Huawei P50 Pocket vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: Pinball

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 was one of the revelations of 2021, combining a sleek yet compact foldable design with an affordable price to produce the first truly mainstream foldable phone.

That makes the Galaxy Z Flip 3 the compact foldable phone to beat, and it’s a challenge the Huawei P50 Pocket quickly rose to.

So how does the P50 Pocket fare against its popular rival? Let’s take a closer look at what Huawei’s phone has to offer and if it’s good enough to take the foldable top spot.

Huawei P50 Pocket vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 price and availability

The Huawei P50 Pocket was announced in China on December 23, while it began its global rollout on January 26.

The standard model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is priced at €1,299, which equates to around $1,470 / £1,080 / AU$2,044. The P50 Pocket Premium Edition with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is priced at €1,599, which equates to 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 you $1,049 / £999 / AU$1,599 $.

Even taking only the cheapest model, the Huawei P50 Pocket is a more expensive handset than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the cheapest phone (Image credit: future)

Design

Both of these phones are distinguished by their clamshell design, which transforms them from a compact square to a full-sized smartphone.

The Huawei P50 Pocket arguably does this better, at least in some key respects. Its two screen components lie completely flat next to each other, with no sign of the gap that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 exhibits. Huawei’s “multi-dimensional” hinge also serves to produce a slightly more bend small than Samsung’s effort once the phone is fully opened.

Conversely, only the Galaxy Z Flip 3 can stay open at different angles. Samsung’s phone also manages to achieve an IPX8 water resistance rating, which the Huawei phone can’t match.

A gold Huawei P50 Pocket

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a flashy finish (Image credit: Huawei)

In terms of facts and figures, the Huawei P50 Pocket is the biggest 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 183g.

Huawei really sticks out with the flashy design, especially with the more expensive Premium Edition with its embossed gold finish. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, for its part, represents a welcome refinement of previous Flip phones, with a sleeker and more attractive aesthetic. We particularly like the two-tone effect of the back shell.

Both phones place their fingerprint sensors in their power buttons rather than under their screens.

Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has the smallest main screen (Image credit: future)

Display

Both phones feature larger fold-out displays and secondary external displays.

With the Huawei P50 Pocket, the primary display is a 6.9-inch OLED, with a resolution of 2790 x 1188. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, that primary display is a 6.7-inch AMOLED with a resolution of 2640 x 1080.

Huawei’s display is therefore slightly larger and sharper, but there really isn’t much on it. Both screens can also achieve 120Hz refresh rates.

A Huawei P50 Pocket on the front and back

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a small circular secondary display (Image credit: Huawei)

As for those external displays, the Huawei P50 Pocket gives you a 1.04-inch circular OLED with 340 x 340 resolution, and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 provides a 1.9-inch rectangular AMOLED with 512 resolution. x 260. The Samsung wins in this regard, with a much larger and therefore more practical external screen.

To be clear, these two external displays are primarily used to show the time and simplified notification details when closed. But the Samsung seems to marry function to form a bit better.

Camera

The Huawei P50 Pocket apparently gives you a three-camera system, while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 makes do with a dual-camera setup. But in practice, they’re both dual-camera phones.

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 provision is a 32MP ultra-spectrum camera, which apparently captures invisible wavelengths.

Why would you want to capture invisible wavelengths in your shots? Mainly for creative fluorescent shots of plants and foliage, it seems, although it also provides depth and color information to the other two sensors.

Huawei P50 pocket

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a triple-lens camera, including an ultra-spectrum camera (Image credit: Huawei)

For the Galaxy Z Flip 3 part, you get a pair of 12MP sensors – one for wide, the other for ultra-wide. It’s not hugely convincing, although Samsung’s camera know-how is still enough to produce shots that our reviewer found “nicely detailed and colorful”.

We still have to spend some time with the Huawei to be sure, but it seems to have a superior camera system here.

Specifications and performance

Both of these phones run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chip, which means we’re looking at two phones that can run about as fast as any 2021 Android flagship.

Of course, it’s now 2022, and there’s a new Snapdragon in town in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The recent global launch of the Huawei P50 Pro and its significantly higher prices don’t look too good against this backdrop.

You get 8GB of RAM as standard with both phones, although the Huawei P50 Pocket Premium Edition gives you 12GB.

There’s a noticeable specification difference here, and it’s apparently related to Huawei’s ongoing political issues. The P50 Pro does not support 5G, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3

Both phones have the same chipset (Image credit: future)

Whether or not you care about 5G connectivity, you’ve no doubt reached a point where the feature can be taken for granted on all but the cheapest phones. We certainly expect it in our flagships now.

On the storage side, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offers you 128 GB or 256 GB, while the Huawei P50 Pocket provides 256 GB or 512 GB.

Perhaps the biggest win for Samsung is the usual one when compared with a Huawei phone. Huawei’s ongoing issues with Western governments mean you don’t get access to Google Play Services, which means there are no Google apps or Google Play Store.

Huawei has worked hard on workarounds, but this is undeniably a suboptimal situation. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has no such worries, and Samsung’s One UI is a pretty nice, well-rounded interface these days.

Battery

Both of these phones sacrifice something in their battery capacity in order to fit into those slim foldable profiles. However, the Huawei P50 Pocket almost comes out on top.

Huawei managed to pack a 4,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy Z Flip 3 gives you a 3,300mAh cell.

It remains to be seen how this will affect the endurance of the Huawei P50 Pocket, but we already know the Galaxy Z Flip 3, and it’s not too hot. Our reviewer struggled to get through a full day of heavier use on a single charge.

The Huawei P50 Pocket supports Samsung’s 40W to 25W wired charging, which is a plus for the new phone. However, Huawei’s foldable doesn’t support wireless charging at all, while Samsung’s supports up to 11W.

Like 5G, while you might not consider wireless charging essential, it’s definitely something you’d expect to see in a flagship phone.

Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has the smallest battery (Image credit: future)

Carry

We haven’t quite prepared our practical thoughts for the Huawei P50 Pocket, but there’s certainly an uphill battle against the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Not only is it more expensive, but it doesn’t offer 5G or wireless charging, and it’s not water resistant to the same degree. Then there’s the perennial problem with modern Huawei phones in that they don’t support major Google services.

While the Huawei P50 Pocket does some promising things with its hinge design, and its camera system is almost certain to be superior to its rival, we’re heading to the Galaxy Z Flip 3 on this one. It’s just a much safer bet.

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