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Huawei built a phone like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, then scrapped it because the design stinks

Published Feb 28th, 2019 11:42AM EST
Mate X vs. Galaxy Fold
Image: Chris Smith, BGR

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Foldable phones had their coming-out party at MWC Barcelona this year, but none seemed to receive quite as much attention as Huawei’s Mate X. Samsung likely expected to leave Spain as the talk of the industry — instead, the Mate X is dominating headlines due to its unique, sleek design. But Huawei wasn’t content taking the foldable phone crown from MWC; the Chinese telecom company also took a parting shot at Samsung in an interview.

Speaking with Business Insider, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, revealed that the company had initially prototyped a device that had a design similar to that of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. It was “not good” though, according to Yu, and so Huawei scrapped it and moved on to other concepts.

“I feel having two screens, a front screen and a back screen, makes the phone too heavy,” Yu told Business Insider, referring to the Galaxy Fold. “We had several solutions, but we cancelled them. We had three projects simultaneously. We had something even better than [the Samsung Galaxy Fold], killed by me. It was bad.”

While the Galaxy Fold has a tablet-sized display inside the fold and a small touchscreen display on the outside, the flexible display of the Mate X is on the outer shell of the device, folding seamlessly from a smartphone into an 8-inch tablet. There are benefits and drawbacks to both designs (the Mate X appears to be exceedingly breakable, and the Galaxy Fold doesn’t quite fold flush), but the Mate X has an advantage in the looks department.

Until the phones actually start shipping to consumers, it’s impossible to say which will be a more successful product, but either way, with respective price tags of €2,299 ($2,600) for Huawei’s Mate X and $1,980 for the Galaxy Fold, the demand for the first batch of foldable phones will be limited. Still, as Huawei fights and claws to knock Samsung off its perch atop the worldwide smartphone market, it doesn’t hurt to take a dig or two at the competition.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.