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Is Huawei Better Than Samsung? An In-Depth Analysis [2021]

In the digital world many tech companies are striving to unleash better products and enable a better User experience. However, the market conditions, competitiveness and other factors define the very race uniquely. One such race is between Huawei & Samsung and this is what makes us question : is Huawei better than Samsung?

The world is aware of Apple & Microsoft and their feud in terms of market share, product compatibility and so forth. They were the pioneers in the digital revolution which began two decades prior to the end of the 20th Century. But, ultimately, we did see one company becoming a big Consumer product – Apple.

The same race with the same level of hype is witnessed in the 21st century. It’s Huawei VS Samsung. The race is specific to smartphones and so is this article.

Ever since Google licensed its android model to different phone companies, Samsung has been leading the charts with their galaxy smartphone series and have managed to get a world market. The same advantage was on other companies like Sony with their Xperia series. Clearly, Samsung led the race for smartphones by making better products at a reasonable price and developed a business model for succeeding companies like ASUS, LENOVO and even MICROSOFT when it tried to enter the smartphone market observing the models and statistics of Samsung. 

In the last decade, the Chinese Companies have used the same model and managed to create their own product lines which became dominant in India and elsewhere. Redmi is one of the preferred choices of every first time smartphone buyer in India. The reason ranges from price determination to performance and to durability. 

However, no Chinese Companies  excluding Xioami or Redmi, Vivo, has managed to grasp the world market which Samsung manages to dominate rightfully. Samsung remains to be undefeated but it needs to put all its cards on the table and navigate a plan of action to ensure that they get to leap forward for several years as the leading company in smartphones because Huawei is on its way to capture the world market with their expansions and R&D projects being established in potential countries.


It is not just the R&D or the business expansions but it is also the product and the User Experience that is making them design and develop better smartphones  for Consumers. There is a healthy demand for Huawei but that doesn’t take away the demand of Samsung. The former is emerging and the latter has already emerged and has the confidence of the Users.

Bearing this in mind, it is appropriate to draw an analysis of these two big smartphone Companies. Samsung has established itself and so it would be futile to compare Samsung to Huawei and therefore the title is designed to comprehend the stakes of Huawei and to come to an appropriate conclusion on whether or not Huawei is better than Samsung? 

How did Huawei manage to become the second largest smartphone Company in the world?

It started in the smartphone industry with the U8220. It was received moderately and managed to gain a market share in the cake of smartphone manufacturing. The other companies like Micromax and such were also trying to gain a market share in the good time of Samsung but it was not just MicroMax, there were many more companies in distribution of smartphones. 

Samsung didn’t have competition from a giant company like Apple but with a cluster of companies and one of which was/ is Huawei. By introducing a product that resonated with the technology of that time, it didn’t bring a change to the status quo of the existing demand but made an impression of that of a brand, of quality, of sophistication and style. It focused on the slimmest design for their phones and that was an attraction for Users and they kept this design phenomenon of theirs intact in succeeding phones too.

It will not be wrong to suggest that Apple is the right brand that comes to mind when we hear the word design, sophistication and so forth and rightly so, it must be associated with Apple because Huawei did try to impersonate Apple designs and it will be proved by them in their succeeding P series smartphones.

By establishing a mark on the market, it set assail on launching another product that would become a series of products under one title – Ascend P1 S. This phone too worked well within the time frame of 2012 and it helped to enhance their goodwill to a certain extent. 

Then came Ascend D1 which they claimed to be the world’s fastest quad core processor. The journalists writing on tech products were again mixed about Huawei but it didn’t affect their consistent rise in demand. The demand kept increasing. But the competition against Samsung was still not very combative, it needed more and better partners to unleash the footprint in the smartphone market in order to enable an equilibrium in the demand sector.

 However, the consumers were raising their eyebrows now to what Huawei was presenting. It was an alternative to the companies which were collectively battling against Samsung. Their mess made Huawei look the other way around and it served as an advantage to them.  

The year 2012 was an important year for Huawei because it launched Ascend P1 LTE which had a 4G connection and a battery capacity which no other company except for the big ones were in a position to provide. If there was a moment for a strategic inflection point for companies competing for market share equivalent to Samsung, then, it was this.

 It was this very product that opened the eyes of these companies to the prospect of what future smartphones would be like with regard to connectivity, battery, processor, software and design. This made the tech journalists or techies inquisitive about what it had to offer next and it was not a surprise to them when Huawei stood out to their expectations. 

They launched their second last product of that year, Ascend D2 which was appreciated by rival companies, consumers and this product paved a way for Huawei. However, the last product Ascend Mate which was a unique model received a mixed review and that led to the excitement of Huawei to drop a little.

The next year they started off with Ascend P2 which they claimed to be the world’s first LTE CAT4 smartphone. It was a good start for them only to be something worse in the course of the forthcoming product.

The next was the controversial Ascend P6. It was controversial because they were accused of design theft by techies and consumers alike. The design of their product was a carbon copy of iPhones. It would be hilarious to imagine what Steve Jobs would have done to Huawei’s CEO if he was alive witnessing this facade. It was criticised but to no avail, they were gradually accepted because by then many companies had shifted their product lines to different divisions  and had withdrawn from the market unable to cope with the deliberate changes.

A huge amount of credit must go to the R&D of their company which made their retention in the market possible. It is also the resources and manpower that they put into which made them gain a market share of a huge size which once belonged to Samsung. 

This was not enough, by the end of the year, they had introduced their subsidiary company HONOR to manufacture smartphones keeping in mind the affordability of the product bringing their own tactics to introduce a sheer spirit of competition in the world market of smartphones. Before 2013, it felt like Huawei was running to prove a point but after 2013, it was the way around, Big Companies were paying attention to their operations and had taken them seriously. At least, Samsung did.

By 2014, they had launched Ascend Mate2 4G which received brownie points from the techies and consumers alike. They became an anticipated smartphone manufacturer. It was a well designed phone with better performance and capacity. It aided them in the launch of a new product which actually was a new division for them as they were trying to bring in their own tablet. MediaPadX1.

 It received a moderate review on performance. It made a lot of noise but didn’t have the impact that they had anticipated. In addition, it is their lack of originality to names, design and software that makes their product a little caricaturist for consumers and techies alike. They focus on the business part of the smartphone more than the technology or experience of using one for a purpose. They lack a sense of purpose for being in the market. The only purpose one can truly see in Huawei is the revenue accumulation.

Of course, they do innovate with their own system but it isn’t as compatible as the system of Samsung and Apple. They need to devote more time and energy to the question of their purpose and what they truly want to give to the customers excluding the price affordability

The Ascend G6 46 SP also received a moderate appreciation and the next product in line – Ascend P7 was compared to Sony Xperia and received a mixed review from the customers. It was a lesson for them. 

Then, came the Ascend Mate 7  which was a turning point for them. It became the most demanded smartphone in China with their stocks being sold in record numbers. There was no turning back from here. They managed to satisfy their home customers and created a buzz around the world and their sales were skyrocketing as a result.

Another Ascend G7  with a better battery and performance was launched and it was well received by customers. If this was not enough, they launched the Ascend P7 with a Sapphire edition and it was appreciated better than the original P7 product.

By 2015, the operations on Ascend were stopped and a new division specific to the P8 series was introduced by partnering with Google in building NEXUS 6P. It led to the numerous launches of P & Mate product lines .

But in the succeeding years, it has been tough for Huawei to maintain their steady growth because of the sanctions imposed on them by the U.S and the cases registered by other countries against them for their other operations. It also led to Honor being sold  by 2020.

This partnership in the forthcoming years dating 2021 led to the cut throat competition between Huawei and Samsung. The product lines of Huawei are a sharp contrast to the product lines of Samsung but still the customers are appreciating the products developed by Huawei. What could possibly be the reason behind it?

Huawei’s Operating System – Harmony OS

The biggest blow to Huawei was after Google verification of their EMUI operating system became non-functional. They had to rely on their own App Gallery for GooglePlay like services to function in their products both existing and in production. 

Harmony OS Launch
Picture Credit: Huawei

The end of google sanctioned Android versions compatible with Huawei devices didn’t have any impact on Chinese Users for Google and other American digital applications are not allowed there. However, it served as a problem for the customers around the world because they rely on Google and to cease security updates or android updates from google was a problem before them. Huawei replaced it with their own Petal search engine and tried to cope with the circumstances but their market value was free falling after the U.S sanctions. But they were quick to respond to stop their share from falling further. 

One must admit the fact that Huawei has the audacity to remain in the industry without the support of Google and has proved by launching its own search engine. The search engine needs enhancement, of course, but it is not struggling like Samsung or Microsoft. They are progressing ahead with it and are providing services which are in many ways equivalent to Google search Engine. Let us not forget the fact that Huawei doesn’t have any purpose for User satisfaction or User Value, they are interested in business and that they have managed pretty well.

Huawei is developing Harmony OS which will be replaced with all the google Android versions and whether or not they will be accepted by the customers is a matter of great discussion. 

However, it is interesting to notice that the U.S sanctions served as an advantage for Huawei as Chinese  smartphone companies dominate the world market but with google android services. If Huawei manages to convince these dominating Chinese Companies to use their home built  operating system, then the picture would be very different.

 Firstly, customers already using Xiaomi or a Vivo device would be compelled to opt for the changes demanded by the company or they have to opt for a phone that deals with google services. It will be a dilemma for them. They could give a chance to their companies or lay their trust on Google. It would be an interesting thing to witness.

 Secondly, both Microsoft and Samsung have tried to create their own operating systems but failed to gain any traction in the smartphone market. But that is not the case for Huawei, they have just announced that their operations  would be based on open source as it is in the Android versions. This is where they triumph. By providing the same service with a similar model, it will be in a position to compete with Google and IOS in the Smartphone Industry.

It is this very phenomenon that makes the customers drawn towards Huawei. They consider Huawei as an alternative to Google , Samsung or IOS. Alternative in the sense that, they see an operating system which is sustainable and is unlike Windows or Samsung and is compatible with the space that they require for their daily usage such as E-mail and applications as such which have a global reach and are mostly used for sharing of information. It has to do with the personalized experience of  Users which they don’t want to compromise with at any rate.

Is Samsung better than Huawei?

As the discussion on Huawei’s compatibility with Samsung is articulated, one must question whether Samsung is compatible with Huawei or not?

is huawei better than samsung
Picture Credit: Samsung

Yes, definitely, it is not just compatible but also more developed and better than Huawei in many ways.

 Firstly, it is the pioneer of smartphones. It competes with companies like Apple, Sony & Microsoft. It is not just compatible, it is one of the companies that strives to provide a better experience to their customers and does not intend to copy the model or anything of any company. They have their own models and have their unique sophistication. It is as big a brand as Apple. To own a Samsung is a pride for the majority of the customers. 

Secondly, it has its own system and is improving it for exclusive representation in the market. It tried to introduce its own operating system but failed. Well, that’s a different topic. However, exclusive representation itself is a reason enough to comprehend where Samsung stands.

Then, what’s the point of discussing: Is Huawei better than Samsung?

It is significant for the simple reason that it tries to provide an emphasis on how Huawei is edging towards the position where Samsung stands today and very rightly it is edging towards Samsung’s position.

Which operating system is more reliable?

If one has to make an assessment solely on Company history based on development, purpose and User Experience, there is no doubt that Google will lead the chart with ample data. The following are the reasons for Google being a better operating system.

  1. The company’ s genesis is based on a search engine and it has managed to develop that search engine and expand accordingly. It became a trusted search engine for Users around the world. Many earn their livelihood by managing websites on google. Many also rely on these websites for information.
  2. It has licensed its android versions to many companies which had a positive effect on their sales and has made the upgradation process more compatible with time. It is the parent of operating systems dealing with Smartphones after Apple. Apple is the mother of operating systems when it comes to smartphones.
  3. Huawei’s system became popular as a result of the license given by google services. Huawei has just copied it and tried to develop it. In short, Huawei imitated Google’s operating system. They are indeed very identical which makes the customers have no objections because they receive the same value except that they don’t receive the real value. (Well, the real value is actually copied too from the operating system of Apple but that’s a  different topic.)
  4. Google is the most trusted system of many Users on Earth.

In addition, there is a political reason too. There is a fear imprinted in the minds of the users that the Chinese government will not impose regulations as American government would, in case a fraudulent act is committed by Huawei. The political climate in China also aids in this narrative. Consumers don’t just see the products, at times they find certain products apocryphal just by the country of their origin. What happened in India in 2020  is an example.

Should Huawei be making an Operating system?

CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group- Richard Yu; Explains the need of a new alternative. He says “We’re entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios. To support this, we felt it was important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities. We needed an OS that supports all scenarios, that can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms, and that can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security.”

Read Huawei’s Press Release Here.

Yes, they should. It will provide the Users with more options. It will lead to a healthy competition. 

There is no harm in making an operating system which doesn’t harm the privacy of the customers in any way and is based on the experienced services provided by the google. However, the point of discussion is about how legitimate it would be in the long run?

If Huawei fails to meet the requirements to provide an optimised and sustainable operating system for their smartphones, then it would be an investment that would tarnish their goodwill and trust that they have managed to garner over the years in the smartphone market. 

The political problems faced by Huawei from different countries is another problem which lay before them, it would be anticipated as to how they would acquit themselves from the charges and to positively get back into the collective mindset of the Users.

Huawei vs Samsung: Conclusion

Huawei’s ascend towards the position of smartphone superpower is not a result of one great product launched with a lot of hype as had happened in the 80s. It is a different matter now. They have moved with precise calculations of competitors’ move, demand in technology and expectations of the future. This in itself is a bildungsroman kind of a story for Huawei for they have earned their position with a good amount of work on coping with the technological change and the cultural change that comes with it. 

However, the question of their purpose is still hanging. What precisely does Huawei intend to provide to their Users? If this question is asked to Apple, Microsoft or even Samsung, they will be in a position to answer . As a matter of fact, even the consumers will be able to articulate the answer because of their experiences. But it is not the same for Huawei.

They don’t strive to create a Huawei exclusive design, technology and User experience for their Customers. It is evident from their product lines. It is always associated with some other companies’ design modules and this is where they reach the apprehensive part of the consumers – Trust. Even their operating system is not original and is a carbon copy of Google android for Smartphone services. They have taken the partnership of Google for building Nexus to their benefit. 

This imitative entrepreneurial spirit of Huawei is a detriment for them in the future simply because their product lines will always match the product lines of other companies which provide exclusivity to their companies.

So, based on how Huawei reached its popularity peak, its operating system and its performing capacity and controversies, it is just and appropriate to answer the question: is huawei better than Samsung?

No, it is not better than Samsung both from a short and long – term perspective.

Samsung is more committed and original when it comes to smartphone manufacturing. On the other hand, Huawei serves it as a business requirement instead of a value added good. This sharp contrast in Belief is not the only difference that makes Samsung better than Huawei. It is also the processor and other necessary requirements that makes Samsung better than Huawei.

Ajit Kumar Yadav

Ajit Kumar Yadav is an analyst interpreting different technologies and keeping track of their events. He understands the business part of technology and construes it from social, political, economic, and cultural lenses.

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