The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 was one of the reveals of 2021, combining a sleek yet compact foldable design with an affordable price to produce the first true mass-market foldable phone.
This makes the Galaxy Z Flip 3 the compact foldable phone to beat, and that’s a challenge the Huawei P50 Pocket was quick to accept.
How does the P50 Pocket compare to its popular rival? Let’s take a closer look at what the Huawei phone has to offer and whether it’s good enough to take the top foldable spot.
Price and availability between Huawei P50 Pocket and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
The Huawei P50 Pocket was announced in China on December 23, while it began its global launch on January 26.
The regular model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage costs €1,299, which is around $1,470 / £1,080 / AU$2,044. The P50 Pocket Premium Edition with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage costs €1,599, which is around $1,810 / £1,330 / AU$2,515.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 went on sale on August 27, 2021. The 128GB model costs $999 / £949 / AU$1,499, while the 256GB model costs $1,049 / £999 / AU$1,599.
Even if you only take the cheapest model, the Huawei P50 Pocket is a more expensive phone than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Both phones feature their clamshell design, which allows them to fold open from a compact square to a normally proportioned smartphone.
The Huawei P50 Pocket arguably does it better, at least in some key aspects. Its two screen components lie completely flat next to each other, and there is no noticeable gap that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has. Huawei’s “Multi-Dimensional” hinge also serves to create a slightly smaller crease than Samsung’s efforts once the phone is fully open.
Conversely, only the Galaxy Z Flip 3 can hold itself open at different angles. The Samsung phone also manages to get an IPX8 water resistance rating, which the Huawei phone can’t match.
In terms of facts and figures, the Huawei P50 Pocket is the larger phone at 170 x 75.5 x 7.2mm and 190g. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 measures 166 x 72.2 x 6.9mm and weighs 183g.
Especially with the more expensive Premium Edition with an embossed gold finish, Huawei really shines with the eye-catching design. For its part, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 represents a welcome evolution of the previous flip phones, with a smoother and more appealing aesthetic. We particularly like the two-tone effect on the back.
Both phones place their fingerprint sensors in their power buttons rather than under their displays.
Both phones have larger fold-out displays and secondary external displays.
On the Huawei P50 Pocket, the main screen is a 6.9-inch OLED with a resolution of 2790 x 1188. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, this main screen is a 6.7-inch AMOLED with a resolution of 2640 x 1080.
Huawei’s display is then a bit bigger and sharper, but there really isn’t much in it. Both displays can also reach refresh rates of 120 Hz.
As for those external displays, the Huawei P50 Pocket offers you a 1.04-inch circular OLED with a 340 x 340 resolution, and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 delivers a 1.9-inch rectangular AMOLED with a 512 resolution x 260. The Samsung wins in this respect with a significantly larger and therefore more practical external screen.
To be clear, these two external screens are mainly used for showing the time and simplified notification details when closed. But the Samsung seems to blend function with form a little better.
The Huawei P50 Pocket is said to offer you a triple camera system, while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with a dual camera setup. But in practice, both phones come with dual cameras.
Huawei’s system appears to be more impressive than Samsung’s, led by a 40MP wide sensor and accompanied by a 13MP ultra-wide. But the unexpected facility is a 32-megapixel ultra-spectrum camera that captures what appear to be invisible wavelengths.
Why should you capture invisible wavelengths in your recordings? Mainly for creative fluorescent shots of plants and foliage, although it also provides depth and color information for the other two sensors.
For the Galaxy Z Flip 3 part, you get a pair of 12-megapixel sensors – one for wide-angle, the other for ultra-wide-angle. It’s underwhelming, although Samsung’s camera expertise is still enough to capture shots that our reviewer thought were “beautifully detailed and colourful”.
We’ll have to spend some more time with the Huawei to be sure, but it seems to have a superior camera system here.
specifications and performance
Both phones run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip, meaning we’re looking at two phones that can run about as fast as any 2021 Android flagship.
Of course we are now in 2022 and with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 there is a new Snapdragon in town. The recent worldwide launch of the Huawei P50 Pro and the significantly higher prices do not look particularly good in this context.
You get 8GB of RAM as standard on both phones, although the premium edition of the Huawei P50 Pocket gives you 12GB.
There’s a notable spec difference here, which appears to be related to Huawei’s ongoing political woes. The P50 Pro does not support 5G, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Whether you care about 5G connectivity or not, there’s undoubtedly a point where the feature can be taken for granted on all but the cheapest phones. We certainly expect it in our flagships.
On the storage front, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offers you either 128GB or 256GB, while the Huawei P50 Pocket offers either 256GB or 512GB.
Perhaps the biggest win for Samsung is the usual one when compared to a Huawei phone. Huawei’s ongoing issues with western governments mean you won’t get access to Google Play Services, meaning no Google apps and Google Play Store available.
Huawei has been working hard on workarounds, but it’s undeniably a sub-optimal situation. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has no such worries, and Samsung’s One UI is quite a pleasant and full-featured user interface these days.
Both phones sacrifice something in terms of their battery capacity to fit into these slim, foldable profiles. However, the Huawei P50 Pocket comes out on top.
Huawei has managed to pack in a 4,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 gives you a 3,300mAh cell.
It remains to be seen how that will affect the Huawei P50 Pocket’s endurance, but we’ve seen the Galaxy Z Flip 3 before, and it’s not too hot. Our tester struggled to last a full day of heavy use on a single charge.
The Huawei P50 Pocket supports 40W wired charging versus Samsung’s 25W, which is an advantage for the newer phone. However, the foldable Huawei doesn’t support wireless charging at all, while the Samsung supports up to 11W.
As with 5G, wireless charging isn’t essential, but it’s certainly something you’d expect from a flagship phone.
We haven’t quite prepared our practical thoughts for the Huawei P50 Pocket yet, but it’s certainly going to be an uphill battle against the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Not only is it more expensive, it doesn’t have 5G or wireless charging, and it’s not waterproof to the same extent. Then there’s the constant problem with modern Huawei phones that they don’t support key Google services.
While the Huawei P50 Pocket does some promising things with its hinge design and its camera system will almost certainly be superior to its rival, this one is where we’re headed towards the Galaxy Z Flip 3. It’s just a much safer bet.