Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 9 is the pinnacle of design and power. With its all-glass design, extra-large battery and dual-camera system, it makes a claim for the throne as today’s premier Android smartphone. But how does it perform in the real world?
We’ll publish our Note 9 review soon. In the meantime, we wanted to see how its camera—arguably the most important aspect of any smartphone experience—holds up next to the Huawei P20 Pro. Huawei’s flagship contains a groundbreaking triple-camera setup, elevating what’s possible with a smartphone camera.
Samsung didn’t get too creative with the Note 9’s camera, instead sticking with what works. In fact, the new device’s camera system is virtually identical to what is found in the Galaxy S9 Plus; the same dual 12-megapixel sensors; the same dual aperture; the same HDR performance.
Different is the AI capabilities of the Note 9’s camera, which can automatically detect different scenes, including food, animals, snow, etc. It’s a feature that has become standard among many other competing smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone X.
When you look at the P20 Pro, it features a completely unorthodox layout in terms of smartphone design. Whereas the majority of handsets have moved to a dual-camera layout, the P20 Pro sports a triple-camera system with 40-megapixel, 20-megapixel, and 8-megapixel sensors.
Another thing to note about the P20 Pro’s camera is how it produces images. The device’s camera works to combine four pixels into one, resulting in very clean images, both in low light and outdoors. That sharpness is retained out to the edges in the images, too, something that smartphone cameras typically struggle with.
For the purpose of these comparison images, we set each phone to automatic and tried to take the same exact picture. We didn’t do any retouching, though we did resize the images when uploading to our website.
If you’re considering either of these phones, the comparison gallery provides a good example of what to expect. Both take excellent images, there’s no doubt about it. But which one do you think is the winner?