Huawei Nova 5T vs Samsung Galaxy A50s: Midrange heavy hitters

Which one’s for you?



We’re entering the fourth quarter of the year and that means there’s a second wave of smartphones that are ready for your purchase just ahead of the holiday rush. Two of those are these heavy-hitting midrangers: the Huawei Nova 5T and the Samsung Galaxy A50s.

Before we go on any further, take a look at how the two stack up on paper.

There’s a fair number of similarities and differences and we’ll try to break them down for you one by one.

Display and UI

The differences in the display are almost negligible. Whether you’re indoors or underneath bright sunlight, the displays of both the Nova 5T and the Galaxy A50s are more than adequate.

As it is right now, the EMUI version on the Nova 5T currently doesn’t have a night mode even if you enable developer options. Which is why we can’t wait for EMUI 10 to arrive on this phone as an update. The new and improved UI should take the Nova 5T to another level.

In terms of bells and whistles on EMUI and ONE UI, this one ultimately comes down to preference. We have a whole other output in mind for different Android UIs but that’s a topic for another day.

We’ve transitioned to using full screen gestures and really like EMUI’s implementation better. It’s a lot closer to Android 10. You can swipe from either side to go back, swipe up one to go to the home screen, and hold and swipe up for recent apps. The one on the ONE UI is closer to Android 9 in that it just essentially hides the navigation bar and asks you to swipe up from where the recent apps, home, and back buttons used to be.

Processor and performance

This where the Nova 5T looks so much better at first glance. It’s literally carrying the internals of the P30 Pro — that’s Huawei’s flagship for the first half of the year. And that chip is no joke. It literally can handle anything you throw at it.

However, the Exynos 9611on the Galaxy A50s is no slouch either. We noticed some slow down — which has addressed via a software update — of the Exynos 9610 on the Galaxy A50. But we’re inclined to believe the same thing won’t happen to the Galaxy A50s. This chip is flagship grade and can more than hold its own.

We tried a few games on both devices and the Nova 5T was ahead by a hair. The Nova 5T seemed to launch some games a few milliseconds faster. Titles like Honkai Impact 3 and Asphalt 9 ran smoothly. Curiously, the Galaxy A50s edged the Nova 5T in launching PUBG mobile. But again, only by a few milliseconds. Mobile Legends isn’t a particularly difficult game to run so both phones had no trouble running it.

For other regular tasks, these midrangers are more than capable of handling them. We even watched a VLIVE on both phones with the video player floating on top of Twitter and the apps ran flawlessly.

Multi-camera showdown

We didn’t have enough time to dig too deep into all of the cameras. We’ll reserve that for a more detailed look in a separate camera shootout.

But to give initial impressions, the few shots we’ve taken so far suggest that the Nova 5T captures more detail with its main cameras. This is especially true with the wide angle camera which we find more useful than the telephoto lens.

Selfies are about the same and will mostly be decided by the software’s post-processing. Again, watch out for the upcoming camera shootout to really scrutinize images.


Design and other features

We’ve talked about the Nova 5T’s design identity and it appears Huawei put more thought into it than Samsung did with the Galaxy A50s. While both phones strived for a standout look, the Nova 5T’s approach — especially with the Midsummer Purple variant — appear more deliberate in targeting those that truly value self-expression.

The Samsung Galaxy A50s is made of plastic which helps push costs down but the Huawei Nova 5T is able to do this despite sticking to a metal body.

The Nova 5T doesn’t have the heft you feel from some premium phones, but we can argue that it’s a good thing. Nobody wants to carry around a heavy phone for no apparent reason.

The Huawei Nova 5T goes for a 3D back and one that builds upon the changing colors that it has been known for. In this regard, Huawei has distinguished itself, pioneering this kind of look. The Galaxy A50s has a curious shattered glass like design that we’ve seen before from OPPO.

This ultimately will go down to what speaks to you aesthetically. But we’re giving Huawei some plus points for sticking to its identity.

Both phones also have a fingerprint unlock system. On paper, the Galaxy A50s looks more advance with its in-display sensor. However, in practice, the fingerprint sensor on the Nova 5T situated on the power button is way faster and makes a lot of sense ergonomically.

You can unlock your phone whether the display is upright or facing down. That’s convenience at its finest.

Which one is your GadgetMatch? 

The Huawei Nova 5T and Samsung Galaxy A50s have very little difference in terms of overall performance.

The Galaxy A50s has battery life and the dying headphone jack going for it, but the Nova 5T more than makes for it in other departments. It has more RAM (8GB vs 6GB), can potentially do more with its quad-cameras, takes better low-light selfies, and charges faster thanks to SuperCharge. Huawei’s 22.5W SuperCharge system can take you from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. It’s fast and efficient.

The decision might come down to aesthetics and comfortability with the UI. You’re gonna have to pick as well which notch you prefer — you have the Infinity-U on the Galaxy A50s and a punch-hole that sits on the top left side on the Nova 5T.

Whichever one you choose, know that you’re getting a phone that can more than keep up with all your tasks, social media usage, gaming and look good while it’s at it.

This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.


Samsung: ‘We’re more secure than any other brand’

Your data is safe



The digital age ushered an era where cybersecurity issues pose a threat to our personal safety and big risks in businesses and the economy. As if the world isn’t cruel, violent, and scary enough, we’re all forced to stay on our toes and double up our guard.

Several data breaches and news about tech companies spying on us has been alarming to say the least. “Is our data still safe?” is the common question among concerned individuals.

Recently, the CxO Innovation Summit 2019 — a data and security conference held by VST-ECS Philippines — was mounted in Boracay. GadgetMatch had an exclusive interview with executives from Samsung Global and Samsung Philippines.

Samsung’s series of unfortunate events

In a press conference, Samsung discussed its attempts to protect its consumers’ data. Samsung recently faced a series of unfortunate mishaps concerning security and privacy, causing concerns among its loyal customers.

Samsung Mobile B2B Asia’s Corporate VP and Chief Revenue Officer David Kim stated how Samsung isn’t the only one that suffered from malicious attacks. He reiterated how the company uses Knox as a security measure along with its authentication factor. Kim explained, “You can only control the hardware, software, and who access the phones.”

The executive added, “There are also Wi-Fi and networks. If someone can sneak in your network, they can sneak in your email.”

Samsung believes they’re more secure than any other brand. Kim confidently claimed to GadgetMatch, “We don’t have a perfect security rating, but we are well received. That’s why the White House is comfortable with us.”

Amidst the issues surrounding the company, Samsung also took pride in how they’re one of the few companies that organically make their hardware components and develop their software.

Knox makes the difference

Samsung’s Product Manager Anton Andres supported the claims, stating how Samsung’s Knox sets them apart. “The main difference is the Knox platform. It has two components: Platform security and the solutions we offer in the market like Knox Manage and Knox Configure.”

The young executive demonstrated, “Knox Platform is embedded on a smartphone. At first, it was just a security platform that automatically encrypts and decrypts information every time you boot up the device.”

Andres further explained how the Knox Platform has multi-layers of security. “First is the hardware chip. If a device — like a Samsung Galaxy S8 — was compromised and reset, Knox automatically blows the fuse.”

“If you have corporate or personal info, your data is automatically wiped, preventing any data leakage and security risks.”

Be careful of what you download

Similar to Huawei’s warnings, Andres warned about downloading third-party apps and keyboards. Though it may customize your keyboard to your liking, it can compromise your security. Andres believes the challenge is the keyboard loggers, which sends your credentials to third-party servers every time you put your credentials.

“If you access your mobile banking credentials on a third-party keyboard, they can phish your information,” Andres said. “With Samsung Knox, we identify specific applications and URLs. Once identified, Knox automatically hides your information to prevent potential threats.”

Currently, Samsung is constantly updating the Knox Platform and its security solutions. Recently, the Samsung Galaxy A50s highlighted Knox. The Korean company is also looking for more ways to make Knox easily understandable for everyday consumers. Presently, the Knox Platform is limited to Samsung devices while Knox Solutions are compatible with Android, Windows, and iOS.

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Huawei: ‘We do not touch data’

The Chinese company denies espionage allegations



Security and privacy have been a major issue in this era. Following the tech controversies relating to espionage, banning, and data breaches, people can’t help but wonder if their data is still safe.

In a conference held by VST-ECS Philippines in Boracay Island, CxO Innovation Summit 2019 was mounted to tackle data and security. GadgetMatch had an exclusive interview with Huawei, discussing how the Chinese company handles their consumers’ data and what they are doing to protect it.

The Government should protect your data

GadgetMatch first met with Patrick Low, Principal Architect for CTO Office of Huawei Enterprise Business Group. Low discussed how consumers’ data are being acquired everywhere. For instance, a surveillance camera in a public or private space can provide facial recognition — another form of identifiable data.

Low stated how our data do not belong to us, not even him — an executive from the Chinese company. Expounding, he says the moment we sign up on websites and different platforms, we trade our data in exchange for using their services. Low also demonstrated how Blockchain gives the user their data back, however, it isn’t adapted widely in the Philippines yet.

The Huawei executive further explained that despite the acquisition of our data, sensitive information is protected through policies formed by the government. Even so, the Principal Architect further pressed “Having a policy or rules is just a start, at the end of the day we need to enforce it.” Low cited how Singapore and Australia’s Data Protection Acts allow authorities to enforce through informing — which must be followed by developing countries.

“We do not touch data”

When asked regarding the spying accusations thrown at the company, Low simply stated “We do not touch data. That’s a policy from top-down.”

“Huawei has not been caught or found out in any way to be violating personal rights. Because of the media and diplomatic situations, Huawei is always guilty. It’s difficult for Huawei to handle.” Low added.

The executive then demonstrated Huawei’s strategy to protect data, such as creating servers and encrypting it. Low added that only applications have the requirement to hold user data. According to Low, any application — WhatsApp for instance — analyzes and sends your data back to where the app’s server is located. In this case, it’s being sent in the United States.

“We do not touch data. That’s a policy from top-down.”

Low then warned about the applications you are downloading through APKs and even in Google Play Store. Low advised to always check your sources, the app’s server location, and read the terms and conditions we skip regularly.

Moving forward, Huawei takes cybersecurity very seriously. Low stated, “If we are caught doing anything wrong without the user’s consent, we’re going to face a lot of problems. If something wrong happens, the company will suffer deeply.”

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Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

December 2019 Edition



When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Realme XT (US$ 333)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. This smartphone produces flagship-level photos.


Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (US$ 300)

Xiaomi has always been a part of the list and the Mi 9 SE truly deserves its spot. It’s a flagship-grade phone from its design to its specs. It’s dubbed as a “compact flagship” thanks to its smaller-than-usual form factor. If you’re looking for a phone that won’t hurt your pockets both in size and price, check out the Mi 9 SE.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Realme 5 Pro (US$ 232)

A quadruple-camera setup at this price point seems unlikely but Realme made it happen. And it’s not just the setup, the lenses actually take photos with good image quality. That would have been enough to recommend this but it also has a Snapdragon 712 AIE chip with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a great deal, this is it.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5 Pro

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (US$ 245)

While not as affordable as its predecessor, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 still does several things most phones can’t even dream of at this price point. We get an upper-midrange chip, large 5000mAh battery, versatile cameras, and a pure take on Android.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2

Huawei Nova 5T (US$ 367)

Huawei managed to put a flagship-level chip with a glass back and with triple cameras on a midrange phone. These are things you expect from brands like Xiaomi but Huawei was able to pull it off as well.

READ: Huawei Nova 5T

Samsung Galaxy A50s (US$ 345)

Samsung’s pivot to the A series has been fantastic and the Galaxy A50s is another proof of that. It’s a refinement of everything that was good with the Galaxy A50. If you’re a die-hard Samsung fan looking for a midrange phone, the Galaxy A50s is a solid option.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A50s

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