Huawei Mate 10 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Which is best?

Does the latest Pro-level Mate take Samsung's big-phone throne?

Nobody is making stylish, high-end phones quite like Samsung right now, although Apple's iPhone X and Google's Pixel 2 XL are trying mightily to take the crown away from the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

And here's another big contender: Huawei's Mate 10 Pro. Last year's Mate 9 Pro looked strikingly like a Galaxy S7 Edge, but this year's edition embraces the extra-tall screen trend and sheds quite a bit of bezel accordingly.

By and large, it keeps with the large flagship standards with some tweaks, going big in some areas while paring down in others. All told, if you're looking for a top-end phone with a huge screen, is the Mate 10 Pro really worth considering over the Galaxy S8 Plus?

Now that we've completed our Mate 10 Pro review, here's how this battle shakes out.

Design: Aping Samsung's style

Like the Galaxy S8, Pixel 2 XL, and LG G6, the Mate 10 Pro has embraced a nearly all-screen face with less bezel all around. It's a little flashier than the surprisingly straightforward Pixel 2 XL from the front, but not quite on the level of Samsung. And the tiny Huawei logo below the screen is a bit of an eyesore. Are we really still doing front-facing branding in 2017?

Actually, they look rather similar at a glance. But Samsung did it first, and the Galaxy S8 Plus is still the leader of the design pack here. The Infinity Display takes up 85% of the face, which means there's barely any bezel at all around the curved screen and just a bit on the top and bottom, which artfully blend in well with the display.

Both of these glass-and-metal phones look and feel plenty premium, but the Galaxy has more style with its little flourishes, including the rounded edges on the top and bottom and the curved display.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Screen: A clear decision

Samsung's Galaxy flagships consistently boast the best-looking screens on the market, and that's definitely been the case again with the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Galaxy Note 8. They're absolutely stunning Quad HD AMOLED displays at a taller-than-average 18.5:9 aspect ratio, and the S8 Plus does it at 6.2in (2960x1440) without feeling too overwhelming in size thanks to the dimensions.

Meanwhile, the Mate 10 Pro goes for a 6in panel at a close 18:9 aspect ratio, also AMOLED, but there's a key difference here: it's only a 1080p panel at 2160x1080. That's fine, certainly, but there's a slight degradation in clarity compared to the pixel-packed Galaxy S8 Plus screen. It's still a very nice display, but sharper really is better here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Camera: One or both?

With the Mate 10 Pro, Huawei stuck with the pairing of a 12-megapixel main sensor and 20MP monochrome sensor from the great P10 and even better P10 Plus, albeit now with f/1.6 aperture lenses for both.

That tweak lets in extra light and makes for much better low-light results, and only the LG V30 matches it on that front. It also has phase detection and laser autofocus, and everything seemed super speedy in our usage – thanks in part to an A.I. assist that recognises what you point at and adjusts accordingly to ensure the best possible shot. Snapping a picture of a dog, or maybe your dinner? The Mate 10 Pro can figure that out with its A.I. smarts.

As with the P10 models, the results can look a bit overly processed at times, but whether you like that or not is up to your own preference. By and large, though, it takes excellent photos.

Samsung also has one of the best smartphone snappers in the world right now with the Galaxy S8 Plus – but not the best, as we decided in August and have since declared anew with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It's a single 12MP shooter on the back with a f/1.7 aperture lens, optical image stabilisation, and dual-pixel autofocus, plus some crafty processing to help you snag brilliant shots.

Thanks to multi-frame image processing, the phone can take a trio of snaps with a single tap, and then immediately blend them to give you one brilliant result without delay. Great contrast and colouring ensure that images stay true-to-life here.

Both phones turn out pretty fantastic shots most of the time, but neither stands tall as the absolute best on the market right now. We haven't had a chance to get these phones into a proper shootout just yet, but for now, we're calling it a draw - you'll do well with either of these.

Winner: Draw

1
2