The Samsung Flip 3 was among the year's biggest discoveries. It combined a sophisticated but small customizable design with an affordable price tag to create the world's first truly mass-market folding phone. As a result, the Flip 3 is a tough feat to surpass - a challenge that the Huawei P50 quickly accepted.
So how will the P50 Pocket stack up against its more well-known competitor? Let's look at Huawei's phone and see whether it is good enough to claim the foldable top place.
The Huawei P50 was unveiled in China on 2021 December 23, and worldwide availability began on January 26. Its normal model - which comes with 8GB RAM and 256Gb internal memory - costs €1,299, equating to approximately $1,470 / AU$2,044/ £1,080. Meanwhile, the P50 Portable Premium Version with 12GB RAM and 512GB internal memory costs €1,599, which translates to around $1,810 / AU$2,515/ £1,330 in other currencies.
On August 27, 2021, Samsung launched the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Its 128GB variant is available for $999 / AU$1,499/£949, while the 256GB version comes at $1,049 / AU$1,599. We could see that even in its most affordable configuration, the Huawei P50 is more costly than Samsung Flip 3.
These smartphones have clamshell designs that allow them to unfold from a tiny square to a normal-sized smartphone. The Huawei P50 probably does this more effectively - at least in several critical areas. Its two frame components are fully flat against one another, with no evidence of any gap seen in the Flip 3. In addition, Huawei's 'Multi-Dimensional' hinge results in a smaller wrinkle than Samsung's - especially when the phone is wide open.
In comparison, only the Flip 3 can remain unobstructed at varied angles. Samsung's phone also achieves an IPX8 water-resistant grade, whereas Huawei's phone does not.
The Huawei P50 is bigger in dimensions and weight, measuring 175 x 73 x 7.2mm and weighing 190g. Meanwhile, Samsung Flip 3 weighs 183g with dimensions of 166 x 72.2 x 6.9mm.
Huawei goes all out with its dazzling design - especially on the more costly Premium Edition, with an embossed gold finish.
On the other hand, the Samsung Flip 3 is a nice development of the preceding Flip smartphones, boasting a sleeker and more attractive appearance. We appreciate the two-toned layout of the back cover.
Both phones have fingerprint sensors integrated into their power keys rather than interior screens.
Both items include bigger fold-out screens and external secondary displays. The Huawei P50 Pocket's primary display is a 6.9-inch OLED with 2790 x 1188, while Samsung Flip 3's equivalent is a 6.7-inch Oled with 2640 x 1080. Huawei's display is slightly bigger and clearer, but it lacks substance. Both screens are capable of 120Hz refresh rates as well.
Regarding the external screens, the Huawei P50 Portable has a spherical 1.04-inch OLED display with a 336 x 340 resolution, and the Flip 3 features a rectangle 1.9-inch AMOLED monitor with a 512 x 260 settlement. Samsung triumphs in this category with a far bigger and more practical exterior display. While these outer panels are closed, they are primarily utilized to indicate the timing and reduce notification data. Still, Samsung appears to be more adept at balancing function and form.
The Huawei P50 Portable allegedly has a triple-camera arrangement, but the Flip 3 only features a dual-camera layout. Yet, they are both dual-camera phones in practice.
Huawei's technology appears to be more striking than Samsung's, with a 40MP wide lens and a 13MP ultra-wide sensor working in tandem. However, the most surprising inclusion is a 32MP hyper cam capable of allegedly capturing unseen wavelengths.
Why would you wish to include wavelengths barely visible in your photographs? Such features seem to be used mostly for artistic fluorescence photos of flowers and foliage - while also supplying depth and color information to the other motion sensor.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a combination of 12MP sensors (one for wide-angle shots and another for ultra-wide shots). It is not very appealing. But as our reviewer put it, Samsung's camera expertise allows for "nicely detailed and bright" images. To be certain, we will need to spend more time with Huawei, but it appears to have a stronger camera setup here.
These smartphones are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 processor, which means they are almost as quick as any 2020 Android handset. Of course, we are now in 2022, and a new Snapdragon has arrived in the form of the Snapdragon Gen 1.
The recent worldwide introduction of the Huawei P50 Portable and its much higher price point may not bode well in that scenario.
Both phones come with 8GB of RAM in normal settings. However, the Huawei P50 Portable Premium Edition comes with 12GB. There is one significant specification variation here, and it seems to be tied to Huawei's current political difficulties.
Unlike the Flip 3, the P50 Portable does not support 5G. Whether you care about 5G connections or not, the technology has advanced to the point where it can be regarded as a guarantee for all but the most basic smartphones. We surely anticipate its inclusion in our top models by now.
The Flip 3 offers 128GB or 256GB in the storage department, while the Huawei Mini offers 256GB or 512GB of storage.
Due to Huawei's continuing legal battles with western countries, you will be unable to access Google Services, which will result in the absence of Google applications and the Google Play Store. Huawei has made significant efforts to find workarounds, but this is certainly a poor position.
The Flip 3 has none of these concerns, and Samsung's One UI has evolved into a pretty pleasant and feature-rich interface in recent years.
We have not yet prepared our hands-on impressions of the Huawei P50, but it will undergo stiff competition from the Flip 3. Though the item is pricier, it lacks 5G and wireless charging. This phone is also not as water-resistant. Then there is the ongoing problem with current Huawei phones not supporting critical Google services.
While Huawei's hinge design is intriguing - and its surveillance system is nearly guaranteed to outperform its opponent - we are still leaning toward the Flip 3, a much safer wager.