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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has announced its third flagship smartphone in the form of the Galaxy Note 9. There was plenty of speculation surrounding the device but now the details are official so how does it compare to the current competition?

Here we are running the Galaxy Note 9 specifications up against the Huawei P20 Pro to see how the devices differ.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Design

  • Both premium, glass and waterproof
  • Note 9 has Bluetooth-enabled S Pen
  • Note 9 has 3.5mm headphone jack

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Note 8, with a premium, waterproof, glass build. It measures 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm and weighs 201g.

There is a dual camera on the rear with a fingerprint sensor positioned below it and the Infinity Display dominates the front, offering a curved screen with very minimal bezels.

Four colour finishes are available including Ocean Blue that is accompanied by a yellow S Pen, Lavender Purple, Metallic Copper and Midnight Black, and the S Pen stylus is now Bluetooth-enabled this time round. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Huawei P20 Pro also has a premium design, with a glass finish that extremely striking in some colour options. There is a triple camera lens setup on the rear, coupled with a notched display and minimal bezels on the front, as well as a fingerprint sensor below the display.

There are a few different colour options available, including Black, Midnight Blue and the fantastic Twilight but the P20 Pro doesn't offer a stylus. In terms of footprint, it's slightly smaller and slimmer than the Note 9, measuring 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm and weighing a little less at 180g.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Display

  • Note 9 slightly larger display
  • Note 9 has higher resolution
  • Both OLED

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display panel with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio offering minimal bezels.

It sports a Quad HD+ resolution, which results in a pixel density of 516ppi and it comes with support for Mobile HDR.

The Huawei P20 Pro features a 6.1-inch FullView OLED display with a 18.7:8 aspect ratio so you'll get minimal bezels on this device too. There is a notch at the top of the display with the P20 Pro, something you won't find on the Note 9, but it can be hidden with software for a seamless look.

In terms of resolution, the P20 Pro opts for Full HD+, which results in a pixel density of 408ppi, meaning the display is slightly softer than the Note 9. That said, the Note 9 defaults to Full HD+ anyway like the Galaxy S9+ does so you might not notice too much difference.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Camera

  • Note 9 has dual rear camera
  • P20 Pro has triple camera
  • Both should deliver great results

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with the same camera as the Galaxy S9+ so you can expect some excellent results. The rear dual camera is made up of two 12-megapixel lenses offering dual aperture and dual OIS.

On the front, there is an 8-megapixel snapper with iris scanning. Samsung has also added AR Emoji to the Note 9, a feature that was introduced on the S9+ and there is AI tech for optimising images based on the scene, as well as a flaw detector feature.

The Huawei P20 Pro meanwhile, features a 40-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor arranged together in a bump and the results are absolutely brilliant.

There is also a third 8-megapixel sensor on the rear of the P20 Pro, offering 3x optical zoom but it can also be combined with the 40-megapixel sensor to offer 5x Hybrid zoom. On the front, the P20 Pro features a 24-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Hardware

  • Similar hardware capabilities
  • Both 4000mAh batteries
  • MicroSD and 3.5mm headphone jack on Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor or the latest Exynos chip, depending on the region. There is 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, along with a 4000mAh battery.

The Note 9 also places a big focus on audio, with 'Tuned by AKG' headphones coming in the box, plugging into the 3.5mm headphone jack. As mentioned, the Note 9 also comes with the S Pen stylus, which is Bluetooth-enabled this time round and can also act as a remote control for taking selfies, presenting slides or pausing and playing music, among other things.

The Huawei P20 Pro meanwhile, runs on the Kirin 970 processor, supported by 6GB and 128GB of storage. There is no microSD support, which the Note 9 offers, but there is a huge 4000mAh battery on board.

The P20 Pro doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, nor does it offer a stylus of any description, but the day-to-day performance is likely to be very much on par with the Note 9 in terms of hardware, unless you opt for the 8GB RAM model, in which case the Note 9 is likely to be better for some tasks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Software

  • Note 9 is Android Oreo + Samsung Experience UX
  • P20 Pro is Android Oreo + EMUI

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launches on Android Oreo with Samsung's Experience UX over the top. The latest version of Bixby, Samsung's personal assistant is on the device and you'll also get all the additional features offered with the S Pen.

The Huawei P20 Pro runs on Android Oreo but with the EMUI skin over the top, meaning both these devices offer their own software experiences.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Price and availability


Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 is available to pre-order from 10 August, before hitting shelves on 24 August. It starts at £899/$1000, jumping up to £1099/$1250 for the higher storage capacity.

The Huawei P20 Pro is available now and costs £799, making it quite a bit cheaper.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 2 August 2018.