Mate X2 vs Z Fold 2 display crease, hinge design, and multitasking
Cringy crease from Samsung, superior ergonomics and display(s) from the X2
First off, the Mate X2 has the better, more refined, and more useful as a daily driver design and displays. Don't get us wrong, both foldables are still ten-ounce fatsos that are a chore to lug around, open or closed, but at least the Mate X2 halves align perfectly when closed, unlike the visible Fold 2 gap at the hinge side.
Speaking of the hinge, Huawei has done a better job than Samsung here, simplifying its design, and making it easier to open and close with no strange noises created in the process. The new hinge design with less yet reinforced moving parts, has allowed for the least visible crease among foldable phones.
In our Z Fold 2 review we were talking that you get used to the crease, whereas with the Mate X2 you forget there is one, as it is way more shallow than what's on Samsung's phone. This fact, and the excellent side-sloping design with perfect weight balance in the palm when opened, make the X2 the most refined and ergonomic foldable phone so far.
Moving on to the all-important display(s) part - besides a larger, 7.6" vs 8" real estate when unfurled, the Mate X2 offers a panel that is much less reflective hence easier to use outdoors than Samsung's shinier thing, thanks to a unique nanolayer that minimizes the annoying mirror reflections to under 1.5", a new phone record.
That is three times less than what the best antireflective coatings were able to achieve so far. The Fold 2's glossier screen surface, on the other hand, is not very conducive to outdoorsy usage. These are not the Mate X2's 8" panel of BOE making only virtues, though, as it is also very color-accurate, as you can see from our display tests below, and the screen has a higher 90Hz refresh rate making scrolling and animations smoother than on the Z Fold 2.
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
When it comes to the external displays, there is no contest as well. Besides the higher refresh rate, the 6.5" panel of the X2 is much larger than the extremely tall and narrow 6.2-incher of the Fold. The 21:9 aspect ratio makes for one very usable daily driver, and the 8" internal display can also split in two 21:9 halves for easier multitasking. Here the Z Fold 2 has a slight edge, as it can split the internal panel in three resizable parts, instead of taking the third app out as a pop-up screen like Huawei does, but we struggled to find an application for that particular feature.
Mate X2 vs Z Fold 2 multitasking approach
Mate X2 vs Z Fold 2 camera performance
The X2 has a true 2021 flagship camera kit, 10x periscope zoom included
One needn't look much further than the sheer Mate X2 camera specs to deduce which phone takes the better photos, as not only does it have a big-pixel 50MP main sensor, but also both 3x telephoto and 10x periscope zoom, against the 12MP . Specs are not always everything, but in this case they are.
Back when we did our Z Fold 2 review, we were extremely disappointed by the camera software especially in low-light conditions. Samsung has since improved things a lot via a bunch of updates but the Mate X2's superior sensors and periscope zoom can't be matched by the Fold's camera kit.
That's not to say that the Z Fold 2 can't produce pleasing results, especially in daylight but when it comes to indoor and especially zoom shots, the Mate X2 has the upper hand. Both phones allow you to take selfies with the rear camera as well, but the process is much more streamlined on the X2. It has a shutter button on the external display in that dedicated mode, whereas Samsung simply uses it as a viewfinder, and you have to contort to take a selfie with the rocker instead.
Mate X2 vs Z Fold 2 battery life and charging
Unsurprisingly, the phones perform excellent in terms of battery life, what with the big 4500mAh batteries, 1080p external, and sub-2K internal displays. We clocked day and a half of regular usage from both the Mate X2 and Z Fold 2, with excellent standby endurance. If you are not a mobile gamer, you'd be extremely pleased with the battery life of these two foldables, or should we say lives, as the Fold sports two separate units, while X2 has one in the thicker part for better weight distribution hence ergonomics in the palm
When the large screens are used for gaming, though, and the Kirin 9000 or Snapdragon 865 graphics are revved up, all battery life bets are off, despite that the Kirin is made with the latest 5nm process. The displays are simply too big not to take a toll on the power draw in graphically-intensive tasks like, ehm, Asphalt 9.
AnTuTu is a multi-layered, comprehensive mobile benchmark app that assesses various aspects of a device, including CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O, and UX performance. A higher score means an overall faster device.
If the T-Rex HD component of GFXBench is demanding, then the Manhattan test is downright gruelling. It's a GPU-centric test that simulates an extremely graphically intensive gaming environment that is meant to push the GPU to the max. that simulates a graphically-intensive gaming environment on the screen. The results achieved are measured in frames per second, with more frames being better.
Thankfully, the Mate X2 compensates with extremely fast, 55W charging supplied by the 65W brick in the box, while the Z Fold 2 makes do with a 25W charger that tops it up in more than an hour. The Mate X2, on the other hand, takes just 30 minutes or so to fill up the battery, and it is ready to go for another day or two, depending on the usage scenarios.
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