It’s Huawei vs. Samsung in the flagship smartphone category

YOU GOT TECH - Abe Olandres - The Philippine Star
It�s Huawei vs. Samsung in the flagship smartphone category
Up for the challenge: Huawei P20 Pro

This year, the smartphone competition is looking to be more exciting with Huawei stepping up its game and Samsung doing its best to keep innovating.

Indeed, Huawei is ambitious and has set its eyes on Samsung. The new Huawei P20 and P20 Pro is a testament to how much effort it’s putting into their smartphone department.

The Huawei P20 Pro and its triple Leica Camera System

In the Philippines, Huawei has announced the release and suggested retail price of the P20 series and we’re not surprised at price positioning.

Huawei P20 Lite: P15,990

Huawei P20: P34,990

Huawei P20 Pro: P44,990

Compare that to the recently released Samsung Galaxy S9 series:

Samsung Galaxy S9: P45,990

Samsung Galaxy S9+: P52,990

There’s a huge difference between the two and Huawei is hoping that consumers will see it and immediately pick them over the competitor.

Samsung has a proven track record and the recent release of the Galaxy S9/S9+ with an even higher retail price shows that they’re very confident that their product will sell even if they bump the price by 25% more.

Huawei is challenging that, creeping just behind Samsung.

Giving all it’s got — so far: Samsung Galaxy 9

One cannot deny that the two is  good match. Both has very strong roots in mobile, although Samsung had a good head start.

Huawei is leveraging its expertise in mobile networks and incorporating those into all of its smartphone line-up.

Samsung’s home-grown Exynos mobile chip is its biggest asset.  Samsung does not have to rely on 3rd-party manufacturers like Qualcomm and is also able to dictate what goes inside the chipset. Samsung likewise manufacture its own display panel and AMOLED has been considered as the more superior material to be used for mobile phone displays.

On the other hand, Huawei has been flexing its R&D muscle lately and continues to develop its own Kirin chipset. While not as mature or diverse as the Qualcomm Snapdragon or the Samsung Exynos, the HiSilicon Kirin mobile chip was able to position itself as an AI-enabled chip when the Kirin 970 was launched earlier this year.

Mobile photography has been one of the biggest, if not the biggest, are of contention among  smartphone vendors. It has dramatically changed the industry with more and more consumers relying on their smartphones instead of a dedicated point-and-shoot camera so it’s no wonder a lot of the focus is directed this way.

Samsung knew that earlier on and has since made smartphone photography as one of its biggest selling point. It even managed to develop its own ISOCELL sensors and try to avoid relying on  third party manufacturers such as Sony for the supply of the camera modules. That strategy has worked so far and Samsung is known by many as having the best camera in a phone.

Having realized the importance of a really good camera in a smartphone, Huawei embarked on a bold plan three years ago and tied the knot with Leica, a well-known camera premium-segment camera brand. The company first revealed the co-engineered Leica optics in the Huawei P9. The move proved to be successful and it was followed by the P10 and the recently released Huawei P20 with its triple Leica camera system.

Huawei understood that you don’t have to follow the rules of the game even if you’re a latecomer. Aside from Apple and Samsung, it seems Huawei is the only other brand that’s really heavily invested in the smartphone industry.

Still, it’s anybody’s game even at this point, which is good since competition pushes innovation. Ultimately, consumers win.

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