The annual smartphone launch cycle for the first half of 2018 is on the verge of completion. Except HTC, LG, and OnePlus, almost every brand has announced their flagship smartphones for the first half of 2018. Samsung has launched the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Huawei has launched the P20 series of phones, Nokia has launched the Nokia 8 Sirocco, and Xiaomi has launched the Mi MIX 2s. So, which one of them is the best?
Well, we’ve already reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S9+, and were let down by its performance in spite of the company claiming its Exynos 9810 being the fastest Android processor out there. Today, we’re having a look at the prospects of three high-end phones, with two of them launched, and one making its way to the launch stage. The Nokia 8 Sirocco, Huawei P20 Pro, and the HTC U12 Plus feature multiple cameras at the rear and bezel-less screen designs. Let’s have a look at the comparison of their features and specifications.
Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Huawei P20 Pro vs HTC U12 Plus: Screen
The Nokia 8 Sirocco and the HTC U12 Plus have 5.5-inch screens with QHD and QHD+ resolutions, respectively. However, they use different screen technologies. The Nokia 8 Sirocco uses an LG-made P-OLED screen panel with 16:9 aspect ratio, while the HTC U12+ uses a SuperLCD 6 panel with 18:9 aspect ratio.
No matter how bright an LCD panel is, it can never be as colourful as an OLED screen because OLED is emissive in nature. The Huawei P20 Pro uses a 6.1-inch P-OLED screen made by LG. Quality-wise, the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s and Huawei P20 Pro’s screens are similar, but whether you like a 16:9 screen or an 18.7:9 screen with a notch is up to you.
Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Huawei P20 Pro vs HTC U12 Plus: Cameras
The Nokia 8 Sirocco has a dual-12MP camera setup. The primary sensor uses a 1/2.3-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels, f/1.75 aperture, dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus, and OIS. The secondary 12MP sensor uses a smaller sensor with 1.0µm pixels, 2x telephoto lens, and f/2.6 aperture. The camera is accompanied by a dual-tone dual-LED flash and can record 4K videos. Its front-facing camera has a meagre 5MP resolution.
The Huawei P20 Pro uses a triple-camera setup consisting of a 40MP RGB sensor (1/1.7-inch, f/1.8 aperture, and OIS), a 20MP monochrome sensor (f/1.6 aperture and OIS), and an 8MP sensor (3x optical zoom, f/2.4 aperture, and OIS). It uses the information from all the sensors to create a 10MP image with superior quality. Using the professional mode, users can capture 40MP images as well. The camera can record 4K videos, too. The P20 Pro’s 24MP front-facing camera might not be as great as the megapixel count suggests.
The HTC U12+ reportedly uses a dual-12MP camera setup with dual-pixel phase-detection autofocus and f/1.5 aperture, just like the Galaxy S9+. The camera is optically stabilised and is accompanied by a dual-tone dual-LED flash. The dual-camera setup can also record 4K videos as well. The front-facing dual-8MP camera setup reportedly features OIS, so one can potentially click bokeh mode images with the selfie camera as well. Overall, the Huawei P20 Pro’s triple camera appears superior to the other two.
Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Huawei P20 Pro vs HTC U12 Plus: Performance, Software
The Nokia 8 Sirocco may have been launched in 2018, but it uses last year’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot as well. The Huawei P20 Pro uses the Kirin 970 chipset, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage. There’s no card slot, though. The HTC U12 Plus is expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. The storage can be expanded as well, thanks to a possible microSD card slot.
Overall, the HTC U12+ appears to be the fastest among the three because it uses a more powerful processor and more RAM, resulting in smoother performance. All phones run Android 8.1 Oreo, but the Nokia 8 Sirocco features stock Android UI, and it is even Android One certified, so it will get relatively faster software updates. The HTC U12+ will have a UI that looks more modern than Huawei P20 Pro’s EMUI 8.1.
Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Huawei P20 Pro vs HTC U12 Plus: Battery Life, Other Features
The Nokia 8 Sirocco has a 3260mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0 support. The Huawei P20 Pro uses a 4000mAh battery with fast charging support. The HTC U12 Plus uses a 3930mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4.0. Going by initial reviews, the Huawei P20 Pro appears to be the longer-lasting device. The Nokia 8 Sirocco and the Huawei P20 Pro use front-mounted fingerprint reader, while the HTC U12 Plus features a rear-facing fingerprint reader.
All phones feature dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, and USB 3.1 Type-C ports. The Nokia 8 Sirocco and the HTC U12 Plus feature Bluetooth 5.0, while the P20 Pro features Bluetooth 4.2. None of them have 3.5mm headphone ports, though. The HTC U12 Plus also features really loud stereo speakers.
Nokia 8 Sirocco vs Huawei P20 Pro vs HTC U12 Plus: Verdict
All phones are really good in their own ways. The Nokia 8 Sirocco has a notch-free OLED screen and Android One certification for faster software updates. The Huawei P20 Pro’s triple-camera setup with 40MP resolution is quite impressive and so is its battery life, thanks to its 4000mAh capacity. The HTC U12 Plus uses the fastest processor, most RAM, stereo speakers, and close-to-4000mAh battery.
In our view, the HTC U12 Plus has what it takes to beat the other two phones, especially since the HTC U11 had one of the best cameras of 2017. It could also come with a front-facing dual-8MP cameras for better selfies. However, we really need to test it before we put out our final verdict.