Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Huawei is going to be Apple’s only real iPhone competition this year

Published Aug 17th, 2018 7:12PM EDT
Huawei Mate 20 vs. Pixel 3
Image: John Locher/AP/REX/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Now that the Galaxy Note 9 is finally out, you can fully ignore it for a couple of months, as a bunch of new Android flagships are supposed to arrive soon. The Pixel 3 series is one of them, but the phone will offer the same kind of specs and performance as the Note 9, given that both handsets are 2018 handsets.

The other, more exciting device will supposedly deliver 2019-grade specs well before other Android vendors have time to catch up.

No matter what particularities may make them stand out, this year’s Android flagships all share the same type of processor technology. We’re looking at Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei chips built on 10nm process technology. These chips are inferior to Apple’s A11 Bionic processor that powers all 2017 iPhones in benchmarks. Some Android flagships do better than 2017 iPhones in real-life tests thanks to the extra RAM and various optimizations.

The 2018 generations of iPhones will debut 7nm chips, the A12 series, that’s going to be even faster than last year’s A11. Most Android makers will have to wait until next year to match the A12 chip, though it’s unlikely the next-gen Snapdragon and Exynos chips will exceed the A12’s performance.

Huawei, however, will make things different this year, as the company is about to launch the first 7nm chip in the world. Technically, that’s going to be true as the announcement is set for IFA 2018, which takes place in Berlin in a few days — Apple’s 7nm chip arrives in mid-September.

But when the Huawei Mate 20 series launches in mid-October, it won’t be the first smartphone to feature a 7nm chip — only the first Android device to do so.

The good news is that Huawei has already confirmed that the Kirin 980 chip will be unveiled at IFA in a press release issued to South African media, per GearBurn. The chip “improves processor speed by approximately 20% and consumes approximately 40% less power compared to its 10nm counterpart,” according to the release.

“As to the NPU, murmurs in the market indicate that the Kirin 980 will also feature a new iteration of the AI processor that feature improved AI performance,” Huawei said.

The company also confirmed that “the Kirin 980 will power the Mate 20 Series.” Like we told you before, the Mate 20 will offer this year Android buyers the kind of specs that we expect from the Galaxy S10 next spring.

The bad news, for US buyers, is that the Mate 20 Pro isn’t likely to launch with local carriers.

The Pixel 3 series, meanwhile, will be unveiled in early October and launched a few weeks later. Google’s advantage remains the fact that its phones always run the latest version of Android, and pack great camera features. But the phone will only pack a Snapdragon 845 chip, just like the Note 9 and many other 2018 Android flagships.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

More Tech