2020 has introduced several powerful flagship smartphones from the world’s top manufacturers – Samsung, Apple, and Huawei.
In early 2020, Samsung and Huawei launched their respective Galaxy S20 and Huawei P40 smartphones.
Firm in form over the past few years, this has been followed by their second flagship ranges – the new Galaxy Note 20 and Mate 40 smartphones.
Apple stuck to its big single smartphone release with the launch of the iPhone 12 in October.
Of the current selection, the top smartphones of these three ranges are the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Mate 40 Pro + and Note 20 Ultra.
We’ve compared the hardware, design and features of these three amazing smartphones to see how they stack up.
When it comes to the smartphone boasting the largest display, resolution, and maximum refresh rate, the Note 20 Ultra is the best choice.
Its OLED display measures 6.9-inches and has a 3,200 x 1,440 resolution that runs at a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
The Mate 40 Pro + screen comes next at 6.76-inches with 2,772 x 1,344 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. Its panel is also of the OLED variety.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max still sports a highly regarded 6.7-inch 2,778 x 1,242 display but it adheres to the standard 60Hz of most smartphones.
This means that frame-dependent navigation and applications are likely to look and feel better on the Note 20 Ultra and Mate 40.
Each of these three smartphones comes with top-end processors that perform among the best of any smartphone available today.
The Kirin 9000 A14 Bionic iPhone 12 Pro Max and Huawei Mate 40 Pro + chips are built on an innovative 5nm manufacturing process.
It is difficult to directly compare performance between Android and iOS devices due to their different ecosystems.
However, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is expected to run significantly better than its predecessor, which was already very powerful.
The US version of the Note 20 Ultra boasts a Snapdragon 865+, which is slightly less capable than the Kirin 9000, according to recent benchmarks as reported by Gizmochina.
It should be emphasized, however, that the Note 20 Ultra features an even less powerful chip in South Africa – the Exynos 990 – that was already featured in the S20 range.
Photographic capabilities are often penalized as one of the main features of premium smartphones.
The Mate 40 Pro + comes with a rear penta-camera setup that includes a 50MP main lens, a 20MP ultrawide, a 12MP telephoto, an 8MP zoom, and a 3D depth sensor.
Independent back DxOMark camera benchmark position, its less powerful Mate 40 Pro sibling is at the top of current smartphone cameras – with a rating of 136.
The Note 20 Ultra includes a 108MP main lens, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 12MP, as well as a DepthVision sensor.
It is currently ranked 14th on DxOMark rankings – with a score of 120.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers a triple rear camera that includes three 12MP sensors – main, ultrawide and
Although its camera has yet to be reviewed, DxoMark has said it doesn’t expect it to be much better than the iPhone 11 Pro Max – which scored 124.
This was because the focal length of the lens on the phone was not increased nor was it able to get the same level of optical zoom as its competitors.
Battery and charging
Of the three smartphones, the Note 20 Ultra packs a maximum battery capacity of 4,500mAh – enough for more than a day of typical use.
Although it has a slightly smaller 4,400mAh battery, the Mate 40 Pro + has the upper hand in terms of charging capabilities.
SuperCharge technology, leading Huawei’s class, provides wired charging up to 66W and wireless charging at 50W.
This compares to the 25W wireless charging with fast and 15W wires on the Note 20 Ultra.
Despite having a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 3,687mAh package promises the same 20 hours of usage between charges.
It supports wired charging on 20W and 15W wireless charging with MagSafe.
The Note 20 Ultra 5G with 256GB storage starts at R36,999 in South Africa, while the 128GB iPhone 12 Pro Max is priced at R25,999.
The Mate 40 Pro + has not been officially confirmed that it is coming to the country.
In Europe, the Mate 40 Pro + comes with 256GB memory and has a price tag of € 1,399, which converts to around R25,800.
Below are the specifications and image of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Huawei Mate 40 Pro + and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max – Starting from R25,999
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7-inch 2.778 x 1.242 OLED|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB / 512GB|
|Rear camera||12MP + 12MP + 12MP|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC|
|Battery and charging||3,687mAh, 20W wired, 15W wireless|
|Dimensions||160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm|
Huawei Mate 40 Pro + – € 1,399
|Huawei Mate 40 Pro +|
|THE||Android 10 EMUI 10|
|Display||6.76-inch 2,772 x 1,344 OLED 90Hz|
|Rear camera||50MP + 20MP + 12MP + 8MP + 3D|
|Front camera||13MP, 3D|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G|
|Battery||4,400mAh, 66W wired, 50W wireless|
|Dimensions||162.9 x 75.5 x 9.1 mm|
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G – R36,999
|Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G|
|Display||6.9-inch 3,200 x 1,440 AMOLED|
|Rear camera||DepthVV 108MP + 12MP + 12MP +|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C|
Now read: The cheapest smartphones you can buy in South Africa