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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Confrontation between two finest flagships

18 August 2018 5

The South Korean giant Samsung recently announced the flagship Galaxy Note 9. Undoubtedly the Galaxy Note 9 was amongst the most awaited flagships of this year. The device was in leaks and rumors from past few months that's why expectation was quite high from the latest Samsung's phablet. As expected the Galaxy Note 9 brings a lot of new features to attract customers. Samsung also marketed the Galaxy Note 9 will enhance the productivity. Like the Galaxy S9 series, the Galaxy Note 9 doesn't bring major changes in the design.


Being the latest premium smartphone the Galaxy Note 9 will certainly challenge all the existing best players in the market. Like always we put the latest smartphone in a head-to-head comparison against a number of smartphones in the same niche to know how well it fits into the current situation. The Galaxy Note 9 emerged winner in most of the competitions, today we will compare it against the Huawei's latest best offering P20 Pro. The P20 Pro is quite especially as it brings one of the best hardware and above all the best camera phone so far this year. Even the latest Galaxy Note 9 falls behind it in the camera's capabilities.

We are hopeful this comparison will certainly help out buyers who are planning to grab the new flagship smartphone. The comparison will allow you to better decide which smartphone amongst the two is better in what aspects. Without any further delay, let's start with the design as it is the first aspect buyers consider before making any choice.

76.4 x 161.9 x 8.8 mm
6.4 inches - 2960x1440 px
73.9 x 155 x 7.8 mm
6.1 inches - 2244x1080 px
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Design

As far as the design is a concern, the Galaxy Note 9 isn't much different from the predecessor. From the front-facing side, you may not find the Galaxy Note 9 different from the Galaxy Note 8. The Galaxy Note 9 chassis is made up of metal with glass covering the rear side. The front-facing Infinity display is gently curved from both edges. Like its predecessor, the device has on-screen navigation buttons. Its measurements are 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weigh 201 gram.

Like most of the latest premium smartphones, the Galaxy Note 9 is IP68 certified which means it can resist under 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes. It retains the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. On the rear side, it has dual camera sensors placed horizontally in the center. The fingerprint scanner is on the rear side in the center below the cameras. The Galaxy Note 9 is available in four striking color options including Midnight Black, Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper and the Ocean Blue.

Huawei P-lineup smartphones have unibody metal designs in past, however this year the company stepped up their game by introducing glass and metal sandwich design. The glass finish on the P20 Pro is quite an eye-catching thanks to special colors. The P20 Pro has a small notch at the top of the display and the best thing is it retains the fingerprint scanner on the front-facing side below the home button.

The rear side has triple cameras setup on placed vertically on the top left corner. The P20 Pro dimensions are 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm and weigh 180g. The device is smaller, lighter and thinner than the Galaxy Note 9. It lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack instead the company relied on the USB-C port. The P20 Pro was announced in three colors including Midnight Blue, Black, and the eye-catching Twilight. It is an IP67 certified device which brings resistance up to 1 meters for 30 minutes.

Display

The Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro both have OLED display panels. The Galaxy Note 9 comes with a 6.4-inches Super AMOLED display panel with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 2960 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 18.5:9. The display pixels density is 516 pixels-per-inch. It also supports Mobile HDR which means you can enjoy HDR content from Netflix and other content producers.

The P20 Pro comes with a 6.1-inches FullView OLED display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2244 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 19.7:9, the reason behind this awkward aspect ratio is the notch. If you don't like notched display the company allows it to be removed from settings with a black bar. The pixels density is 408 pixels-per-inch.

So in terms of resolution, pixels density and display size, the Galaxy Note 9 is a better option. However, by default, the Galaxy Note 9's display is on Full HD+ screen resolution to save battery juice. The difference between the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9+ is quite minimal, the only difference is S-Pen support.

Camera


The cameras setup on the Galaxy Note 9 isn't different from the Galaxy S9+, however, the company brought few extra smart goodies. You can expect great results like the S9+. The primary sensor is a 12MP module with variable aperture. In stable light conditions, the aperture is f/2.4 whereas in low-light scenarios the aperture is turned to f/1.5. You can witness the change in aperture visually as well.

The secondary snapper is Telephoto 12MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Both the sensors have Optical image stabilization. The secondary sensor provides optical zoom up to 2x without affecting the image quality. A new ViewFinder feature is introduced which detects scenes to better optimize camera settings. Another new feature is flaw detection which removes blur and if your captured image is blurry, it will notify.

Up front the selfie camera is 8MP. Apart from regular fingerprint scanner, the device has an iris and facial recognition feature. The AR Emoji is also on board. As mentioned above the P20 Pro features the best in class cameras, the primary RGB sensor is a 40MP module with f/1.8 aperture and the secondary camera is a 20MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 aperture. Last but not the least the third is 8MP zoom sensor which provides optical zoom up to 3x without affecting the image quality. The selfie camera on the P20 is a 24MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture.

The overall results of P20 Pro cameras are brilliant. You will find it equally good in both daylight and low-light scenarios. So if you want a camera-centric smartphone the P20 Pro is certainly a better choice.


Hardware


Under the hood, the Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro both are packed with the latest best hardware. The Note 9 has the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC for the US variant whereas the rest of the world have the Exynos 9810 powered variant. The base variant has 6GB RAM with 128GB storage whereas the top of the line variant has 8GB RAM with 512GB storage. It supports memory expansion via MicroSD card up to 512GB which makes it the only Samsung smartphone whose native storage can be expanded up to 1TB.

The P20 Pro is powered up by the Kirin 970 chipset. There is only one variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB native storage. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD. In a day-to-day performance both the devices are equally good at handling multi-tasking tasks and Hi graphics grames. If you want a powerhouse, you can choose the 8GB RAM model of Note 9. As the Galaxy Note 9 is meant for productivity so it will perform better than its competitors. The Galaxy Note 9 has a liquid cooling pipe which ensures the device remains cool even when it is being heavily used.

Specs Galaxy Note 9 Huawei P20 Pro
Display 6.4-inches 6.1-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1080 x 2244 pixels
Chipset Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 Kirin 970
RAM 6,8GB 6GB
Storage 128GB, 512GB Expandable via MicroSD 128GB Non-Expandable
Rear cameras Dual 12MP 40+20MP+8MP
Front camera 8MP 24MP
Battery 4,000mAH 4,000mAh
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack Yes No
IP-ratings IP68 IP67
OS Android Oreo 8.1 Android Oreo 8.1
Battery

This year one of the biggest upgrades to the Galaxy Note 9 was indeed the battery cell. Since the Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, Samsung didn't bring any change in the battery cell of their flagships. However, with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung introduced 4,000mAH battery cell. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 9 supports fast charging as well as wireless charging.

The P20 Pro was amongst the first flagships of this year with 4,000mAh battery cell. It supports the company's own fast charging tech. Despite having glass rear it lacks support for wireless charging

Software


The Galaxy Note 9 is pre-installed with the Android Oreo 8.1 with Experience UX layer over it. Samsung rolled out Bixby 2.0 with the latest phablet. The latest S-Pen stylus is Bluetooth enabled which allows you to perform a number of tasks wirelessly. For instance, you can pause music, moving slides during a presentation, capture selfies and much more.

The P20 Pro was also pre-installed with Android Oreo with EMUI 8.0. The User experience on the P20 Pro is way different than Note 9. The Galaxy Note UX is more focused to enhance your productivity. Both the custom layers are thick over the stock version of Android OS.

Price

Soon after the announcement the Galaxy Note 9 goes up for pre-orders with a release from August 24 in many regions. The base variant with 128GB storage costs $999 (£899) whereas the top of the line model with 512GB storage can be purchased at $1250 (£1099).

On the other hand, the Huawei P20 Pro was announced at £799 for the UK customers whereas it was around $850 for the US customers via retailers. However being almost six months older the device can be purchased at the significantly lower price tag on special deals

Conclusion:

Both the Galaxy Note 9 and Huawei P20 Pro are amongst the best premium smartphones in the market. However, both are targetted to two different kinds of customers. The Galaxy Note 9 is a gigantic phablet with a number of S-Pen features to enhance your productivity. The P20 Pro is more focused to bring top-tier performance and best camera experience. Undoubtedly one of the key selling features of P20 Pro is indeed its best-in-class cameras. The P20 Pro's glass rear looks more attractive than the Galaxy Note 9.

In terms of performance, the Galaxy Note 9 is superior to the P20 Pro. Though both have 4,000mAH battery cell, the P20 Pro will perform better due to its smaller Full HD+ display. Feel free to share your thoughts regarding the Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

(last update 11 December 2018 @ 11:08)

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