Huawei P30 Pro vs. Google Pixel 3 XL: Which camera powerhouse reigns supreme?

The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro boast top-tier specs and a ton of camera tech. The P30 Pro may well redefine what to expect from smartphone cameras given the fact that it boasts a quad-lens main camera, a 32-megapixel front-facing camera, and a ton of artificial intelligence to process everything. But another phone redefined mobile photography last year — the Google Pixel, the biggest of which is the Google Pixel 3 XL. How does the Huawei P30 Pro compare to the Pixel 3 XL? We put the two head to head to find out.

Specs

Huawei P30 Pro Google Pixel 3 XL
Size 158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm (6.22 x 2.89 x 0.33 inches) 158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.22 x 3.02 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 192 grams (6.77 ounces) 184 grams (6.49 ounces)
Screen size 6.47-inch AMOLED 6.3-inch OLED
Screen resolution 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (398 pixels per inch) 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (523 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie (under EMUI 9.1) Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slot No, Huawei’s proprietary NM card only No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Kirin 980 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM 8GB 4GB
Camera Quad-lens 40MP, 20MP, 8MP, and ToF rear, 32MP front Single-lens 12.2MP rear, dual 8MP and 8MP front
Video 2,160p at 30 frames per second, 1,080p at 60 fps, 720p at 960 fps 2,160p at 30 frames per second, 1,080p at 120 fps, 720p at 240 fps.
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes, rear-mounted
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,200mAh

40W Huawei SuperCharge

15W Qi wireless fast charging

3,430mAh

18W Fast charging

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support TBA T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal, Pearl White, Aurora, Black Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink
Price 1,000 euros ($1,128) $900
Buy from Huawei Google, Amazon, Best Buy
Review score Hands-on review 4 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Google Pixel 3
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The new Huawei P30 Pro is clearly a powerful phone, thanks to the fact that it has Huawei’s own Kirin 980 processor, coupled with a whopping 8GB of RAM. The Google Pixel 3 XL, on the other hand, offers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is Qualcomm’s 2018 chip, coupled with 4GB of RAM. Safe to say, the Huawei P30 Pro is simply a higher-performing phone.

The P30 Pro is likely to last longer, too, as it has a 4,200mAh battery, which is far larger than the 3,430mAh battery in the Google Pixel 3 XL. It can also charge much faster thanks to Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge, and it supports speedy Qi wireless charging at 15W. The Pixel 3 XL does also have fast charging and wireless charging, but at 18W and 10W respectively, it isn’t quite as fast.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Design and durability

Huawei P30 Pro
Huawei P30 Pro Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Huawei P30 Pro is a modern-looking device that has a small notch, similar to the Essential Phone. The display on the phone sits in at 6.47 inches, and it runs edge-to-edge save for the aforementioned notch — meaning that there are super-slim bezels around the screen. On the back of the phone, there are four camera lenses and a flash, along with Leica branding directly under the camera module. The phone is built from glass and has an IP68 rating.

The Google Pixel 3 XL is somewhat notorious for its design. That’s because it has a much larger notch with a pretty big chin, and it’s a little unsightly. On the back of the phone, you’ll find a single lens and a fingerprint sensor. It’s also built from glass and has an IP68 water-resistance rating.

The phones are about as durable as each other, but the P30 Pro is a little nicer-looking thanks to the much smaller notch.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro

Display

google pixel 3 xl vs apple iphone xs max display
Pixel 3 XL

There are plenty of things that are different about these two phones — including the display. The Google Pixel 3 XL offers a 6.3-inch OLED display, while the Huawei P30 Pro has a 6.47-inch AMOLED display. The main difference between the phones’ displays, however, is the resolution — while the P30 Pro’s display comes in at 2,340 x 1,080 pixels, which equates to a density of 398 pixels per inch, the Google Pixel 3 XL steps things up to 2,960 x 1,440 pixels, or 523 pixels per inch. We think that’s a pretty significant difference — and it makes the Pixel 3 XL the winner here.

Winner: Google Pixel 3 XL

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The camera in a smartphone is becoming increasingly important, and companies have been seriously stepping things up when it comes to smartphone camera quality. The Huawei P30 Pro boasts a whopping four camera lenses on the back — including a 40-megapixel “SuperSpectrum” lens with an f/1.6 aperture, a 20-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture, an 8-megapixel Periscope Zoom lens with an f/3.4 aperture, and a time-of-flight sensor for measuring depth. It’s a pretty impressive array of sensors — and should make for a great photo-taking experience. On the front, the device has a 32-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture.

The Google Pixel 3 XL is no slouch in the camera department either. It only has one rear-facing sensor, which sits in at 12.2 megapixels, but it also has Google’s high-end artificially intelligent image processing, which has been hailed for producing excellent shots. Around front, there’s a dual-lens camera that pairs two 8-megapixel sensors.

We’re going to need a little more time with the P30 Pro to find out which phone is truly the best in the camera department in any given situation, but there’s no doubt that it’s more versatile. This is a tie for now.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

huawei p30 pro vs google pixel 3 xl review hero

Both the Google Pixel 3 XL and the Huawei P30 Pro offer Android 9.0 Pie, but the overall experience between the two phones is a little different. The Google Pixel 3 XL offers an ultra-clean version of Android, and it’ll get updates to new versions of Android as soon as Google makes them available. The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, has Huawei’s EMUI 9.1, which is Huawei’s Android skin. It’s not terrible, but it requires some setting up and customization, and can prioritize Huawei’s apps and services. It also means that updates will be slower to come to the P30 Pro.

Winner: Google Pixel 3 XL

Special features

Google Pixel Stand
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Huawei P30 Pro offers a few nice features, like the in-display fingerprint sensor, reverse wireless charging, and so on. It also has a feature called OneHop, which allows you to record the screen of your PC with your phone, and copy and paste content between the two. The Google Pixel 3 XL, however, leverages Google’s A.I., and as such it offers features like Call Screen, which shows a real-time transcript of Google Assistant-answered phone calls, and Now Playing, which shows you what song is playing in the background on the lock screen. We think that makes it the winner here.

Winner: Google Pixel 3 XL

Price and availability

The Google Pixel 3 XL has been available for a few months now, and as such can easily be found unlocked for use on your preferred carrier. The device starts at $900.

The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, was just announced, and it’s not coming to the U.S. It is available in other parts of the world, and comes at 999 euros, or around $1,130.

Overall winner: Google Pixel 3 XL

For an all-around great phone, it’s worth getting the Google Pixel 3 XL. Sure, it’s not quite as powerful as the Huawei P30 Pro, but it does have a better display, superior A.I. features, and it will get faster updates. The Huawei P30 Pro is still an excellent phone, particularly if it’s available where you live — the lack of an official U.S. release is bound to put some people off. Ultimately, you can’t really go wrong with either of these phones.

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