One area in which Samsung will undoubtedly have an advantage is price. With OLED panels of this size both will be expensive, but the Mate X includes a 5G modem for next-gen network speeds, which also necessitates a massive 4500mAh battery. Australian prices are not yet announced, but based on international prices I’d suggest Huawei will struggle to keep it under $4000, which Samsung should be able to undercut by at least $500.
Also packing 5G functionality is LG’s V50. Like previous LG flagships this phone looks like a dream for anyone who gets their movie or music fix on the go, with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, plus DTS:X surround sound and various high-res audio formats.
But, besides 5G, what really sets the V50 apart from its predecessors is a crazy optional accessory called Dual Screen. This is case for the V50 that also has an entire second HD OLED attached on a hinge. The Dual Screen works in both portrait and landscape modes to greatly expand your multitasking abilities, or give you separate controls for mobile gaming.
As with the Mate X, you’ll be paying a 5G premium on the V50. It will be a $2000 phone in Australia, making it around $700 more expensive than 2018’s very similar V40.
If you’re more into creating movies than watching them, you might be interested in Sony’s Xperia 1. This is a striking device with a crazy tall screen, mirroring the wide 21:9 aspect commonly used in cinema. Sony’s leaned on its various companies to to craft a creative powerhouse here, with a 4K HDR OLED powered by Bravia, support for professional colour space standards thanks to CineAlta and still photography technology from Alpha mirrorless cameras.
At 167mm tall this is probably a smartphone your thumb will not reach the top of, but Sony’s created an innovative menu you can swipe in from the side of the screen in order to pin apps like maps or video up top while you work underneath. No Australian availability has been announced yet.
Finally, HMD Global opted out of the weird screen technology race to focus on cameras, delivering the Nokia 9 PureView with an arachnoid rear array featuring five cameras. It might sound like overkill, but HMD says the lenses and sensors can work together for more complex and editable bokeh shots or to take a nonsensically large 240MP exposure.
As with all recent Nokia flagships the 9 combines interesting new tech with slightly less powerful innards, and software supplied directly by Google, to make for an impressive phone at a lower cost. It’s been given a $US699 starting price in the United States, so expect to see it arrive in Australia at $1000 or less.