The King of Android takes a bite off Apple’s iPhone
With the entry of Huawei’s newest flagship smartphones, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, it calls for another comparison with other tops devices released this quarter. Among them is Apple’s iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
Like in our previous comparisons, we break them down into several categories for this round-up:
1) Design and Build
8) Battery Life
Design and Build
Apple has always made beautiful iPhones that are elegant and well-crafted. However, they tend to stick it out with the same design for several generations.
The iPhone Xs and Xs Max looked basically the same as the first iPhone X so nothing really exciting to see here.
All the while, Huawei has made a dramatic improvement on the design and build of the Mate 20 Pro compared to the previous generation. It’s got a full-metal chassis with glass-on-glass outer shell, a curved glass front-panel and lots of subtle touches here and there.
The use of glass in the back panel allows the iPhone Xs Max and the Mate 20 Pro to gain wireless charging functionality.
Over-all, we liked the look and design of the Mate 20 Pro compared to the old and somewhat boring design of the iPhone Xs Max.
The Mate20 Pro comes with a large 6.39″ 19.5:9 OLED with 2K+ resolution (1440 x 3120 pixels), a 538ppi pixel density, 87.6% screen-to-body ratio.
The iPhone Xs Max has a slightly bigger screen at 6.5″ Super AMOLED display at 2,688 x 1,242 pixels, a 458 ppi pixel density, 84.4% screen-to-body ratio, Dolby Vision and HDR 10 support.
Both OLED displays look equally gorgeous, bright and crisp but the Mate20 Pro edges out the iPhone in terms of pixel density, screen-to-body ratio as well as the curved front panel.
Huawei has made some very interesting setup when it comes to their Leica triple-camera system.
The Mate20 Pro is composed of 3 fully-functioning cameras – a 40-megapixel sensor with wide-angle lens and an f/1.8 aperture, a secondary 20-megapixel sensor with ultra-wide angle lens with f/2.2 aperture, and a 3rd 8MP sensor with telephoto lens and f/2.4 aperture.
The main camera has optical image stabilization while the two other have AI Stabilization for better accuracy and fast-focusing shots.
Apple has been making some effort with dual-camera system but they seem to be lagging behind in terms of innovation on this end.
The iPhone Xs Max comes with a dual 12-megapixel wide-angle with f/1.8 aperture and another 12-megapixel with f/2.4 aperture. We find this setup a bit dated to say the least.
The front camera of the iPhone Xs Max is a paltry 7MP with f/2.2 aperture that is dwarfed by the 24-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture of the Mate 20 Pro.
Both phones are capable of recording 4K although the Mate20 Pro can only do it at 30fps while the iPhone Xs Max has 24fps, 30fps and 60fps options.
In terms of quality, both phones produce really great photos and videos but the Mate20 pro excels very well in low-light or night shots.
Huawei is certainly ahead of Apple in terms of camera innovation and the Mate20 Pro wins this category.
Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset is among the most powerful in the market. The 7nm chip is the world’s first among Android phones although Apple technically got that crown with their A12 Bionic chip.
The Apple A12 chip is composed of a 6-core processor (2×2.5GHz Vortex + 4×1.6GHz Tempest) and a 4-core GPU.
The HiSilicon Kirin 980 is equally powerful and is made of an octa-core processor comprised of a dual-core Cortex A76 2.6GHz, dual-core Cortex A76 1.92GHz, and quad-core Cortex A55 1.8GHz.
If we take their scores using performance benchmarks like Antutu, the Mate 20 Pro gets a high score of over 308,000 while the iPhone Xs Max got a whopping 360,000 points.
The iPhone Xs Max wins this round.
Apple has never really highlighted the memory capacity of their iPhones. This is mainly due to the fact that iOS is so well-optimized it doesn’t really need a lot of memory to perform well.
Despite that, Apple still increases the amount of RAM of their iPhones every once in a while and the iPhone Xs Max now has 4GB of it.
With the Mate20 Pro, you get the option of 6GB for the base model and 8GB for the top variant.
If we just look at the numbers, the Mate20 Pro edges out the iPhone Xs Max in terms of on-board memory.
The iPhone Xs Max comes in various storage options – 64GB for the base model with 256GB and 512GB variants at different prices.
As for the Mate 20 Pro, storage option starts at 128GB with an option for a 256GB variant.
In this comparison, we’ll stick with the base models so the Mate 20 Pro’s 128GB storage is bigger than the 64GB of the iPhone Xs Max.
Connectivity is one aspect of any smartphone that’s not often discussed nor highlighted but is very important. Connectivity features include the LTE modem, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS.
While the iPhone Xs Max has all the connectivity options available, it has some limitations inherent to the OS. One example is the NFC that only works with Apple Pay and NFC tags (without an app) though it’s only on read-only mode so it’s not really a full-functioning NFC.
On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro has a suite of connectivity options. It’s got a dual-LTE modem that’s the fastest in the world (Cat. 21 up to 1.4Gbps). It’s also got dual GPS that makes it faster to connect and much more accurate than any other smartphone, even in densely populated areas with lots of high-rise buildings.
The iPhone Xs Max has a dual-SIM option but that’s only exclusive to China. The Mate20 Pro has a hybrid dual-SIM with the second nano-SIM tray compatible with an NM card for additional storage of up to 256GB.
When considering battery performance, we look at battery capacity, battery life, charging time and other battery-related features.
The iPhone Xs Max comes with a built-in 3,417mAh Li-ion battery while the Mate20 Pro has a bigger capacity at 4,200mAh.
Both have fast charging and wireless charging capability but the Mate 20 Pro is faster at 70% within 30 minutes compared to 50% on the iPhone.
As for battery life, we tested the Mate20 Pro managed to last 23.5 hours of video playback on a single full charge. On the other hand, the iPhone Xs Max lasts about 16 hours on video loop at full charge.
One very unique feature of the Mate20 Pro is the reverse wireless charging. This means you can actually wirelessly charge the iPhone Xs Max with the Mate 20 Pro.
Apple’s new iOS 12 has got a lot of new features and comes pre-installed with the iPhone Xs Max.
Meanwhile, the Mate 20 Pro also comes with Google’s latest Android 9.0 Pie. ??While Android 9 has lots of really good features, we think that iOS 12 is more efficient and optimal for the device.
This means a better performing device that’s snappy and responsive, works well with apps and games, has much fewer bugs and works very smoothly.
Price in China
The iPhone Xs Max retails for $415 for the 64GB variant while the Huawei Mate 20 Pro sells for $369 for the 128GB variant.
Apple iphone XS Max 64GB
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 128GB
Huawei is certainly winning the smartphone game and the Mate20 Pro is a testament to their R&D prowess. Apple used to be way ahead of the competition but this time around, even their best, the iPhone Xs Max, has no match when you break down the essentials.
There’s also the issue about pricing. Apple is confident that their sales will do great despite their ridiculous pricing but that’s just how they are.
Our comparison between the Mate20 Pro and the iPhone Xs Max has stated the obvious and we leave the rest to you, our dear readers.