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Huawei Mate 20 vs Google Pixel 3: What's the difference?

28 November 2018 2

The autumn of this year is full of new premium smartphones. In October LG, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi all took the stage to announce new flagships. LG unveiled V40 ThinQ, Google wraps off the cover from Pixel 3 lineup phones whereas Huawei unveiled Mate 20 series in a dedicated event. It will be an interesting contest as all big giants are battling to have the best Android flagship of this year.

Usually, Pixel lineup phones are regarded as the best cameras phones in the market from past couple of years. However this year Huawei stepped up their camera game by introducing P20 Pro with triple Leica certified cameras. The P20 Pro was the first phone in the market which challenges the Pixel 2 in the camera department and also dethrones it. That's why hopes were quite high as far as Pixel 3 lineup cameras is a concern.

Instead of following the latest trend Google opted dual sensors on the front for selfies rather opting dual or triple sensors on the rear. The Mate 20 also has triple rear cameras and Huawei is confident the new Mate lineup phones perform even better than the P20 series. We already compared the Pixel 3XL against the Mate 20 Pro. Today we will put the Mate 20 against the Google Pixel 3. Both the phones are currently the latest standard flagship offering from respective companies.

Although both the phones are not in as much limelight as their larger premium siblings still they have enough goodies to attract buyers who are looking for a solid flagship phone but don't want to spend a hefty amount on it. So if you are amongst those who are planning to grab the standard flagship phone, this comparison will help you better understanding which smartphone amongst the two is better in what aspects. Without any further delay, let's start with the design.

77.2 x 158.2 x 8.3 mm
6.53 inches - 2244x1080 px
68.2 x 145.6 x 7.9 mm
5.5 inches - 2160x1080 px
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Design

The frame on both the phones made up of aluminum with glass covering the front and rear, however, the finish is different. The Pixel 3 has thick prominent bezel at the top and bottom of the display whereas the Mate 20 comes with ultra-thin waterdrop notch. The bottom bezel on the Mate 20 is also slimmer than the Pixel 3. Google utilizes the thick top bezel and bottom bezel for dual selfie snapper and front-facing speakers.

On the rear side, the Mate 20 has triple rear sensors enclosed in a square box. The sensors look identical to the Mate 20 Pro, however, the arrangement is different. The Mate 20 has LED flashlight on the right side whereas the Pro variant has LED on the left side. Another visual difference is the Mate 20 has a fingerprint scanner on the rear below the camera setup. Huawei opted Hyper Optical Pattern for the Mate 20 finish to give it a special premium look.

The Pixel 3 is the company's first phone with complete glass rear. So far Google was using half glass and half metal body, though the Pixel 3 has full glass rear it comes with two-tone finish differentiating the cameras and fingerprint scanner portion. The single rear snapper is once again on the top left corner, this portion has glossy finish whereas the rest of rear bottom comes with a matte finish. The fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 3 is also on the rear side.

Both the phones lack the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. The Mate 20 lacks water and dust resistance capabilities whereas the Pixel 3 is an IP68 certified phone which means it can resist under 1.5 meters deep water for 30 minutes without any damage.

If you are looking for a higher screen-to-body phone the Mate 20 has an edge here. In terms of looks, the Mate 20 looks more futuristic whereas Pixel 3 retained the looks of its predecessor. On first look, you can easily identify the Pixel 3 belongs to Google Pixel phones family. Overall the Mate 20 looks more futuristic and fresh as opposed to Pixel 3.

Display

Following the latest trend, both the phones have gigantic display panels. The Mate 20 features a 6.53-inches display panel with a Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2244 pixel. Its an LCD panel with a pixels density of 381 pixels-per-inch.

On the other hand despite having 2:1 display the Pixel 3 comes with a 5.5-inches display with Full HD+ screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. It has an OLED display panel with pixels density of 443 pixels-per-inch. Apart from having better pixels density the Pixel 3 has an advantage of the OLED panel with deep blacks. So if you prefer better colors accuracy, contrast ratio and deep blacks the Pixel 3 is a better choice whereas the Mate 20 will attract those who are looking for gigantic display phone.

Hardware

The Mate 20 is the company's first phone with the latest Kirin 980 chipset. This chipset is quite special for Huawei as it is packed with the dual neural processing units and also it is first Android SoC in the market built on the 7nm process. The chipset not only have to prove its worth against the Snapdragon 845 but also against the upcoming Snapdragon 8150.

Under the hood, the Pixel 3 is powered up by the Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 845 chipset. Its an Octa-core SoC built on the second gen 10nm process. The Snapdragon 845 successor isn't far away that's why you can't expect it to be as good as the latest SoC from Huawei. However, still, it is one of the fastest SoC in the market powering almost all flagships this year. If you want more sheer power the Mate 20 certainly has an upper hand here.

Almost all benchmark listing showcase the Huawei Kirin 980 is superior to the Snapdragon 845 in terms of performance. Both the device's base variant have 64GB storage whereas the top-tier variant has 128GB storage. The Mate 20's native storage is further expandable via NanoSD. Both the phones are ultra-fast in handling HIFI games and multi-tasking.

Specs Mate 20 Pixel 3
Display 6.53-inches 5.5-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2244 pixels 1080 x 2160 pixels
Chipset Kirin 980 Snapdragon 845
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB,128GB Expandable via NMcard 64GB,128GB Non-Expandable
Rear cameras 12MP+16MP+8MP 12.2MP
Front camera 24MP Dual 8MP
USB Type-C Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack No No
IP68 No Yes
OS Android Pie Android Pie

Camera

The camera setup is certainly the top priority of both the companies and it could be one key factor for many to opt one on another. As mentioned above the Pixel 2 was the camera king until Huawei dethrone it with the P20 Pro. It also has triple rear sensors but the cameras are toned down as opposed to the Mate 20 Pro. It also lacks the monochrome sensor instead the company opted the ultra-wide camera as a secondary sensor.

The primary rear snapper is a 12MP module with f/1.8 aperture, the secondary ultra-wide angle sensor is 16MP with f/2.2 aperture. The third sensor is an 8MP telephoto sensor with up to 3x optical zoom. It also has support for 5x hybrid zoom to capture amazing long-range shots with accuracy.

The Pixel 3 also has single rear snapper like its predecessor. The module remains 12.2MP with f/1.8 aperture. The best aspect of Pixel 3 is indeed its ability to capture natural shots. So if you are a fan of natural shots without extra witness or AI supported beautification the Pixel 3 is a pretty good option. A new Top shot mode is introduced in burst mode which automatically detects the best shot.

Although the Pixel 3 doesn't have a secondary sensor it captures great portrait shots with its AI prowess. The Pixel 3 performs great in both daylight and low-light scenarios but if you zoom for more detailed shot the results are amongst the best to compete against Galaxy Note 9 or other premium phones. Google utilizes the AI for enhancing the device capturing capability in low light conditions. In terms of goodies and stable performance nearly in all sorts of conditions, the Pixel 3 has an upper hand here.

Up front you will get dual 8MP sensors on the Pixel 3, the secondary sensor is ultra-wide angle sensor to capture group selfies. The Mate 20 has a 24MP sensor on the front with f/2.0 aperture. Overall the cameras on both the devices are worth appreciating.

Software

As OS both the phones is pre-installed with the latest Android Pie 9 straight out of the box. The Pixel 3 is running on the stock version of Android OS whereas the Mate 20 comes with EMUI 9 skin over the stock version. The Pixel 3 will receive new software updates regularly for a longer period of time whereas the Mate 20 owners will have to wait for new updates. Another important aspect is whether you like the custom version of OS from Huawei or stick with the stock version UI.

Battery

The Mate 20 lights are kept on by a 4,000mAh battery whereas the Pixel 3 has moderate 2,915mAH cell. The Mate 20 can easily last more than one day even on hefty usage whereas Pixel 3 has enough juice to last one day on a single charge. If you push hard the Pixel 3 may need a recharge before the end of the day. So if you want more than 1-day battery life the Mate 20 is a better option.

Thanks to glass rear both the phones support wireless charging. Last but not the least both the phones support fast charging, the Pixel 3 comes with Quick charge support whereas the Mate 20 has the SuperCharge tech.

Price

As far as the price tag is a concern the Mate 20 was initially announced at 799 euros for the European customers. The company officially confirmed the Mate 20 lineup won't be released in the US officially, however you can grab it via third-party retailers. The Pixel 3 is significantly costlier than the predecessor. The base variant with 64GB storage starts at $799. Like its predecessor, the carrier-bound variant is exclusively available from Verizon. The 128GB model is even more expensive at $899.

In terms of availability, the Mate 20 is more widely available as opposed to Pixel 3. As both the phones are relatively new that's why both are not available in all regions.

Conclusion:

Being the latest standard flagships both the phones are packed with solid hardware, however, both have their own goodies to attract buyers. The Mate 20 has better looking stylish design with cameras enclosed in a square box, gigantic display but lacks higher pixels density, one of the most powerful hardware in the market with option to expand native storage, solid cameras setup much better than most of the phones in this niche, fairly large battery which can easily last more than a day, latest version of Android OS.

On the other hand, the Pixel 3 comes with glass and metal sandwich design but Google is yet not ready to ditch their two-tone finish. The Pixel 3 traditional full bezel at the top is the most criticized aspect of the design, however, it has the advantage of dual front-facing speakers. Although the Pixel 3 has a small display it has the advantage of better pixels density and OLED panel.

Like most of the flagship phones of this year, it has Snapdragon 845 chipset, it is slicker due to the stock version of Android OS. The camera setup on the Pixel 3 is certainly the best-in-class. The Pixel 3 is way more expensive than its predecessor which could compel buyers preferring Mate 20 over it.

Overall, both the flagships are quite great and certainly can be rated as the best flagships in the market. In the end, we would like to hear our readers thoughts regarding the Pixel 3 vs Mate 20 in the comments section below. Stay tuned, we will be bringing more comparisons in coming days.

(last update 13 December 2018 @ 08:43)

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