Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Which is best for me?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Both Samsung and Huawei have entered some undeniably enticing smartphones into the market this year and we compared two of their best; the Galaxy S8 and the P10 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Design

Huawei has poured a lot of time and effort into bringing its high-end handsets up to snuff in order to compete with the more established brands and the P10 Plus is an appealing effort indeed. It bears more than a passing resemblance to one iPhone 7 Plus but that’s not exactly a trait unique to Huawei’s design language.

As the name suggests the Plus is a larger version of the vanilla P10, offering the same pillowed-glass front, rounded metal unibody and comes in an array of colours and finishes including one striking green option.

Samsung’s new top dog bends the rules with its new Infinity Display, which uses an unconventional aspect ratio to push to the fringes of the phone’s front. As such you get a bigger screen than the larger-bodied P10 Plus within a body that’s notably shorter, narrower, lighter and as such, easier to hold.

The S8 is comprised of glass that curves in at its edges on either side but such a material choice means that it feels decidedly more fragile in the hand than the metal-bodied Huawei. That specialised screen also forced Samsung to relocate its fingerprint sensor to the phone’s back, making it somewhat less convenient and less comfortable to use than its predecessor or the one found beneath the display on the P10 Plus.

To make up for it, the S8 boasts IP68-certified dust and water resistance making it hardier in everyday use. Try subjecting the P10 to the same levels of moisture and you’ll be consigning it to an early, soggy grave.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Screens and media

The 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS-NEO LCD of the P10 Plus packs in more pixels than most of Huawei’s previous smartphones and outpaces the Full HD effort of its smaller sibling too but falls short of the mark when placed alongside the Quad HD+ Super AMOLED ‘Infinity Display’ used by the S8.

Samsung has ensured that its new flagship has one of the most pixel-rich and vibrant screens on the market whilst also adding in Mobile HDR Premium certification to future-proof it beyond the viewing capabilities of the P10 Plus by some margin. Add to that an always-on feature for added convenience too.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: OS

Huawei’s Emotion UI 5.0 was somewhat of a breakthrough iteration of the company’s Android overlay and the 5.1 revision running on the Nougat-powered P10 and P10 Plus is better still. It offers meaningful personalisation features and automated background optimisation tools designed to keep the phone feeling fluid for the duration of its lifespan.

Check out our full EMUI 5 review for more info.

By comparison, Samsung’s latest TouchWiz skin boasts a new aesthetic style that you’ll either love or hate, even if it is undeniably fluid and intuitive to navigate. The S8 also debuts Samsung’s new Bixby assistant which right now isn’t likely to offer all that much for the average user, at least not until the voice component arrives later in 2017.

There are some handy extras available to S8 owners right now, however, like a performance manager, gaming tools and Samsung Connect, which lets you controlling your smarthome devices irrespective of brand, make or model.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Performance and battery

The Kirin 960 processor powering the P10 Plus actually made its debut on 2016’s Huawei Mate 9 but it’s still no slouch almost five months on. It doesn’t benchmark as highly as Samsung’s even newer Exynos 8895 SoC but you’ll find comparatively smooth performance from both flagships right now. We suspect that the S8 might age more gracefully, but those EMUI 5.1 automated optimisation features still have time to prove us wrong.

Samsung’s chipset is scoring at around the same level as Qualcomm’s new flagship 835 processor and backed up by 4GB ensures that the S8 is quick to boot up, fluid when navigating around the UI or multitasking and offers the smoothest VR experience from the company so far.

As for battery tech, the larger P10 Plus benefits from a higher-capacity 3750mAh cell with the latest generation of Huawei’s own SuperCharge tech, boasting a day’s worth of power from just 30 minutes plugged in and a full charge in 90

With more pixels and a smaller 3000mAh cell, the S8 doesn’t offer quite the same longevity, comfortably giving up a full day’s use but not much more. It too uses proprietary fast-charging tech of Samsung’s own design, but despite the smaller battery actually takes longer to fill back up than the P10 Plus. At least the phone also supports wireless and fast wireless charging for added convenience.

On the storage front, it’s a dead heat; with 64GB of internal space and microSD expandability up to 256GB whichever phone you side with.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Cameras

The P10 Plus offers the best example of the company’s co-engineered Leica smartphone camera tech. A dual-lens 12/20-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, OIS and 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus, with next to zero shutter lag and 4K video recording makes for a winning combination without question.

You also get RAW capture, manual control and some unique shooting modes like light trail as well as exclusive filters courtesy of Leica.

By comparison, the S8’s single-sensor 12-megapixel effort doesn’t sound all that different from the snapper found on last year’s S7. Samsung has managed to remove the hump so the module sits flush to the phone’s back, just like the P10 Plus’ but take a gander at actual image quality and you can see where Samsung’s efforts have really gone.

A wider aperture means you’ll get better low light shots with less noise from the S8 and aside from those exclusive modes, it matches the P10 Plus for technical ability thanks to OIS, EIS and dual focus pixel technology. It also doles out consistently stronger looking stills and video and there are also Snapchat-style overlays for a bit of fun with your selfies.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Huawei P10 Plus: Verdict

Huawei’s P10 Plus is a great Android-powered iPhone lookalike with talents in photography, software optimisation and battery technology and at £649 makes for the more affordable choice.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is around £40 more expensive SIM-free but it’s also the more impressive handset for a number of reasons. Both make for great smartphones right now, but over the term of your average contract, we’d side with Samsung’s more cutting-edge handset.

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