Last year, Google’s Pixel 3XL was proclaimed by many the ‘Best Android Phone’ of 2018 but not without mentioning a few areas of improvement, involving bezels, screens, etc. This year in March, Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 family, which consist of Galaxy S10 Plus, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e – a series of high-end phones featuring great tech inside a sleek and fantastic-to-look-at body. Now, our other contender – Huawei – has been improving its flagship game in recent years. Last year, the company announced Mate 20 Pro – a phone with a brilliant camera, fast performance and larger battery. And this year, Huawei introduced P30 Pro – its strongest P-series smartphone, featuring a camera that redefines the rules of photography.
With the P30 Pro, Huawei seems determined to remain a strong contender in the flagship battle. The question, however, is – does the Galaxy S10 and P30 Pro have what it takes to challenge the supremacy of what has been dubbed the best Android phone on the market today? Let’s find out.
Design and display
The Google Pixel 3XL’s rear panel features a two-tone design – a shiny glass section for the top one-fourth and a matte finish for the rest. The transition between the two textures is smooth and seamless, giving it a high-quality look and feel. But, in terms of design, the Galaxy S10 makes the Pixel 3XL looks boring. While the Pixel 3XL has large bezels surrounding its display, the Galaxy S10 has no bezels at all – instead, it has a tiny chin and forehead and a punch-hole camera, which allows it to have a large screen-to-body ratio.
Huawei has also done a great job in designing the P30 Pro. The back panel features a gradient pattern design and comes in two different options – Aurora and Breathing Crystal. My test phone has the former, and I must say that it looks stunning when it switches between various hues of blue. At the front, there is a waterdrop notch for the camera, and the earpiece is now built into the display.
The Galaxy S10’s screen offers high resolution, extremely bright OLED panel with great viewing angles and rich, vibrant colours. The screen flows all the way from the top to the bottom of the S10’s frame and has curved edges – a feature that some users may not like, but it does have its advantage, for it makes the phone easier to hold. The Pixel 3XL also uses OLED display that allows for deep blacks and crisp colours. Also, it’s energy efficient.
The P30 Pro sports a 6.47-inch OLED display, and it too has curved edges. And while the display is vibrant, it fades in comparison to the Galaxy S10. It’s no surprise, then, that Samsung has been leading the industry in terms of screens, and the Galaxy S10 offers the best display you can find on a smartphone today.
The Pixel 3XL is armed with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU. The Huawei P30 Pro is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC, which consists of two Cortex-A76 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores. The Samsung Galaxy S10, on the other hand, is armed with the Snapdragon 855 processor. And while the performance of all these devices is more or less the same, the difference lies in the software.
Huawei EMUI user interface has come a long way in the last two years, with Huawei making significant changes to make its skin cleaner and less heavy. Samsung, in the Galaxy S10, has also refreshed its One UI skin, offering a more modern interface with a white and blue colour scheme, which reminds me that of Google.
The biggest strength of the Pixel 3XL lies in its software experience. Since it’s designed by Google, the Pixel 3XL will be first-in-line to receive the latest software updates and monthly security patches when they’re released. Overall, the navigation experience is fluid and lag free on all three smartphones.
There is also a digital wellbeing dashboard, both on the Galaxy S10 and Google Pixel 3XL, that shows the total time you’ve spent on your phone, the number of times you’ve unlocked your phone and the notifications you’ve received.
While all three phones support wireless charging, the P30 Pro also supports reverse wireless charging. Of the three, the P30 Pro has the largest battery, measuring 4,200mAh. The Galaxy S10 has a 3,4000mAh battery and Google Pixel 3XL is fuelled by a 3,430mAh battery. Also, while charging, the Huawei’s 40W charger charges considerably faster than the Samsung’s 15W solution.
The Galaxy S10 has three rear cameras at the back – a 12MP sensor with a manual aperture, a 12MP telephoto camera with 2X optical zoom and a third 16MP ultrawide camera. Interestingly, the P30 Pro has the most advanced camera set up – there’s a 40MP primary camera with ‘SuperSensing Sensor’, a secondary camera includes an 8MP 10x ‘hybrid’ zoom sensor and a 20MP ultra-wide angle lens. The cameras of both the Galaxy S10 and P30 Pro widen the possibilities of photography, allowing you to capture a wide variety of images, especially when compared to the Pixel 3XL’s single rear camera.
That’s not to say that the camera of the Pixel 3XL has no advantages. Well, it does! The 12.2MP camera of Google Pixel 3XL is as good as advertised. Google has retained the single camera system as seen in Pixel 2, but the addition of different modes, including Night Sight, surely gives the Pixel 3XL an edge over others in terms of night photography. You will hardly ever have a bad photo with the Pixel 3XL. Shots taken with it in low light conditions are far better than the S10. But, the Galaxy S10 definitely offers better video performance.
The Huawei P30 Pro takes excellent photos in bright daylight. Its night mode does a great job in low-light conditions as well. The P30 Pro supports 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and, a never seen before, 50x digital zoom. The details of an image captured at 10x are just stunning.
The Huawei P30 Pro uses a RYYB colour array. Replacing the green on the traditional RGGB sensors, these yellow pixels let the sensor take in both the green and red light on the visible spectrum, resulting in a huge 40 per cent boost in the overall light intake.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a flagship device that will appeal to almost everyone. Samsung has once again done a great job in terms of design – minimising the bezels and integrating a punch-hole camera. The Huawei P30 Pro makes a strong case for itself by being the best camera phone of 2019, so far. Featuring the Leica quad-camera system, the P30 Pro acts like a photography machine. But, if you want a phone that can answer for you, a camera with the ability to choose the perfect image for you and a helpful Assistant, even while the phone is charging, then the Google Pixel 3XL is the one you should go for. Even in 2019, its camera continues to click images that are as great as they were back in October when it was launched.
Huawei P30 Pro
No headphone jack
Google Pixel 3XL
No headphone jack
Samsung Galaxy S10