Samsung Galaxy Fold vs. Huawei Mate X: Which flagship folding phone is best?

Smartphones have grown steadily bigger over the years as screens have increased in size and manufacturers have tried to balance things by shrinking down bezels so that our devices are still manageable. This is a trend that can only be pushed so far, and there’s a new design on the horizon that could bring us phones that are easy to handle one-handed and slip into a pocket, but that also fold out to give us more screen space. If folding phones are to herald a new age of creativity for smartphone design, the success of the first two big releases in this category will be paramount.

After teasing for months we finally got a better look at the Samsung Galaxy Fold recently, though it remains behind glass and off limits for hands-on testing. Meanwhile, the Huawei Mate X popped up as an alternative that we were allowed to touch. We don’t know everything about these two folding phones, but we have some details, so let’s take a look at how they measure up.


Samsung Galaxy Fold Huawei Mate X
Size Unfolded: 160.9 x 117.9 x 7.5 mm, folded: 160.9 x 62.9 x 17 mm Unfolded: 161.3 × 146.2 × 5.4 mm, folded: 161.3 × 78.3 × 11 mm
Weight 263 grams (9.28 ounces) 295 grams (10.41 ounces)
Screen size 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED and 4.6-inch Super AMOLED 8-inch AMOLED folds down to 6.6 and 6.3 inches
Screen resolution 2,152 x 1,536 pixels and 1,680 x 720 pixels 2,480 x 2,200 pixels and 2,480 x 1,148 pixels, 2,480 x 892 pixels
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 512GB 512GB
MicroSD card slot No Yes
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Kirin 980
Camera Triple-lens ultra wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 12MP with OIS and variable aperture, and telephoto 12MP with OIS rear, 10MP front closed, 10MP and 8MP front open Quad-lens ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 40MP with OIS, 8MP telephoto, and TOF camera rear
Video 2160p at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps 2160p at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Fingerprint sensor Yes (side) Yes (side)
Water resistance None TBC
Battery 4,380mAh (4,325mAh 5G model)

Quick Charge 2.0 (18W)

Qi wireless charging

Wireless Powershare


Huawei SuperCharge (55W)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support AT&T, T-Mobile TBC
Colors Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, or Astro Blue Interstellar Blue
Price $1,980 2,300 euros (around $2,600)
Buy from Samsung, AT&T Huawei
Review score News Hands-on

Performance, battery life, and charging

Samsung Galaxy Fold Announcement | Samsung Unpacked
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

When Samsung showed off the Galaxy Fold, it didn’t specify the chip inside, merely calling it a 7nm processor, but given that it’s using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 in the S10 range, and doesn’t seem to have developed a 7nm chip itself yet, we’re going to assume it’s the Snapdragon 855 here. It goes up against Huawei’s Kirin 980 in the Mate X. These processors offer similar performance, but benchmark tests suggest the Qualcomm chip has a very slight edge and may be a touch better for mobile gaming.

Samsung has also thrown in a whopping 12GB of RAM, which seems excessive until you consider that the Samsung Galaxy Fold has two screens to transition between and enough screen space for you to use three apps simultaneously, as it showed in the demo. Huawei has gone with 8GB of RAM in the Mate X, which will likely be plenty. Both have 512GB of storage, but only the Huawei Mate X has a MicroSD card slot for expansion.

There is only 120mAh difference in the battery sizes, but the bigger Huawei Mate X battery can also be charged up faster thanks to Huawei’s 55W SuperCharge, which can take the battery from zero to 85 percent in just 30 minutes. By contrast, Samsung has stuck with Qualcomm’s older Quick Charge 2.0 standard, which goes up to 18W. When you plug in the Galaxy Fold, it is going to take a lot longer to charge than the Mate X. The Samsung Galaxy Fold does also support Qi wireless charging, though, which is lacking in the Huawei Mate X.

Winner: Tie

Design and durability

The designs of these two folding phones are very different. While Samsung has opted to go for a separate cover display which you will use when the main display is folded up, Huawei has gone with a single folding screen. Both fold down to phone size like a book, but Huawei’s screen is the cover, whereas Samsung’s Infinity Flex display is tucked away inside. This design allows the Huawei Mate X to go from an 8-inch screen with a camera module on the back to a 6.6-inch screen with the camera on the back or a 6.3-inch screen with the camera facing you (the device switches on whatever one you’re looking at automatically). The Huawei Mate X is 11 mm when folded.

Samsung’s design necessitates a notch on the main 7.3-inch display for a dual-lens front-facing camera, then there is a triple-lens camera on the back, and another single-lens camera on the front with the 4.6-inch cover display. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is 17 mm when folded.

These are both expensive, fragile-looking devices, and case manufacturers really have their work cut out, but there’s no obvious difference between them in terms of durability. Neither has any stated IP rating for water resistance.

Not only does Huawei’s design mean more screen real estate, it also seems like a more elegant solution to us.

Winner: Huawei Mate X


Huawei Mate X
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You have a 4.6-inch display with a 7.3-inch display inside in the Galaxy Fold or an 8-inch display that folds down to a 6.6-inch display on one side and a 6.3-inch display on the other in the Mate X. Both the Huawei Mate X and the Samsung Galaxy Fold have AMOLED screens with very similar resolutions and the differences in size translate to almost identical pixel densities, so they are both plenty sharp enough. Samsung has an edge in display quality in the smartphone market generally, but it’s not yet clear if this translates to the folding category. Given that the real raison d’être here is a larger display, we think the Huawei Mate X has an obvious edge.

Winner: Huawei Mate X


Huawei Mate X
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has a whopping six lenses, with a triple-lens main camera on the back, a dual-lens front-facing camera in a notch at the top of the main screen, and a single-lens front-facing camera above the cover screen. The main camera looks to be the same as the triple-lens setup in the S10 range which combines a 12-megapixel standard lens with a variable aperture (f/1.5 to f/2.4), an ultra wide-angle 16-megapixel lens with a 123 degree field of view and an f/2.2 aperture, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture that allows for 2x optical zoom.

The Huawei Mate X has one quad-lens camera module that combines a 40-megapixel standard lens, an ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a Time of Flight (TOF) camera that can map depth by measuring the distance between the sensor and objects. We haven’t had a chance to try out the camera suites on either device, so we can’t call a winner here, but both seem to be very well-equipped.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Samsung Galaxy Fold Announcement | Samsung Unpacked
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You can expect to find Android 9.0 Pie on both devices, but the Samsung Galaxy Fold will have the One UI on top while the Huawei Mate X features EMUI 9.1.1. Both offer a range of handy extras and some clutter, but we prefer One UI on normal phones. Much depends on how the software handles screen switching and multitasking, which we simply can’t say much about until we get some proper time with these folding phones. The way Android is designed, most apps and games should adapt to the different sizes automatically.

Sadly, both Huawei and Samsung have a poor track record with Android updates and both tend to take quite a few months to update their devices when a new version comes out.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Huawei Mate X
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The folding screens are obviously the real standout features, but both manufacturers like to offer a lot of extra value. Samsung showed off the Multi-Active Window with three apps open at once and talked about App Continuity enabling you to switch screens seamlessly. You’ll also get support for the Dex desktop mode, Bixby, Samsung Pay, Knox, Health, and a few other bits and pieces.

Huawei seems to be sticking with Android’s usual split-screen mode, but the Mate X does support Mirror Shooting when folded, enabling subject and photographer to preview shots in real time. There’s also the impressive 55W SuperCharge, which will enable that incredible zero to 85 percent wired charging in just half an hour.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Fold will come in 4G LTE or 5G versions starting from $1,980. The 5G version will presumably be more expensive. We know that AT&T and T-Mobile will carry it, but other carriers may pick it up. It will be available from April 26 in the U.S. and May 3 in Europe.

The Huawei Mate X will only come in a 5G version costing 2,300 euros (around $2,600). It will be released around the world when carriers and 5G networks are ready, which is likely to be early summer this year. There’s no word on a U.S. release, which is unsurprising given Huawei’s difficulties in the States.

Overall winner: Huawei Mate X

There are still a lot of unknowns here, but based on what we’ve seen so far, the Huawei Mate X is the more desirable device. This opinion may change when we get time with these folding phones, but Huawei’s design is definitely more appealing. If the higher price seems off-putting, it’s also worth noting that the starting price for the Galaxy Fold is almost certainly for the 4G LTE version — the 5G model price would be a fairer comparison. We will update when we know more.


LG's 5G-capable V50 ThinQ smartphone is now available for pre-order

LG has a habit of releasing too many phones. Following on the heels of the V40 ThinQ, the company has now unveiled the LG V50 ThinQ. There's 5G support, as well as an accessory that turns it into a foldable phone.

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Which Android powerhouse is for you?

If you're after a real powerhouse of a smartphone, then you've probably considered the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. But you could save yourself some cash by opting for the OnePlus 7 Pro. Find out what sets these phones apart in our comparison.

The best bezel-less phones cut all the right corners without losing space

As the smartphone industry marches toward a bezel-less future, we compare the shrinking bezels on the latest and greatest devices. Find out which manufacturers have the smallest bezels on their smartphone as we compare them side by side.

Can Apple or Samsung steal the OnePlus 7 Pro's flagship killer title?

OnePlus has long been the go-to for flagship specs under a flagship price. But now Apple and Samsung have challengers in the arena, and they want the Flagship Killer crown for themselves. Who wins? We found out.

Adobe Premiere Rush now allows Android users to edit video without the laptop

After launching on desktop and iOS, Adobe Premiere Rush, a streamlined video editor, is now available on Android. Premiere Rush is designed for social media projects and non-professional editors.

Apple Watches get steep smartwatch discounts for Memorial Day

If you've been thinking about picking up a new wearable, an Apple Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can buy. With Memorial Day sales from Walmart and Amazon springing up all over the place, now is a great time to save.

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Best Buy, Walmart, and Home Depot drop discounts

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.

Amazon Japan may be stopping sales of the P30 in response to U.S. Huawei ban

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Traveling doesn't need to be a time-consuming nuisance. Our handpicked selection of the best travel apps will keep things simple, whether you need cost comparisons for hotels or directions to renowned eateries.

Leaked cases show off the new iPhone's squared camera module

The last iPhones just launched, but rumors about the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Hey Google, let’s order out: Food delivery comes to Search, Maps, and Assistant

If you love your takeout, then Google's new online food ordering system is sure to bring a smile to your lips. You can now order takeout from Google Search results, Google Maps, or by using Google Assistant and pick your delivery service.

Honor 20 Series is Google certified, says Honor; 20 Pro release date coming soon

Honor has launched the Honor 20 Pro and the Honor 20 at an event that took place in London. The new smartphone is surprisingly compact, with an impressive four-lens camera for taking stunning shots, day or night.

Google Duplex sounds a lot like a human — and sometimes it is one

Google Duplex was originally launched as a way to make bookings at restaurants and other locations. The service was hailed for sounding like a human, but according to a new report, the reason for that might be that sometimes it is a human.
Social Media

Vertical video haters win the war — Instagram’s IGTV has a horizontal view

Not yet sold on the idea of vertical video? The traditional horizontal aspect ratio is headed to Instagram's IGTV, thanks to today's update. The change allows horizontal images to fill the screen with the device rotated.