Huawei P30 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S10+: Which is best?

Two huge 2019 super-phones enter the arena

We've already seen quite a few new handsets debut in 2019, and two of the largest – and we're talking physically as well as in terms of hype – are the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Huawei P30 Pro.

Both improve upon their predecessors, with Samsung embracing a new punch-hole cutout to avoid a notch in the screen, while Huawei shrinks its own notch and adds a fourth back camera for amazing 10x zoom tricks.

They're two of the most compelling super-premium options for the first half of the year, but which is more worth your nearly-thousand quid? Here's what we think for now, after reviewing both of these massive superstars.

Design: Toss-up

Put both of these phones in front of a group of people and we bet they'll split opinion. Both of these handsets are beautiful, but as mentioned above, they take different paths.

The Galaxy S10+ has that hole-punch cutout in the upper right corner, but this one has two cameras instead of once. That makes the cutout a fair bit wider and more obtrusive, to boot. However, the end result is still pretty alluring, with nearly the full face of the phone covered by that big, beautiful screen. Meanwhile, the P30 Pro goes for a small teardrop notch, although the chin at the bottom looks a bit larger.

On the back, the P30 Pro has the edge on flash with new gradient colours, including the dazzling Amber Sunrise. The Galaxy S10+ has a nice reflective allure, as well, but it's not quite as distinctive as what Huawei has on offer.

Verdict: Draw

Screen: Certainly Samsung

This one is a slam dunk for Samsung. The Galaxy S10+ has one of the most stunning smartphone displays on the market today: a 6.4in Dynamic AMOLED panel at Quad HD resolution. Samsung usually leads the charge on mobile displays, and that's as true as ever today with this super-bright beast.

Meanwhile, Huawei stuck with a 1080p AMOLED panel for the P30 Pro, which comes in a smidge larger at 6.47in. Even though it still looks very good, it loses out on sharpness to Samsung here. Huawei had not shot of beating Samsung in this category. By the way, both of these phones offer an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Verdict: Samsung Galaxy S10+

Camera: Three? Four? How about 10x?

Samsung finally embraced a triple-camera setup with the Galaxy S10+, and Huawei – bless their hearts – added one more camera on top of that. We love that kind of absurd one-upmanship.

And we might all love the results. Samsung opted against building in any kind of extreme zoom, instead offering wide-angle, telephoto, and seriously ultra-wide views with its 12MP/12MP/16MP array. The results are pretty stunning overall.

But the Huawei P30 Pro not only snaps brilliant shots - it can also hit a staggering 10x zoom, and it keeps a shocking amount of detail at that distance. It has 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP sensors, as well as a new time-of-flight camera for added depth detail. This is where the P30 Pro clearly outranks any other handset toay.

On the front, the Galaxy S10+ has two cameras while the P30 Pro has one, but that gets a big shrug from us. Can we shoot decent selfies? Cool, we're set then.

Verdict: Huawei P30 Pro

Performance: Plenty of speed

The Galaxy S10+ uses Samsung's own Exynos 9820 chip in Europe and elsewhere, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 in the States. Meanwhile, the P30 Pro uses Huawei's Kirin 980 chip previously seen in the Mate 20 Pro.

Geekbench suggests nearly-identical multi-core benchmark scores between the Exynos in S10+ and the Kirin 980 in the Mate 20 Pro, while the Exynos has a solid advantage in single-core testing. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 855 blows past both of them in multi-core testing, but falls behind the Exynos in single-core testing and isn't far above the Kirin 980.

End result? All of these chips are plenty fast and you shouldn't have any complaints running the latest and greatest apps and games. Both phones also ship with 8GB RAM to help things along, although the Galaxy S10+ has a Performance Edition with 12GB.

Verdict: Draw

Battery and perks: Mixed results

The Galaxy S10+ and P30 Pro are close on battery capacity, with 4,100mAh in the Samsung and 4,200mAh in the Huawei. However, in our testing, the Galaxy S10+ didn't last quite as long as the Mate 20 Pro, which has the same-size battery capacity as the P30 Pro. The P30 Pro fares better and can last you into day two, depending on how hard you pound it.

Both offer up wireless charging and both have reverse charging, as well, letting you charge other wirelessly-chargeable phones or accessories on the back.

When it comes to storage, you can get the Galaxy S10+ in 128GB and 512GB varieties, plus there's a Performance Edition with 1TB of internal storage. The P30 Pro, meanwhile, comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB editions, and accepts Huawei's Nano Memory cards for additional storage. The Galaxy S10+ takes microSD cards for the same purpose.

Samsung has a notable perk with the Gear VR headset, meanwhile, as you can strap the Galaxy S10+ into the headset shell and play VR games and apps. It also has a 3.5mm headphone port, which the P30 Pro still lacks.

Verdict: Draw

Verdict: It's a close call

We reviewed the Galaxy S10+ and came away impressed – but it didn't earn our full five-star recommendation. It has brilliant features, such as its Dynamic AMOLED screen and triple-camera setup, but we think it could use some software enhancements.

As for the P30 Pro, Samsung might have it beat on screen quality, but Huawei's mind-blowing zoom capabilities will and should be enough to sell this phone to a whole lot of people. There's just nothing like it out there, and it's an absolute delight to play with.

Both are really great handsets, and both warrant the £899 if you're more into one over the other. Ultimately, though, anyone that puts a premium on smartphone snapping shouldn't pass up the Huawei P30 Pro and its amazing camera capabilities.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro