Which one of these flagships should you buy?
With the arrival of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ to our shores, big smartphone spenders now have a heck of a dilemma on their hands: which flagship phone should they get for themselves? While Samsung’s new Note has plenty of great things going for it, it’s going up against one of the best Android flagships in recent history: Huawei’s P30 Pro.
While Huawei’s flagship is a couple of months old, a new color gradient dubbed Amber Sunrise, along with double the storage at 512GB compared to the old variant.
Should you shell out cash for Samsung’s best Note ever, or should you instead go with the proven camera champion made even better?
Samsung’s new gradients are great to look at, but the Amber Sunrise colorway is fire
Huawei’s recent color choices for its flagship smartphones have been out of this world lately, and the new Amber Sunrise color option for the P30 Pro is probably the most attractive of the lot.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t mind a particularly loud color (in a good way) for your mobile phone, then you definitely need to check out the Amber Sunrise colorway.
Samsung hasn’t been resting on its laurels, however, and judging from the appearance of the Note 10+, the Korean company has been taking plenty of notes from its main rival.
The Galaxy Note 10+ has an Aura Glow colorway that simply mesmerizes you when you take a look at it, with colors shifting depending on how light hits it.
One of the biggest changes in the external design of the Note 10+ is the positioning of its quad cameras, which is now stacked vertically and tucked on the upper left side of the phone. This makes the Note 10+ similar to the P30 Pro visually, which may or may not be a good thing – it all depends on how much you like Samsung’s previous design language.
As far as overall size goes, the Note 10+ is considerably taller, and wider, than the P30 Pro. Daintier hands may have a bit of problem grabbing the phone for extended periods – two-handed use is a definite must here. The P30 Pro isn’t exactly small, though it’s a little bit easier to grip with smaller mitts because of its smaller size.
Huawei’s P30 Pro still rules in the camera department
Samsung didn’t do anything new as far as the cameras on the back of the Note 10+ is concerned, aside from the DepthVision module that acts as the ToF (time-of-flight) camera. Aside from that, the Note 10+’s cameras are the same as the Galaxy S10+ this year, which is good news for Huawei.
The Galaxy Note 10+ meanwhile, has an ultra-wide 16-megapixel f/2.2 shooter, the 12-megapixel main camera with a variable aperture of f/1.5 and f/2.2 with OIS, as well as a 12-megapixel 2x optical telephoto lens with an f/2.1 aperture. There’s also a DepthVision shooter for ToF (time-of-flight) applications.
Huawei’s quad-camera setup on the P30 Pro beat the Galaxy S10+’s when we compared it earlier this year, and that’s still the case when we pit the Galaxy Note 10+ VS Huawei’s current flagship.
Just to recap, the P30 Pro has a quadruple Leica branded cameras, consisting of a 20-megapixel 17mm f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, a 40-megapixel 27mm f/1.6 wide-angle lens with OIS, an 8-megapixel 52mm f/3.4 periscope telephoto camera with OIS and a Time of Flight Sensor.
Huawei’s P30 Pro captures better images compared to the Galaxy Note 10+, though the gap in image quality, dynamic range, and low-light performance are pretty slim between the two. In the P30 Pro’s case, being a more mature product works in its favor, as Huawei has pushed several software updates to the phone that has fixed many of the issues we had with it during the first few months that we had it.
Samsung also hasn’t made an answer to the P30 Pro’s ridiculous 5x optical zoom camera as well, which means the Huawei’s flagship is the phone to get of the two if you’re really concerned about image quality.
Samsung wins the display wars, but that center punch hole is hella annoying
While the Huawei P30 Pro’s 6.47-inch, full HD+ AMOLED display is a joy to look at, it’s clear that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ has a clear advantage when it comes to display quality. The QHD+ panel has incredibly thin bezels on the side, top, and bottom, and Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED panel is just on another level.
However, that display is almost ruined by that weirdly placed middle hole-punch camera. While the P30 Pro has a waterdrop notch, it just kinds of blends into the top bezel since it doesn’t “float” like the one on the Galaxy Note 10+. We’ll concede that it all boils down to personal preference, but honestly that hole punch is really annoying.
Flagship innards, but the P30 Pro Amber Sunrise has more storage for less
Both the Galaxy Note 10+ and the P30 Pro Amber Sunrise are flagship phones, and both come with top-tier hardware no matter which way you slice it: Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset for the P30 Pro, and Samsung’s Exynos 9825 SoC for the local version of the Note 10+.
Both chipsets are built on the 7nm process, and both deliver flagship performance in both day-to-day use, and during demanding tasks like gaming.
As far as storage and RAM variants go, the Galaxy Note 10+ comes with an 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard. And while the regular P30 Pro comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage, the new Amber Sunrise color variant comes with double the storage – 512GB – at a lower price point than the base variant of the Galaxy Note 10+.
Comparable features, but the Note 10+ has a stylus
Both phones have comparable features – both have fast wireless charging capabilities, reverse wireless charging capabilities, IP68 dust and water ingress protection, and under-display fingerprint scanners.
Both phones even share the same disdain for the 3.5mm jack – you’ll have to use Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, Huawei’s FreeBuds or a rough analog (or settle with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle) if you want to listen to music without bothering the people around you.
That being said, there’s one feature that’s unique to the Note series – the S-Pen.
Samsung made the S-Pen even better with the Note 10+, and now gets gesture support as well as the ability to draw AR stickers on selfies.
Faster wired charging on the Galaxy Note 10+, but only if you buy an aftermarket charger
Samsung has finally caught up to Huawei when it comes to both battery size and charging speed with the Note 10+ compared to the P30 Pro: the former has a 4300mAh capacity and 45W charging speed compared to the latter’s 4200mAh capacity and 40W charging speed.
There’s a small asterisk on Samsung’s fast charging tech though – you’ll have to buy an aftermarket 45W charger to enjoy lighting fast charging speeds since the bundled one only goes up to 25W. Huawei, on the other hand, includes at 40W SuperCharge charger out of the box with the P30 Pro.
As far as actual use, we found that the P30 Pro lasted longer than the Note 10+ – the P30 Pro regularly lasted more than 2 days on a single charge, while the Note 10+ barely survived into the second day without turning off near dinnertime on the second day. It turns out having a power-hungry QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display doesn’t make for a power-efficient phone.
Get what works for your budget
Both phones have a lot going for them, though ultimately most people will base their purchase decision on the price of the device, which is the major sticking point for both.
The Galaxy Note 10+ retails for a whopping Php 60,990 for the 12GB/256GB variant, which is quite substantial. If you need even more storage, the 12GB/512GB variant retails for even more, at Php 72,990.
Huawei’s main appeal for their flagship phones have always been their lower prices compared to other flagships, and that’s still the case with the P30 Pro. The Amber Sunrise version of the P30 Pro retails for Php 55,990, has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage – quite a large gap in terms of pricing compared to the same variant of the Galaxy Note 10+.