Get 50% Off Affinity Photo Today!

Huawei P20 Pro Vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Vs iPhone X Comparison

Are three cameras better than two? And, can Huawei convert die-hard Apple and Samsung fans? We line-up the specs of each smartphone to find out.

|  iPhone X in Camera Phones
 Add Comment

 

Huawei has unveiled their latest flagship smartphone and the P20 Pro is definitely a conversation starter so much so, we're wondering if it could actually persuade Samsung and Apple users to consider a switch (controversial, we know).

As it wasn't long ago that the Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Apple introduced the iPhone X, we're going to sit them side-by-side so we can compare the specs, size, price and other qualities each smartphone has to find out, on paper, which comes out on top.

Let's begin with a quick comparison of the key specs side-by-side (you can see the full list of specs compared in the table at the bottom of the article but please note, some figures for the P20 Pro are currently missing until we complete our full test of the smartphone). 

 

  Huawei P20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Apple iPhone X
Size  155mm, 73.9mm, 7.8 mm 158.1mm, 73.8mm, 8.5mm 143.6mm, 70.9mm, 7.7mm
Weight 180 grams 189 grams 174 grams
Screen Size 6.1"  6.2"  5.8" 
Screen Resolution 2240x1080 pixels 2960x1440 pixels 2436x1125 pixels
Storage Space 128GB 64/128GB 64/256GB Capacity 
MicroSD Card Slot Yes Yes No
Processor Kirin 970 SnapDragon 845 (Exynos 9810) A11 processor
RAM 6GB 6GB 3GB
Rear Camera 40MP, f/1.8, 27mm equiv. 20MP, f/1.6, 27mm equiv (monochrome) & 8MP,  f/2.4 , 80mm equiv 12MP, f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 26mm equiv and f/2.4 telephoto lens, 52mm equiv 12MP wide-angle, f/1.8 and telephoto, f/2.4 cameras
Front Camera 24MP 8MP 7MP
Optical Zoom Yes  Yes Yes
Video 4K video recording 4K video recording 4K video recording
Image Stabilisation Yes

Yes

Yes (dual)
Design Glass back design which allows for wireless charging Glass back design which allows for wireless charging Glass back design which allows for wireless charging
Battery 4000mAh 3500mAh 2716mAh
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
USB-C Yes Yes Yes
Colours  Twilight, Pink Gold, Midnight Blue and Black Lilac Purple, Coral Blur and Midnight Black  Silver and Space Grey 
Price £849 £739, £869 £999, £1149

 

The Camera 

Huawei P20 Pro (4)
Huawei P20 Pro

All three smartphones are advertised as devices photographers should be interested in with the Huawei CEO even going as far as calling the P20 Pro a professional photography tool. 

Starting with the Apple iPhone X, it builds on the dual camera of the iPhone 7 Plus, but features updated cameras, with both the wide-angle (28mm equivalent) and telephoto (56mm equivalent) lenses now featuring Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), a brighter aperture for the telephoto lens (f/2.4 instead of f/2.8), and a larger sensor. Both dual cameras feature 12-megapixels, same as the iPhone 8 Plus, and the wide-angle lens features an f/1.8 aperture which along with the brighter aperture for the telephoto lens should improve low light performance, something previous iPhones have struggled with. 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus also features a dual camera which has a wide-angle and telephoto lens but what stands out about the S9 Plus is that the wide-angle lens features a variable aperture so you can choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4. This means it's not only the first camera phone with a variable aperture but also the brightest lens available in any smartphone camera to date! The S9 Plus also features a second telephoto camera (f/2.4, 52mm equiv), and both cameras feature optical image stabilisation.

 

Apple iPhone X
 

So, we've gone from dual cameras to dual cameras with a variable aperture and now, in steps Huawei with its triple lenses on the P20 Pro's rear camera. The main f/1.8, 27mm equiv lens sports a huge 40MP, then there's an 8MP, 80mm equiv, f/2.4 telephoto lens and finally, a 20MP, f/1.6, 27mm equiv lens that features a monochrome sensor which should improve low light performance as well as create better monochrome shots. 

As for the front cameras, the P20 Pro packs more megapixels in offering a 24MP (f/2) selfie camera that also has various beauty functions built in, including 3D portrait lighting that's very similar to the effects you find on the iPhone X. Even though it shares similar portrait functions, the front camera on the iPhone X only has 7MP (f/2.2) and the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is somewhat lagging behind the P20 Pro, too, with only 8MP (f/1.7) built-in. Although, the f/1.7 aperture on the Samsung's front-facing camera should mean it performs better in low light than the P20 Pro does.  

 

Samsung Galaxy S9plus Lens Close Up
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus - Lens Close Up

 

Thanks to all three smartphones having multiple rear lenses built in, they are all, also, capable of blurring backgrounds to create a bokeh-like effect so portraits look more professional. 

 

Capturing Photos, Video & The Native Camera App 

Apple is the brand that lags behind with the native camera app built into their smartphones as when you compare it with the camera app built into Samsung and Huawei devices, it's incredibly basic. Both Huawei and Samsung smartphones give you access to manual controls, and loads of other options, without having to download a third-party app. For example, when in Pro mode on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Pro, you can manually change the ISO speed (from 50 to 800), or leave it on auto and it can go up to ISO1250 in dark lighting. You can adjust the shutter speed, aperture (f/1.5 or f/2.4), colour, focus, white balance, exposure compensation, metering, AF area, and flash. 

 

All three smartphones have various shooting modes available, including panorama, as well as digital filters but the Huawei P20 Pro has the advantage of a black and white sensor built in which, if past Huawei phones are anything to go by, produces monochrome images which are rich and detailed. The monochrome sensor, in conjunction with the 40MP sensor, also means that the P20 Pro can capture long exposures (of up to 6 seconds) hand-held which is impressive and it should be able to handle low-light better, something the Apple phones still struggle with. 

The zoom all three devices offer is pretty decent but the P20 Pro takes the lead with its 5x hybrid zoom over the S9 Plus and iPhone X both of which just offer 2x optical zoom. As with all cameras, we do recommend you stay clear of digital zoom when you can. 

All three smartphones capture 4K video (when told to) with stabilisation and stereo sound. Slo-mo video is also available on all three devices.

 

Smartphone Design 

Size wise, all three phones are pretty similar with only a couple of millimetres difference but, if you're not used to using 'plus size' phones, you may find the handling a little weird to start. Those who have used larger phones for a while will find the shape and feel of all three smartphones very familiar and no one can really argue that they don't look the business with their glass designs. All three smartphones are also water resistant and both Android devices feature memory card slots should you need to add more storage space but with such huge phone capacities available, you probably won't need to. 

 


 

 

Display 

'Less bezel, more screen' is the theme with all modern smartphones and it's something Samsung, Huawei and Apple have worked hard at. On all three smartphones, the bezel is much smaller so the phones can feature a larger screen while still remaining compact, giving you a better viewing experience without taking out even more room in your bag (or pocket if you have deep ones).

 

Samsung Galaxy S9plus (5)
 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus actually offers the biggest screen size at 6.2", followed by the Huawei P20 Pro with a 6.1" screen size and the iPhone X takes the third spot with a 5.8" screen. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus also offers the highest screen resolution at 2960x1440 pixels but the iPhone and Huawei switch places in this particular race with the iPhone X featuring 2436x1125 pixels and the P20 Pro having 2240x1080 pixels built in. 

 

Huawei P20 Pro (5)
Huawei P20 Pro

 

Battery 

The battery built into the Huawei P20 Pro is pretty impressive at 4000mAh which is bigger than the battery that's found in the Samsung Galaxy S9 (3500mAh) and iPhone X (2716mAh). Thanks to the glass construction, wireless charging is supported on all three devices and you will, without doubt, need to charge all three smartphones after a day's use. 

 

Price 

New smartphones are not inexpensive with prices starting at £739 for the 64GB Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (£869 for the larger 128GB capacity) and rising to £1149 for the 256GB iPhone X (£999 for the 64GB version). The Huawei P20 Pro sits in the middle at £849 which gives you 128GB of storage.
 

We'll be adding a photo comparison of all three smartphones to the site as soon as we've completed our full review of the Huawei P20 Pro so keep an eye out for that. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review.
Read our full Apple iPhone X review.

 

Comparison Table

Apple iPhone XSamsung Galaxy S9 PlusHuawei P20 Pro
ManufacturerAppleSamsungHuawei
Front Camera
Pixels7Mp (Megapixels)8Mp (Megapixels)No Data
Max Aperturef/2.2f/1.7No Data
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
  • Monochrome
Additional CamerasNo DataWide-angle standard camera, 2x Telephoto cameraNo Data
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/2.4f/1.5 - f/2.4f/1.6 - f/2.4
35mm equivalent28mm - 56mm26mm - 52mm27mm - 80mm
Optical Zoom2x2x3x
Image Sensor
Pixels12Mp (Megapixels)12Mp (Megapixels)40Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data40327296
Pixels (H)No Data30245472
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor SizeNo Data1/2.55inch1/1.7inch
Sensor Size (width)No DataNo DataNo Data
Sensor Size (height)No DataNo DataNo Data
Aspect Ratio
    • 4:3
    • 16:9
    • 1:1
    • 4:3
    • 16:9
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor5.8in6.2in6.1in
    Screen resolution1125x24362960x1440 - 18.5:9 aspect ratio2240x1080px
    Touch ScreenYesYesYes
    Focusing
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Face Detection
    • Touch AF
    • Autofocus
    • Manual
    • Spot
    • Face Detection
    • Multi
    • Centre
    • Touch AF
    • Autofocus
    • Spot
    • Face Detection
    • AF Tracking
    • Multi
    • Centre
    • Touch AF
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo Data1/24000secNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo Data10secNo Data
    ISO sensitivityNo Data50 - 125050 - 6400
    Video
    Movie modeYesYesYes
    Video Resolution
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    • 1280x720 HD 720p
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPSNo Data60fps30fps
    Stereo SoundNoNo DataYes
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYesYesYes
    Interface
    USBLightningUSB-CUSB-C
    Wi-FiYesYesYes
    Storage
    Internal MemoryNo Data6000MB6000MB
    Power Source
    Battery Type2716mAh3500mAh4000mAh
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo DataNo DataNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight174g173g180g
    Width143.6mm159.5mm155mm
    Height70.9mm73.4mm73.9mm
    Depth7.7mm8.1mm7.8mm
    View Full DetailsView Full DetailsView Full Details

    Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, WEX

    It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

    Photographs taken using the iPhone X

    The British Ironworks CentreShoulder to the WheelTime to saddle upUntitledTonight's SunsetAnother SunsetLake SunsetCrane At The DockSunset at London City AirportSnip Snip!Park HDRNo pictures please, just stop bugging me !Merlin YawnAltered perspectiveRose

    Other articles you might find interesting...

    Sony Xperia 5 II Smartphone Review
    Apple iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max Announced
    Top 20 Best Camera Phones For Photography 2020
    Google Pixel 5 And 4a (5G) Announced
    Top 11 Best Cheap Smartphones For Photography 2020: Under £200
    Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, Mi 10T & Mi 10T Lite Smartphones Announced
    Top 16 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2020
    Top 11 Best Budget Camera Phones For Photography Under £300 2020

    There are no comments here! Be the first!


    Sign In

    You must be a member to leave a comment.

    ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

    Join For Free

    Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.