Posted on March 12, 2018

Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have finally been introduced, making their debut at the annual Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. But, will Samsung’s latest launch unpack a worthy contender in the war of the Android smartphones?

We look at how the Samsung Galaxy S9+ compares with one of its main competitors, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, one of the most innovative and powerful smartphones available on the market. Heralding a new decade of smartphone development, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro devices deliver the ultimate intelligent experience and AI-powered intelligent camera by providing more comprehensive mobile intelligence.

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Innovation or upgrade?

At first glance, there's no visible difference between the Galaxy S9 and S9+ and its predecessors, the Galaxy S8 and S8+. On the surface, the new phone appears to be an S8 or S8+ with a few modifications, such as shifting the fingerprint sensor to sit below the camera and away from its previously flawed location on the side. There's no change in the S9+'s screen size or resolution either, with the same 6.2-inch Amoled display and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio as the S8+.

Of course, the processor is faster – the bare minimum spec upgrade expected - but at 2.8GHz versus the S8+'s 2.3 GHz, it's the minimum expected jump and not too far from the Mate 10’s 2.4 GHz, either. However, Huawei one major advantage over the Galaxy S9 – it’s Kirin 970 chipset. The Kirin 970, Huawei’s new smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC), combines an 8-core CPU, a new generation 12-core GPU, and a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to power AI computing. The performance of the Kirin 970 offers users a significantly faster intelligent experience and the NPU is unparalleled, with 25 times that of a CPU and 50 times the efficiency of a CPU.

Lights, camera, action!

Samsung's biggest upgrade, the company claims, is its "camera re-imagined". It has only now introduced a powerful 12 MP dual aperture camera, which means it can move between an f/1.5 or f/2.4 aperture. Features also include phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilizer (OIS) and LED flash. But, here's where Huawei dominates beyond the imagination. Not only does its Leica-camera equipped device have a dual camera, both are fitted with f/1.6 aperture lenses to capture more light for low-light photography – already a first for dual-camera smartphones. Moreover, the Mate 10’s second camera comes with a 20MP monochrome sensor, which makes it possible to up the photos snapped at 12M to 20 MP quality.

However, one element the new Samsung Galaxy S9+ is missing is true innovation. And that’s where Huawei steps in.Huawei's Mate 10 Pro brings to life the first intelligent camera – a true smartphone innovation. It's not just about hardware, the Mate 10 Pro's Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered real-time scene and object recognition with real-time auto settings enables the camera to automatically adjust and choose settings to help users capture better photographs in a range of different environments. It also captures detailed AI-powered Bokeh Effect for a more natural and detailed transition between the background and subject and the AI-powered Digital Zoom of up to six to 10x brings far-off text into clearer focus.

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Would you rather be smart or intelligent?

The Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S9+both have the same 3,500 mAh powerful battery capacity, while Huawei’s Kirin 970 processor chip holds a 4,000 mAh battery that can charge the phone to 58% in just 30 minutes. Again, the Mate 10 Pro isn't just about the specifications - but rather intelligent management of its resources through its advanced AI-powered battery management technology to maximize power efficiency and increase battery life.

Conclusion: Too little, too late.

As most reviews have highlighted, the Galaxy S9+ does not capture true innovation, but is an improved and more powerful version of the Galaxy S8+. It is not a strong contender when compared with Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, which has shown true masterful innovation and made the first leap from the smart era to herald in the AI revolution. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro wins the comparison in our eyes.