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Huawei P20 Pro vs Galaxy S9+: Which has aged better?

Update: One year later
Huawei P20 Pro vs Galaxy S9+: Which has aged better?

The Huawei P20 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S9+ are already a year old but are still among the best smartphones out there. Both devices have much to offer, but each has a different focus. We checked how the comparison holds up one year after launch.

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The final Huawei P20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9+ reviews

First of all, you should take a look at the reviews of the two smartphones, if you are interested in all the details about the features and performance. Plus, you shouldn't miss our one-year reviews. 

The big focus at the MWC 2018 was on Samsung, with the Galaxy S9+ celebrated in Barcelona without much competition during its premiere. The P20 Pro was presented a little later in equally opulent style in Paris. There were six weeks between the launch of both smartphones, which have brought Samsung a head start in terms of sales. But the Huawei P20 Pro sold well.

Design and display

Of course, the look is always a matter of taste. Both smartphones are available in bright colors. But with the shimmering Twilight or the bright blue and the shiny frame, the Huawei P20 Pro stands out from the crowd, the design is more extroverted than Samsung. The Galaxy S9+ looks visually simple and elegant, but also very familiar, because the design was almost completely taken over from the S8. The radical change that Huawei has made this year is on Samsung's plan later on.

If you hate notches, turn to Samsung. The Galaxy S9+ also has a higher resolution and a slightly better panel to offer. Huawei leaves it at Full HD+ instead of 2K, but also offers an OLED display in the P20 Pro. Watching is worthwhile here, because the visual impression of a display is always a matter of personal taste. Both smartphones allow the screens to be adjusted in terms of color temperature and presentation.

Which can zoom the most?

The biggest differences apart from the software are with the main camera. Samsung has the camera of the Galaxy Note 8 with double zoom optics, donated to the Galaxy S9+ but with a changeable aperture to produce better low-light images. Huawei has teamed up with Leica to develop a triple camera that can zoom up to 5x and capture images up to 40 megapixels. A night mode that delivers spectacular pictures and numerous AI-supported features give Huawei the advantage over Samsung.

Huawei P20 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+ technical specifications

  Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S9+
Dimensions: 155 x 73.88 x 7.65 mm 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 174 g 189 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh 3500 mAh
Screen size: 6.1 in 6.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2240 x 1080 pixels (408 ppi) 2960 x 1440 pixels (531 ppi)
Front camera: 24 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 40 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
Android version: 8.1 - Oreo 8.0 - Oreo
User interface: Emotion UI Sorry, not yet available!
RAM: 6 GB 6 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB 64 GB
256 GB
128 GB

Removable storage: Not available microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Samsung Exynos 9810
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.36 GHz 2.7 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Although Samsung comes up short, at least in the zoom department, the Galaxy S9+ has the advantage in pure performance. The Exynos 9810, which does its job in the Galaxy smartphone, is a step ahead of the Hisilicon Kirin 970 in the P20 Pro in terms of computing and graphics performance. Gamers should be pleased, especially since the P20 Pro is really hot, if you run it hard. The Galaxy S9+ always keeps cool. The everyday performance is without blemish. Huawei leaves it with 128 GB of non-expandable memory, with Samsung there is the very expensive option of 256 GB plus microSD slot.

IMG 7535
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is still a solid choice. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung has the software advantage

For the software, the Huawei P20 Pro was more up to date at launch. It came directly with Android 8.1 Oreo. Samsung was lagging a bit behind. Meanwhile, both smartphones are running on Android 9 Pie now and will be reliably supplied with the monthly security updates - and yes, that still applies to the P20 Pro .

The manufacturer's UIs fit well, Samsung's update to the new One UI offers a more modern and versatile than Huawei EMUI. Both the Galaxy S9+ and the Huawei P20 Pro can be used as a quasi-PC replacement when plugged into a large monitor with the appropriate accessories. For both, an HDMI cable is sufficient - a DeX dock is no longer necessary with Samsung since the Pie update.

P20 Pro and Galaxy S9+ prices compared

The Huawei P20 Pro is now available for $530 on Amazon - a price trend which is falling in the face of the current problems of Huawei. However, these affect existing smartphones only conditionally, which is why the P20 Pro can still land in your shopping cart with a clear conscience. The big question mark is the future and the update to Android Q.

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ is currently selling for $584, and thus it's only a bit more expensive than the Huawei P20 Pro. The Samsung smartphone has initially fallen in price quickly, but now it's at a stable level.

Huawei is the eye-catcher, but Samsung has the advantage

Both smartphones look very good, run fast, and take great photos. In the end, the Huawei P20 Pro has its nose technically a tiny bit ahead: the battery is much stronger, the camera more versatile, and the design more modern. But the question remains of the future, when it comes to larger Android version updates for Huawei smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will get the update to Android Q in all probability, but for the Huawei P20 Pro the future isn't so certain, and that's why the Galaxy S9+ is the safer bet.

Huawei P20 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+ technical specifications

  Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S9+
Dimensions: 155 x 73.88 x 7.65 mm 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 174 g 189 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh 3500 mAh
Screen size: 6.1 in 6.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2240 x 1080 pixels (408 ppi) 2960 x 1440 pixels (531 ppi)
Front camera: 24 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 40 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
Android version: 8.1 - Oreo 8.0 - Oreo
User interface: Emotion UI Sorry, not yet available!
RAM: 6 GB 6 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB 64 GB
256 GB
128 GB

Removable storage: Not available microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Samsung Exynos 9810
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.36 GHz 2.7 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

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9 comments

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  • Ron7 May 22, 2018 Link to comment

    It’s been a long time since a phone of the Huawei P20 Pro’s quality came along to upset the Apple-Samsung duopoly I’ve all gotten used to. Having experienced its amazing triple lens camera, shimmering design and heavyweight performance for a fortnight now, I’m convinced it’s the best new phone of the year so far.

    When so many handsets offer pretty much the same thing right now, the P20 Pro deserves credit for doing a little bit more for less of your money. It’s the first Huawei handset to offer quality through and through. Sure, some software-related rough edges remain but they’re tolerable at worst and totally eradicable if you have the know-how.

    Striking just the right balance between borrowed inspiration and genuine innovation, the Huawei P20 Pro is a telephonic and low light king when it come to the camera.
    My friends who have Galaxy Samsung S9+ and Apple Iphone X where amazed by my superior P20 Pro camera in telephonic and low light.


  • Sorin May 2, 2018 Link to comment

    I like P20 pro, I like it very much, even more than S9 +. I have seen many photos made with P20 pro and really has the best objective. We do not really talk about a objective, a single objective, because there are actually three objectives !
    The score indicated by DxOMark is on the table and the price is even lower than the other "players" in the Supreme League. Bravo Huawei !


  • Having had a Samsung S6+ and a Mate 10 Pro there is no way I'd ever go back to Samsung. Bloated with software I don't use and can't run 2 days on a charge (which the Mate does with ease). The Huawei is far and away more in tune with my needs as a phone user.


  • The Fox and the Grapes is one of the Aesop's fables and is quite common. Not necessarily related to lack of money, but mainly due to the fear of the unkown or, sadly, to mere preconception.


  • This missing memory card slot put me off the P20 Pro,plus the software on Huawei phones is not as simple as Samsung is,even seen some mates who have switch to a Huawei phone but they are struggling to transfer things on there phones,plus the back camera humps sticking out to much on the P20 Pro a case would be required to lay down the phone flat so it would make the phone more bulkier


  • Pervious comments are all true. S9+ it's a real product, whereas the P20 pro is only a assemble product.


  • I won't pay the same price for worse display, last gen processor just because they think the camera is the best(which definitely isn't).


  • Both the phones are comparable in most of the departments but the S9 plus looks bit more elegant while P20 pro feels cheap with its ugly notch


  • It appears to me the s9+ has more premium features. I won't purchase a phone without a headphone jack or micro s/d slot. Plus the Samsung is 5 times more accessible & handled by all carriers!

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