Honor View 10 vs. Samsung Galaxy S9: What do you get for the extra $200?

Samsung Galaxy S9+
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Image credit: Android Central)

Okay, this is a weird comparison, I know, but hear me out. The Honor View 10 stood toe-to-toe against the OnePlus 5T as one of the best "budget flagships" you can buy, with great dual cameras, sturdy build quality, and a compellingly low price of $499.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S9 is the new hotness around, packing every feature under the sun into a package so beautiful and well-machined that you almost don't want to put it down. But with a starting price of $719.99, just how much more are you really getting for the $200+ premium over the View 10?

What the Honor View 10 does better

It's pretty obvious that the cheaper phone of the two will come with some compromises, but the View 10 still offers a ton of bang for your buck. You get the modern design we've come to expect of a 2018 flagship, complete with slim bezels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. That modernization doesn't mean Honor has completely thrown out old trends, though — it still has a headphone jack!

You don't have to spend over $700 to get a premium smartphone.

Despite a relatively low price, you still get the very best processor Huawei has to offer — the Kirin 970, complete with the same AI enhancements found on the more expensive Mate 10 Pro. In addition, the View 10 is backed by an impressive 6GB of RAM, and you probably won't run out of space, given the 128GB of internal storage and microSD slot for expandability.

Per usual, the biggest differentiator between phones is the software, and the View 10's software definitely isn't for everyone. It's still Android Oreo, which is great news, but the EMUI overlay is a far cry from stock Android, with plenty of OEM customizations throughout the interface. The same can be said of The Artist Formerly Known As TouchWiz residing on the S9, but EMUI just feels … less useful, with more redundant apps that offer little extra functionality.

One area where the View 10 easily bests the Galaxy S9 is battery life, where its massive 3750mAh — combined with power-efficient software — far outlasts the S9's measly 3000mAh cell (and even outmatches the larger 3500mAh battery in the S9+).

See at Honor

What the Galaxy S9 does better

Wireless charging, water resistance, stereo speakers, dual apertures, and iris scanning — all things the Honor View 10 simply doesn't have, and the list doesn't end there. The Galaxy S9 topples over just about every other phone on the market when it comes to feature lists, and this is no exception.

It's hard to match Samsung's level of build quality and feature set.

The Galaxy S9 may be more iterative than some would have liked, riding on the same general design as the Galaxy S8 before it, but that just means that Samsung has had an entire year to refine its already-great hardware. The curved glass and metal pairing is as gorgeous as ever, and the fingerprint sensor is finally in a sensible place underneath the camera module.

Speaking of cameras, the Galaxy S9's camera absolutely clobbers the View 10, even with just one lens. That's not to say that the View 10's dual camera module is bad — it's pretty great, actually — but the S9 just takes stunningly good photos, and its dual aperture system is unparalleled. It also benefits from OIS for added stability, further improving its video performance and night shots (two areas where the View 10 lacks).

See at Samsung

Which one is right for you?

If you have the extra money, the Galaxy S9 is still the better buy. Its software is more thought out, it takes better photos, and it boasts a significantly longer list of hardware features. What's more, you can finance it through your carrier — and speaking of carriers, it's your only choice of the two if you're on a CDMA network like Sprint or Verizon.

Still, if you don't mind more reseved hardware, the Honor View 10 has a lot to offer for significantly less money. You'll still get great specs with a top-tier processor, excellent dual cameras, and better battery life than Samsung can compete with. The design isn't quite as futuristic, but it's still well-built, and for the money it's hard to complain.

Are you going all out with the Galaxy S9, or has the View 10's lower price and competitive specs won you over? Let us know in the comments below!

Hayato Huseman

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.