How the new Huawei P20 compares
South Africa is among the first countries globally to receive the latest flagship devices from Chinese manufacturer Huawei.
Available from today, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are priced competitively compared to premium smartphones from rivals Samsung and Apple, and pack in as many, if not more, features.
The 5.8-inch P20 will sell for R12 999, compared to R14 599 for the 5.8-inch Samsung S9 and R13 499 for the 4.7-inch iPhone 8.
The 6.1-inch P20 Pro is priced at R15 499, which is the same price as the iPhone 8 Plus but significantly cheaper than Apple's special tenth anniversary edition iPhone X which costs R20 499, and the Samsung S9+ which is R17 999.
The Huawei smartphones both have bigger batteries than the Samsung and Apple devices, and come standard with 128GB internal storage which is double or the same as its competitors.
Huawei has followed trends and incorporated features from both Samsung and Apple in its new phones.
The iPhone X was the first Apple smartphone to do away with the fingerprint sensor and use facial recognition instead. It also has an edge-to-edge display with a black notch at the top that houses the front-facing camera and speaker.
At the launch of the new Samsung phones earlier this year, the company focused heavily on the devices' artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality capabilities.
The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro both have edge-to-edge infinity displays with "minimal" notches at the top of the screen. And the Chinese manufacturer repeatedly played up the AI capabilities of the camera system on the P20 series, at the local launch last night in Sandton.
Each company has focused on refining the camera system on their respective flagships, which is where someone looking to buy a new phone may start to tell the black mirrors apart.
The Samsung S9+ is the first device from the South Korean company to receive a dual-camera set-up, giving users the option to control aperture, with the choice of two f-stops, something that was not available on smartphones before.
The iPhone X also has two cameras on the back, featuring a wide-angle and telephoto lens.
The Huawei P20 Pro, however, is the first smartphone to have a triple-camera set-up: a 20MP monochrome camera, a 40MP colour camera and an 8MP 3X telephoto lens.
The following table compares the latest flagship devices, from Huawei, Samsung and Apple, available in South Africa:
Huawei P20 Pro
iPhone 8 Plus
Other flagship options
Although Samsung, Huawei and Apple are the most popular premium brands at the moment, there are other companies also releasing smartphones with similar price points and specifications.
At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February, Sony and Nokia both announced flagship devices, although neither has been launched locally.
The Sony Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact are sized at 5.7-inches and 5-inches, and do away with side bezels (it was one of the last manufacturers to do so). Both devices are powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 845 chipset.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco features a dual-camera set-up with ZEISS optics and has a 5.5-inch curved screen at its side edges, like the Samsung S9 and S9+. It has a 3260mAh battery and comes with 128GB internal storage. This Nokia device is also expected to be priced competitively. It was announced as EUR749 which will be around R10 700.
Electronics manufacturer LG has not yet unveiled its new top-end smartphone for 2018, skipping its usual launch at MWC. It is rumoured the G7, which could be called the LG G7 ThinQ, will be launched by the end of April. It is expected to follow current trends and incorporate a notch at the top of the screen.