The smartphone dilemma is quite literally upon us with the numerous options we now have as consumers. But that sometimes begs the question on what if something is really good for you, or are you just on-board the hype train? The smartphone industry is ever evolving, booming, and bringing in new tech year by year, and the last few months, we’ve had quite a line-up resurging with many big companies releasing their flagships phones.
And of course, PC.com being PC.com, we’re going to pit them together head to head to see who comes out on top, and with that, we’re back with this issue’s showdown! This time around, we’re featuring the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, and of course, the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
While they all are clearly segmented, and somewhat differently made for different markets, they’re still some of the biggest phones to come out this year. Not only the biggest, but also the most sought out phones from these manufacturers. So, with that being said, let’s get to it, shall we?
iPhone 11 Pro Max
First up we’ve got the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and while it hasn’t been the most innovative of the bunch (especially after heavily marketing) innovation, it’s still the newest iPhone on the market right now. Apple came out swinging, bringing three new versions of the iPhone 11, the 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, but considering the Pro Max is their strongest device (and most expensive) let’s talk about that.
Performance And Design
It comes with the A13 Bionic Chip, which is a pretty powerful chipset, and the base version starts off at 64GB of storage and goes all the way up to 512GB. It has a 6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display, making it somewhat competitive in the market, but we’ve never known Apple devices to have a bad display.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes with three camera sensors, which is the main highlight of the phone. This consists of three 12 Megapixel Ultra-wide, Wide and Telephoto camera sensors, making it the first iPhone with three cameras. It’s a pretty strong show out for Apple’s cameras, as they’re basically some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but that’s also mostly thanks to their camera software optimisation, rather than the phone sensors itself.
This year, very unlike Apple, they’ve come out with a bunch of colour options, and a pretty controversial design. With a prior focus on aesthetics, we think they’ve taken a huge leap backwards with the rear camera layout, as well as the outdated notch style. There really wasn’t that much of ‘innovation’ put into the overall design and hardware, but admittedly, there was in the software side of things.
Apple usually doesn’t disclose how big the battery on their phones actually are, but through external sources and testing, we know it has a 3969 mAh battery with 18w charging. A weird battery configuration, but hey, that’s Apple.
But at the end of the day, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, is underpowered compared to other smartphones in the market, coming out with new innovations, more cameras, and a way to subvert the notch. Things aren’t looking too great for the iPhone right now, not gonna lie.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 +
The Note 10+ is often touted as the productivity king, and after having used the device for a few weeks, I’m inclined to agree. It’s not even the phone’s features itself, but just using the device made me want to work, send out emails, and reply to messages. It just felt typing on the phone, plus the huge screen and S pen gave it somewhat of an advantage. But I guess it’s not without its faults, so let’s get to it!
Performance And Design
The phone features a 6.8” Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, with an Infinity-O Display, which is a tiny dot at the top centre of the device. This might or might not appeal to you, depending on your preferences, but I think it’s fairly non-intrusive, even when watching videos, or gaming. It looks sleek with a curved display, making it have just a bit more screen real estate than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, so that’s another plus.
The bigger differentiator for the Note 10+ when compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Mate 30 Pro, is the S Pen. Now depending on who you are, the S Pen can be a plus, or something you just straight up ignore. But admittedly, it does provide a different kind of functionality, as well as an added feature. So that’s another ‘+’ for the Note 10 + (haha, see what I did there?)
The Note 10+ comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, which is the one of the latest flagship chipsets out there, and accompanied with 12GB of RAM, makes it able to multitask and pretty much do whatever you need on a mobile device. There are two variants, that being the 256GB and 512GB, with an option to add a microSD card.
There are 4 cameras on the rear setup, a 16MP Ultra-Wide Camera, 12MP Wide-angle camera, 12MP Telephoto camera, and a VGA DepthVision camera. So, that’s pretty much a lot of cameras, making it quite a powerful little shooter.
Added in with a 4300mAh battery, with 45w fast charging, it seems on paper, a very capable device.The Note 10+ definitely is eye catching and powerful in today’s standards, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of Samsung’s flagships. And to be honest, it’s looking like a worthy contender for the winner of this showdown.
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is another strong competitor for one of the best flagships on the market, with on glaring feature missing, Google. Yes, that’s right, the phone still is running on Android, so that’s something, but it’s missing official Google support and the whole suite of programs. But that isn’t the only thing about device, as it’s still rocking some pretty impressive hardware, so let’s get straight into it.
Performance and Design
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro, like the iPhone 11 line-up divides opinions on its aesthetics, with a huge camera cut-out on the back, but it’s acceptable considering it has 4 cameras on the back. It also has a 6.53-inch OLED FHD+ ‘Horizon Display’, making it stand out from the rest of the phones in this line-up. Admittedly, on paper a rounded corner is the next evolution in the curved display design, so Huawei seems to be on par with the future of devices.
Considering it’s an edge-to-edge display, there’s also no physical buttons, besides a power button, towards the rear of the devices. So, to control your volume, by double-tapping the edge of the screen. Weird, but I guess that’s where smartphones are heading towards.
The Mate 30 Pro comes with a Kirin 990 chipset, so it’s pretty capable and is on par with other flagship chips in the market right now. It also has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage with NM SD card support.
The phone as we mentioned comes with 4 cameras on the rear. A 40MP SuperSensing sensor, another 40MP Cine Camera, an 8MP Telephoto camera, and one 3D Depth Sensing camera. But with that, comes the ‘Halo’ design that they’ve opted for on the back, which may be good or bad depending on who you ask. But they’ve reduced the optical zoom on the camera to a 3x, compared to the P30 Pro’s 5x. So, that’s something to keep in mind.
The Mate 30 Pro is also equipped with a 4500 mAh battery, a 40W SuperCharge, and a 27W Wireless SuperCharge, making it fully ready to handle high-consumption battery demands. But the thing about the device, is that it doesn’t feature Google’s in-built suite, and apps. This really does take a hit on the device, no matter how impressive the hardware, and I personally don’t think it’ll be able to withstand that hit.
All of these devices are great on paper. But the clear winner here, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, for a myriad of reasons. The iPhone 11 Pro Max didn’t feature enough ‘innovation’, or even that much of a change from the iPhone X series, apart from the camera. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro, while impressive in terms of specs and its hardware, having no Google really does make it a tough buy for many. Considering that Goole almost controls everything, and we’re so reliant on it, I can’t recommend the phone to anyone who needs the whole armada of Google applications.
The Samsung Note 10 + is pretty much the only device that came out with enough new features, powerful specs, and design and aesthetics. And for that reason, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the winner, of the Flagship Showdown.