dying robot and there’s no way you can do it with one hand .
this means you can’t transition between the two possible form factors very easily, while the fold is super intuitive, you can snap it open with one hand and then snap it closed with the delicious power of magnets .
so far so good right, well there’s one issue when the screen is on the inside, the internal radius is naturally much smaller and similarly to a piece of paper when it’s folded too flat you get a permanent line .
the crease is pronounced and obvious even when it’s not tilted towards the light, it’s not too hard to ignore when the screen is bright, but whenever the image is darker the crease is noticeable, even when you look at it straight on and personally I found it distracting especially when combined with the massive notch on the inside .
I’m actually not sure why Samsung decided that they need the more powerful selfie camera setup on the inside of the phone, I mean part of the reason that you’re buying this phone so that you have a lot of extra screen real estate and this massive notch cuts into that .
Huawei solution is the opposite, they risk having the screen on the outside, this allows them to have one set of cameras on the bar where the buttons charging port and fingerprint reader are .
due to the larger radius the screen wraps around, the crease is much less noticeable and it’s pretty much invisible when you’re using it, I think this might have been the thing that surprised me the most about the two phones .
both have plastic displays, that aren’t as premium as glass ones, both displays are pretty fragile and of Zach from jerry-rigged everything got his hands on them he could probably break them just by sneezing .
but the Galaxy fold has a much more noticeable crease, no matter what you’re doing you’re gonna look at it you’re gonna see it you’re gonna know that this is not glass .
whereas the Huawei Mate X allows you to ignore this fact and just enjoy what’s happening on the screen so because of this the Huawei Mate X wins at least for now .
question two, what are these phones like when they’re closed, half the charm of a foldable phone after all is that you can use it when it’s folded, when closed the mate X feels and looks exactly like a regular device .
which can’t be said about the Galaxy fold, according to some of my colleagues it reminds them of the dimensions of a remote control and I’m not about to disagree, the tiny screen is there to use if you’re only glancing at your phone and this big plus is that it’s easy to use one-handed .
but if you’re doing anything that takes more than 15 seconds or requires typing you just end up snapping open the fold and using it like that .
because it’s way more comfortable this actually doesn’t make it too different from a regular two-handed phone, but it does feel a little awkward when you’re taking photos .
do you choose the baby phone version or the one that feels like an iPad Mini, Samsung should include a bigger external screen as soon as they can because it’ll add another layer of usability and combined with the more mobile hinge they can easily Trump Huawei’s implementation .
for now though the mate X wins round 2 you can use it closed for longer periods of time and it feels like a fully functioning phone rather than an advanced always-on display .
question 3, what should the software act like, it needs to be responsive and allow you to use the best of both worlds, you should be able to use apps in both modes and the UI should generally be pretty intuitive .
I’m gonna straight-up spoil this round Samsung wins it by a landslide, you can tell the emui has been pretty much slapped on to the Huawei Mate X, maybe it’s because the Huawei Mate X I got to use was still in prototype stage or the right updates hadn’t been installed yet .
but either way II me why I was just slapped onto the Huawei Mate X, there were almost no tweaks that took advantage of the bigger screen real estate and even basic things like typing or sort of uncomfortable .
even the charging animation didn’t come from the side but just came from the bottom like a regular mate or p-series phone, sure the screen lights up the right way no matter how you turn it and you have a portrait preview when you’re taking a photo of someone .
but the former solves a problem the Galaxy fold doesn’t have, well the portrait preview could easily be activated in future updates, Samsung on the other hand has thought a lot about their UI and it shows .
that’s why their whole app continuity was all over their press materials too, not every app supports it at this point so you have to go into settings to switch it on .
but once you get everything set up it’s super convenient, you have three typing modes you can choose from and they’re all pretty comfortable the split screen windows also have a lot more flexibility and even allow you to have a floating window .
then there’s other little things when you play a game the game launches in a way that you have to turn the device you’re not blocking the speakers, if you’re on a call with someone and the fold is closed, then you open it up it automatically goes into speaker mode .
there’s a bunch more tweaks like this and I can go on and on about them and this is what makes a really good software experience, so Round three Samsung wins .
so which phone is more comfortable to use, I think that this depends a lot on personal preference and how you use the phone, both foldables cover the basics really well, they have great cameras huge batteries fast charging superfast fingerprint readers and even face unlock in the case of the fold .
but somehow they’re super different for one the galaxy fold feels like an entirely new type of device, with entirely new patterns of usage, close it to call someone open the text and watch a video and no matter what you’re doing switching between one mode and another happens incredibly quickly because of the hinge .
the tiny front screen makes it a one-handed device which is great if you’re just checking a message or switching a song, the UI is much closer to being ready for daily use too .
the Huawei Mate X on the other hand feels like two devices not one, it feels like both the phone and a tablet and not a weird mishmash of the two .
however these are not semi functional devices, it’s a fully fledged tablet and a fully fledged phone, I never felt like I was sacrificing anything with a mate while there were some situations where the fold was more annoying .
and because of this I would have to say that I prefer using the mates, however the UI is simply not there yet and I think Huawei needs to work on making it easier to use with one hand .
round four, tie, I prefer the mate X but not enough to call it a winner, so now everyone’s favorite question, which phone is more durable !?, neither one is there they’re both really fragile .
there’s a few reasons that Samsung is recalling all of the review units, namely that’s because there’s a lot of moving parts and there’s a lot of little spaces that dirt and dust can get in and damage those parts .
the hinge that’s so nice to use seem to get looser over the week that it was in our office and the crease seemed to get more pronounced at the end we could even use the fold as a makeshift fan although it’s a testament to Samsung that the phone was perfectly functional after that so it really depends on which unit you have in terms of whether it’s gonna malfunction or not .
but others weren’t so lucky and their units were defective right away, this means the problem goes beyond Samsung needing to steal parts of the phone so nothing gets in .
but as reviewers we can only guess where the problem stems from, also that gap they all want us to ignore means the phone isn’t kept totally safe from the phone is closed .
the Huawei Mate X of course completely skips that problem it’s just completely exposed so that it has a million more chances to get scratches on it it also has moveable parts and a hinge that’s even more questionable because it’s been in the hands of fewer people .
people are imperfect so they’re gonna be a better real world test than a machine that closes and opens a phone the same way for a thousand times .
so now what does the future hold are we gonna completely discount foldable phones now that we’ve seen what issues they have, I don’t think so they’re just to convenience .
they can replace a tablet a phone and for some people even a laptop, it can be as good as the best phones out there while also creating a new future of media consumption .
with more immersive mobile gaming easier reading on the go and a bigger screen to enjoy content, however despite the fact that some of us have already touched the future .
all these mishaps send a pretty clear message that it’s not here to stay, for now, manufacturers have a lot of problems that they need to solve and despite the breakneck speed of innovation they also need to learn to be a little bit more patience so they can properly test their devices before handing them to us, the imperfect public .
I also don’t know whether an insight or an outside fold will prevail currently I like Chloe’s implementation better, but that doesn’t mean that Samsung is just gonna leave things as they are they’re a massive manufacturer with a ton of R&D and they’re probably testing a bunch ideas as we speak .
so I can’t wait until the Galaxy fold version two and four foldables to be ready for primetime in general, hopefully that’ll be sooner than we think .
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