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Battle of the large smartphones: Samsung Galaxy Note9, Huawei P20 Pro and the future iPhone X Plus

Battle of the large smartphones: Samsung Galaxy Note9, Huawei P20 Pro and the future iPhone X Plus

The launch of the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 on Friday (Aug 10) prompted us to compare it with the Huawei P20 Pro, another large smartphone (6.1-inch display) with a powerhouse AI camera. And, hot on the heels of the launch of the Note9 are rumours that Apple will release an iPhone X Plus that’s significantly larger than the iPhone X this year – which means that it will probably also join the league of smartphones with a display that’s wider than 6″.

At 6.4 inches, the Note9 is 0.1″ wider than the Note8.

The display screens of the Galaxy Note9 and Huawei P20 Pro aren’t the only “big” thing about them; they’re both retailing at more than a thousand Sing-dollars each. The Galaxy Note9 with 512GB built-in memory will retail at almost $2k – $1,728 to be exact – making it Samsung’s most expensive smartphone to date. The Huawei P20 Pro, only available at 128GB built-in memory, retails at $1,148. (Huawei’s most expensive model, the Porsche Design Mate RS, costs more than $3,000, but let’s talk about designer phones another day.)

Boasting a camera with advanced intelligence features, the Galaxy Note9 will really give the Huawei P20 Pro a run for its money. It has a flaw detection feature which lets users know if there is something wrong with their shot. A notification will appear if the image is blurry, if the dual aperture lens is smudged, if the subject in the image blinked, or if the subject is backlit.

A notification will pop up if your subject's eyes are closed in the picture.

A notification will pop up if your subject’s eyes are closed in the picture.

When this writer tested the camera of the Galaxy Note9 at Samsung’s first-looks media session held at the Gardens by the Bay on Friday morning, the images were indeed “stunning, life-like… bold… and dynamic” as the press release promised. When compared with the same subject taken with this writer’s own Huawei P20 Pro, the picture on the Note9 seemed sharper and brighter. That said, the Huawei P20 Pro’s camera has more megapixels, but we know that more megapixels doesn’t necessarily equate to better photos.

Advanced noise reduction technology makes pictures look brighter and clearer.

Advanced noise reduction technology makes pictures look brighter and clearer.

Photographers will appreciate that the Galaxy Note9 is available in two internal storage options AND has an additional slot for a microSD card (up to 512GB). Neither the Huawei P20 Pro nor the existing iPhone X has expandable storage.

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Other than the amazing camera on the Galaxy Note9, another upgraded feature of the phone is the S Pen, a signature of the Note series. It’s now cylindrical, and equipped with Bluetooth Low-Energy support, which transforms the S Pen from stylus to remote control. It can now take selfies with a click, present slides, pause and play videos, and more. And when you use the S Pen to write when the screen is off, the writing will be the same colour as the S Pen! (Yellow, blue, white available, I think.)

Writing comes out yellow with the yellow S Pen on the Galaxy Note9.

Writing comes out yellow with the yellow S Pen on the Galaxy Note9.

Neither the Huawei P20 Pro nor the iPhone X can be used with a stylus.

As for appearances, the Galaxy Note9 will be available in Ocean Blue, Metallic Copper and Midnight Black. I personally like the copper, which is very sophisticated and unique. The special colourway of the Huawei P20 Pro is Twilight, and the current iPhone X comes in Silver and Space Gray.

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Specifications of the Galaxy Note9:

 

Comparison of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 against Huawei P20 Pro and iPhone X 2018

Device

Memory

Camera

Singapore price and availability

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note9

  • 6GB RAM (LPDDR4), 128GB + MicroSD slot
  • 8GB RAM (LPDDR4), 512GB + MicroSD slot
Rear: Dual camera with dual optical image stabilisation, 12MP (wide angle F1.5/F2.4) + 12MP (telephoto, F2.4), 2x optical zoom, up to 10x optical zoom
Front: 8MP, autofocus, F1.7 
  • $1,398
  • $1,728

25 August 2018

HUAWEI P20 Pro

128GB + 6GB RAM

Rear: Leica triple lens, 40MP (RGB, F1.8) + 20MP (monochrome, F1.6) + 8MP (telephoto, F2.4)
Front: 24MP, fixed focal length, F2.0

$1,148, 7 April 2018

iPHONE X (2018)

Unknown. Current iPhone X capacity is at 64GB or 256GB

Rear: Dual camera with dual optical image stabilisation, 12MP (wide angle F1.8) + 12MP (telephoto, F2.4), 5x digital zoom
Front: 7MP, F2.2

Unknown. Current price is $1,648 to $1,888. Maybe Apple will announce on 11 or 12 Sep

Samsung introduced three devices on Friday morning, starting with the Galaxy Note9 smartphone, which opened for pre-order at 3pm on the same day. The other two new devices are the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch, which are respectively slated for release in Q3 and Q4 this year.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes in three new colour finishes.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch comes in three new colour finishes: Silver, Rose Gold and Midnight Black.

The rose gold Samsung Galaxy Watch looks great paired with the Metallic Copper Galaxy Note9.

The rose gold Samsung Galaxy Watch looks great paired with the Metallic Copper Galaxy Note9.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 sports narrower bezels than the S3.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 sports narrower bezels than the S3.

You can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note9 at any of the major telcos, the Samsung Store online, selected Samsung Experience Stores, major consumer electronics and IT stores and Lazada Singapore. In fact, Samsung is running a very attractive promotion where consumers who successfully purchase the 128GB Galaxy Note9 will be entitled to a free upgrade (worth $330), to 512GB, when they collect or receive their handset from 22 August 2018 onwards.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note9 will be officially available from 25 August 2018.

About The Author

Rachel Chan

Rachel is a media content strategist who started her career in traditional TV and newsprint companies. She has 10 years of writing experience under her belt and is currently the editor of entertainment website thepoppingpost.com.

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