With the launch of the Galaxy S10 series, Samsung has again posed strict competition in the market. In our initial review of the Galaxy S10 Plus, we told you how the phone is nothing short of a beast when it comes to performance.
There is still one question left unanswered and that is about the camera of the device. How will it fare against its archrival and the DxO Mark king, Huawei Mate 20 Pro? Will the triple camera be enough to beat the best from Huawei? For this, we pitched the two flagships against each other.
Galaxy S10 Plus has a triple camera set up on the back having a 12MP wide-angle lens with f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture, another 12MP telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture, and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture that pulls in more of the scene and provides some dramatic shots.
Similarly, in Huawei Mate 20 Pro, you get a higher pixel count with its 40MP wide angel main snapper with f/1.8 aperture, another 20MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture, and finally an 8MP telephoto lens having an aperture size of f/2.4.
While the types of lenses may be the same in both devices, there is a world of difference in the camera specs. First, the Mate 20 Pro packs a higher resolution camera setup and also has a 5X optical zoom while the S10 plus has 2X optical zoom on its telephoto lens.
Though we have already done a detailed camera review of the Galaxy S10 Plus, We took both the phones for a ride around the historically and culturally rich city of Lahore and shot both daylight pictures as well nighttime shots. Who wouldn’t agree that these phones are all about mobile photography and shooting the old Lahore isn’t a bad idea? We must say, both the phones produced some stunning images.
Although the image quality may look almost the same when you view the images individually, the difference really pops out if you look at the images side-by-side. So we selected the shots and put them side-by-side for you to see the difference.
Let’s take a deeper look at the pictures to decide which phone performed better in each scenario. You can click on the photos to see the higher resolution version as well.
Mate 20 Pro: 9
Galaxy S10 Plus: 8
Note that both the phones feature a wide-angle main lens so we’ll be referring to it with the standard mode or wide-angle.
In an ultra wide-angle shot you can instantly notice that S10 Plus captures a far wider shot than the Mate 20 Pro but the image on the Mate is inclined on the warmer side.
The dynamic range is also better on the Mate 20 Pro in the above picture. Just look at the left minaret and you’ll notice the difference. Galaxy S10+ has produced an overall darker image while it is brighter on the Mate 20 Pro.
However, the colors look more natural on the S10 + and the sky looks bluer. But at the same time Mate 20 Pro has kept more details.
Moving on to the standard shot, you can see that though the image is sharper on the Mate 20 Pro, it looks aggressively processed and the colors are overly brightened while the Galaxy S10 plus maintains natural colors, however, has a softer image.
In a 3X zoom, the colors looked a little bit washed out on the Galaxy S10 Plus but the Mate 20 Pro presents a sharper and more colorful image overall.
Taking things much further to 5X zoom, we can notice that the blacks are much deeper on the Mate 20 Pro which is why it has produced an overall darker image and lost minor details. The Galaxy S10 Plus, on the other hand, came up with a brighter image with more natural colors
Going in with 10X zoom reveals that while you may like the colors on the Galaxy S10 Plus, you have to admit that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has managed to save a lot of details comparatively.
Look at the picture below taken from another angle of the same place. It was taken in standard mode. Both phones have a wide-angle lens as their main snapper so it will give you a better idea of how both perform in point and shoot conditions.
Even though Huawei has worked a lot on its AI, seeing this picture instantly makes you realize that Huawei Mate 20 Pro is way ahead of S10 Plus. Just look at how it managed to capture the details and although S10 Plus captured better colors, it blew the background while capturing the subject i.e. the building.
Look at the sky and you’ll notice that Mate 20 pro has done a great job in snapping the texture of clouds while S10 Plus has flattened it out, even though the sky looks bluer in it.
Zooming in to 5X, you’ll notice that the Mate does a better job at capturing details. Again the image is cooler on the S10 Plus but warmer on the Mate 20 Pro. Personally, I think that the color of the picture should have been somewhere in between the two pictures.
Since both the phones don’t have any lossless zoom technology like the one we are expecting to see in the upcoming P30 Pro, zooming in to 10X really shows you the true colors of both phones. S10 Plus has kept the colors a little bit vibrant with tilt on the bluer side.
If you zoom in on the picture, you’ll notice that the Mate 20 Pro has done a better job by keeping the colors original but not by a huge margin. You really need to be very keen to observe the difference here. There is no detail missing by one that the other has captured.
But just like we earlier said, the images are brighter on the Galaxy S10 Plus so that is pretty much holding up for all the scenarios.
Taking pictures of moving objects in Standard mode, we noticed that the Mate 20 Pro gives you better details while the S10 plus softens the image a bit. if you look at the faces of these running kids, you’ll notice that the Mate 20 Pro has come up with a much sharper image but on the downside, it may seem like that the picture is over-treated.
Below is another picture, taken in Standard mode where the Galaxy S10 has beaten the Mate to dust. Look at the building behind the subject and you can instantly judge that the picture on the right is much more detailed and punchy than the other.
The left one is just blown out and too bright while the one with the Galaxy S10 Plus shows a great dynamic range and is sharp enough.
The next shot is a mixed bag. This standard capture shows that S10 Plus has an overall better-looking image but look closely and you’ll see that Mate 20 Pro is the one capturing more details.
The reason sky is bluer in S10 Plus pictures is that it produces an overall cooler image but surprisingly has compromised on a lot of details. Even whole little patches of the clouds are missing if you look closely at the top right corner.
Ultra-wide shot from the same angle looks stunning on both the devices and it really is hard to pick one. However, both have treated pictures differently. Again on the S10 Plus, you can see a bit of struggle for details while Mate 20 pro lacks the colors and spreads a warm blur across the picture.
The front cameras of both devices are equipped with AI and other stunning features. Mate 20 pro uses a 24MP single selfie camera and the Galaxy S10 Plus has a dual-camera setup with 10MP and 8MP lenses. Here is a selfie from both phones.
You can notice that the Galaxy S10 Plus has a much more refined selfie while the colors on the Mate are obnoxious. It clearly gives out the too much post-capture processing that Huawei is notorious for. It spreads an artificial whitener over the whole picture while the Galaxy S10 Plus produces a great selfie with balanced colors and details.
The live focus mode in Samsung and the Portrait mode in Huawei make your selfies more attractive by blurring the background while maintaining the focus on the subject. Although Galaxy S10 Plus has a dedicated depth-sensing 8MP lens, it does a poor job at blurring the background with more than one subject.
The blur is uneven and patchy in the Galaxy S10 Plus while on the Mate 20, you can see a clear outline of the subject and the blur in the background, even though its colors are a bit compromised.
The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a group selfie mode where it zooms out a bit so that more people can fit in but it’s not because of the hardware, rather it’s just a gimmick of cropping the originally sized selfie to give you a zoomed picture, and when not cropped, they call it a group selfie.
High-Resolution Image: Galaxy S10 Plus
In portrait mode, shot by the rear cam, both the pictures are very interesting, and although shot at the same time, both pictures give you a different vibe. The picture from the Galaxy S10 plus has a softer look to it and the details look flattened out while the one with Mate 20 Pro has more details, which can clearly be noticed from the face of the subject.
The blur on both the phones is also a lot different, Mate 20 pro managed to mark the outline of the subject pretty great while S10 Plus blurred some portion of the subject as well.
Galaxy S10 Plus and the Mate 20 pro both have performed great in daylight but in most cases, we think, Mate 20 Pro is the clear winner. It captures more detailed shots and although the camera on the Galaxy S10 Plus is good, it lacks consistency in pictures, something that we have seen in the Mate 20 Pro throughout our test.
Mate 20 Pro: 8
Galaxy S10 Plus: 6
Let’s head to the night photography section of this detailed camera comparison between galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei Mate 20 pro. This phenomenal ultra-wide shot proves that both the devices are extremely capable in well-lit conditions, however, the Mate 20 Pro struggles to keep up with the color accuracy.
Please note that we did not use a tripod anywhere to see how it would perform with bare hands.
A purple hue can be seen in the sky in the Mate 20 Pro pictures while the one with S10 Plus has perfect blacks with high contrast. On the other hand, the picture from Mate 20 looks bright, thanks to its AI. So both the devices have their week spots in this picture.
Next up is the picture with a standard wide-angle lens. S10 Plus captures more area but surprisingly fails to deliver the contrast that it did in the ultra wide-angle shot. Mate 20 Pro, in this shot, performs better and gives a great brightness to contrast ratio.
If you think Mate 20 Pro is better at capturing details, you’ll be shocked to see the picture below where the S10 Plus has kept the scenario natural where the Mate 20 Pro oversharpens the picture aggressively, hence losing its natural appeal.
Moreover, Mate 20 Pro tends to paint bluish color in the sky while you can clearly spot the deep black in the S10 Plus picture.
Zoom in 2 times, and you’ll notice that the Mate 20 pro has blown out the light on the subject whereas S10 Plus has maintained its details and controlled the light as well.
In the picture with 3X zoom, Mate 20 Pro completely lost the detail despite the higher megapixel camera. Though the grain in the picture has been suppressed by heavy AI treatment, it has made the picture blurry while the Galaxy S10 Plus is still going strong with a crisp picture at 3X zoom.
Whenever faced with a strong light source in night photography, Galaxy S10 Plus fails to contain the light and scatters it. The noise levels are also very high in S10 Plus, which degrades the quality of the image.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro takes a clean shot with contained light and a crisp subject, having a minimum amount of noise.
The more you zoom in to take pictures, the more horrible it gets with Galaxy S10 Plus since it disappointed us in low-light shots. It doesn’t live up to the expectations and behaves poorly against the light.
Here are some other pictures that prove our point.
Although both the pictures might seem the same at first glance, there is a huge difference. Look at the wall on the left of the light bulb and you’ll notice that the Galaxy S10 plus has flattened it out while Huawei has not only managed to keep the detail but the color as well.
However, the image is brighter on the Galaxy S10 Plus at the cost of valuable details.
Similarly, here is another picture facing towards a neon light. You can immediately notice that the picture with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is better in terms of the detail of everything surrounding the light. Look at the grill above the light, S10 Plus has managed to ruin the details while the Mate 20 is better at keeping a good contrast and great details even in low light.
Samsung has finally introduced a triple camera setup in its S flagship and has put it to good use as well with a variety of lenses. The ultra wide-angle lens captures some very impressive and dramatic shots but on the downside, it is useless in low light photography.
We think that both the phones performed quite well, although the Huawei Mate 20 Pro had it right most of the time. The camera on the Galaxy S10 Plus is inclined on the cooler side and somehow manages to lose details and produce a relatively soft image even in broad daylight. The colors, however, are exceptional.
The portrait mode is as amazing as it can get. However, the AI in the S10 Plus is not as refined as the Huawei Mate 20 pro and can only recognize 30 scenarios whereas Huawei Mate 20 Pro can recognize 1500 scenarios and 25 categories, as the company claims. So that’s the edge that the Mate 20 pro definitely has over the Galaxy S10 Plus.
In terms of low-light photography, Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a clear winner. Even with the variable aperture in the main lens, Galaxy S10 Plus fails to impress us with its capabilities in low light. The phone also handles direct light poorly at night time.
All in all, we can say that although Galaxy S10 Plus packs a good camera it’s not something out of this world as we were expecting at this price point and even though Huawei Mate 20 Pro costs less, it performs way better at capturing a detailed and crisp image.
Here is a video of our detailed camera comparison of the Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei Mate 20 Pro