Do we have a good one for you today – the top-rated Google Pixel 2 XL goes up against the formidable Huawei Mate 10 Pro. The Pixel 2 XL is the best that Google offers and it has high-end specs and a high-end price tag to match. The Mate 10 Pro is the best that Huawei offers and it too has specs and an even higher price tag to match. Both pack a 6-inch display, close in physical size, and have outstanding camera areas – a single lens on the Pixel 2 XL and a dual set up on the Mate 10 Pro. These devices have a large display and small bezels. Does the Mate 10 Pro have what it takes to outclass the Pixel 2 XL? These questions and more are what we hope to answer here. Before we look at each individual device, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
The Google Pixel 2 XL and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro do have a few things in common. When it comes to the displays, they are both 6-inches, both 18:9 ratios, both use the OLED technology, and both at protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Both have equally powerful processors and GPUs, but a different manufacturer. Both have non-expandable memory and both offer 128GB option, although that much is standard in the Mate 10 Pro. Both have great camera areas and both have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera (FFC). You will find large, non-removable batteries in both models and each has a rapid charge option. Physically, they are almost identical in size and weight. Both offer Bluetooth (v5.0 on the Pixel and v4.2 on the Mate 10 Pro), WiFi, a USB Type-C port, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Both enjoy stereo speakers, IP67 water resistance, and Android 8.0 Oreo. Neither one has a 3.5mm headphone jack, but supply a dongle to use in the Type-C port for your headphones.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great Android flagships stack up against each other on paper. After that, we will look at each handset in more detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on overall specs and the execution of design and functions.
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google made a consciousness decision to go after its arch rival, Apple, when it jumped from the mid-line Nexus devices to the Pixel lineup, and we have to tell you that the Pixel 2 XL is the real deal – a true flagship that can stand up with the best of them. It has a large QHD OLED display, uses high-end technology, and it is running the advanced Android 8.0 Oreo. DxOMark has rated the new Pixel 2 camera the best mobile shooter on the market – and it does this with only one camera. It is unfortunate that Google dropped their 3.5mm headphone jack, but they did add Google Lens, Active Edge(s), as well as improving Google Assistant.
The Pixel 2 XL sports a 6-inch P-OLED display with a QHD resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels and a density of about 538 pixels-per-inch (PPI). Google went from the 16:9 ratio to the 18:9 ratio to offer a better entertainment experience when watching movies, videos, or gaming. It also provides the user with two perfect squares for dual-window multitasking. The Pixel 2 XL includes the Always-On display to make it easier for the user, to check notifications without having to awaken their device – this also helps to save battery life.
For the Pixel 2 XL, Google chose the most powerful processor available at the time – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core with one quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.35GHz. This is paired up to the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics. The Pixel 2 XL comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and a base of 64GB of non-expandable internal memory. Google gives Pixel owners free Google Cloud space to store their data, but if you want more internal memory, for an additional $100, you can purchase the 128GB model.
When Google introduced the Pixel devices last year, their cameras were immediately rated number one by DxOMark. When the Pixel 2 models were introduced this year with a few refinements to the camera, they, once again, jumped to the number one spot. The primary camera is 12-megapixel with an aperture of f/1.8, PDAF and laser autofocusing, EIS and OIS for stabilization, and a dual-tone LED flash. The front-facing camera (FFC) is 8MP - nothing fancy with an aperture of f/2.4, and fixed focus. The Pixel 2 XL has a large battery at 3,520mAh that will certainly get you through an entire day and offers fast charging.
The Google Pixel 2 XL is a terrific smartphone whose biggest disappointments are no memory expansion and no 3.5mm headphone jack. The Active Edge is a nice idea that allows you to summon Google Assistant and quiet an incoming call – but it seems as though it could do so much more – hopefully a software upgrade will extend its usefulness. You will not find any Hi-Res audio on board, but the Pixel 2 XL does provide two front-mounted stereo speakers. Google Assistant continues to improve and the new Pixel 2’s now offer IP67 dust and water resistance, and a promise of three years’ worth of updates. The Pixel 2 XL measures 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 175 grams. It is available in two colors – Just Black and Black & White. The Pixel 2 XL will cost about $849 with 64GB of RAM and $949 with 128GB of RAM and is available from the Google Store, Best Buy and as a carrier exclusive of Verizon where you can purchase it with monthly payments.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Much thought went into the designing and building of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and we expect nothing less from Huawei. The new Mate 10 Pro is evidence of their design philosophy and is one of the best-looking smartphones on the market today – in fact, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 challenges its look. While almost completely unknown in the U.S, Huawei surpassed Apple in September to rank second to only Samsung in world smartphone sales. Now that AT&T will sell the new Mate 10 Pro, we hope that Huawei will grab a foothold in the world’s largest flagship market. According to recent reports, this all-glass beauty with a metal frame should be in AT&T stores during December. Other than its 1080p display, lack of memory expansion, poor photo software, and no 3.5mm headphone jack, the Mate 10 Pro has a high-end Kirin 970 processor and Mali-G72 MP12 GPU that can easily take on the Snapdragon 835/Adreno 540 combo found in the Pixel 2 XL. Its Leica-made dual-camera setup ranks only second to the Google Pixel 2 models and its huge 4,000mAh battery will easily last you through the day and then some. Let’s see just how the powerhouse that is the Mate 10 Pro holds up to the Pixel 2 XL.
Huawei went with an AMOLED display that is 6-inches with a FHD+ resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels with a density of 402 PPI. Most companies choose the 1080p resolution to saved battery life, but I doubt that the large 4,000mAh battery size would break a sweat with a QHD display. There is no secondary display on the Mate 10 Pro for notifications, but they did opt for the new 18:9 aspect ratio. Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, the usual choice for premium smartphones, provides protection.
The new Huawei Kirin 970 octa-core processor with one quad-core clocked at 1.8GHz and a second quad-core clocked up to 2.4GHz powers the device. The new Mali-G72 GPU offers outstanding graphics. This combination stacks up nicely against the Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540 used in the Pixel 2 XL – it is neither better nor worse. The Mate 10 Pro packs 6GB of DDR4 RAM, allowing smoother operations and multitasking. It packs a nice 128GB of internal memory but has no means to expand it. There is a model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space that is offered by Huawei in some markets but presumably will not come to the U.S.
Working in tandem with Leica, the Mate 10 Pro has a dual camera arrangement that uses a 12-megapixel main sensor along with a 20-megapixel monochrome secondary sensor – each mounted behind a lens with a large aperture of f/1.6, OIS, 2X optical zoom, PDAF and laser autofocus, and a dual-tone LED flash. There is just something about a true black and white photo, and you can get some fantastic B&W shots with the Mate 10 Pro. Its FFC uses an 8-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 for selfies and video chatting. A 4,000mAh non-removable battery with fast charging capabilities powers the device. The glass back eliminated the chance of a removable battery but opened the door for an IP67 dust and water resistance certification, but for some reason, Huawei chose not to include wireless charging.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is an excellent smartphone, beautiful in every sense of the word, and has a high quality build. It sports a powerful processor, lots of RAM, and has a great sound package that comes with stereo speakers. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, though Huawei does provide an adapter to go from the Type-C port to a 3.5mm plug, otherwise, you will need a good set of Bluetooth headphones. The Mate 10 Pro comes with support for the older Bluetooth 4.2 standard but features an IR blaster and NFC. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is as quick as ever to unlock your device. The Mate 10 Pro measures 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm and weighs in at 178 grams. The Mate 10 Pro comes in your choice of Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray, Mocha Brown, and Pink Gold and ships with Android 8.0 Oreo enhanced with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0. The Mate 10 Pro will cost you approximately $945 outright, although if purchased through AT&T you will be able to finance the device on a plan.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is an outstanding smartphone, but I am going to have to give the nod to the Google Pixel 2 XL as the winner of this comparison. The Pixel 2 XL cost about $100 less than the Mate 10 Pro, it can work on more networks, has the QHD display, always-on display, it will receive faster updates than the Huawei, and has the highest rated camera. Google Lens and Active Edges are other nice features.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a real beauty and it would certainly win in that category. It has a monochrome camera, a larger battery, desktop projection, and can use knuckle gestures. The display is only 1080p, it offers no WiFi Calling, nor support for Daydream VR. Right now it will be offered on AT&T, so that narrows it availability, not to mention its $945 price tag.