Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Galaxy Note 9: Which big phone is better?
The Mate 20 Pro and Note 9 are two big phones with powerful internals, impressive camera arrays, and price-tags that’ll likely make you baulk. Not sure which one is right for you? With both super-sized smartphones now on the market, we examine the Mate 20 Pro vs Galaxy Note 9’s specs and dissect the key differences to help you decide.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Galaxy Note 9: Big specs, even bigger displays
Huawei has certainly taken a lot of inspiration from Samsung for its latest phone. The Mate 20 curves like the Note 9, sandwiching a metal rim between two panels of glass. Both look great and feel very modern with a thin bezel and varying colour options.
Both also use OLED for their displays, meaning excellent contrast and proper support for HDR playback. These are two gorgeous panels that are perfect for viewing snaps or watching videos. And at 6.4-inches (Note 9) and 6.39-inches (Mate 20 Pro) they are very similar in size.
One big difference is the addition of a notch on the Mate 20’s display. This small display cutout allows for a thin bezel, but juts out slightly into the screen. Personally, we’d take the extra bezel and lose the notch.
Tucked inside the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED panel is an in-display fingerprint sensor, replacing the traditional rear-mounted sensor you’ll find on the Note 9. Both phones share facial unlocking though, with the Mate 20 Pro using 3D depth sensing and the Note 9 authenticating via your retinas.
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Neither phone is short on power, even though the Mate 20 Pro uses a newer chipset. That’s the 7nm Kirin 980 as opposed to the 10nm Snapdragon 845/Exynos 9810 Samsung has used since the Galaxy S9. Having a 7nm chipset allows for more transistors to be placed inside, giving you better performance in a more efficient package. RAM is 6GB for both (version with 8GB are available) and storage begins at 128GB. Interestingly, only the Note 9 has microSD support with Huawei instead using its own nano SD cards here.
Big phones tend to have big batteries and that’s certainly the case here. Samsung has packed a 4000 mAh cell inside the Note 9, with Huawei upping that slightly to 4200 mAh. Both have wireless charging and fast charging via USB too. The Mate 20 should charge faster, thanks to the 40w plug inside the box. Huawei claims you’ll get 70% charge in just over 30 minutes, which is a lot than we got with the Note 9.
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Both Huawei and Samsung have struggled with getting quick Android updates out in the past and if you pick up the Note 9 today it’ll still have Android 8.1 on it. Pick up a Mate 20 Pro and you’ll find Android 9 Pie, even if it covered in EMUI.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Galaxy Note 9: A clear focus on the camera
On the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 there are two cameras, with the Mate 20 Pro packing three.
Let’s talk about the Mate 20 Pro first, as it’s arguably the more interesting device in terms of camera. The main sensor is 40-megapixels with an f/1.8 aperture; with a 20-megapixel ultrawide and 8-megapixel telephoto flanking it. The camera itself uses a lot of AI-smarts and will alter your snaps dependant on the surroundings. This AI is also used for stabilisation and we’re expecting great things as a similar system worked fantastically well on the Huawei P20 Pro.
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Around the front the Mate 20 Pro has a 24-megapixel camera along with a depth sensor.
The two cameras on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comprise of a main 12-megapixel dual-pixel sensor with an aperture that can shift between f/1.5 and f/2.4 and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. In terms of selfies the Note 9 has an 8-megapixel camera.
We love the variety of the Mate 20 and having an ultrawide sensors is great for cramming loads into a shot. Huawei has also included the excellent Night Mode from the P20 Pro, which took excellent low-light shots on Huawei’s previous flagship. We’ve yet to put the Mate 20 Pro through our review process so we’re not sure how it will compare to the Galaxy Note 9.
We do know that the Note 9 takes great snaps, with that typical punch of colour we expect from Samsung’s phones.
Both phones shoot video at 4K and boast plenty of pro modes inside the camera apps.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Galaxy Note 9: Neither is priced as a budget option
Packed with so many features, it’s hardly a surprise neither of phones are cheap. The iPhone X started the near £1000/$1000 phone and both of these devices have followed suit. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 starts at £899/$999 and the Mate 20 Pro costs £899/1049 euros.
Both are currently available to buy in the UK, US, and elsewhere – though shipping dates may vary by retailer or network.
So, Huawei Mate 20 Pro or Samsung Galaxy Note 9? Let us know your opinion on Twitter @TrustedReviews.