iPhone X vs Huawei P30 Pro : Which camera is best?
The Huawei P30 Pro has the best camera of any Android phone, according to our testing. But how does it compare to Apple’s current flagship phone, the iPhone XS Max? With the P30 Pro’s Leica quad-camera array, it has the benefit of being able to see both really far into the distance with a 5x optical or 10x hybrid zoom, and see in the dark with its night mode. The iPhone XS Max only has two cameras at the back, a wide-angle and telephoto lens, but excels thanks to some computational photography tricks that are new to Apple phones.
Watch this: Huawei P30 Pro vs. iPhone XS Max camera comparison
I took both these phones to some of San Francisco’s most scenic spots, including Coit Tower and North Beach, to see what they could capture, from portraits to landscapes and of course zoom.
A note on the P30 Pro. Huawei’s phone isn’t officially sold in the US, due to political pressures, though it is available globally. You can find the Huawei P30 Pro on B&H and Amazon from third party sellers (buyer beware). We’ve included it in our camera showdown based on its prowess — this a phone that the likes of Samsung, Apple and Google will want to beat.
We’ve also previously compared the P30 Pro camera to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.
IPHONE XS MAX VS. P30 PRO CAMERA SPECS
iPhone XS Max P30 Pro
Rear camera Dual 12-megapixel Leica quad-camera
Wide-angle lens 26mm f/1.8 27mm f/1.6 (40-megapixel)
Ultra-wide angle lens N/A 16mm f/2.2 (20-megapixel)
Telephoto lens 51mm f/2.4 Periscope 125mm f/3.4 (8-megapixel)
Time of flight camera N/A Yes
Optical image stabilization Yes, both rear cameras Yes, except ultra-wide
Front camera type TrueDepth 27mm f/2.2 f/2.0
Front camera resolution 7-megapixel 32-megapixel
Autofocus (rear camera) Contrast, phase Phase
4K video Yes (24/30/60 fps) Yes (30fps)
Audio Stereo recording Stereo recording
Video extended dynamic range Yes, up to 30fps No
Stabilization on front camera Yes (1080/720p) No
Landscapes, general photos and HDR are fantastic
For most photos in this category, the P30 Pro and iPhone are very close and you won’t be disappointed with either. Images are tack sharp and well exposed. Both have HDR modes to help boost dynamic range, called Smart HDR on the iPhone (toggle it from the settings menu) or HDR on the P30 Pro (find it in the More section within the camera app). Each does a good job of boosting the dynamic range that’s captured and avoids blown-out highlights and muddy shadows.
Colors are true to life on both phones, with the exception of shooting on Master AI with the P30 Pro. This mode identifies what’s in the scene, then adjusts colors and brightness to enhance the image. It can recognize scenes like flowers, skies or trees. Blue skies look really blue, while greenery and foliage look extra vibrant.
Photos look fantastic when shot in this mode, but they are more vivid and saturated than those from the iPhone XS Max which are more true to life. The white balance on the P30 Pro can also look a little warm or yellow compared to the same image taken on the iPhone, although it’s not consistent as to when this happens.
A comparison between a still life taken on the P30 Pro and iPhone XS Max. One hundred % crop inset.
As always, your mileage will vary depending on what screen you view on. If you’re reviewing on the phone screens themselves, images from the P30 pop and look more pleasing than the iPhone when compared side-by-side. When viewing on a computer screen, the images from the P30 Pro look more muted, but still more vivid than those from the iPhone XS Max.
If you’re a fan of having an ultra-wide angle lens to capture sweeping landscapes, the P30 Pro can’t be beat in this respect. But do be aware that the photos taken with this lens can appear more saturated and vivid than those taken on the regular wide-angle lens, especially if you are using Master AI. You may want to turn off Master AI if you shoot frequently with this lens, if you’re not a fan of the saturation.
Taken on the ultra-wide lens with Master AI turned on, the saturation is taken to the extreme. As pretty as this looks, the sky and water were not this blue in reality.
The P30 Pro is the king of zoom
There’s no doubt about it. If you’ve heard anything about the P30 Pro’s camera it’s likely about that crazy periscope zoom lens that offers both 5x optical and a 10x hybrid zoom. (Typically, telephoto lenses can be bulky, so the P30 Pro turns the camera array sideways so a prism bounces the light onto the sensor, just like an actual periscope.)
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