The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series is the start of an influx of flagship phones for 2019 that will be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9820 system on chip. Since October, Huawei has sat comfortably knowing they have one of, if not the best phone on the market with the Mate 20 Pro, this is not just my subjective opinion but an opinion shared by many bloggers, journalists and consumers alike. Featuring the HiSilicon Kirin 980 this phone outclassed the Qualcomm 845 in most aspects, but that is all set to change with the SD855  and the Exynos 9820 which offers comparative and possibly superior performance.

If you are on the lookout for a flagship phone which is going to cost £600+, then you may be best waiting another week just to see what all the other companies have to offer at MWC. However, in the meantime, we can look to see if Samsung is going to dethrone the Mate 20 Pro for the best phone on the market.

Price

I am very cost conscious, and I assume most buyers are similar, so first and foremost which is the cheapest? The Mate 20 Pro launched with an RRP of £899 and this is the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S10+ currently, you could also opt for the standard S10 which is £799. At the time of writing the Mate 20 Pro is available on Amazon for £270 so the Huawei is currently the cheapest option. In a few months’ time, that may change.

There is also the S10e but I feel like the specifications of this are slimmed down enough not to make a comparison. I would say this phone is better compared to the Honor View 20.

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Last updated on 21st March 2019 7:10 am

Design and Display

The Mate 20 Pro is a hefty 189g vs 175g of the S10+, the dimensions are too similar to worry about, though the Huawei sits at 0.8mm thicker.

They are both primarily large slabs of glass so not a great deal of difference aesthetically, the Huawei even has curved edges similar to the S10 design. The most significant difference is how the front camera affects the design. With Huawei you have a large notch, it doesn’t bother me too much, but I don’t think that anyone is going to argue about the Samsung Infinity O design being better.  On the smaller S10 it is just one small hole, but with the S10+ it is a double hole to accommodate the 8MP front camera.

Both phones feature AMOLED displays running at 1440 x 3040 pixels, and they have near identical screen to body ratio. They also both have under-display fingerprint sensing, but Samsung claims theirs is best with new ultrasonic technology.

Chipset, RAM and storage

This is a contentious topic and different benchmarks will give different results. The Huawei uses the HiSilicon Kirin 980 which features 2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55.

Samsung has two variants, one using the SD855 which will be used in the USA, while us Brits and the rest of Europe get the Exynos 9820. The Exynos is has 2×2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4×1.9 GHz Cortex-A55. The SD855 has 1×2.8 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.4 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 485.

We will no doubt see lots of benchmarks in the near future and I would not be surprised if the SD855 ends up being the best chip on the market. For your average user though, the performance differences will be negligible in real life, and I wouldn’t stress about what chipset you are running.

The Samsung does, however, offer superior RAM and storage options. The base option, which most people go for is 128GB of storage which can be upgraded via microSD and 8GB RAM. The Huawei has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, this can also be upgraded, but it uses the much more expensive proprietary nanoSD storage.

Cameras

A phones ability to work as a camera has become one of the defining features of a phone in recent years. The hardware specification doesn’t always paint a clear picture, the Pixel 3XL quite often receives very favourable reviews, many people stating it is better than Huawei, but on paper, it is lower specced.

The Huawei appears to have the superior rear camera arrangement with its 40 MP f/1.8 lens plus 20 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens and 8 MP, f/2.4 telephoto giving a 5x optical zoom.

Samsung has a variable focal lens for its primary with 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4 then 12 MP, f/2.4 and 16 MP, f/2.2

The front cameras are 24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide) for the Huawei with a TOF sensor for 3D imaging. Then 10 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide) and 8 MP, f/2.2, 22mm (wide) with depth sensor for the Samsung

DxOMark has reviewed the S10+ and have it at an equal score with the Mate 20 Pro. However, the Samsung comfortably outperforms the Mate 20 Pro with the selfie camera scoring 96 vs 75.

A lot of people don’t like DxOMark starting that the reviews are paid for, but this is the best comparison we have at the moment.

Battery

Samsung has finally ditched the small batteries, and the new S10+ has increased the battery size from 3500 to 4100 mAh battery between generations. This puts it almost level with the Mate 20 Pro which has a 4200 mAh battery

The Mate 20 has 40W fast charging if you have one of their expensive chargers while the Samsung is 15W. They both feature 15W wireless charging and they both have reverse wireless charging.

Software

Both phones have Android Pie, and they both are customised with their respective UI. Samsung has One UI and Huawei has EMUI 9. A lot of people don’t seem to like EMUI 9, I personally don’t mind it, if you are particularly fussy, then it is probably best to try out both phones before you buy as this will be a subjective opinion.

Comms

I wouldn’t usually bother comparing some of the coms, but the Samsung does have some notable features making it superior to the Mate 20.

This is the first phone to feature the Wi-Fi 6 standard, no consumer routers support it yet, but several have been announced.

Both phones have BT5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX but the Huawei is slightly better with aptX HD.

Samsung also has Ant+ in their phones, which I only realised today, this should allow you to connect to various fitness accessories. It also has an FM radio too.

Overall

Overall there is not a huge difference between the two phones and which one is better will be subjective. I suspect many reviewers will claim the Samsung is best, but for your average user, a fractionally better camera, or 5% performance gain is mostly academic.

For me, as a tight-fisted northerner, I would likely choose whichever phone is the cheapest at the time, and this is currently the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Samsung will drop a bit in price following launch but Huawei is quite aggressive with their marketing and this is often reflected in their pricing strategy.

£799.00
in stock
1 new from £799.00
Amazon.co.uk
Free shipping
£899.00
out of stock
Amazon.co.uk
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£799.00
£899.99
in stock
13 new from £799.00
30 used from £489.97
Amazon.co.uk
Free shipping
£674.99
£899.99
in stock
14 new from £674.99
28 used from £489.49
Amazon.co.uk
Last updated on 21st March 2019 7:10 am

Full specification comparison

LAUNCHAnnounced2019, February2018, October
BODYDimensions157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm (6.20 x 2.92 x 0.31 in)157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm (6.21 x 2.85 x 0.34 in)
Weight175 g / 198 g (ceramic) (6.17 oz)189 g (6.67 oz)
BuildBack glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frameFront/back glass (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame
SIMSingle SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)- IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 2m for 30 mins)
- IP68 dust/water proof (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
DISPLAYTypeDynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsAMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size6.4 inches, 102.2 cm2 (~87.5% screen-to-body ratio)6.39 inches, 100.2 cm2 (~87.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1440 x 3040 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~526 ppi density)1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~538 ppi density)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 6Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Always-on display
PLATFORMOSAndroid 9.0 (Pie); One UIAndroid 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9
ChipsetExynos 9820 Octa (8 nm) - EMEAHiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)
Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm) - USA/LATAM, China
CPUOcta-core (2x2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x1.9 GHz Cortex-A55) - EMEAOcta-core (2x2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2x1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
Octa-core (1x2.8 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.4 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.7 GHz Kryo 485) - USA/LATAM, China
GPUMali-G76 MP12 - EMEAMali-G76 MP10
Adreno 640 - USA/LATAM, China
MEMORYCard slotmicroSD, up to 512 GB (uses SIM 2 slot) - dual SIM model onlyNM (Nano Memory), up to 256GB (uses SIM 2)
Internal1 TB, 12 GB RAM, 128/512 GB, 8 GB RAM128 GB / 6 GB RAM
MAIN CAMERAModules12 MP, f/1.5-2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS40 MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/1.7", PDAF/Laser AF
12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.6", 1.0µm, AF, OIS, 2x optical zoom20 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/2.7", PDAF/Laser AF
16 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide)8 MP, f/2.4, 80mm (telephoto), 1/4", 5x optical zoom, OIS, PDAF/Laser AF
FeaturesLED flash, auto-HDR, panoramaLeica optics, dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR
Video2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR, dual-video rec.2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 1080p@30fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps
SELFIE CAMERAModules10 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)
8 MP, f/2.2, 22mm (wide), depth sensor3D depth sensing
FeaturesDual video call, Auto-HDRHDR
Video2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps1080p@30fps
SOUNDLoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakersYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackYesNo
- 32-bit/384kHz audio- 32-bit/384kHz audio
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Dolby Atmos/AKG sound
COMMSWLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspotWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEOYes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
NFCYesYes
Infrared portNoYes
RadioFM radio (USA & Canada only)No
USB3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
FEATURESSensorsFingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2Face ID, fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass
- ANT+
- Bixby natural language commands and dictation
- Samsung DeX (desktop experience support)
BATTERYNon-removable Li-Ion 4100 mAh batteryNon-removable Li-Po 4200 mAh battery
ChargingFast battery charging 15WFast battery charging 40W (70% in 30 min)
Fast wireless charging 15WFast wireless charging 15W
Power bank/Reverse wireless charging 9WPower bank/Reverse wireless charging
MISC
ColorsPrism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Canary Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic WhiteEmerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, Black
Price899RRP £899 currently £740