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The Huawei Mate X2 proves that Samsung was right about foldables all along – XDA Developers

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This week, Huawei launched its third foldable phone, the Mate X2, and it appears to be an awe-inspiring piece of hardware, which is par for the course for Huawei. From the way the hinge folds completely flat, to the less noticeable crease, to the fact Huawei managed to cram a Periscope zoom lens into a folding device, these are all hardware accomplishments that one-ups the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

However, there’s no getting around the elephant in the room: the Huawei Mate X2 is a backtrack in folding philosophy for Huawei.

Huawei Mate X2Huawei Mate X2

The Huawei Mate X2 in a hands-on video by Chinese reviewer Vincent Zhong.

There are only two directions to fold a single sheet of bendable glass: either inward, with the screen closing in on the user; or outward, with the display side bending backward away from the user. Huawei’s first two foldables, the Mate X and Mate XS, took the outward-fold approach, while all three of Samsung’s foldable devices to date fold the other way around.

The Huawei Mate X and Galaxy FoldThe Huawei Mate X and Galaxy Fold

The Huawei Mate X and the Samsung Galaxy Fold, aka the first foldables from Huawei and Samsung.

As is the case whenever two philosophy emerges, each side had its supporters and detractors. In tech media, most writers/reviewers, including myself, preferred Samsung’s inward-fold approach because the flexible screen is protected when folded.

Galaxy-Z-Fold-2-XDA-Full-Review3Galaxy-Z-Fold-2-XDA-Full-Review3

But there were quite a few reviewers who preferred the outward-fold style, mainly because they didn’t like that the inward-fold style required a second smaller screen on the outside.

With the Mate X2, Huawei has conceded that the inward-fold style is the superior way to fold. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, in my opinion, were it not for the fact that Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu had criticized the inward-fold approach during the Mobile World Congress 2019. I was in attendance at the press conference when he criticized the need for a second screen.

Huawei Mate X2 and Z Fold 2Huawei Mate X2 and Z Fold 2

The Huawei Mate X2 and the Galaxy Z Fold 2, in a screenshot of a hands-on by video reviewer Vincent Zhong.

I have used both Huawei and Samsung’s previous foldable phones extensively in the real world as my daily driver, and the experiences couldn’t be more different. With the Huawei Mate XS, I never felt fully comfortable using it in the real world because the soft, plasticky, bendy screen was always exposed. I felt like I had to baby the device all the time. Whenever I put it down on a tabletop, I’d do so gently, so the screen wouldn’t get scratched or dinged.

With the Galaxy Fold or the Galaxy Z Fold 2, I was able to use it with much more peace of mind because the most important/fragile/expensive part of the device is protected when it’s not in use. I can shove a folded Galaxy Z Fold 2 into my bag pocket or just put it on a table without needing to go out of my way to be gentle.

That said, I really like what I see from the Huawei Mate X2. The outer (secondary) 6.4-inch screen has an aspect ratio of 21:9, which is still slightly narrow, but nowhere near as cramped as the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s 25:9.

And as mentioned earlier, Huawei found a way to cram its best possible flagship camera system into the Mate X2, while Samsung compromised and used an inferior camera system for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 compared to what was available on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The hinge is also less visible thanks to dual fold structure, similar to the hinge seen in Motorola’s foldable Razr series.

The Huawei Mate X2 and the Galaxy Z Fold 2, in a screenshot of a hands-on video reviewer Vincent Zhong.

Of course, the Mate X2 is only sold in China for now, and it won’t be able to run Google’s core services without some unofficial hack, so it’d be hard to use for most people outside of China even if they decide to import one.

But as a piece of foldable hardware, this may be the most impressive one yet — it’s just so clearly a testament that Samsung had the right folding idea all along. The Android market flourishes with experiments, but recognizing what works better resets the room and drives innovation in a more focused direction. With the Mate X2 now folding in with top-notch hardware, we can expect to see Samsung take some more risks with its own foldables. Perhaps as a reaction, Samsung is now giving users a 100-day return policy to try out the Galaxy Z Fold 2, giving us a glimpse at what this focused competition can really do for consumers at the end of the day.

What do you think? Which approach do you figure is better for foldables?

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Google Assistant is joining Bixby on the Galaxy Watch 4 series – SamMobile

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The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will be Samsung’s first smartwatches in many years to be based on an operating system other than Tizen OS. They’ll run Google’s Wear OS with a fresh version of One UI for smartwatches on top, so unlike previous Galaxy wearables, the upcoming series will reportedly support the Google Assistant.

In fact, according to a recent tweet by @_snoopytech_, the Galaxy Watch 4 series will support both the Google Assistant and Samsung’s Bixby virtual assistant. This bit of detail is supported further by yesterday’s leaked spec sheet, and it’s a pretty big deal.

Up until now, the Galaxy Watch series only offered Bixby out of the box. The Google Assistant was not available through legitimate means, and Amazon’s Alexa is available through an app from the Play Store, though the implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

Time will tell if users will be able to change the default assistant

Even if the Galaxy Watch 4 series will come pre-loaded with Google Assistant and Bixby, as yet, there’s no evidence to confirm whether or not users will have the option to choose a default virtual assistant between the two.

It could be that Bixby will be activated by default without an option to pick Google Assistant as the main virtual helper, or it could be that Samsung will allow Galaxy Watch 4 customers to determine which assistant gets priority over the other.

But given that Samsung was willing to shelve Tizen in favor of a deeper collaboration with Google on Wear OS, it’s very likely that Galaxy Watch 4 / Classic owners will have the option of picking their default assistants. We’ll keep you posted as more details come out. Until then, feel free to let us know if you favor Tizen over Google Assistant or the other way around.

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Nikkei: Google Tensor is a 5nm chip and Samsung is handling production – 9to5Google

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With the hype surrounding the Pixel 6 series now at an all-time high, we’re learning more by the hour. The latest such snippet is that the Google Tensor chipset to be used within the upcoming duo will reportedly be made using a 5nm process, with Samsung handling the production.

Naturally, the news that Samsung is handling production should come as no surprise whatsoever, given that Google has reportedly co-developed the firm’s first dedicated smartphone chip with the Korean tech giant.

However, sources close to Nikkei Asia suggests that the Google Tensor chipset will be built using a 5nm fabrication process, which is the same as the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile chipset and Samsung’s own Exynos 1080/2100 chips.

Google did not disclose who will manufacture the Tensor chip for Pixel, but sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asia that Samsung handle production using its advanced 5-nanometer process technology.

It’s worth noting that Samsung declined to comment on Nikkei’s report, with Google providing no information on who would handle the chipset – previously known as “Whitechapel” – production. Of course, there are very few companies with the track record and capability to fulfill large chipset orders for smartphone production. The Korean tech giant is one of the few capable of doing so.

If the Tensor chip is indeed based upon the 5nm fabrication process, it could provide notable efficiency gains over the 7nm process used within the Pixel 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC. Google said that the Tensor chip has been four years in the making and has been designed “specifically for Pixels,” which indicates that we’ll likely only see it in Made by Google hardware.

More on Google Pixel 6:


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Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 Classic prices confirmed in a new leak – SamMobile

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Samsung will unveil a bunch of new devices next week during its Galaxy Unpacked August 2021 event. The company’s first Wear OS 3 smartwatches will be a part of the event as well. Their design and complete specs sheet have been leaked already, and now their pricing has been revealed as well.

Galaxy Watch 4 price could start at €279

Leakster Even Blass (@evleaks) has published a few images of the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and they reveal the European prices of the wearables. The Galaxy Watch 4’s 40mm variant could carry a price tag of €279, while its 44mm variant could cost €309. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which has a rotating bezel and a bigger screen, could be priced at €379 for the 42mm variant and €409 for the 46mm variant.

Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 specs

Both smartwatches sport circular Super AMOLED displays with Corning’s Gorilla Glass DX/DX+ protection. They feature an IP68 rating as well as an MIL-STD-810G-compliant design for dust, water, and shock resistance. Both smartwatches run One UI Watch 3.5 software on top of Wear OS 3. They also feature an accelerometer, barometric altimeter, ECG, GPS, gyro, heart rate monitor, sleep monitoring, SpO2 sensor, stress monitoring, and even body fat composition measurement.

The Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will come equipped with the 5nm Exynos W920 dual-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. They also feature dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. The smartwatches have a loudspeaker and microphone for taking calls and other tasks. The Galaxy Watch 4 is expected to feature a 247mAh battery, while the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic could have a 361mAh battery.

Both smartwatches feature Qi wireless charging, Samsung Health, SmartThings, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

  • Model: SM-R880
  • Dimensions: Watch: x x mm
  • Display: 1.2 inch / 30.2 mm Circular Super AMOLED
  • CPU:
  • Camera:

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