New smartphones, Samsung S10+ & Huawei's P30 Pro, are out. NewstalkZB's Glenn Hart tests both.
There's a new battle for smartphone supremacy – over the last month Samsung and Huawei have launched their star handsets for 2019 while Apple continues to languish behind with no sign of a new iPhone yet.
As usual, there are a host of new features on offer but which are actually useful and which are just gimmicks we didn't even ask for? Most importantly, should you buy a Samsung Galaxy S10+ or a Huawei P30 Pro?
I've given both a bash and here's how they measure up:
The look of 2019
White is definitely the new black. While both phones are available in boring black or green, Samsung's "Prism White" and Huawei's "Breathing Crystal" are probably the most striking. The 6.4 inch display on the S10+ is higher definition, so it looks a bit better.
Meanwhile, the P30 Pro's screen is slightly larger at 6.47 inch. To maximise screen-to-body ratio, Huawei has gone for a tiny, water-drop notch for the selfie camera and a concealed ear-speaker for phone calls. Samsung's speaker is still visible, although super-slim and right on the bezel's edge. The dual-lens front-facing camera peeps through a "punch-hole" in the top right corner. At first this is a bit annoying when viewing content in landscape but you get used to it. In short, both phones look amazing.
The P30 Pro wins this category hands-down, which is impressive because the camera on the S10+ is pretty amazing. It's just that the P30 Pro is more amazing… Samsung must be spewing; no sooner do they introduce their own tri-lens camera (something Huawei had this time last year) than Huawei gazumps the field with its Leica Quad-Cam configuration – introducing a Time-Of-Flight (TOF) sensor for depth perception and completely revolutionising low-light photography by sensing yellow light instead of green.
No-one I've talked to has ever seen a phone take photos in near darkness as successfully as the P30 Pro does.
And that's before you get to the 10x hybrid zoom (50x digital). These are functions no other phone is close to offering. Weirdly, the S10+ has a superior selfie cam – a dual-lens setup that does a much better job of mixed-focus and group shots.
This is a tricky one – there are a lot of pros and cons. If you've never used a Huawei device, I recommend you try one before you buy your next phone. The Kirin processors that run these things are noticeably quicker than most phones.
The S10+ experience is also very fast and smooth and what's more, Samsung has stripped down its UI so it's now dramatically more streamlined and user-friendly than the EMUI OS on the P30 Pro.
The S10+ is easier to customise, settings are more accessible and the Bixby virtual assistant now allows you to set up automated, voice-activated routines – so it's almost useful. Samsung wins this round.
Samsung has put their biggest battery ever into the S10+ and to be sure, the battery life is great. However, although the P30 Pro's battery is only slightly bigger, the charge lasts forever. Well – at least two days anyway.
For a high-spec device like this, that's unheard of. Both handsets charge wirelessly but if you use Huawei's SuperCharger, the P30 Pro will charge in minutes rather than hours.
Both phones are IP68 water and dust resistant (toilet proof). That's useful. Both offer reverse wireless charging - less useful because it's slow and runs down the battery. This function is hard to access on the P30 Pro and I don't know why it's there, given there aren't any Huawei accessories that charge wirelessly.
On the other hand, Samsung's Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds are QI compatible, so charging them with your phone makes a bit more sense. Both devices have in-screen fingerprint sensors and the P30 Pro's works much better than the S10+.
On the other hand, face unlock works more consistently and is faster on the Samsung phone. The S10+ also sounds better playing media because it uses the earpiece as a second speaker to give you stereo playback. The P30 Pro only fires from one.
The P30 Pro comes with 256GB of internal storage and is $1,499.00. The S10+ starts at $1,699.00 for the 128GB version, but you can go right up to 1TB (the world's first 1TB phone) in Ceramic White for just $2,599.00. No, that's not a typo.
It's a very close contest and it all comes down to what's most important to you… If photos and battery life are your big things, it's hard to go past the P30 Pro. However, if you want a whole ecosystem of accessories and a phone that's a bit more user-friendly, the S10+ has a slight edge. Price-wise though, the Huawei is hard to beat.