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Huawei P40 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which Flagship Should You Pick?

author Luis Silva (September 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra isn't that affordable, but considering its features, it is the one you should pick.

You'll get better glass protection, a better display, Google's services, and more internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB). But the P40 Pro features better performance (+25%).

Anything else?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also gives you a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.4") display, better peak brightness, and more RAM (12GB vs. 8GB). But the P40 Pro also adds faster-charging speeds (40w vs. 25w), faster wireless charging (27w vs. 15w), and Bluetooth 5.1.

How much will the additional specs cost me?

If you're considering a new and unlocked smartphone, you'll have to spend approximately $196 more.

Is the P40 Pro still worth buying in 2021?

The P40 Pro isn't the perfect smartphone, but there aren't many better phones for this budget. Sure, you can take a peek at other devices like the Oppo Find X2 Pro, but this one does hold a good performance, good cameras, good battery life, optical zoom, and fast charging.

Is it worth getting the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in 2021?

Of course, I still recommend the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in 2021. You'll love it for its good cameras, good battery life, tons of storage, excellent glass protection, and optical zoom. Although you can also check (again) the Oppo Find X2 Pro.

Read on and find out more about them, how they differ from their competition, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Huawei P40 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Photo by StockSnap from Pixabay

CONTENTS

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Introduction

In August of 2020, Samsung started selling its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, while Huawei's P40 Pro hit the stores in April 2020.

Here you can look at the P40 Pro and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, compare each other's features, and decide which one is best for you. Let us delve into the finer details.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Release Date 2020, April 2020, August 0y.
OS Updates 2 years 3 years 1y.
Security Updates 2 years 4 years 2y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

About performance: Geekbench 5 scores the P40 Pro 25% ahead of its rival in the multi-core ranking. If you're a heavy gamer, think about this. If not, then it isn't a big deal.

It's safe to say that the P40 Pro can be tagged as high-end and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as a lower high-end.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ (with the Adreno 650 GPU) and the Exynos 990 (with the Mali-G77) are market-dependent.

Some users did install the Google Play Store on recent Huawei phones, but please be aware that officially you won't get Google apps, and some essential apps may be missing too on the P40 Pro.

There's a considerable performance increase of about 20% on the 865+ for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Performance*
vs.
Features P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
SoC Hisilicon Kirin 990 Exynos 990
Graphics Mali-G76 MP16 Mali-G77 MP11
Geekbench 5 Score 3197
2561
-636
OS Android 10 and EMUI 10 Android 10 and OneUI
Tek-Score
7.3
6.3
-1.1

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P40 Pro front transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra front transparent png

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the winner here, and the difference is considerable.

Most phones from this price range max at 812 nits, but the P40 Pro can only go 207 nits below that.

Considering the P40 Pro, you should know that 96% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, 92% have an Always-On display, and 85% have Gorilla Glass 6 or better.

Considering the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as a reference, all of its rivals can play HDR content and have an AMOLED screen, and 89% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 6.5
6.9
0.4
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1200x2640
1440x3088
1278720
Refresh Rate 90hz 120hz 30
Dots per Inch 446.14
493.80
47.66
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 605 nits
1024 nits
419
HDR HDR10 HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
9.8
1.1
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
3.1
9.9
6.8

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P40 Pro back transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back transparent png

Be aware that the P40 Pro's picture quality is, on average, 31% above its adversaries for the same budget. That's why I'd willingly pick this over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The P40 Pro and the P30 Pro share the same ability to do 50x hybrid zoom. It isn't an optical zoom, but (thanks to AI) it is much better than digital zoom.

About the P40 Pro: DXOMARK reviewed this camera and gave it 137 points. And if you take into account the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, it'll get 153 points. You can check their review if you click here.

To put things in perspective: all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. However, only 4% of them feature a macro lens.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is also known for its impressive 50x hybrid Space Zoom. In theory, that's a step down from the S20 Ultra 100x, but since it's an "AI-powered" zoom, it shouldn't matter much.

About the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: DXOMARK's gurus gave this shooter a score of 122. And by adding the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, that score goes up to 136. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Lastly, if you must know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization, and 95% feature a telephoto lens. Still, none of them feature a macro lens.

One can place these two as high-end.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Megapixels 50
108
58
Aperture 1.9
1.8
-0.1
Lens 23mm
26mm
3
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 153
136
-17

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 3.4
3.0
-0.4
Lens 125mm (5.4x zoom)
120mm (5x zoom)
-5
Lens Type Telephoto lens Telephoto lens
Megapixels 40 12 -28
Aperture 1.8 2.2 0.4
Lens 18mm 13mm -5
Lens Type Wide-Angle Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 16 14 -2
Selfie Camera P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 32
10
-22
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Tek-Score
9.0
8.0
-1.0

Who has the best frame?

There isn't a clear winner, so don't worry too much.

Adding to that, both weigh about the same: 208 g. (7.34 oz). But because screen size also matters, I've created an adapted score for a "weight to display size" ratio. The P40 Pro got 3.1, showing it's kind of weighty for its screen size. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, in its turn, has 4.4, so nothing to state here.

You can drop the P40 Pro into the water, up to 1 to 3 meters deep, on par with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It should be for less than 30 minutes, in standby mode, so no underwater photos.

Looks*
vs.
Body P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 158 x 72 x 9 mm
(5.57 x 2.54 x 0.32 in)
164 x 77 x 8 mm
(5.78 x 2.72 x 0.28 in)
-1360
Weight 209 g. (7.37 oz)
208 g. (7.34 oz)
-1
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, Blush Gold, Ice White, and Black Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black
Screen To Body Ratio 90.26%
93.17%
2.90
Disp.Size To Weight Score 3.1 4.4 1.3
Looks 10.0/10
9.1/10
-0.8
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
6.9
6.8
-0.1

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The P40 Pro features a 4200 mAh battery, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has 4500 mAh. But as claimed by GSMArena, both should theoretically get the same battery life.

If you fancy quick charges, you can count on the P40 Pro. That's rare because phones from this budget can only do about 34w.

Quick wireless charging must be one of P40 Pro's most-loved features. You don't get to see it that much at this price range.

The Snapdragon 865+ variant also has better battery efficiency, about 7% of additional screen-on-time.

Battery*
vs.
Features P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Capacity (mAh) 4200 4500 300
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
83% left
0
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 70% left
69% left
-1
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 72% left
72% left
0
Bat. To Phone Size Score 5.3 2.6 -2.7
Sub Tek-Score
7.5
7.5
0.0
Fast Charging 40w
25w
-15
Wireless Charging 27w
15w
-12
Reverse Charging 27w
4.5w
-22.5
Tek-Score
7.8
7.2
-0.6

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Twice as much.

Storage*
vs.
Features P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
RAM (GB) 8GB
12GB
4
Internal (GB) 128GB
256GB
128
Micro SD Nano Memory (shared SIM slot) microSDXC (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
7.5
10.0
2.5

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the P40 Pro if you really value Bluetooth 5.1.

About the 3.5mm jack: Now may be the time to consider moving to wireless earbuds. You can try an adapter if you want, but the wireless buds are the way to go here. You can also check other devices if you're willing to forget about them. The Sony Xperia 1 II can give you a headphone jack.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has two network variants: LTE or (LTE and) 5G.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Network 5G 5G (also available in LTE)
Bluetooth 5.1
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
5.1
4.6
-0.5

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

Huawei P40 Pro

Reference: $799

Huawei P40 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Reference: $995

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS
Amazon 0.84 0.81 -0.03
eBay 0.64 0.85 0.21
Best Buy - 0.67 -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you ready for that final score? We're almost there. But first, let's see where its rivals are. They're in the ballpark of 7.3 for the P40 Pro and 7.5 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Stand Out?

I'd prefer this to be a fair fight between these two. Unfortunately, the lack of Google Services and decent glass protection makes the P40 Pro a no-go.

Still, if you have the guts to consider both of them, you should pick the P40 Pro for its performance, its picture quality, Bluetooth 5.1, and its fast charging options.

Or you can pick the Note 20 Ultra for its perfect display and 12 GB of RAM.

Pros P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 Performance Performance
#2 AMOLED AMOLED
#3 Always-On-Display Always-On-Display
#4 Cameras Cameras
#5 Battery Life Battery Life
#6 Fast Charging Fast Charging
#7 Wireless Charging Wireless Charging
#8 MicroSD Slot MicroSD Slot
#9 Storage
#10 Glass Protection
Cons P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 Weight Weight
#2 3.5mm Jack 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price Price
#4 Glass Protection
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P40 Pro Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Gaming Score
7.0
8.4
1.3
Tek-Score
6.92
8.08
1.16
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Huawei P40 Pro Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Huawei P40 Pro 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $799
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $949
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $700
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $795
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
    $949
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.
    $949
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $682
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
    $949
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $658
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $909
  • VivorivalX60 Pro
    $900

 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $799
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro
    $1050
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $949
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $795
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.SD
    $1049
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.EX
    $982
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
    $949
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalMate 40 Pro
    $1065
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
    $949
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $1050
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Ultra
    $1079
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $909
  • VivorivalX60 Pro
    $900
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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