How to transfer your photos from an Android phone to a PC

how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC

Smartphones are now responsible for the majority of photos that are taken. The downside is that these photos, collectively over time, take up a lot of room. Throw in videos, time-lapses, burst shots, snaps, and uncompressed RAW files, and you can easily fill up your device. Users don’t always edit, back up, or delete their photos, turning their phones into digital graveyards. If you want to archive your photos to use later, then you want to make sure you know how to back them up on a computer. Learn how to transfer photos from an Android phone to a PC eight different ways, so you can offload those photos even when there’s no cord handy. (Are you an iOS user? See our guide on transferring photos from an iPhone.)

USB

One of the best features of Android is its mostly unfettered access to the USB file system. The fact that you can simply plug your phone into your computer using the included USB cable makes it easy to download any and all images and drag them into any desktop app or your file system for safekeeping. We find this to be the easiest, most foolproof method, and the only downside is that you need a computer and your charging cable handy.

USB OTG Android
Simon Hill / Digital Trends

If you’re using Windows, the USB connection auto-prompts will present you with options for managing the device as soon as it’s connected. With Windows 10, you can also open Photos, then choose Import > From a USB Device to choose what images to add to the photo-management program.

If you’re on a Mac, there are a few options, one being the Android File Transfer program. We have a handy guide for transferring any type of file from your Android phone to your Mac.

Google Drive

Google Drive’s backup service is by far the simplest method for both backing up your photos and subsequently getting them off your Android phone. The service comes standard on almost all Android phones and works quietly in the background, uploading your files to your Google Drive for easy access on other devices. Synced photos are stored privately, too, meaning you don’t have to worry about any embarrassing photos winding up in the wrong hands, but they’re easily and quickly accessible from within your Google Drive.

googledrivephotos-970

In the Google Drive app, press the menu button or icon, then open the Settings menu. Find the Google Photos option and turn on the auto add. Here, you can set the auto backup to be on or off, as well as change the settings that correspond to it. In order to access and download your synced photos, open your Google Drive. Your photos are stored in a private folder labeled Google Photos. Open that folder, and you can browse and download your photos directly to your desktop. Your photos will also be added to Google Photos using this method.

If you don’t want to enable syncing, you can also upload individual files from your phone to your drive. Open your phone’s photo gallery, open a picture, then tap the Share button. From there, you will be able to select from multiple sharing options. Tap the Google Drive icon, and the files will be uploaded. Once uploaded, the picture can be accessed via Google Drive. Keep in mind, however, that any files uploaded to your Google Drive will take up your allotted storage space. Therefore, you may want to periodically clean out your drive or opt for a more robust storage plan.

On the desktop, Google transitioned from Google Drive to Backup and Sync in 2017. It’s all a bit confusing, but basically, the Mac and Windows app to access Google Drive is now called Backup and Sync and works the same way as the old Google Drive. If you’re like most people and access Google Drive via your web browser, then this change doesn’t affect you.

Google Photos

Google Photos works in a similar fashion to Google Drive; in fact, the user interface and experience is nearly identical because both share Google’s Material Design language. Of course, Google Photos is strictly for stowing photos and videos, while Google Drive handles all types of files. But Google Photos offers an array of useful tools that allow you to edit and share your creations, or automatically group photos and videos into collections. The service can also cast content to a Chromecast, keep your photos private unless specified, and perform smart searches using machine learning. The “assistant” can even create fun projects with your images, such as slideshows, collages, panoramas, and animations. Best of all, you can access your photos from almost any device — not just those running Android.

If your utmost concern is backing up images, then Google Photos might be the better solution. It’s free, storage is unlimited (so long as you don’t use the “original” file size option), and, unlike Google Drive, it doesn’t impact your allotted amount of free storage. Google has also recently improved performance, meaning Photos is now twice as fast. However, there is a catch.

google photos io 2017 news 54843350 ml
Dennizen / 123RF

The service supports JPEG, TIFF, RAW, WEBP, and GIFs that are at least 256 pixels, as well as a dozen different video file types including MP4 and MOV. The free storage option does downsample those files slightly, however. Images are still pretty high resolution, so it’s fine for most people, but if you really want to keep the entirety of the file intact, you’ll want to upload individually to Google Drive and have those photos count against your storage limits.

Google Photos is also simple to set up and use. Once you connect it to your Google ID, the app will upload any new content automatically. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, just make sure you set Google Photos to only sync when your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, which can be done by accessing the Settings menu in the top-right corner of the app.

MicroSD cards

Unlike the iPhone, many Android devices let you expand storage via a MicroSD card. With a large-capacity card inserted, you could set supported photo apps to save content directly to the card instead of your phone’s internal storage. This is particularly useful if you purchased a 16GB or 32GB device, which, if you’re an avid shooter, will fill up in no time. Save the internal memory for applications and use the MicroSD card for storage. But remember, don’t leave the photos sitting on the card – transfer them to your computer. Check out our guide on using MicroSD cards on Android devices for more information.

Sony Xperia Z3V

What if your Android device lacks support for MicroSD? In this case, the Leef Access MicroSD reader is awesome for transferring photos between devices while expanding the storage space on your phone. The tiny dongle plugs into your phone’s Micro USB port, while the other end functions as a MicroSD card reader and a slot for secondary storage. Once a card is inserted, you can use most file-management apps to copy photos (or any files, for that matter) to the card. If you use a high-speed MicroSD card, the transfer process from phone to the card is relatively quick. You could also use USB On-the-Go; read more about it in the section of this article on External Storage.

Dropbox

Like Google Drive, another option is the popular Dropbox app for Android, a free utility that automatically syncs files and photos with the cloud-based server, so you can easily access them anywhere. The Dropbox App is available via the Google Play store.

google app alternatives dropbox android

Once you’ve downloaded the Dropbox app, you have to either log in to your existing account or make a new one. Either in settings or at the top of the photos and media tab, select Turn on Camera Upload to access the settings that govern what photos get backed up automatically, and whether you want them backed up on cellular data or only over Wi-Fi.

Microsoft’s One Drive is another similar option to consider.

Mylio

myandroid google website mylio android

A group of former Microsoft engineers, who just so happen to be photo enthusiasts, got together and created Mylio. Billed as a “memory organizer,” the service lets mobile users back up their photos — up to 500,000 — for free. Mylio lets you sync up to 12 Android or iOS devices, and offers in-device photo editing, along with the ability to work with JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW files. The concept behind Mylio is similar to Google Photos, but while the latter targets casual photographers, Mylio seems to skew toward enthusiasts. We think Google Photos offers more features for everyday shooting, but if you work with high-quality files, Mylio is a great companion to Google Photos.

Email and sharing

It isn’t the most elegant solution, but if you only need to transfer over an image or two, and you only do it sporadically, then you can easily use your email. This is also a good way to send images to a PC that isn’t connected to your Google Drive or other cloud accounts, such as a work computer. Depending on your email provider, the exact process may vary, but it’s a simple process no matter which app you use. Compose a new email, and enter your email address as the recipient.

AndroidEmail

Tap on the Menu button to bring up a context menu, and then select Attach File to add a picture to your email. If you’re in Gmail, you can capture a photo right from that menu.

Send the email, and a few short minutes later, you will see the email pop up in your inbox for you to open from another phone or your computer. Note that you are sending a large file and some email services have a limit on the file size you can send.

You can also share a photo to other services, like Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram, and Twitter by sharing. Pull up the photo you wish to share, then tap the Share button. From there, you will be prompted to select which app you wish to use to share the picture. Depending on which app you choose, the picture will be emailed, posted, or uploaded.

External storage

Sometimes, nothing else will do besides a reliable external storage device. As connectivity in smartphones increases, so do your options for connecting to different storage methods.

One nice thing about Android is its support for external storage, which owes much to a USB protocol called USB On-the-Go (OTG). You can plug in a standard external USB hard drive — the kind you’d use with a laptop or desktop machine — and add a ton of storage for offloading photos and videos, particularly 4K and RAW files. You will need a USB OTG-to-Micro USB adapter, however. Also, keep in mind that not all Android devices support USB OTG; to find out if yours does, use the Easy OTG Checker app.

what is an ssd samsung t3 2tb usbc3 1200x0

If your phone doesn’t support USB OTG, another useful option is a portable flash drive (aka a thumbdrive) that is designed to connect directly to a phone via the Micro USB or USB Type-C port. These products include Leef’s Bridge 3.0 Mobile USB drive, as well as SanDisk’s Ultra Dual Drive m3.0 or Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive.

best ways get photos android mypassportwirelessssd

Taking a ton of photos? Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless SSD packs tons of storage, wireless connectivity, and portability into a single package. With Wi-Fi, you can connect your Android device to the drive (via the WD My Cloud app) and easily copy photos over. There’s a built-in SD card slot, too, which allows you to back up the photos from your digital camera without a computer.

Editors’ Recommendations

Huawei’s FreeBuds are an unapologetic ripoff of Apple’s AirPods

Ever since Apple launched its truly wireless AirPods, there’s been no shortage of competition, with many models eclipsing Apple’s features  — even with the launch of the newly updated AirPods. But so far, no major brand has had the audacity to create a product that mimics the AirPods’ signature elongated design — until today, that is. Huawei’s just-announced FreeBuds (118 euros, or $132 U.S.) are the spitting image of Apple’s wireless earbuds, and they sport a very similar feature set.

There are two notable differences however: The addition of IPX4 water resistance — something Apple has so far chosen not to offer on the AirPods — and the availability of black as a color choice. Despite the heavy-handed duplication of Apple’s design, we don’t think Tim Cook and company need to worry. The FreeBuds may look the part, but the specs are entirely unremarkable, and even a little lackluster:

  • Auto pairing when you open the charging case (after an initial Bluetooth setup)
  • IR sensors for detecting when an earbud is removed
  • EQ adjustment (via an app, we assume — Huawei doesn’t say how this is done)
  • Voice assistant access via a double-tap on the left earbud

The real disappointment here is battery life. Huawei claims only a paltry 3 hours of playing time on a single charge, which is among the shortest durations we’ve seen from truly wireless earbuds. For comparison, Apple’s latest version of the AirPods last 5 hours per charge, and we were pretty disappointed about that too. Strangely, the charging case appears to be capable of wireless charging, but Huawei’s product page doesn’t specify this, so we’re not sure. Amazon’s Italian website lists a Qi charging mat as a suggested accessory, so maybe that’s the answer.

huawei freebuds freelace wireless earbuds airpods knockoff 1

Huawei also announced an around-the-neck set of wireless earbuds, called FreeLace (99 euros, or $111. Available in four different colors, the FreeLace is only noteworthy for its unusual Bluetooth pairing process: Detaching the cable from one of the earbuds reveals a USB-C tip, which you then plug into your Huawei phone. Thus commences the company’s automatic pairing process it calls HiPair. You charge the FreeLace via the same connection, both from a standard USB adapter, as well as via a Huawei phone if it’s compatible with reverse-charging. When the earpieces are magnetically attached, the FreeLace goes into power-saving mode.

With 18 hours of battery life, a fast charge feature that grabs 4 hours of playback time in just 5 minutes, and an IPX5 rating for decent water resistance, the FreeLace looks like it will be a good, if not great option for those who aren’t interested in a fully wireless design. We have to say, the aluminum finish does give it an upscale look, and we’re intrigued by Huawei’s description of the cable. It calls it “memory metal,” which is apparently a mix of nickel-titanium alloy and liquid silicon designed “to feel smooth and contour to your neck.”

There’s no word yet on whether either of these Huawei earbuds will make their way stateside, or how much they’ll cost if they do.

The danger of “I already pay for Apple News+”

Apple doesn’t care about news, it cares about recurring revenue. That’s why publishers are crazy to jump into bed with Apple News+. They’re rendering their own subscription options unnecessary in exchange for a sliver of what Apple pays out from the mere $10 per month it charges for unlimited reading.

The unfathomable platform risk here makes Facebook’s exploitative Instant Articles program seem toothless in comparison. On Facebook, publishers became generic providers of dumb content for the social network’s smart pipe that stole the customer relationship from content creators. But at least publishers were only giving away their free content.

Apple News+ threatens to open a massive hole in news site paywalls, allowing their best premium articles to escape. Publishers hope they’ll get exposure to new audiences. But any potential new or existing direct subscriber to a publisher will no longer be willing to pay a healthy monthly fee to occasionally access that top content while supporting the rest of the newsroom. They’ll just cherry pick what they want via News+, and Apple will shave off a few cents for the publisher while owning all the data, customer relationship, and power.

“Why subscribe to that publisher? I already pay for Apple News+” should be the question haunting journalists’ nightmares. For readers, $10 per month all-you-can-eat from 300-plus publishers sounds like a great deal today. But it could accelerate the demise of some of those outlets, leaving society with fewer watchdogs and storytellers. If publishers agree to the shake hands with the devil, the dark lord will just garner more followers, making its ruinous offer more tempting.

There are so many horrifying aspects of Apple News+ for publishers, it’s best just to list each and break them down.

No Relationship With The Reader

To succeed, publishers need attention, data, and revenue, and Apple News+ gets in the way of all three. Readers visit Apple’s app, not the outlet’s site that gives it free rein to promote conference tickets, merchandise, research reports, and other money-makers. Publishers don’t get their Apple News+ readers’ email addresses for follow-up marketing, cookies for ad targeting and content personalization, or their credit card info to speed up future purchases.

At the bottom of articles, Apple News+ recommends posts by an outlet’s competitors. Readers end up without a publisher’s bookmark in their browser toolbar, app on their phone, or even easy access to them from News+’s default tab. They won’t see the outlet’s curation that highlights its most important content, or develop a connection with its home screen layout. They’ll miss call outs to follow individual reporters and chances to interact with innovative new interactive formats.

Perhaps worst of all, publishers will be thrown right back into the coliseum of attention. They’ll need to debase their voice and amp up the sensationalism of their headlines or risk their users straying an inch over to someone else. But they’ll have no control of how they’re surfaced…

At The Mercy Of The Algorithm

Which outlets earn money on Apple News+ will be largely determined by what Apple decides to show in those first few curatorial slots on screen. At any time, Apple could decide it wants more visual photo-based content or less serious world news because it placates users even if they’re less informed. It could suddenly preference shorter takes because they keep people from bouncing out of the app, or more generic shallow-dives that won’t scare off casual readers who don’t even care about that outlet. What if Apple signs up a publisher’s biggest competitor and sends them all the attention, decimating the first outlet’s discovery while still exposing its top paywalled content for cheap access?

Remember when Facebook wanted to build the world’s personalized newspaper and delivered tons of referral traffic, then abruptly decided to favor “friends and family content” while leaving publishers to starve? Now outlets are giving Apple News+ the same iron grip on their businesses. They might hire a ton of talent to give Apple what it wants, only for the strategy to change. The Wall Street Journal says it’s hiring 50 staffers to make content specifically for Apple News+. Those sound like some of the most precarious jobs in the business right now.

Remember when Facebook got the WSJ, Guardian, and more to build “social reader apps” and then one day just shut off the virality and then shut down the whole platform? News+ revenue will be a drop in bucket of iPhone sales, and Apple could at any time decide it’s not thirsty any more and let News+ rot. That and the eventual realization of platform risk and loss of relationship with the reader led the majority of Facebook’s Instant Articles launch partners like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vox to drop the format. Publishers would be wise to come to that same conclusion now before they drive any more eyeballs to News+.

News+ Isn’t Built For News

Apple acquired the magazine industry’s self-distribution app Texture a year ago. Now it’s trying to cram in traditional text-based news with minimal work to adapt the product. That means National Geographic and Sports Illustrated get featured billing with animated magazine covers and ways to browse the latest ‘issue’. News outlets get demoted far below, with no intuitive or productive way to skim between articles beyond swiping through a chronological stack.

I only see WSJ’s content below My Magazines, a massive At Home feature from Architectural Digest, a random Gadgets & Gear section of magazine articles, another huge call out for the new issue of The Cut plus four pieces inside of it, and one more giant look at Bloomberg’s profile of Dow Chemical. That means those magazines are likely to absorb a ton of taps and engagement time before users even make it to the WSJ, which will then only score few cents per reader.

Magazines often publish big standalone features that don’t need a ton of context. News articles are part of a continuum of information that can be laid out on a publisher’s own site where they have control but not on Apple News+. And to make articles more visually appealing, Apple strips out some of the cross-promotional recirculation, sign-up forms, and commerce opportunities depend on.

Shattered Subscriptions

The whole situation feels like the music industry stumbling into the disastrous iTunes download era. Musicians earned solid revenue when someone bought their whole physical album for $16 to listen to the single, then fell in love with the other songs and ended up buying merchandise or concert tickets. Then suddenly, fans could just buy the digital single for $0.99 from iTunes, form a bond with Apple instead of the artist, and the whole music business fell into a depression.

Apple News+’s onerous revenue sharing deal puts publishers in the same pickle. That occasional flagship article that’s a breakout success no longer serves as a tentpole for the rest of the subscription.

Formerly, people would need to pay $30 per month for a WSJ subscription to read that article, with the price covering the research, reporting, and production of the whole newspaper. Readers felt justified paying the price since the got access to the other content, and the WSJ got to keep all the money even if people didn’t read much else or declined to even visit during the month. Now someone can pop in, read the WSJ’s best or most resource-intensive article, and the publisher effectively gets paid a la carte like with an iTunes single. Publishers will be scrounging for a cut of readers’ $10 per month, which will reportedly be divided in half by Apple’s oppressive 50 percent cut, then split between all the publishers someone reads — which will be heavily skewed towards the magazines that get the spotlight.

I’ve already had friends ask why they should keep paying if most of the WSJ is in Apple News along with tons of other publishers for a third of the price. Hardcore business news addicts that want unlimited access to the finance content that’s only available for three days in Apple News+ might keep their WSJ subscription. But anyone just in it for the highlights is likely to stop paying WSJ directly or never start.

I’m personally concerned because TechCrunch has agreed to put its new Extra Crunch $15 per month subscription content inside Apple News+ despite all the warning signs. We’re saving some perks like access to conference calls just for direct Extra Crunch subscribers, and perhaps a taste of EC’s written content might convince people they want the bonus features. But even more likely seems the possibility that readers would balk at paying again for just some extra perks when they already get the rest from Apple News, and many newsrooms aren’t set up to do anything but write articles.

It’s the “good enough” strategy we see across tech products playing out in news. When Instagram first launched Stories, it lacked a ton of Snapchat’s features, but it was good enough and conveniently located where people already spent their time and had their social graph. Snapchat didn’t suddenly lose all its users, but there was little reason for new users to sign up and growth plummetted.

Apple News is pre-loaded on your device, where you already have a credit card set up, and it’s bundled with lots of content, at a cheaper price that most individual news outlets. Even if it doesn’t offer unlimited, permanent access to every WSJ Pro story, Apple News+ will be good enough. And it gets better with each outlet that allies with this Borg.

But this time, good enough won’t just determine which tech giant wins. Apple News+ could decimate the revenue of a fundamental pillar of society we rely on to hold the powerful accountable. Yet to the journalists that surrender their content, Apple will have no accountability.

Spotify adds mystery and crime to its podcast arsenal with Parcast acquisition

Spotify is quickly becoming a major force to be reckoned with in the podcasting space. Hot on the heels of its acquisition of podcast companies Gimlet Media, and Anchor in February, the streaming music giant has announced its plans to buy Parcast, a podcast studio known for its prolific production of original true-crime, mystery, and sci-fi audio content.

“The addition of Parcast to our growing roster of podcast content will advance our goal of becoming the world’s leading audio platform. Crime and mystery podcasts are a top genre for our users and Parcast has had significant success creating hit series while building a loyal and growing fan base,” Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff said in the press release.

Parcast podcasts include titles like Unsolved Murders: True Crime Stories, Serial Killers, Crimes of Passion, and Female Criminals, which have been described by The New York Times as, “a mix of historical fact, pop psychology and rampant speculation.” The productions tend to be low-budget affairs, but very popular, with many of its shows appearing in the top spots of Apple’s podcast charts. Parcast founder Max Cutler has said he was inspired by Serial, perhaps the best-known and most downloaded true-crime podcast.

Podcasting is a potentially lucrative new market for streaming music platforms like Spotify. As completely original content that is inexpensive to produce compared to music, it may not attract as many listeners, but the advertising opportunities are better. Though not a considerable source of revenue yet — U.S. podcast advertising earned only $314 million in revenue for 2017 — that number should go up and is expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2022. If Spotify can capture only a portion of this money, it could be a decent add-on to its bottom line. The company reported its first profits in 2018.

Some have speculated that Spotify would like to become the Netflix of the streaming audio world, not only licensing content from third parties, but also producing a raft of its own original creations. Creating its own music label might be the ultimate goal, but in the meantime, getting its feet wet with original content via podcasting represents a much lower-risk investment.

If you’re looking for a podcast that covers all the latest in tech, may we humbly suggest Digital Trends’ own Tech With Benefits, a weekly look at the technology trends making the headlines, and how they impact our daily lives.

Unicorns aren’t profitable, and Wall Street doesn’t care

In Silicon Valley, investors don’t expect their portfolio companies to be profitable. “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies,” a bible for founders, instead calls for heavy spending on growth to scale in an Amazon -like fashion.

As for Wall Street, it’s shown an affinity for stock in Jeff Bezos’ business, despite the many years it spent navigating a path to profitability, as well as other money-losing endeavors. Why? Because it too is far less concerned with profitability than market opportunity.

Lyft, a ride-hailing company expected to go public this week, is not profitable. It posted losses of $911 million in 2018, a statistic that will make it the biggest loser amongst U.S. startups to have gone public, according to data collected by The Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, Lyft’s $2.2 billion in 2018 revenue places it atop the list of largest annual revenues for a pre-IPO business, trailing behind only Facebook and Google in that category.

Wall Street, in short, is betting on Lyft’s revenue growth, assuming it will narrow its loses and reach profitability… eventually.

Wall Street’s hungry for unicorns

Lyft, losses notwithstanding, is growing rapidly and Wall Street is paying attention. On the second day of its road show, reports emerged that its IPO was already oversubscribed. As a result, Lyft is said to have upped the cost of its stock, with new plans to raise more than $2 billion at a valuation upwards of $25 billion. That represents a revenue multiple of more than 11x, a step up multiple of more than 1.6x from its most recent private valuation of $15.1 billion and, of course, Wall Street’s insatiable desire for unicorns, profitable or not.

New data from PitchBook exploring the performance of billion-dollar-plus VC exits confirms Wall Street’s leniency toward unprofitable tech companies. Sixty-four percent of the 100+ companies valued at more than $1 billion to complete a VC-backed IPO since 2010 were unprofitable, and in 2018, money-losing startups actually fared better on the stock exchange than money-earning businesses. Moreover, U.S. tech companies that had raised more than $20 million traded up nearly 25 percent of 2018, while the S&P 500 technology sector posted flat returns.

Wall Street is still adapting to the rapid growth of the tech industry; public markets investors, therefore, are willing to deal with negative to minimal cash flows for, well, a very long time.

A tolerance for outsized exits

There’s no doubt Lyft and its much larger competitor, Uber, will go public at monstrous valuations. The two IPOs, set to create a whole bunch of millionaires and return a number of venture capital funds, will provide Silicon Valley a lesson in Wall Street’s tolerance for outsized exits.

Much like a seed-stage investor must bet on a founder’s vision, Wall Street, given a choice of several unprofitable businesses, has to bet on potential market value. Fortunately, this strategy can work quite well. Take Floodgate, for example. The seed fund invested a small amount of capital in Lyft when it was still a quirky idea for ridesharing called Zimride. Now, it boasts shares worth more than $100 million. I’m sure early shareholders in Amazon — which went public as a money-losing company in 1997 — are pretty happy, too.

Ultimately, Wall Street’s appetite for unicorns like Lyft is a result of the shortage of VC-backed IPOs. In 2006, it was the norm for a company to make its stock market debut at 7.9 years old, per PitchBook. In 2018, companies waited until the ripe age of 10.9 years, causing a significant slowdown in big liquidity events and stock sales.

Fund sizes, however, have grown larger and the proliferation of unicorns continues at unforeseen rates. That may mean, eventually, an influx of publicly shared unicorn stock. If that’s the case, might Wall Street start asking more of these startups? At the very least, public market investors, please don’t be swayed by WeWork‘s eventual stock offering and its “community adjusted EBITDA.” Silicon Valley’s pixie dust can’t be that potent.

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 2019’s biggest flagships clash

Huawei P30 Pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Huawei has finally taken the wraps off its first flagship phone of 2019, and it’s a beauty. The Huawei P30 Pro is a stunning device with four camera lenses, a beautiful design, and some new software tricks. But it has competition, and the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is one of the best phones in the world right now. The P20 Pro and Galaxy S9 Plus came to serious blows last year, with Samsung’s phone coming out on top.

Can the S10 Plus repeat that feat, or will Huawei’s new flagship take down the Korean titan? We pit them in a head-to-head specs comparison.

Specs

Huawei P30 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Size 158 mm x 73.4 mm x 8.41 mm (6.22 x 2.89 x 0.33 inches) 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm (6.20 x 2.91 x 0.30 inches)
Weight 192 grams (6.77 ounces) 175 grams (6.17 ounces)
Screen size 6.47-inch OLED 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Screen resolution 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (398 pixels per inch) 3,040 × 1,440 pixels (526 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie (under EMUI 9.1) Android 9.0 Pie (under One UI)
Storage space 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD card slot Huawei’s proprietary NM card only Yes, up to 512GB
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Kirin 980 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM 8GB 8GB, 12GB
Camera Quad lens 40-megapixel lens (OIS), 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, 8-megapixel 5x optical periscope zoom (OIS), and Time-of-Flight camera rear, 32-megapixel lens front Triple lens 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle, 12MP variable aperture, and 12MP telephoto rear, 10MP, and 8MP front dual lens
Video Up to 4K at 30 frames per second 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, optical in-display Yes, ultrasonic in-display
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,200mAh

40W Huawei SuperCharge

15W Qi wireless fast charging

4,100mAh

Fast charging (QuickCharge 2.0)

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support T-Mobile, AT&T T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal, Pearl White, Aurora, Black Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue, Flamingo Pink, Ceramic Black, Ceramic White
Price 999 euros ($1,128) $1,000
Buy from Huawei Samsung, Amazon
Review score Hands-on review 4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Galaxy S10 Plus
Galaxy S10 Plus Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The P30 Pro has been upgraded with the Kirin 980 from the Mate 20 Pro. It’s a powerful piece of hardware and it will handle all the latest 3D games with ease. But it’s still a processor from last year and our benchmarks show the Galaxy S10 Plus’ scores beating it thanks to the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. While both will provide strong and smooth performance, the S10 Plus is objectively the more powerful of the two.

Huawei’s flagships have traditionally sported a stronger battery than Samsung’s usually lackluster lifespans, but that ended with the Galaxy S10 range. We got two days of light usage out of Samsung’s biggest new flagship, and it held up extremely well even on heavy days. We expect similar performance from the P30 Pro. However, Huawei still has the lead on battery charging, thanks to the incredibly fast 40W fast charging. The S10 Plus still uses the extremely outdated QuickCharge 2.0, making Huawei’s phone significantly faster.

While the S10 Plus is the more powerful of the two, we wager you won’t notice a difference in everyday use. You’ll absolutely notice the much faster charging speed on the P30 Pro.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Design and durability

Huawei has pushed its designs to even more stunning levels with the P30 Pro. The front of the device is almost entirely screen, with only a small notch cut into the top of the screen. The back panel has an opalescent quality on colors like the pearl white, and there’s a stunning new color called amber sunrise; even the standard colors are beautiful. But the S10 Plus is no ugly duckling. It has a similarly impressive screen-to-body ratio and uses the new hole-punch camera to eliminate the notch. Whether you prefer the notch or the hole punch is ultimately down to personal preference, but we prefer the S10 Plus’ hole-punch style.

Both phones come with IP68-rated water resistance, and both have similarly fragile glass bodies. A protective case is, as always with glass phones, highly recommended.

These phones are at loggerheads on design and durability, so we just can’t judge them fairly. While there’s no winner here, no one who picks either of these is going to feel like a loser. It’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Display

Galaxy S10 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We haven’t had much time with the P30 Pro’s display, but based on previous performance, we anticipate the 6.47-inch OLED display with a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution will be bright and clear. But the S10 Plus’ 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display is perhaps the best in the world, and the 3,040 x 1,440 resolution is considerably sharper than the P30 Pro’s screen. Honestly, this isn’t much of a competition.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Camera

Huawei P30 Pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’ll find three lenses on the back of the S10 Plus — a 12-megapixel lens with variable aperture, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens. The range of lenses makes it extremely versatile and though it’s not our favorite camera phone, it’s very capable and takes great shots. There are also two lenses around the front, a 10-megapixel and an 8-megapixel lens. It takes strong selfies.

The P30 Pro is looking set to be a camera powerhouse, too, and it comes with four lenses. There is a 40-megapixel Huawei SuperSpectrum main lens, a 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, an 8-megapixel optical telescope zoom, and a time-of-flight camera for more accurate background blur. According to Huawei, the main lens is capable of taking in up to 40 percent more light than previous lenses, so it’s set to be a low-light snapping machine. There’s only one camera around the front, but it’s a huge 32-megapixel lens.

We need more time with the P30 Pro’s extensive range of lenses, so we don’t feel we can judge this yet. Judging how much we loved last year’s P20 Pro, we’re leaning toward the P30 Pro here for the win, but until we can do further testing, this is a tie for now.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

Samsung Galaxy s10 plus hands-on
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you’re a fan of stock Android, these aren’t the phones for you. Both use customized manufacturer skins, and while neither are our favorite, both Huawei’s EMUI and Samsung’s One UI are a lot better than they used to be — and both run the latest Android 9.0 Pie.

But don’t expect speedy updates from either manufacturer. Both companies historically struggle with new versions of Android due to their extensively modified UIs. Major OS updates can take upwards of six months for even their latest phones, so while you’ll get Android Q and Android R on both, don’t expect to get them quickly. Definitely ones to avoid if you love being on the cutting edge of software features.

We do think Samsung’s One UI is a lot easier to use, and a lot less cluttered than EMUI. Samsung has simplified the software greatly and settings are easy to find. Huawei’s phone still requires a little digging to properly set up the way you want.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Special features

Huawei P30 Pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

There is no shortage of special features on either of these phones. The Galaxy S10 Plus’s biggest new addition is undoubtedly the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner beneath the display. It’s not the fastest fingerprint scanner ever made, but it’s the best in-display one we have tested so far. Aside from this, you’ll also find the reverse wireless charging PowerShare that allows you to charge other Qi-compatible phones, the virtual assistant Bixby, Dex desktop mode, Gear VR support, and various A.I.-enhanced areas like the camera’s Shot Suggestions.

The P30 Pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner, too, but it merely takes a picture of your fingerprint, so it’s not as secure. But the P30 Pro holds up in other area, and includes a similar desktop mode when plugged into a monitor, a similar reverse wireless charging feature, a large amount of A.I.-powered features, including A.I.-stabilized long exposure shots, the ability to open certain Audi cars (for some reason), and data-syncing with certain brands of treadmills. If you own a Huawei laptop, there are a lot more things you can do through a feature called OneHop, such as copying text on the laptop and pasting them on the phone.

Both phones have too many special features to do them all justice in this article, and we encourage you to do more research and pick based on which features most attract you.

Winner: Tie

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is currently available and starts at $1,000. It can be bought from all the major carriers, but you can also buy it unlocked from a variety of retailers.

The Huawei P30 Pro is available now. Prices start from 999 euros ($1,128) for the 128GB model and go up to 1,249 euros ($1,410) for the 512GB model. In the U.S., it will only work with T-Mobile and AT&T, and you need to import it, as it won’t be officially available.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

While some elements of this tough battle are still unknown, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus just has the edge over the Huawei’s P30 Pro in our initial estimates. However, key elements like the camera and the usefulness of the P30 Pro’s special features still up for debate, so keep in mind this verdict could easily change in the future.

We wouldn’t use that as a reason to hold off on buying either phone if you’re really into them. Both are beautiful, powerful phones with extremely capable cameras, a multitude of special features, and enough longevity to act as your pocket pal for at least the next two years. Buy either one and you won’t be disappointed.

Editors’ Recommendations

Huawei Watch GT Active and Watch GT Elegant: News and features

huawei watch gt active and elegant news main

Whether you’re looking to complement your style or track your fitness to a minute level, there’s a smartwatch out there that fits your specific needs. At an event on March 26, Huawei launched two new versions of the Huawei Watch GT alongside its new flagship smartphones, the Huawei P30 Pro and P30. The Huawei Watch GT Active is Huawei’s fitness-focused version of the Huawei Watch GT, while the Huawei Watch GT Elegant is a smaller version of Huawei’s hit smartwatch that focuses on style and elegance. Here’s everything you need to know about the Huawei Watch GT Active and Watch GT Elegant.

huawei watch gt active and elegant news
Huawei Watch GT Active

The first thing you will notice about the Huawei Watch GT Active is that it’s identical to the original Huawei Watch GT. It has the same 46mm frame size and silicon bands, and has the same 1.4-inch, 454 x 454 resolution AMOLED touchscreen. It does, however, come in two new colors — dark green and orange.

The Huawei Watch GT Elegant is an entirely different beast, though. It has a smaller, 42mm frame, and ditches some of the Huawei Watch GT’s more active aesthetic for a sleeker, more stylish look. It has a ceramic frame surrounding the 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a 390 x 390 resolution. It will be available in black and white.

huawei watch gt active and elegant news
Huawei Watch GT Elegant

Both new models come with the same dual-core processor as the Huawei Watch GT and both sport the long battery lives the Huawei Watch GT excelled at. The Huawei Watch GT Active comes with the same two-week lifespan as its predecessor, while the Watch GT Elegant comes with a lower week-long battery life, probably because of the smaller case. However, that is still a longer battery life than most smartwatches can dream of. Like the Huawei Watch GT, both new models run Huawei’s Lite OS.

Picking up on the new “Active” branding, Huawei also added a new sport mode to all models of the Watch GT. Triathlon mode now allows for smart tracking as you transition between cycling, swimming, and running. Huawei has also added a customizable watch face market to the Huawei Watch GT, Active, and Elegant.

The Huawei Watch GT Active will cost 249 euros (around $281), while the Huawei Watch GT Elegant will set you back 229 euros (around $259). A release date has not been confirmed, and Huawei has not revealed whether either watch will be coming to the U.S.

Editors’ Recommendations

FTC tells ISPs to disclose exactly what information they collect on users and what it’s for

The Federal Trade Commission, in what could be considered a prelude to new regulatory action, has issued an order to several major internet service providers requiring them to share every detail of their data collection practices. The information could expose patterns of abuse or otherwise troubling data use against which the FTC — or states — may want to take action.

The letters requesting info (detailed below) went to Comcast, Google, T-Mobile, and both the fixed and wireless sub-companies of Verizon and AT&T. These “represent a range of large and small ISPs, as well as fixed and mobile Internet providers,” an FTC spokesperson said. I’m not sure which is mean to be the small one, but welcome any information the agency can extract from any of them.

Since the Federal Communications Commission abdicated its role in enforcing consumer privacy at these ISPs when it and Congress allowed the Broadband Privacy Rule to be overturned, others have taken up the torch, notably California and even individual cities like Seattle. But for enterprises spanning the nation, national-level oversight is preferable to a patchwork approach, and so it may be that the FTC is preparing to take a stronger stance.

To be clear, the FTC already has consumer protection rules in place and could already go after an internet provider if it were found to be abusing the privacy of its users — you know, selling their location to anyone who asks or the like. (Still no action there, by the way.)

But the evolving media and telecom landscape, in which we see enormous companies devouring one another to best provide as many complementary services as possible, requires constant reevaluation. As the agency writes in a press release:

The FTC is initiating this study to better understand Internet service providers’ privacy practices in light of the evolution of telecommunications companies into vertically integrated platforms that also provide advertising-supported content.

Although the FTC is always extremely careful with its words, this statement gives a good idea of what they’re concerned about. If Verizon (our parent company’s parent company) wants to offer not just the connection you get on your phone, but the media you request, the ads you are served, and the tracking you never heard of, it needs to show that these businesses are not somehow shirking rules behind the scenes.

For instance, if Verizon Wireless says it doesn’t collect or share information about what sites you visit, but the mysterious VZ Snooping Co (fictitious, I should add) scoops all that up and then sells it for peanuts to its sister company, that could amount to a deceptive practice. Of course it’s rarely that simple (though don’t rule it out), but the only way to be sure is to comprehensively question everyone involved and carefully compare the answers with real-world practices.

How else would we catch shady zero-rating practices, zombie cookies, backdoor deals, or lip service to existing privacy laws? It takes a lot of poring over data and complaints by the detail-oriented folks at these regulatory bodies to find things out.

To that end, the letters to ISPs ask for a whole boatload of information on companies’ data practices. Here’s a summary:

  • Categories of personal information collected about consumers or devices, including purposes, methods, and sources of collection
  • how the data has been or is being used
  • third parties that provide or are provided this data and what limitations are imposed thereupon
  • how such data is combined with other types of information and how long it is retained
  • internal policies and practices limiting access to this information by employees or service providers
  • any privacy assessments done to evaluate associated risks and policies.
  • how data is aggregated, anonymized, or deidentified (and how those terms are defined)
  • how aggregated data is used, shared, etc
  • “any data maps, inventories, or other charts, schematics, or graphic depictions” of information collection and storage
  • total number of consumers who have “visited or otherwise viewed or interacted with” the privacy policy
  • whether consumers are given any choice in collection and retention of data, and what the default choices are
  • total number and percentage of users that have exercised such a choice, and what choices they made
  • whether consumers are incentivized to (or threatened into) opt into data collection and how those programs work
  • any process for allowing consumers to “access, correct, or delete” their personal information
  • data deletion and retention policies for such information

Substantial, right?

Needless to say some of this information may not be particularly flattering to ISPs. If only 1 percent of consumers have ever chosen to share their information, for instance, that reflects badly on sharing it by default. And if data capable of being combined across categories or services to de-anonymize it, even potentially, that’s another major concern.

The FTC representative declined to comment on whether there would be any collaboration with the FCC on this endeavor, whether it was preliminary to any other action, and whether it can or will independently verify the information provided by the ISPs contacted. That’s an important point, considering how poorly these same companies represented their coverage data to the FCC for its yearly broadband deployment report. A reality check would be welcome.

You can read the rest of the letter here (PDF).

Firefox Send file-sharing service is now an Android app

There’s a new way to share large files via your Android device.

Mozilla has just launched a free app called Firefox Send, offering the same service that it launched for web users a couple of weeks ago.

Firefox Send lets you share files of up to 1GB via a web link, or 2.5GB if you make a free account. The link and the associated file expire after a time frame of your choosing, which can be as short as five minutes or as long as seven days. Alternatively, you can set it to expire after anything between 1 and 100 downloads.

The service offers end-to-end encryption for security, but for extra peace of mind you can also add a password to the file so that only the intended recipient (or recipients) is able to download it.

Once you’ve set the parameters and hit the “upload” button, Firefox Send springs into action and then provides you with a link to the file that you can then share with whomever you like.

Touting the official launch of Firefox Send for the web earlier this month, Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen wrote in a post: “Imagine the last time you moved into a new apartment or purchased a home and had to share financial information like your credit report over the web. In situations like this, you may want to offer the recipient one-time or limited access to those files. With Send, you can feel safe that your personal information does not live somewhere in the cloud indefinitely.”

There’s no word yet on whether Mozilla will be launching Firefox Send for iOS, but if you want to use the service with an iPhone or iPad, you can simply head to its mobile site and take it from there.

Other services that let you share large files include WeTransfer, Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, among others. Digital Trends has more information on each of these services, so you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

Finally, it’s worth noting that when using any of these services, you should absolutely trust the recipient of the file that you’re sending, as well as the file-sharing service itself, especially if it’s important that the data isn’t shared with anyone other than your chosen recipient/s.

Editors’ Recommendations