Huawei P40 Pro 5G vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: Which flagship 5G smartphone to get?
The Huawei P40 Pro 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G are the two most popular options in the market if you’re looking for a flagship device with 5G connectivity. Both feature beautiful displays, attractive designs, great cameras, and powerful performance. The question now is, which device should you get?
Here are the categories for this smartphone comparison:
Design and Build
Design and Build
As flagship devices, the two devices will impress. Both have metal frames, so they’re sturdy and feel cold in the hands, and clad in glass in the front and back. Samsung, however, mentioned Gorilla Glass 6 on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, while Huawei did not specify the kind of glass protection. Both devices also provide good IP68 water and dust resistance, so you don’t have to worry about dropping it in the water, or dust getting inside.
When it comes to size, the P40 Pro is more compact. Its unibody design is shorter by 3.4mm, narrower by 8.7mm, and lighter by 13g. However, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is 0.2mm thinner, although that is almost negligible. What this translates to is that the Huawei flagship is easier to hold and will be liked by users who prefer devices with big displays in a compact body.
Color-wise, the P40 Pro has Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue, Ice White, and Black. While the Galaxy S20 Ulra has Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud White. So, you have more options with the Huawei flagship.
Looking at other features, the P40 Pro has an IR Blaster, which is handy in controlling some appliances. The S20 Ultra, on the other hand, has dual-speakers for a more immersive listening experience. Both don’t have 3.5mm audio jacks but have in-display fingerprint scanners.
In this aspect, both devices will receive points. The two have great designs and builds and their advantages. But if you want a device that is more compact and has an IR blaster, then it’s the P40 Pro. But if you want something larger, with Gorilla Glass 6 and dual loudspeakers, it’s the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Need a smartphone with a large display? The Huawei P40 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra can certainly deliver in that aspect but offer different viewing experiences.
For the P40 Pro, it has a 6.58-inch Quad-curve Overflow OLED display with an FHD+ 2640 x 1200 resolution or equal to 441ppi, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, has a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED with a WQHD+ 3200 x 1440 resolution or equal to 511ppi, and a 120Hz refresh rate at FHD+.
Given the specs, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a larger screen, higher resolution, and smoother refresh rate, which translates to a greater viewing experience compared to the P40 Pro. Not to mention, it also has a smaller hole-punch, which is less distracting.
The P40 Pro and Galaxy S20 Ultra are some of the best camera smartphones in the market. Both have quad-rear camera setups but differ in implementation, as you can see below:
|Huawei P40 Pro||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
|50MP F1.9, RYYB, Octa PDAF, OIS (main)||108MP F1.8 (main)|
|40MP F1.8 (ultra-wide)||12MP F2.2 (ultra-wide)|
|12MP F3.4, RYYB, 5x Optical, 10x Hybrid, 50x Digital, OIS (periscope telephoto)||48MP F3.4, 10x Hybrid Optical, 100x Digital (telephoto)|
|ToF 3D camera||ToF 3D camera|
Looking at the specs, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a higher main camera and telephoto camera resolution. The P40 Pro, on the other hand, has a higher ultra-wide camera resolution. In terms of zoom capabilities, the P40 Pro starts at 5x optical up to 50x digital zoom, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at 10x hybrid optical zoom, up to 100x digital zoom.
Feature-wise, the P40 Pro has AI Portrait Studio for nice looking portrait shots, AI Best Moment that makes sure that you captured the best photo possible, AI Remove Passerby that removes “photobombers” for a photo with a cleaner background, AI Remove Reflection so you can still capture clearer photos even from behind the glass, Directional Audio Zoom, and Ultra Slow Motion videos at 7,860fps.
For the Galaxy S20 Ultra, it has 8K video snap so you can get 33MP images from an 8K video recording, Single Take Mode which lets you shoot for up to 10 seconds and get back a variety of formats, HDR10+ video recording, 960fps slow-motion video, AR Doodle, Quick Measure, and 3D Scanner.
However, the higher the number of pixels and zoom range in a camera doesn’t guarantee that it’s the best. Let’s take a look at the samples below.
Huawei P40 Pro:
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra:
Looking at the samples, you can tell that the quality is different on both devices, depending on the scenario. In the skyline shot, the Galaxy S20 Ultra seems to have a better dynamic range and richer colors. For the night shot of the buildings and Spider-Man, the P40 Pro delivered greater quality as the scenes are more illuminated with lesser noise.
For the shots of the succulents in macro and close-up, the Galaxy S20 Ultra seems sharper at first glance, but it looks oversharpened and unnatural, unlike the ones on the P40 Pro.
For the second skyline shot with a building under construction, the shot on the P40 Pro looks clearer and cleaner, which can be observed when zooming in the photos.
As for the final shot of cooking utensils, the P40 Pro was able to handle white balance well and looks more natural than the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
When it comes to the front camera, the P40 Pro uses a 32MP AF F2.2 main camera with an IR Depth sensor for selfies with better-blurred backgrounds. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, uses a 40MP F2.2 camera.
Overall, the P40 Pro wins, but we’ll discuss more of the camera quality of both devices in our upcoming blind comparison, so stay tuned for that.
But if you don’t want to take our word for it, the P40 series is an awardee of the TIPA World Awards 2020 for Best Photo Smartphone, while the Huawei P40 Pro is currently the leader in DXOMark’s mobile rankings.
Powering the P40 Pro is Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G octa-core CPU with a Mali-G76 MP16 GPU. The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G in the Philippines, on the other hand, uses a Samsung Exynos 990 with Mali-G77 MP11 GPU. Both devices perform great, especially when it comes to handling heavy tasks like photography and gaming. But if you want to see their difference in performance, you can check the benchmark scores below.
|Huawei P40 Pro||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
|Geekbench 5||750 (Single core)||913 (Single-core)|
|2,936 (Multi-core)||2,746 (Multi-core)|
|PCMark||9,386 (Work 2.0)||10,380 (Work 2.0)|
|3D Mark SSE||5,598 (OpenGL ES 3.1)||6,555 (OpenGL ES 3.1)|
|5,416 (SSE Vulcan)||5,949 (Vulkan)|
|AndroBench||1,759 MB/s (Seq. Read)||1,527 MB/s (Seq. Read)|
|396 MB/s (Seq. Write)||655 MB/s (Seq. Write)|
Looking at the results, the Galaxy S20 Ultra scored higher in most benchmarks but not by a mile and can be considered to be in the same range. Most users won’t notice such a difference in performance. Although, we can commend the S20 Ultra for having a faster write speed than the P40.
In this case, I’ll still give points on both.
In terms of RAM capacity, the P40 Pro in the Philippines is only offered with 8GB of RAM. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, is only offered in 12GB. The winner is the Galaxy S20 Ultra for having a higher capacity.
Like in the RAM, storage is also limited with the P40 Pro only offered in 256GB, which can be expanded up to 256GB using Huawei’s NM Card. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, is only offered in 128GB with support for up to 1TB microSD cards. The P40 Pro is the winner for having a larger capacity.
For the capacity, the P40 Pro has a 4,200mAh battery with 40W Fast Charging, 27W Wireless Charging, and Wireless Reverse Charge. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, has a 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, and Wireless PowerShare.
For the battery life, we can take a look at the PCMark battery benchmark results below:
• P40 Pro, FHD+, 60Hz –14 hours and 23 minutes
• P40 Pro, FHD+, 90Hz — 12 hours and 45 minutes
• Galaxy S20 Ultra, FHD+, 60Hz — 13 hours and 11 minutes
• Galaxy S20 Ultra, FHD+, 120Hz — 10 hours and 15 minutes
Although the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a larger battery capacity, the P40 Pro provides the best battery life based on the results.
The Huawei P40 Pro comes with EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 with Huawei Mobile Services with App Gallery. No Google Mobile Services means you won’t see any Google apps pre-installed, but you can still use the top Android apps in the market. For the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, it has One UI 2.0 based on Android 10 with Google Mobile Services with Google Play Store in addition to the Galaxy Store.
Both operating systems also have their unique features. For the P40 Pro, EMUI 10.1 offers EMUI Desktop Mode, Celia assistant, Huawei Share, Multi-Device Control Panel, Multi-Screen Collaboration, Huawei MeeTime, Multi-window, Cross-device Gallery, PrivateSpace, App Lock and Password Vault, to name a few.
For the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the OneUI 2.1 has Samsung DeX, Samsung Knox, Link To Windows, Secure Folder, Quick Share, Smart View, Music Share, Samsung Kids, Bixby Assistant, Bixby Routines, Direct Share, Samsung Pass, and Samsung Blockchain Keystore, to name a few.
As you can see, both platforms have their own unique features and advantages. Although the Galaxy S20 right GMS immediately available, there’s a way to install GMS on the P40 Pro using this method, and top apps can still be sideloaded and run perfectly on it. Not to mention, Huawei is aggressively growing the AppGallery catalog, so you’ll see more apps there as time progresses. In this case, I’ll give points to both.
The Huawei P40 Pro 5G (8GB + 256GB) is priced at PHP 50,990, while the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (12GB + 128GB) is at PHP 69,990. That’s a PHP 19,000 difference!
• Design and Build — P40 Pro, Galaxy S20 Ultra
• Display — Galaxy S20 Ultra
• Camera — P40 Pro
• Processor — P40 Pro, Galaxy S20 Ultra
• RAM — Galaxy S20 Ultra
• Storage — P40 Pro
• Battery Life — P40 Pro
• OS — Galaxy S20 Ultra, P40 Pro
• Price — P40 Pro
Looking at the final scores, the P40 Pro scored 7 out of 9 categories, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra is not far behind with 5 out of 9. Although the Galaxy S20 Ultra is an impressive phone, the P40 Pro bested it in most categories, especially in the price part.
So, if you’re on a hunt for a 5G-enabled smartphone with amazing cameras and a competitive price tag, get the Huawei P40 Pro.