Think of a flagship and chances are two companies come to mind – Huawei and Samsung. The two biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world go head to head with every product launch. Following on from the Galaxy S10 launch last month, it's Huawei's turn and they've launched the P30 and P30 Pro this morning.
The new P30 Pro comes with four cameras and Huawei says it rewrites the rules of photography. How does the camera stack up to Samsung's flagship, the Galaxy S10 Plus? We spent a few minutes with the P30 Pro ahead of its announcement, and managed to take a few shots comparing it to Samsung's flagship. Here's our first look at the P30 Pro camera vs the Galaxy S10 Plus.
Note: all of the P30 Pro images were captured on a sample running pre-release software which isn't indicative of the final experience, so we won't be pixel peeping until we have a final review unit.
First up is the ultra-wide-angle and regular wide angle shots. On the left above you'll find the P30 Pro, whereas on the right is the Galaxy S10 Plus. Samsung has a slightly wider field of view but both sensors take great shots and are a lot of fun to use.
The big difference comes when trying to zoom, as the P30 Pro offers 5X Optical zoom, 10X hybrid zoom and up to 50X digital zoom. In comparison, the Galaxy S10 Plus offers 2X optical zoom and a max digital zoom of up to 10x. Without doubt, the zoom capabilities and performance on the P30 Pro beats the Galaxy S10 Plus here.
We've repeated the same set of shots below with an alternative subject.
The Galaxy S10 Plus takes excellent all-round pictures, but the zoom on the P30 Pro is absolutely fantastic. The ability to zoom in at such maginification and still retain enough clarity for a usable image, is impressive for a smartphone.
As we covered in our P30 Pro camera impressions, Huawei's portrait mode doesn't work if the subject isn't a human face. We captured the P30 Pro image on the left using the aperture mode, and the Galaxy S10 Plus image on the right using Samsung's Live Focus mode which doesn't have the same human subject requirement.
Although we can't share the other sample here, the P30 Pro takes better low light photos both in regular and night modes. The dual aperture on the Galaxy S10 Plus allows it to let in a lot of light, but even with the scene optimizer, it doesn't capture the amount of light and detail that the P30 Pro does.
What does that Time of Flight sensor offer? According to Huawei, it gives them the data for their AI to be able to see individual strands of hair when taking portrait mode photos. Both phones take great portrait mode pictures, but Samsung is ever so slightly better at identifying all the hair on Michael's head.
Both phones do exceptionally well at ensuring they capture all the details of the space heater, as well as the background. Huawei is slightly better at producing accurate colors, whereas Samsung's dynamic range is better when you look at the windows in the background.
The Galaxy S10 Plus selfie is a little washed out here, with almost a white sheen over the whole picture. By comparison, the Huawei P30 Pro takes a more detailed image with slightly better color reproduction in both the foreground and the background.
This image is an interesting test of the AI on both phones. The P30 Pro does a great job at blurring out the background while retaining the details on the flowers. The Galaxy S10 Plus captures the flowers really well, but Samsung doesn't automatically apply the same amount of background blur as Huawei.
The Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei P30 Pro both have excellent cameras, but they take different approaches to photography. Which phone is better? We'll know soon enough as we conduct a full comparison, but for now, it's clear these two devices might be the two best camera phones of the year.
Which phone do you think is the best? Let us know in the comments below and see the links below for more on Huawei's new flagship.
Huawei P30 series in more detail:
- Huawei P30 Pro hands on
- Huawei P30 Pro vs Galaxy S10 Plus Camera Comparison
- Huawei P30 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 Camera Comparison
- Huawei P30 Pro vs P30 – what's different?
- Check out these first camera samples from the four cameras on the P30 Pro!