Phone Comparisons: Huawei P20 Pro vs Sony Xperia XZ2

Introduction

Do we have a good one for you today – the Huawei P20 Pro takes on the Sony Xperia XZ2. Which one of these beauties gives you the most bang for your buck…and you heard me correctly, the newly redesigned Sony actually competes with the looks of the Huawei. This is a breakout year for Sony, now with small bezels and a new aspect ratio making it look new and updated. This is also one instant where the Sony costs less than the P20 Pro and with their similarities, the winner of this comparison will have to come down to brand, design, and individual features.

The Huawei P20 Pro and the Sony Xperia XZ2 have a few things in common. We can start with the physical size, which is almost identical except for thickness, where the XZ2 is 11.1mm at its largest point and the P20 Pro is only 7.8mm and weighs in at 198 grams compared to the P20 Pro’s 180 grams. When it comes to the display, they are close to size, but they are both FHD+ and covered by Gorilla Glass 5. Both processors and GPU are from different manufacturers, but are equally up to the task. They come with different amounts of base memory – non-expandable in the P20 Pro, while the Xperia XZ2 is expandable via a Micro SD card. The batteries both include fast charging capabilities, as well as wireless charging on the Xperia XZ2. They both have the usual suspects – WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth (v4.2 in the P20 Pro and v5.0 in the Xperia XZ2), neither one has a 3.5mm headphone jack, but both have Hi-Res audio and stereo speakers. Both have water and dust resistance – IP67 on the P20 Pro and IP68 on the Xperia XZ2.

Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and you will see just how these two high-end smartphones stack up against each other. After that, we will look at each mobile offering 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, as well as the execution of design and functions.

Specifications

Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei has always presented us with a beautifully design smartphone and the P20 Pro is a real beauty from every angle. Even though this is a flagship model, it still uses a FHD+ OLED display, and even has the unnecessary notch in the display. It does not offer wireless charging even though it has a glass back. It has one of the most interesting camera setups because it has three camera lenses. The P20 Pro uses the latest HiSilicon Kirin processor, equivalent to the SD845, provides the user with a base of 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of non-expandable storage. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5 mm headphone jack, but an NFC chip allows it to make mobile payments. It uses a very light user interface that Huawei calls EMUI 8.1, making it run fast and smooth. Priced at €899 ($1,055), it is a little on the steep side, especially when you consider that the Sony XZ2 will cost you no more than $699 for an 6GB/64GB model with expandable memory.

The Huawei P20 Pro uses a 6.1-inch OLED display with only an FHD+ resolution of 2240 x 1080 pixels, working out to be 408 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It does provide an Always-On display, but it is a basic design lacking any real customization other than providing the current time and date. Even though there is a notch in the display, Huawei designed the display so that the notch does not affect the viewing experience, as long as the apps are designed to take advantage of the 18:9 aspect ratio. Gorilla Glass 5 protects both the front and back of the device.

The brains for the Huawei P20 Pro is its own HiSilicon Kirin 970 quad-core processor, clocked at 2.4 GHz, and providing outstanding graphics is the powerful Mali-G72 MP12 GPU. The P20 Pro garners up a hefty 6GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable internal storage – you cannot buy one with more memory. Huawei does include a large 4,000 mAh battery to power the P20 Pro, easily enough to last the entire day. If you find yourself needing a charge, the P20 Pro does include Quick Charge 3.0, but there is no wireless charging.

The Huawei P20 Pro takes dual-camera a step further by including three rear-facing cameras that use Leica Optics. The main camera sensor that will take the majority of your photos ia a 40-megapixel RGB sensor with a large aperture of f/1.8 along with both laser and PDAF, an LED flash, and 3X optical zoom. The second sensor adds a useful Monochrome 20-megapixel sensor with an f/1.6 aperture. The third 8-megapixel camera uses an RGB sensor, an f/2.4 aperture, along with a telephoto lens. The front-facing camera (FFC) is a huge 24-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, allowing great selfies and video chats.

The Huawei P20 Pro comes with Wi-Fi, but does not allow WiFi calling. It has NFC, which allows for mobile payments such as Goggle Pay. It supports Bluetooth v4.2, and adds an infrared blaster. Huawei does not include a headphone jack, but does include stereo speakers and an adaptor to go from its Type-C port for your headphones. The camera area is one of the best on the market, that includes the addition of a monochrome camera, zoom features, and Night Mode. The P20 Pro is rated at IP67 for dust and water-resistance. The device measures 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm and weighs in at 180 grams. It comes in Midnight Black, Twilight Purple, Black, and Pink Gold. Retail pricing ranges from $900 to $1,055, depending on where you purchase it.

Sony Xperia XZ2

We are happy to finally say that the Sony has redesigned their flagship device to compete with the Samsungs, LGs, and the Huawei P20 Pro. The large bezels and side fingerprint button are gone. Sony moved the display to a 18:9 aspect ratio, which adds a slimmer and taller look to the device while its rounded edges add an extra touch of elegance. Sony is using Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back of the device, which gave Sony a chance to add wireless charging. You will find the latest Snapdragon chipset and Adreno GPU, along with expandable storage. The Xperia XZ2 retains its front-facing stereo speakers, but loses its 3.5 mm headphone jack. The FFC has been reduced in size from 13-megapixels to only 5-megapixels. The fingerprint sensor is now located on the rear of the device rather on the side and is actually functional for the US market.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 sports a 5.7-inch IPS LCD FHD display with no notch – and if Sony follows its other design initiatives, we will probably never see a notched Sony display. Sony still refuses to jump to a QHD display, and continues to keep an FHD+ resolution as its standard. This gives us a pixel resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels that translate into 424 PPI. Sony upgraded to the latest 18:9 aspect ratio that not only makes the smartphone look more modern look, but offers a better proportion for entertainment apps and multitasking. Sony protects its display with Gorilla Glass 5. A non-removable 3,180 mAh capacity battery powers the Xperia XZ2 with support for Quick Charge 3.0 and now wireless charging.

The Sony Xperia XZ2 uses the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 – the same one used in most other flagship devices in 2018. The SD845 is an octa-core processor clocked at 2.47 GHz and it is paired with the Adreno 630 GPU that will handle any gaming graphics or videos you can throw at it. The standard XZ2 comes with 4GB of RAM, although there is a 6GB model offered as well – both come with 64GB of expandable internal storage.

Sony manufacturers almost all of the camera lens/sensors used on other smartphones, so you would think they have the best cameras on its own models. While many smartphones are using multiple cameras, the main camera on the Xperia XZ2 is a single 19-megapixel sensor with an aperture of only f/2.0. It comes with its own gyro EIS for stability, uses both laser and PDAF for focusing and comes with an LED flash. Sony eliminated its incredibly large 13-megapixel FFC sensor and decided to use a minuscule 5-megapixel sensor with a small f/2.2 aperture, but it comes with a gyro EIS for stability for selfies and video chats.

Even though Sony looks more modern, they continue to make some questionable decisions. The company took away the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the Xperia XZ2 that is 11.1 mm at its thickest point. It also does not support VoLTE or Wi-Fi Calling, which is necessary on a 2018 flagship. Sony took their large FFC and inserted a one of the smallest ones you will find. Sony made good decisions by including an excellent vibration motor, a PS4 ecosystem (if you use a PS4), stereo speakers, and providing superb battery life. The NFC and fingerprint sensor are now activated for the US market. The Xperia XZ2 uses a very light user interface on top of Android 8.0 (Oreo), making it run fast and smooth. The device measures 153 x 72 x 11.1 mm and weighs in at a hefty 198 grams. It comes in Liquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green, or Ash Pink. It will cost you about $670 for the 4GB/64GB version and $699 for the 6GB/64GB version.

...And The Winner Is...

The Final Word

This comparison is a tough decision to make with the AMOLED display and triple camera setup on the P20 Pro and the expandable memory and wireless charging of the Xperia XZ2. I have to pick the Sony Xperia XZ2 as the winner of this comparison, if nothing else because of the price difference. It does have only the IPS LCD display (no notches), but does pack the SD845/630 GPU and expandable memory. While it does not have triple camera lens, it has a great Sony camera. The battery is smaller, but that should not affect its ability to make it easily through a day, and if you need to charge the battery, you have Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging available. The XZ2 also has PS4 Remote Play, better water and dust resistance…all for a better price.

The Huawei P20 Pro does offer a notched AMOLED display that has the Always-On feature and 6GB of RAM, but the 128GB of memory is not expandable. It has an interesting camera area with three main cameras and a huge FFC. It has slightly less water and dust resistance, an IR Blaster, but no VoLTE or WiFi calling is supported.

With the Sony Xperia XZ2 and its updated look, no-notched display, great camera, and expandable memory and savings of over $300, even for the 6GB version, I have to crown it as the winner of this comparison.

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