Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10+: Which should you buy?

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10+
Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Image credit: Android Central)

Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

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The P30 Pro makes a compelling case for the best camera phone of 2019. With an all-new 40MP camera that takes stunning photos in daylight and low-light conditions and a zoom lens that goes all the way up to 10x without any loss in quality, the P30 Pro is a photography tour de force. The P30 Pro also has a vibrant display backed by top-notch performance and two-day battery life with 40W fast charging.

Huawei P30 Pro

Photography champion

10x zoom is exhilarating
Re-engineered 40MP primary camera
4200mAh battery with 40W fast charging
Gorgeous design
Top-notch specs
Optical in-display sensor is slow
Too tall for one-handed use
Not available in the U.S.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+

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The Galaxy S10+ will be the default choice for many purely based on availability. Samsung has once again done a fantastic job with the design, with the Infinity-O cutout at the front minimizing bezels significantly. The performance is right up there with the best that Android has to offer, but what sets the S10+ apart is the Dynamic AMOLED display. It is without a doubt the best screen you'll find on any phone today.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Mainstream choice

Best display on a phone today
Top-tier hardware
Outstanding cameras
Headphone jack
Average battery life
Expensive

The Galaxy S10+ made its debut just a month ago, but it's already in danger of being upstaged. Huawei has steadily been raising its flagship game over the last 18 months, and the P30 Pro is its strongest showing yet. So does Huawei have what it takes to win against the best Android phone in the market today? Let's find out.

P30 Pro and Galaxy S10+ are two of the most feature-rich phones today

Both Huawei and Samsung have done a fantastic job with the design of their flagships. The P30 Pro retains the gradient pattern from last year, with new color options added to the mix. The Aurora option I'm using switches between various hues of blue, and it looks striking. Up front there's a tiny waterdrop cutout for the camera, and the earpiece is now built into the display, much like what Vivo and LG are doing.

Samsung, meanwhile, has set the standard for industrial design over the years, and the Infinity-O cutout on the S10+ is a novel way of eliminating bezels. The design at the back hasn't changed all too much in recent generations, but the new colors on offer with the S10+ give it an added elegance.

The P30 Pro is able to keep up with the Galaxy S10+ on features — that's no small feat.

The P30 Pro has a 6.47-inch OLED display with curved edges, and while the panel is vibrant, it loses out to the Galaxy S10+. Samsung has been making the best panels in the business for several years now, and the Galaxy S10+ offers the best display you'll find on any phone today.

The Dynamic AMOLED panel is gorgeous, with excellent contrast levels and saturated colors. It's so good that making the switch from the S10+ to the P30 Pro made my initially feel that the P30 Pro's screen is lackluster.

As for other features, both phones offer wireless charging as well as reverse wireless charging. Huawei was the one to kickstart the reverse wireless charging trend last year, and Samsung followed suit with the S10+. Both also have large batteries, with the P30 Pro featuring a 4200mAh unit and the S10+ a 4100mAh battery.

Although battery capacity is nearly the same on both devices, the P30 Pro offers much better battery life thanks to a lower-res FHD+ panel and EMUI's aggressive memory management. And when you do need to top up, Huawei's 40W charger is considerably faster than the 15W solution Samsung offers on the S10+.

Both phones also have IP68 dust and water resistance, and the S10+ also retains the 3.5mm jack, one of very few flagships to still do so. And while both manufacturers offered secure facial recognition systems on their previous flagships that is no longer the case. Samsung got rid of iris scanning for a standard face unlock system on the S10+, and Huawei similarly has software-driven face unlock on the P30 Pro.

Neither is as secure as a fingerprint sensor, and to their credit both Samsung and Huawei mention as much while setting up face unlock. As for fingerprint authentication, the S10+ is using ultrasonic tech while Huawei is sticking to an optical sensor. Huawei claims it is using a newer sensor that's faster than the one on the Mate 20 Pro, but I haven't noticed any major difference. The S10+ is marginally faster at authentication, but that isn't saying much as neither phone is as fast as a traditional capacitive sensor.

Two phones, ten cameras

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10+

Both the P30 Pro and Galaxy S10+ have five cameras each — Huawei is going with four cameras at the rear with a single front shooter, while Samsung offers three at the back and two up front. Both phones have wide-angle and zoom lenses at the back, with Huawei also offering a time-of-flight module underneath the flash for better depth-of-field in portrait shots.

And then there's the P30 Pro's party piece. The phone has a zoom lens that goes all the way up to 10x without any noticeable loss in quality. This level of zoom on a phone is incredulous, and Huawei has managed to do an outstanding job integrating the lens in such a narrow frame.

No matter which phone you pick up, you'll get incredible images.

Up front, there's a 32MP camera on the P30 Pro and a 10MP + 8MP configuration on the S10+, with the secondary sensor doubling as a wide-angle lens.

I'm still getting started with the camera on the P30 Pro, but what's immediately evident after just a day's worth of use is that Huawei is onto a winner here. That said, it's going up against the Galaxy S10+, which is one of the best in phones around for taking photos.

The P30 Pro takes gorgeous photos in daylight scenarios, and the f/1.6 lens does a great job even in low-light conditions. Huawei's AI has gotten much better over the last 12 months, and while it was guilty of oversaturating colors last year on the P20 Pro, that isn't the case anymore. That said, there are a few instances where shots came out overexposed.