Phone Comparisons: Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 XL

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Introduction

It's time to face off Huawei's and Google's flagship smartphones, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Google Pixel 3 XL. Both of these phones were announced in Q3 this year, October, to be more accurate, and they are quite different, actually, both in terms of their design and internals. One thing is for sure, though, both of these phones are quite compelling, and do have some advantages one over the other, as is the case with all phones we compare. Having said that, it's time to find out which is a better phone overall. Before we start, do keep in mind these are our opinions, which are mostly based on our time spent with both devices, your opinions may differ, of course. In any case, let's kick things off by comparing their specs, as per usual.

Specifications

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Design

As far as the design is concerned, Huawei and Google took a rather different approach one compared to the other. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is made out of metal and glass, though most of the phone's surface is glass. It is also worth noting that its glass back panel comes with some sort of coating that makes the phone less slippery than other glass-made phones out there. The Google Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, has a small glass panel on the top of its back side, while Google also applied some sort of a coating on most of the phone's back, though in Pixel's case, that coating is applied on top of metal, and it's also more grippy than your regular aluminum. If we flip both phones around, you will immediately notice that the Pixel 3 XL has a much taller notch, which will probably bother some of you, as it cuts into the display quite a bit, and the Pixel 3 XL also has a thicker bottom bezel than the Mate 20 Pro, it's at least twice the size of the one on the Mate 20 Pro. The Mate 20 Pro is both shorter and narrower than the Pixel 3 XL, despite the fact it has a larger display, so that will probably be a plus for some people, but we'll talk more about that in the display. Section, all in all, the Mate 20 Pro is the winner of this category, as the phone will probably appeal to more people, not only because of its design, but because of its in-hand feel, we sure prefer it over the Pixel 3 XL.

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Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Display

So, what about their displays? Well, the Mate 20 Pro features a 6.39-inch QHD+ (3120 x 1440) AMOLED panel, while the Google Pixel 3 XL comes with a 6.3-inch QHD+ (2960 x 1440) P-OLED display. Truth be said, both of these displays are quite good, they offer vibrant colors, great viewing angles, and are solid through-and-through. The Mate 20 Pro offers a different display aspect ratio compared to the Pixel 3 XL, as we're looking at a 19.5:9 display aspect ratio, over Pixel 3 XL's 18.5:9 display aspect ratio. Despite the fact the Mate 20 Pro sports a larger display, and a higher display aspect ratio, it's shorter than the Pixel 3 XL, mainly because the Pixel 3 XL has quite a large bezel below the display. The Mate 20 Pro is also quite a bit narrower thanks to its display aspect ratio, 72.3mm compared to 76.7, which makes the phone easier to use with one hand, that's for sure. The Pixel 3 XL's display is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, while Huawei did not say which version of Corning's Gorilla Glass protection is applied on top of the Mate 20 Pro's display, but judging by tests, it's probably also Gorilla Glass 5. So, what's the verdict? Well, both displays are quite compelling, that's true, but the Mate 20 Pro offers a higher resolution, while its display's aspect ratio also makes it easier for you to use it with one hand, so we'll give this one to the Mate 20 Pro.

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Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Performance

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Google Pixel 3 XL both feature powerful internals, and they both ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box, but they do have completely different implementations of Google's software. The Pixel 3 XL comes with stock Android, while the Mate 20 Pro packs Huawei's Emotion UI (EMUI) skin on top of Android 9 Pie. Now, this category would probably go into Pixel's favor any other year, but this year it's kind of a close call, to be quite honest. The Pixel 3 XL had, and still has, a number of issues with various bugs, which do affect the performance of the device. Google fixed the memory management issue that the phone had, but some issues with the fingerprint scanner gestures are still present, same goes for a number of other issues that have been reported, including the call quality. With that in mind, the Mate 20 Pro will probably take the cake here, Emotion UI which comes pre-installed on the Mate 20 Pro is not the lightest skin around, but it is miles better than it was a couple of years back, and it does not hold back the device at all, as it is well-optimized for the Kirin 980 SoC, and the rest of the phone's internals.

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Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Battery Life

So, what phone should you get if you're a heavy user, and you need plenty of battery juice? Well, the short answer would be the Mate 20 Pro, and there's a good reason for that. These two phones have approximately the same display sizes, and the Mate 20 Pro not only comes with a much larger battery (4,200mAh vs 3,430mAh), but it also comes with a ton of battery-saving options that are included in EMUI 9.0. Both phones ship with the same software underneath, Android 9 Pie, so both are taking advantage of battery-saving features that Google included in Android 9 Pie, so rogue apps in the background are well-handled. The Pixel 3 XL's battery life is not bad, don't get us wrong, but the Mate 20 Pro offers a lot more in that regard, as it is one of the best smartphones out there in terms of the battery life, and chances are not even the heaviest users will have issues with it. The Mate 20 Pro also offers reverse wireless charging, while both phones offer wireless charging. The Mate 20 Pro's wired charging, on the other hand, is much faster than Pixel 3 XL's, which is yet another reason to give this one to the Mate 20 Pro.

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Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Cameras

This aspect of the two devices was probably the most difficult to compare, as they're both extremely camera-focused, and are amongst the best camera smartphones out there. Each of these smartphones has a mode for extremely low light situations, and both are capable of producing great results. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro's camera setup is way more versatile than Google's, as the Mate 20 Pro has three different sensors included on the back, while the Pixel 3 XL has only one, but that one sensor comes with Google's camera algorithms which are great, and can pull out some great pictures out of the Pixel 3 XL. The Google Pixel 3 XL comes with a super wide-angle selfie capability as well, though that is also pulled off via software. The Mate 20 Pro comes with a rather large, 24-megapixel front-facing camera, which is also quite capable, but quite probably a bit behind the Pixel 3 XL when versatility is concerned. We simply could not make up our mind on this one, each of the two phones has amazing cameras, and where one lacks, the other one does not, so we'll go with a draw here.

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Winner: Draw

Conclusion

So, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro did pull ahead in most of the categories above, as it simply deserved it, even though the Pixel 3 XL is still a great choice, of course. It's also worth noting that both phones have stereo speakers, while neither of them includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Mate 20 Pro also has the upper hand in storage, as not only does it ship with more storage, but it also includes a microSD card slot for storage expansion, which is a feature that the Pixel 3 XL lacks. All that considered, in addition to what we've already mentioned above, it's hard not to say that the Mate 20 Pro is the winner of this comparison, though you may disagree, of course, especially if you simply love storage Android.

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Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro