Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro: the flagship phones go head to head

Which of these stunning smartphones will be the best of the best?

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro

With the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Huawei P30 Pro now both out in the wild, how do these two powerhouse flagship phones stack up against each other? Wonder no longer, because we're about to compare these phones in all the areas that matter. Do these phones still have what it takes in 2020?

Should you opt for the smooth looks and style of the Galaxy S10, or commit to the fantastic photographic capabilities of the P30 Pro? Can these phones be split in terms of features, performance, and software? Read on for a comprehensive comparison of the two devices.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro: design

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S10

We've got ourselves a pair of stunners here: the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro ooze quality and class, and show evidence of everything that's good about smartphone design. From the curved finishes and build quality, to the camera bump and casing colours, these two phones are very easy on the eye.

Let's start with the Samsung Galaxy S10. It has a subtle hole-punch notch in the top right corner of its 6.1-inch, 1440 x 3040 screen, and a 93.1 percent screen-to-body ratio. That's a lot of screen. The bezels are suitably minimal, and the back of the phone is perfectly fine, if a little utilitarian – moving the fingerprint sensor to the front, underneath the screen, means it's just the triple-lens camera and the Samsung logo left. You've got six rather nice colours to pick from.

As for the Huawei P30 Pro, we're looking at a 6.47-inch, 1080 x 2340 pixel screen, with a screen-to-body ratio of nearly 89 percent. Here there's a small teardrop notch in the centre of the screen, and the top and bottom bezels are slightly thicker than on the Galaxy S10. We like the vertical alignment of the quad-lens camera on the back of the Huawei phone – we think it looks nicer than the Samsung – and you've got a total of five lovely looking colours to choose between.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro: specs

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

These are two devices that are going to keep your devices lag-free for a long, long time – the Samsung Galaxy S10 packs a Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 processor inside, depending on your region, and combines that with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage (which you can expand with a memory card if you need more).

As for the Huawei P30 Pro, it comes with Huawei's latest and greatest Kirin 980 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of internal storage. Again, you can top up the storage with a memory card if you find yourself running out of room for your photos, videos and other files (though that should take a while).

Which is faster? It's a tight call but it really depends on the hardware and software optimisations that Samsung and Huawei have been able to apply under the hood. Put in this way – very few phones launched this year should be able to outdo the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Huawei P30 Pro in terms of raw performance power.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro: features

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S10

Cameras play a big role on both these phones. The Samsung Galaxy S10 goes for a 12MP+12MP+16MP triple-lens affair for its rear camera, while the Huawei P30 Pro adds an extra depth-sensing time-of-flight camera to a triple-lens 40MP+20MP+8MP setup. The Huawei phone tops out at an impressive 5x optical zoom, thanks to a clever periscoping layout inside, while the Samsung handset manages 2x optical zoom.

On paper at least, with its extra sensor and other hardware tricks, the Huawei P30 Pro should be capable of producing better photos than the Samsung Galaxy S10, particularly in low light and at high levels of zoom. The Galaxy S10 is no slouch in the camera department, but it looks like Huawei is setting the high watermark for 2019 as far as phone photography is concerned.

Elsewhere these two phones match up rather well, with wireless charging, fast charging, reversible charging, IP68 waterproofing and dustproofing, and Android 9 Pie on both (though Samsung's version of Android is nicer than Huawei's at this point). Note that the Samsung Galaxy S10 keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack, but the Huawei P30 Pro doesn't.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro: verdict

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

We've got two fantastic phones here then, and there's not a whole lot to tell them apart. We think the Samsung phone looks a little nicer, and has the more usable software on board, and it's also worth remembering that you could upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus if you felt the need, with a bigger screen and battery.

On the other hand, the Huawei P30 Pro really aces it in the mobile camera department, and that's likely to be a big consideration for a lot of you. Its screen is bigger than the one on the Galaxy S10, though the resolution isn't as sharp – that's something else to think about if you like your phones particularly big or particularly small.

When it comes to performance, you should find plenty of power in both the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Huawei P30 Pro, though most benchmarks on the web suggest the Snapdragon 855 just edges out the Kirin 980 when it comes to graphics and AI. If you're picking between these two phones, it's the design and the camera that are the biggest factors to weigh up.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.