Symbolab vs Mathway – Which Is Better?

Symbolab and Mathway are among the most popular tools for solving mathematical problems. These two help students and educators grasp various math concepts from elementary to complex levels.

With these tools, individuals can practice and discover new math topics. They get to understand essential symbols, scientific notations, and even read through texts rich with information on different mathematical problems.

However, many people are faced with the issue of whether to use Symbolab or Mathway for their specific needs.

A closer look at each should reveal which of them is better when it comes to features, ease of use, convenience, pricing, and other things.

In this post, I am going to compare Symbolab with Mathway. This should help you to pick the right tool.

Stay with me.

What is Symbolab?

Symbolab is an answer engine that is specifically designed to handle mathematical problems. The engine provides step-by-step answers to questions that are raised by students and educators.

The answer engine was released to the public in 2011 by three Israelis – Michal Avny, Adam Arnon, and Lev Alyshayev and is managed by a company called EqsQuest Ltd.

In the initial years, this tool was able to generate answers directly from the internet. However, as time went by, the developers realized that there was a need to include a detailed line of information showing how one can arrive at a particular solution.

The answer engine eventually became an important tool for solving high-school and college-level mathematical problems. It utilizes machine-learning algorithms to come up with both the formula and answers to each question posed.

Today, Symbolab has over 200 million active users from across the globe. It has also become a huge database of information with over one billion math problems and explanations.

What is Mathway?

Mathway is an application designed to help people find answers to mathematical problems. It offers step-by-step details on how each solution is obtained.

The end result is that students and educators are able to solve difficult problems in a much simpler way. The app was founded in 2002 by two middle school friends named Frank Balcavage and Jake Kuehner.

Today, Mathway has become a popular app thanks to its functionality and features which include different math calculators. It is used by people in over 100 countries and has become a rich database of over five billion math problems and explanations.

The application is managed by a company known as Chegg, Inc. which has its headquarters in California.

Symbolab vs Mathway: Getting Started


As soon as you visit the Symbolab website, you’ll be able to access its basic calculator on the homepage. That makes it possible for you to carry out quick calculations without having to sign up.

However, if you wish to access the site’s full potential, you must sign up for an account. The good news is that you can sign up with your existing email or social media account.

Symbolab allows you to hold one free account with limited features and functionalities. With a free account, you can save a limited amount of notes, practice different problems, and customize your account’s settings.

To ensure the service generates revenue, the site will present some ads on the homepage or any other page you visit. However, you can unlock more features and remove ads by upgrading to Symbolab’s Pro account.


Mathway is also set up in a similar manner to Symbolab. Immediately when you land on its homepage, you’ll notice a calculator you can use to work out simple math problems.

Right above the calculator, there is a search bar you can use to enter a question and get a direct answer to it. However, if you want to access the more elaborate features of this tool, you’ll need to sign up.

Mathway allows users to sign up with new credentials. Users can also sign up with existing email or social media accounts such as Facebook or Apple accounts.

With a free Mathway account, you can find answers to problems you face in different subjects. But the downside is that the free account does not include step-by-step details on how to arrive at the solution.

To get that benefit, you’ll need to upgrade your account to the paid offering. It opens up more features and allows you to get a more elaborate answer to whatever question you may be dealing with.

Symbolab vs Mathway: Interface and Graphics


Symbolab is designed to make finding solutions as easy as possible. That is why even the interface is straightforward and simple. Right above the homepage, you’ll notice well-labeled sections you can navigate to.

Some of the things you’ll encounter at the top of the homepage include the search option, graphing, practice, geometry, calculators, and notebook sections.

At the center of the homepage, there is a calculator with exceptional graphics to ensure that the process of inputting information is seamless.

The calculator allows you to carry out actions such as simplifying, inverse, tangent, line, and even determining partial fractions. Right below the calculator, there is a search bar you can use to enter a question.

The simplicity of Symbolab’s interface coupled with exceptional graphics makes it one of the easiest tools to use when trying to solve mathematical problems. And with just a few clicks of a button, you can navigate from one section to another quickly.


Mathway features a pretty straightforward interface that ensures anyone can get acquainted easily. At the top left side of the homepage, there is a drop-down menu that reveals a variety of sections you can navigate to.

The sections are mainly made up of the different topics available in mathematics. Some examples include basic math, calculus, algebra, statistics, and graphing. You can also find the chemistry and physics sections here.

There is another drop-down menu on the top right side of the homepage. Here you can find sections about the different calculators available, account upgrades, and even contact the support team.

In the center of the homepage, you’ll notice a slight difference from Symbolab because Mathway features the search bar on top of the calculator. The search bar includes a camera icon that you can use to upload images regarding the math problem you are trying to solve.

Just below the search bar, there is a calculator you can use to find answers to simple problems. Like Symbolab, Mathway features exceptional graphics that make for an intuitive experience when entering information.

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Compatible Platforms


Symbolab is available as a web-based tool meaning you can use it on most modern browsers. It works whether your system is running on Windows, Mac, or Linux operating system.

Symbolab is also available as a mobile app both for the Android and iOS platforms. Its web-based version does not have any special requirements.

The app version is also pretty lightweight and will almost certainly work seamlessly on most mobile devices.


Mathway has a web-based version making it possible for you to use it on just about any computer system. It also comes in a mobile version that is compatible with both Android and iOS.

There are no special system requirements for you to use the web-based service. However, it is always a good idea to have ample storage space on your mobile device to allow for seamless downloads and installations.

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Calculators


One of the best things about using Symbolab is that it comes with an exceptionally helpful calculator. The calculator can solve just about any problem you can think of including those that fall under the following subjects:

  • Basic math
  • Pre-algebra
  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistics
  • Functions
  • Linear algebra

A particularly impressive feature of Symbolab’s calculator is that it can even solve problems related to chemistry and physics. These include chemical properties and chemical reactions.

The calculator can also solve problems related to finance and economics. Additionally, you can use the calculator to carry out conversions such as fractions to decimals, weight, distance, and time.

With the free account, you can find direct answers to questions with a simple click of a button. However, if you wish to grasp certain concepts in math, your paid account can be ideal because it allows you to find step-by-step details of how to arrive at a particular answer.

The Symbolab calculator is also compatible with graph-related mathematics. That means you can get a realistic image of a graph as you find solutions to various problems.

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The Mathway calculator is built in almost the same way as Symbolab’s. With this calculator, you can carry out calculations in different subjects including:

  • Basic math
  • Pre-algebra
  • Algebra
  • Precalculus
  • Calculus
  • Finite math
  • Trigonometry

The calculator can also handle problems that fall within the chemistry and physics spheres.

Another similarity between this particular calculator and Symbolab’s is that it is also compatible with graph-related topics and can therefore come in handy when you need to find solutions for graphs.

Mathway’s calculator is quite intuitive, meaning you’ll enjoy the vivid depictions of figures, lines, and symbols as you type on your physical or virtual keyboard.

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Standout Features


One of the most impressive things about using Symbolab is that you get access to its online notebook. You can save some of the most important notes in it and retrieve them whenever you want to refresh your memory.

The digital notebook also allows you to practice different math calculations manually rather than having to rely on digital tools. With a free account, you can only save a restricted amount of notes.

However, with a paid subscription, you can save as many notes as you wish without worrying about running out of space. Another impressive feature of Symbolab is that it allows users to create groups or virtual classrooms.

This can be an excellent way for students or teachers to share different ideas within a safe space. Anyone with a Symbolab account can join your classroom as long as you send them an invitation.

Once everyone is connected, you can share notes from your notebook with a simple click of a button. Members within the classroom can also share problems and help each other solve them virtually.

The next standout feature available on Symbolab is the cheat sheet. Once you navigate to this section, you’ll notice a list of different math concepts and formulas.

Clicking through any of the items on the list will reveal the fundamentals of calculations related to each concept. By visiting the cheat sheet section, you can quickly grasp how to carry out specific types of calculations without relying on tools such as calculators.

Symbolab has a blog section where you can go and learn about some of the most important tips and methods of learning math. The blog is written in a simple and straightforward manner so that even those who are just starting their studies can understand.


For Mathway, the camera problem solver is a highlight. To use this feature, all you have to do is click on the camera icon in the search bar and then upload an image into the system.

Alternatively, snap a photo in real-time and upload it into the system. You should then proceed to crop the photo with the math problem so that it appears as clearly as possible.

Finally, specify the type of solution you are looking for before hitting the enter button. Specifying a category helps you avoid a scenario where the system brings up too many irrelevant results.

Using this feature ensures that you do not have to spend too much time typing symbols, figures, and questions into your keyboard. Another impressive feature is the keyboard which offers an intuitive way for you to enter information into the system.

Its pop sound and vibration feedback ensure you know when a letter or number has been entered correctly. It is worth noting that you can also switch from the default keyboard to alternatives that offer different functions.

While Symbolab offers a notebook for you to work with, Mathway has an alternative in the name of a worksheet. This feature allows you to create as many worksheets as you wish.

You can then practice your math-solving skills on the worksheet and save it for future reference. In case you just want to have a look at some of the most common math problems in the world, you can head over to the examples section and click on it.

This section will reveal a number of math subjects with a drop-down menu containing a comprehensive list of topics. Click on any of the topics to find some of the most common math problems and solutions.

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Mobile Apps


To ensure that educators and learners have access to the range of Symbolab’s solutions, creators came up with an app for both the Android and iOS platforms. To get the app, all you have to do is visit Google Play or Apple Store and then search for Symbolab: Picture Math Solver.

You can then download and install it free of charge. It comes in a file of about 21 MB which is why you should ensure that your device has enough storage space to accommodate it.

As noted before, you can use limited features of the app if you open a free account. To unlock its full potential, consider subscribing to its Premium offer.

The app has a relatively simple interface allowing you to get a glimpse of different sections. You can quickly navigate to those sections by clicking on their icon or name.

It features hundreds of calculators to help you solve different math problems in a variety of subjects. It also incorporates a photo math scanner to help speed up the process of finding solutions.

The app allows you to take photos of math problems in figures and symbols or in word format and still arrive at the correct solution. Like its web counterpart, the app provides step-by-step details of how you can work out each solution.

That makes it possible for you to not only get the answer but also learn how to do it by yourself. Users can find answers on this app while online and store them in the database for offline reference.

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Mathway offers an application for both Android and iOS platforms. The app is available in a downloadable file of about 23 MB which is why you should ensure your device has adequate space to accommodate it.

To get it, simply visit Google Play or Apple Store and run a search for Mathway: Scan & Solve Problems. Click on the Install button to initiate the process of downloading and installing it.

The app features a simple interface with a drop-down menu for different sections. That means you can navigate to any section from the homepage.

It has an attractive home screen with colorful buttons. What’s more, it incorporates a virtual touchpad that makes entering information a breeze.

Its calculator can handle just about any problem that you can solve on the web version. In case you are having problems with the calculator or the app in general, you can access some tips and solutions from its built-in help section.

There is also a glossary section with hundreds of math concepts, definitions, and principles. It has a camera option that allows you to take a snapshot of the problem you are dealing with and find the solution quickly.

Unlike Symbolab which allows you to take pictures of problems in figures and words, Mathway only accepts problems that are written in figures or equations. If you enter a word problem, it will be unable to give the correct answer.

Again, you’ll need to subscribe to its paid version to access the step-by-step explanation of every math problem you are dealing with. An impressive thing about this app is that it works seamlessly both online and offline.

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Pricing


The good news is that Symbolab has a free version for both desktop and mobile device users. This allows users to get access to simple and straightforward answers for any math problem they may be dealing with.

The downside is that there is no explanation on how to reach the answer, meaning the learner may not be able to solve a similar problem on their own. To truly benefit from using Symbolab, individuals need to subscribe to the paid version.

Symbolab has a weekly subscription package that goes for $2.49. Its annual offer goes for $29.99, while the monthly subscription goes for $6.99.

Note that prices may vary depending on promotions and other discount offers that may run from time to time. With a paid account, individuals get to enjoy unlimited storage space for their notes and an advert-free experience.

One subscription covers both the web and mobile versions of Symbolab. Other benefits of a paid account include full access to solution steps, assessments, detailed progress reports, custom settings, and personalized practice problems.

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Like Symbolab, Mathway offers a free account with limited features. To truly unlock its potential, you need to subscribe to a paid plan that goes for $9.99 per month or an annual plan that goes for $39.99.

The paid plan ensures that you never have to worry about adverts and you get a step-by-step explanation of every math problem you wish to solve. The support team is also more effective in responding to premium account queries.

Symbolab vs Mathway: Pros and Cons



  • Available for web and mobile devices
  • Offers step-by-step explanations to problems
  • Has a free version
  • Enables virtual collaborations
  • Has a notebook feature for saving information


  • Free version includes pop-up ads
  • Paid subscription not ideal for casual users



  • Compatible with web browsers and mobile devices
  • Has a free version
  • Has a rich database of pre-solved math problems
  • Incorporates a camera option for quick problem solving
  • Provides step-by-step details for solving math problems
  • Mobile app works both online and offline


  • Paid option may be too expensive for casual users
  • Free version features pop-up ads

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Symbolab vs Mathway: Similarities and Differences

Comprehensive calculators
Free version
Paid version
Direct answers
Answer explanations
Customer supportContact formEmail
Download size21MB23MB
Pricing$6.99 per month$9.99 per month
Mobile app

Conclusion – Symbolab vs Mathway, Which is Better?

If you are a student or someone that is looking for quick answers to math problems, Mathway is the ideal pick. It is simple and easy to use but may be expensive for those who are thinking of long-term use.

On the other hand, if you are an ardent student of math or have a huge interest in mathematical subjects and concepts, Symbolab is the better solution. It offers a comprehensive list of tools for collaboration and saving data.

It is also relatively affordable in the long run.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.