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Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Battle to win the 'best phablet' crown

05 November 2018 5

This year autumn is full of new smartphones and almost all OEMs took the stage during October to announce their latest flagship offering for the second half of the year. So if you are looking for a new flagship companion, you have tons of options currently available for you. Undoubtedly the flagships of the H2 2018 are more attractive not only in terms of design but also in performance as well. During the last few weeks, we have two new flagships running on the 7nm chipsets.

The first Android flagship running on the 7nm Kirin 980 chipset is certainly capable to challenge the Apple's latest best iPhone XS Max. Both the devices are currently rated as the best premium flagships in the phablet market. The iPhone XS Max took design cues from the last year's 10th anniversary iPhone X and featuring the latest best hardware and powerful cameras to attract phablet buyers. So if you are not an Android fan and looking for ultra-premium flagship phone the iPhone XS Max will certainly attract you for having the 7nm A12 Bionic chipset, solid dual rear cameras but all these perks come at a hefty price tag.

For those who are looking for an Android premium phone, the Mate 20 Pro certainly emerge as a solid option which you can't ignore simply. It comes with stylish glass and metal sandwich design, superb display, solid hardware, gigantic battery, and best-in-class cameras. Being the class-leading flagship it isn't cheap at all.

If you are amongst those who are in doubt whether they should purchase the iPhone XS Max or go for the latest Huawei Mate 20 Pro, today we will put both the devices is a head-to-head comparison to know in detail the real differences and similarities between the two ultra-premium flagships. Does Huawei flagship has enough grunt to challenge the Cupertino's latest best or not?

77.4 x 157.5 x 7.9 mm
6.5 inches - 2688x1242 px
72.3 x 157.8 x 8.6 mm
6.39 inches - 3120x1440 px
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Last year was quite special for Apple as they introduced the 10th anniversary iPhone X. It was the first phone in the market with a notch when everyone was trying to further reduce the top and bottom bezel. The notch is certainly one aspect which isn't liked by everyone but the success of iPhone X prompted all OEMs to adopt notch for this year's flagships. For this year Apple retains the design trend which they introduced last year.

You will get an edge-to-edge display with a small cutout for the notch at the top of the display. The rear side has dual cameras aligned vertically on the top left corner. The device overall dimensions are pretty close to the iPhone 8 Plus but the display looks gigantic due to edge-to-edge display. The chassis is made up of stainless steel with glass covering the front and rear side.

On the other hand, the Mate 20 Pro also comes with a notch at the top of the display and prominent bottom chin. You can hide the top notch with a black bar. Despite the fact, the Mate 20 Pro's notch is smaller but still, it doesn't look as seamless as the iPhone XS Max. The chassis is made up of aluminum which isn't as premium as steel but still, the device looks are quite attractive.

The glass rear is gently curved from the edges which makes it as an easy device to hold whereas the iPhone XS Max edges are flat from the edges. Both the devices lack the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack instead both rely on the USB-ports for connectivity and charging. In terms of water and dust resistance capabilities, both are IP68 certified phones which means both can resist under 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.

As far as the fingerprint scanner is a concern the iPhone XS Max lacks it whereas the Mate 20 Pro comes with the in-glass scanner. The Mate 20 Pro's comes with triple rear cameras, the sensors are enclosed in a square box in the center. The gradient colors of the Mate 20 Pro make it more attractive than the plain colors of iPhone XS Max.


Both the devices are packed with real gigantic display panels and the best thing is both have OLED displays. The display panel on the iPhone XS Max is considered as one of the best in the market. It sports a 6.5-inches display with a screen resolution of 1242 x 2688 pixels. The display pixels density is 456 pixels-per-inch.

The Mate 20 Pro features a slightly smaller display of 6.39-inches with Quad HD+ screen resolution of 1440 x 3120 pixels. The display pixels density is 538 pixels-per-inch and the aspect ratio is 19.5:9. It supports HDR content. The display panel on both the devices is pretty awesome. No matter which device you opt the display colors saturation and deep blacks are equally good on both the phones. However the Mate 20 Pro has an added advantage of better screen resolution.


Under the hood, both are amongst the first phones with the 7nm chipset. The iPhone XS Max is running on the company's latest A12 Bionic chipset. As expected the latest Apple chipset outclasses all other SoCs in benchmarks powering latest Android flagships. However, the Kirin 980 still lags behind despite being powerful than most of the SoCs in the market including Snapdragon 845. The best aspect of Kirin 980 is indeed its dual neural processing unit to better handle AI tasks.

The A12 Bionic takes lead in both single-core and multi-core benchmarks. The device full power is only usable when the device is put to the maximum all the times which isn't the scenario of all time. Usually, the devices are used as daily driver and both have enough power to handle daily tasks efficiently without any lag. No matter which phone you have the devices are pretty much capable to handle everything.

The Mate 20 Pro Octa-core chipset is accompanied with 6GB RAM and 128GB native storage, it can be further expanded using nmcard. On the other hand, the iPhone XS Max comes with 4GB RAM. The base variant has 64GB native storage whereas the top-tier models have 256GB and 512GB storage. It lacks support for memory expansion via MicroSD.

Specs Mate 20 Pro iPhone XS Max
Display 6.5-inches 6.39-inches
Screen resolution 1440 x 3120 pixels 1242 x 2688 pixels
Chipset Kirin 980 A12 Bionic
Storage 128GB Expandable via nmCard 64, 256, 512GB Non-Expandable
Rear cameras 40+20+8MP Dual 12MP
Front camera 24MP 7MP
USB Type-C Lightning port
Battery 4,200mAh 3,184mAh
IP68 Yes Yes
OS Android Pie with EMUI 8 iOS 12


As OS the Mate 20 Pro is pre-installed with Android Pie straight out of the box with EMUI 9 skin over it. The latest version of Android brings all the latest goodies like gesture support and much more. The EMUI skin doesn't bring much bloatware, the company significantly improved their custom skin since the EMUI 8. The iPhone XS Max is running on the latest iOS 12. The Mate 20 Pro will receive major software updates for next couple of years whereas the iPhone XS Max will be getting new iOS versions for next three years. Another important aspect is the Apple speed of rolling new versions is way quicker than Huawei.


In the camera department, Huawei emerged as a strong contender in the last couple of years since they joined hands with Leica. The company is continuously improving cameras, this year P20 Pro was the company's first flagship with triple rear cameras which emerged as the best camera phone in the market with up to 3x optical zoom. For the first time, Huawei phone snatched the camera king status of Pixel phones. With the Mate 20 Pro, the company took the camera to the next step. The company is so confident they didn't release the DxoMark score of the device because so far none of the latest phones can't even beat the P20 Pro.

For the first time, Huawei ditched the monochrome sensor instead the company opted an ultra-wide angle sensor as the secondary module. The primary sensor is a wide-angle 40MP module with f/1.8 aperture whereas the secondary sensor is Ultra-wide angle 20MP module with f/2.2 and the last one is telephoto 8MP with 3x optical zoom and 5X hybrid zoom. The P20 Pro cameras were better than iPhone XS Max, so we can easily claim the Mate 20 Pro is even better.

The iPhone XS Max has dual cameras of 12MP. The primary sensor aperture is f/1.8 whereas the secondary sensor is a telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture. It provides optical zoom up to 2x. The good thing is iPhone XS Max results are stellar not only in daylight conditions but also in low-light scenarios. A new Smart HDR feature was introduced in which the device captures several shots simultaneously and then merge all to produce the final result. You can also blur images even after capturing normal shots.

The front-facing selfie camera on the Mate 20 is 24MP with f/2.2 aperture. Apart from capturing selfies it also provides a 3D mapping of face for facial recognition and animated emoji. The iPhone XS Max also rely on the 3D facial recognition as the only biometric feature. It has a 7MP sensor on the front with a f/2.2 aperture.


The iPhone XS Max features the largest battery ever seen on any iPhone. Its lights are kept on by a 3,184mAh battery. Considering the gigantic display the device has enough power to last one day on a single charge, however, you can't expect it to last more than one day on a single charge. It supports fast charging as well as wireless charging.

The Mate 20 Pro comes with a fairly large 4,200mAH battery. Despite having Quad HD+ panel it can easily one and half day on a single charge which is worth commendable. It comes with 40W fast charging tech which makes it superior to any other in the market. Another good thing is it has the ability to wirelessly charge another phone. All you need to attach another phone back to charge it wirelessly.

Last but not the least the iPhone XS Max doesn't ship with fast charger straight out of the box instead you will have to buy it separately. The Mate 20 Pro certainly takes lead in the battery department.

As far as pricing is a concern the iPhone XS Max was announced in September at a price tag of $1,100 for the base model with 64GB storage. It is currently widely available across the globe. It supports all major carriers across the globe. The Mate 20 Pro is announced initially in Europe at €1049. The company confirmed it won't be released in the US via carriers, however, you can purchase the global variant via online retailers.


The iPhone XS Max and Mate 20 Pro features premium design, top of the line hardware, superb displays, class-leading cameras, the latest version of OS respectively and hefty price tag. The front-facing design of iPhone XS Max is more seamless and attractive whereas the Mate 20 Pro takes lead in rear designing with its attractive curved edges.

As a daily driver both are equally good but if you want to use the maximum power the iPhone XS Max takes lead here. The cameras setup on the Mate 20 Pro is certainly better than its counterpart. The gigantic battery cell and reverse wireless charging is something which isn't available for iPhone XS Max users. Both are running on the latest versions of OS but faster updates make the iPhone XS Max a better option.

In the end, the Mate 20 Pro is still less expensive than the iPhone XS Max. So if you want to save bucks the Mate 20 Pro could become your next flagship companion. Do share your thoughts regarding Mate 20 Pro vs iPhone XS Max in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more comparisons.

  • The Huawei Mate 20 Pro isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
  • The Apple iPhone XS Max isn't still available online. To be notified when it becomse available click here.



Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS Max: The 'best phablet' crown can't go to just one
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Would these phablets be really able to compete in the battery department, camera and RAM department. The numbers stand in favor of Huawei, by the way.


Being an Android user and a Huawei fan, my vote will go to Huawei. But that's because I've always used Huawei phones and this one will be no different.


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