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Huawei Mate 10 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8: similar, but...

AndroidPIT galaxy note 8 vs huawei mate 10 pro 2369
© nextpit by Irina Efremova

In light of the Google Pixel 2 XL’s weaknesses, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are arguably competing for the phablet crown in the Android world. Both devices are similar in some respects, but they do differ in fundamental ways. Here is our comparison.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a considerable task: Making up for its predecessor’s abject failure and once again making the Korean manufacturer the be-all and end-all of large smartphones. The ingredients for such have been successful in the past: A large display, quick processor, sleek design and stylus.

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The Galaxy Note 8 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro look very similar on the front. / © NextPit

The circumstances are a bit different for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Its predecessor, the Mate 9, is still considered one of the best smartphones on the market, even though it is still a sort of hidden gem. The Mate 10 Pro sees Huawei foregoing the aluminum design and following the current trend - curved glass, aluminum bezel, thin display edges - together with a true novelty. Its Kirin 970 is one of the first smartphone chips with integrated artificial intelligence.

Glass and Aluminum everywhere

Both smartphones’ designs can be described in very similar terms: Glass on the rear and front, curved on the edges, held together by a sleek aluminum bezel. Plenty of display real estate, small borders, two cameras, and a fingerprint sensor on the rear, but there are definitely differences. Samsung’s unicolor design looks more boring visually than the beautifully shimmering Mate 10 Pro with the strip on the rear, and Huawei did a much better job with the placement of the fingerprint sensor than Samsung. Samsung slightly curves its display around the edges, while Huawei foregoes this, which is a good thing. Elsewhere, this omission doesn’t work out too well, because the Mate 10 Pro no longer has a headphone jack, although the Galaxy Note 8 does, which is a boon for music enthusiasts. All in all, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro looks more modern, consistent and elegant when compared to the Galaxy Note 8.

While design is a matter of taste, you can definitely get a sense of manageability. Although the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is only slightly narrower and thinner, its fluid forms feel better in my hand compared to the Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, which seems clunky. It’s amazing how such minor device body differences on paper can make such strongly noticeable differences in practice. This impression may also have something to do with the weight, since the Mate 10 Pro is significantly lighter than the new Note. On the other hand, the fact that the Samsung smartphone is significantly longer—which is the price you pay for having 0.3 more diagonal display inches—is hardly bothersome.

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The Mate 10 Pro is more manageable than the Galaxy Note 8. / © NextPit

Displays are no problem for Samsung

When it comes to displays, I think that the Galaxy Note 8 comes out on top, and it’s not due to the uselessly curved edges nor the somewhat larger format. The resolution does not necessarily play a role either. Both manufacturers use OLED panels, which Samsung has already been using for a while, whereas this is new territory for Huawei. You can also tell, because the quality of Samsung’s display panel seems a bit higher overall: The colors are more radiant, the brightness is higher, and viewing angle stability is better, and you can mainly tell when you actually place both smartphones alongside each other. This isn't to say that the Huawei display is bad. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Note 8 has the advantage here.

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Samsung is the right choice if you need a stylus. / © NextPit

Naturally, the hard facts should not be swept under the table. One thing is clear: Both smartphones are superbly equipped, have expandable memory, quick processors and more. The Mate 10 Pro’s advantage is its battery capacity and low display resolution, which may help its battery life. In the long run, it will be exciting to make a detailed comparison between the processors - the quick Samsung Exynos 8895 on the one hand and the AI-supported Hisilicon Kirin 970 on the other hand. There’s no qualms about day-to-day performance for both, since there are hardly any faster smartphones nowadays. As a bonus, the Galaxy Note 8 has the S-Pen, which fans no longer wish to do without.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 technical specifications

  Huawei Mate 10 Pro Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Dual cameras are catching on everywhere, with Samsung and Huawei being no exception. Both smartphones take beautiful shots, but have different approaches. Samsung’s second lens offers 2x zoom, Huawei’s Leica camera has its own monochrome sensor for greater details. The advantage of the zoom on the Galaxy Note 8 is clear, 2x is simply not a whole lot and also has disadvantages - when taking portrait photographs with the Bokeh effect, you have to stand relatively far away from the subject to find the right image detail.

In the Mate 10 Pro, AI technology provides automatic image content detection and accordingly adjusts the camera’s parameters and, if you wish, you can also make manual settings. Although a detailed shoot-out between both cameras is still to come, Huawei’s camera offers greater flexibility and potential from a subjective standpoint.

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I’m gravitating toward the Mate over the Note. / © NextPit

The Mate 10 Pro is one step ahead

All things considered, these are two very good smartphones that hardly have any true weaknesses, but Huawei is still slightly ahead in this comparison. This is due to its manageability, exciting platform, up-to-date software and strong battery. The Mate 10 Pro may be an important building block for Huawei’s attack on Samsung’s leading position in the smartphone market, which it has held for years.

Now over to you: which of these two XXL models could become your next smartphone and why?



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  • Matthew Hymer 2
    Matthew Hymer Nov 21, 2017 Link to comment

    If the only thing putting people off the Mate 10 Pro is lack of micro SD and a headphone jack, then simply by the standard Mate 10! It's also got a higher resolution screen, is cheaper and has a proper 16:9 aspect ratio. I know it's not "available" in the UK but you can get it from a decent importer for less than £500...
    Also, on a side note. Mate 10 loud speakers are way better!

  • Stuza 1
    Stuza Nov 6, 2017 Link to comment

    It's really disappointing to see so many authors that are just plain wrong with regards to the H10 Pro.

    First...the first phone was a Mate 9 PRO not the Mate 9.

    Second this is not the first H with an OLED screen, again, reference the Mate 9 PRO

    BTW, Mate 9 PRO also has curves edged screen and tbh, i find it odd that the 10 Pro doesn't.

    Yeap, you guessed it...this response was written on my Mate 9 PRO

  • Matthew 8
    Matthew Nov 6, 2017 Link to comment

    No stylus? No go....

    Nicklas Perssonitprolonden

  • Dave Cooper 1
    Dave Cooper Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

    After doing much reading, it's the Mate 10 Pro for me and I have pre-ordered one.

    The S Pen has always seemed gimmicky to me and doesn't work with the Google office suite of applications, which, being a Chromebook user, I use extensively. Touchwiz, although improved in recent years, is also still a heavy skin.

    • 28
      itprolonden Nov 6, 2017 Link to comment

      I've never had an issue with it.

  • 6
    Robert Dunn Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

    If Huawei's new AI chip can make a huge difference in making the most out of the photos I take of my food every time I'm about to upload them to Instagram, then I will go for that.

  • 4
    Ashok K. Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

    No doubt mate 10 has bigger battery but it remains to be seen how efficient is its kirin processor in battery optimization. Mate 9 I used, was eating lot of battery. Hope this time it's better with the similar battery capacity. Otherwise both phones are top notch. Personal preference may vary on screen size & overall manageability due to the bigger size of the note 8

  • Adrian Scarlett 1
    Adrian Scarlett Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

    "Samsung slightly curves its display around the edges, while Huawei foregoes this, which is a good thing."

    I much prefer the curved edge. Makes it feel way more comfortable in the hand, like a bar of soap. I also prefer the complete blackout of the single colour black version.

    Everyone complains about the fingerprint sensor, but it literally falls exactly under my index finger when in my right hand. Seems perfectly positioned at least to me. If it was in the centre, I'd have to adjust my grip uncomfortably to access it.

    I looked at the mate 10 pro, but design, no microsd, lower screen resolution, and no stylus were where the note 8 won out.

    I would have preferred the mate 10's mirrorlink functionality over Samsung's dex dock, though.

    • stonewolf777 1
      stonewolf777 Feb 22, 2018 Link to comment

      You might not know, but the H10 works brilliantly with the Sam DeX! I own both devices and have to say: under heavy use, the H10 gains over the battery (about 10% better, which actually is not a big deal). But, for everything else, the Note is a winner.

  • 11
    Marc Wilson Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

    It all depends on what you are using the phone for, but if you are looking for perfect day to day phone that has great battery life, a size that is easy to take out of your pocket or hold, great display, great specs its the mate 10 pro. I think the mate 10 size is optimum for a phone, any larger and it just gets awkward. I was always a note fan until they kept me waiting for a decent phone to follow the note 4 in the uk. I could go back to Samsung but there are a few issues that still put me off, only curved screen offered, poor battery for the size and size its self. Maybe the s9 can sort these issues out? If the mate 10 pro had a micro sd slot it would be no1.

    Deactivated AccountIvan Jensen

    • Dave Cooper 1
      Dave Cooper Nov 5, 2017 Link to comment

      With 128gb on board, I don't really see the lack of SD card being an issue.

      • 28
        itprolonden Nov 6, 2017 Link to comment

        It's nice to have the option of more though. Just like the headphone jack

    • 28
      itprolonden Nov 6, 2017 Link to comment

      Not really. You left out the S Pen for day to day use

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