Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max
Huawei's gunning for the industry leaders with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but how does it compare to Apple's pricey but popular Apple iPhone XS Max?
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: What to look for
Huawei has slowly and gradually been improving its mobile phones and with it, the attention they grab. It has just launched the Huawei Mate 20 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro in London amid a flurry of attention-grabbing hype, but it doesn't operate in a vacuum. Apple's pretty good at hype too, but how do the two flagships really compare?
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Power
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro runs on Huawei's Kirin 980 processor, the first in the industry to be built on a 7nm process. Huawei's hype around its capabilities for AI processing is pretty relentless, but our own hands-on testing does suggest that it's a very powerful processor. It's also running Android 9.0 ("Pie") natively at launch, which should give it a little more performance overhead. That's tempered against the fact that it uses Huawei's EMUI launcher, which is very much a love-it-or-hate-it prospect among Android fans.
The A12 Fusion processor that powers the iPhone XS is the processor to beat right now and that's not going to be an easy fight. The A12 Fusion beats out every Android device we've tested running the Snapdragon 845 in benchmarks and real-world performance by a very wide margin.
As a phone, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a network advantage over the iPhone XS Max. While Apple touts it as the "fastest" iPhone, it's still only a category 16 handset, capable of a maximum download of 1Gbps from a compatible 4G LTE network.
The category 21 modem in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro gives it a speed edge, although as yet there's no announced category 21 support on Australian mobile networks.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Camera
Huawei very much had itself to beat when it came to smartphone photography, thanks to the very high quality of the cameras in the Huawei P20 Pro. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro sticks with the same triple rear camera formula, but instead of a monochrome lens, you get a wide, super-wide and telephoto lens trio to play with, supplemented with Huawei's AI-led camera applications. The results, at least from our early tests, are very impressive indeed.
The iPhone XS Max features dual-lens cameras at the rear and in our review, we found it had excellent quality for those who want the camera to handle the majority of the shot selection decisions. Which means, in one sense that both Huawei and Apple are staking a claim to the vast majority of camera phone users who simply want good photos but don't want to stress with camera settings to speak of.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Battery
Apple never makes much fuss about relative battery specifications for its iPhone lines, although it does state that the Apple iPhone XS Max has the largest battery it has put into any iPhone to date. This is true, with tear downs revealing a 3,174 mAh battery. Our own tests suggest that while the Apple iPhone XS Max's battery life is good enough for most single-day usage scenarios, it still lags behind the Android competition.
Huawei's not going to make this battle easy for Apple in any way, packing a 4,200 mAh battery into the Huawei Mate 20 Pro's frame that should give it a lot of stamina. While both phones support wireless charging via the Qi standard, Huawei's flipping the equation by making the Huawei Mate 20 Pro a wireless charger in its own right. Which means you can charge the iPhone XS Max with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Yes, we've already tested that this works.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Pricing
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro will be Huawei's most expensive regular handset (ignoring those exclusive Porsche Design models) to date, retailing at $1,599 in Australia when it goes on sale from 1 November 2018.
That's a fair chunk of change to drop on a smartphone, but it doesn't match up to Apple's pricing for the Apple iPhone XS Max. It retails for $1,799 (64GB), $2,049 (256GB) and $2,369 (512GB) respectively, making it the most expensive smartphone you can buy in Australia today.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro will be available on contract terms through Vodafone and Optus. Check out our breakdown of Optus' Huawei Mate 20 Pro plans here.
The iPhone XS Max is available across major carriers on contract terms, which you can check below: