Huawei and Samsung have unveiled the first-ever phones with a screen sporting a camera hole at the top in lieu of a notch just a week apart this month.
Both the Huawei Nova 4 and Samsung Galaxy A8s boast new all-screen designs that dedicate generous portions of the front to the display. But on paper, which one is better? Does the Nova 4’s flagship-grade specs make it the runaway winner, or is the Galaxy A8s a more worthwhile purchase? We’ve put the specs sheets of these phones side by side to work it out.
Huawei Nova 4
A series of leaks may have spoiled the surprise for us, but that doesn’t mean the recently announced Huawei Nova 3 successor isn’t worth the suspense.
As expected, Huawei’s upcoming midrange offering will feature an all-screen design with the selfie camera poking through a pinhole on the front, as opposed to being located in a top bezel or notch. The Nova 4’s 25-megapixel front-facer is among the sharpest in the industry apparently.
The Samsung Galaxy A8s is the first phone to arrive with a hole-punch display, while the upcoming Galaxy S10 has been rumored to adopt a similar approach to ditch the notch and keep its bezels as small as possible. We haven’t seen these phones in person yet, obviously, so we’ll reserve our judgment until we actually see and test the phone.
The hole-punch screen is an IPS-LCD affair and measures 6.42 inches, with a 2,310 x 1,080 resolution and ultra-narrow bezels on three sides. Huawei says it offers over 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, the most of any device to date from the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor.
The back of the phone is equally impressive. Huawei has taken a page out of the P20 Pro handbook and lines up three cameras in a vertical array. The main camera goes up to 48 megapixels on the higher-tier model but drops to 20 megapixels on the regular version. A 16-megapixel, f/2.2 camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera for bokeh comprise the rest of the array.
Inside, the Huawei Nova 4 sports a Kirin 970 processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. A 3,750mAh battery powers the assembly and supports 18-watt fast charging over a Type-C connector. The phone already runs Android Pie-based EMUI 9, meaning features such as gesture navigation and GPU Turbo for smoother gaming are included out of the box.
Huawei will sell two versions of the Nova 4, in China first as usual: The unit with a 48-megapixel primary camera will sell for ¥3,399 (around P26,142 or $493), while the basic variant with a 20-megapixel rear-facer is priced at ¥3,099 (P23,835 or $450). The company has yet to reveal global plans for the phone, but we’ve already confirmed that it won’t be arriving in the Philippines.
Samsung Galaxy A8s
Officially announced last week in China, the Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts the Korean manufacturer’s Infinity-O display (that is, a tall screen with a camera hole cut into the panel). The cutout for the selfie camera is located at the upper-left corner of the screen, just like on the Huawei Nova 4.
Samsung previously said it wants to launch new features on its midrange lineup first and has followed through with that with the Galaxy A8s. And look — no notch! The screen itself comes in at 6.4 inches and set at a respectable 2,340 x 1,080 resolution at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, whereas the front-facing camera is 24 megapixels.
Around the back, there’s a triple-sensor array which includes a 24-megapixel, f/1.7 primary camera, alongside a 10-megpixel wide shooter with a 120-degree field of view and a 5-megapixel depth sensor for bokeh and portrait shots. It’s pretty much the same setup as the one you’ll find on this year’s Samsung Galaxy A7.
As for the internals, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 sits inside the assembly, mated to either 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB of native storage, with room for more via a microSD card. The 3,400mAh battery supports fast charging over Type-C for input.
The Galaxy A8s has been available for preorder in China since last week, but it’s still unclear how much it sells for and when the rest of the world will be able to get hold of the phone.
And the winner is…
Huawei’s Nova 3 sequel is faster and more feature-heavy than its Korean rival. That’s clear on paper. We don’t know, however, if it also offers more bang for the buck compared to the Samsung Galaxy A8s because pricing for the latter still isn’t known.
(Update, December 22: Now that we know how much exactly the Samsung phone will retail for, we can finally say outright that the Nova 4 is the better deal on paper, without the benefit of first-hand experience.)
We suppose we’ll find out soon enough and then update this part of the article. But one thing’s for sure: The A8s will be facing stiff competition from the Huawei Nova 4.
Via Sina on Weibo
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