Apple iPhone XS Max vs Huawei P30 Pro

Apple iPhone XS Max vs Huawei P30 Pro
The iPhone XS Max has been around for almost one year and the Huawei P30 Pro is nearing its six-month anniversary. These devices will be succeeded by the iPhone Pro and Mate 30 Pro in mid-September but, with a few weeks still left to go, we thought now would be a good time to compare Apple and Huawei’s (soon-to-be-replaced) greatest phones after extensive use.

Design


Neither of these devices is what you’d consider compact, but the Huawei P30 Pro does feel noticeably better in the hand. This can be attributed to the thin side bezels that arrive paired with a waterdrop-like notch above, the latter of which houses the selfie camera, and the curved edge display, which helps reduce the phone’s overall width substantially, although this will undoubtedly annoy those who aren’t fans of curved display technology.

The iPhone XS Max, on the other hand, features a flat display which actually makes it one of the widest flagships on the market right now. So wide, in fact, that certain people may consider it uncomfortable to hold. Unlike the Huawei, this device boasts uniform bezels which means the chin is slightly smaller but the side bezels are ultimately a little thicker. It also includes a controversially wide notch that is home to the in-ear speaker, the selfie camera, and Apple’s Face ID system.


Both of these devices feature glass rear panels and vertical camera setups that are positioned in the top-left corner, but there are some important differences. The Huawei P30 Pro, on the one hand, features a two-column camera layout and subtly curved edges along either side of the back. The iPhone XS Max, on the other hand, uses a smaller camera module and a flat rear panel that creates a slightly more industrial look.

Completing the exterior packages on the Huawei P30 Pro and iPhone XS Max are aluminum and stainless-steel frames respectively. On paper, Apple’s device includes the more premium material but, in reality, there isn’t too much of a difference. Some people may even prefer the Huawei’s frame over the iPhone’s one because the latter is noticeably heavier and quite the fingerprint magnet which means it often needs to be wiped.

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max

Dimensions

6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.89 x 0.33 inches

158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple iPhone XS Max

Dimensions

6.2 x 3.05 x 0.3 inches

157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro

Dimensions

6.22 x 2.89 x 0.33 inches

158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display


Apple and Huawei’s premium devices, like most modern flagships, are equipped with OLED displays. These panels are roughly the same size – 6.47-inches on the Huawei and 6.5-inches on the iPhone – and support the 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but they do differ when it comes to resolution. Specifically, the P30 Pro offers a 2340 x 1080 resolution and a pixel density of 398ppi while Apple’s phone opts for a 2688 x 1242 resolution and a pixel density of 458ppi.

All of this means that Apple’s iPhone is technically the superior one in terms of resolution –something you don’t hear very often – but the differences are barely noticeable when comparing the two flagships directly. The same thing can’t be said, however, about the color reproduction.

While neither of these displays is bad – they’re far from it – the iPhone’s is arguably better. It displays colors much more accurately and also supports Apple’s True Tone feature. The latter automatically adjusts colors based on ambient lighting conditions to create a more consistent viewing experience, although it does favor warmer tones in certain scenarios.

The Huawei P30 Pro doesn’t offer a True Tone-like feature but it does support a variety of settings that allow users to adjust the color temperature to their exact preference. When set to ‘Normal’ with the color temperature at ‘Default,’ though, the display does often look a bit too warm. Similarly, the ‘Vivid’ option favors colder tones and can lead to eye strain after extended periods of time due to the excess of blue light.


Performance, interface, and storage


The Huawei P30 Pro and iPhone XS Max use the Kirin 980 and Apple A12 Bionic respectively. These are two of the most powerful mobile chipsets available at the moment and therefore mean both smartphones are incredibly fast. Moreover, because they’re built using the 7-nanometer manufacturing process, the chipsets are also impressively efficient.

Benchmark tests typically favor Apple’s offering in terms of processing power and graphics performance but the Kirin 980 is never too far behind. In real-life scenarios, the differences are negligible and any variation largely comes down to the presence of different operating systems. 

The iPhone XS Max ships with iOS 12 pre-installed, a software release that sticks to Apple’s usual philosophy. It runs very smoothly and is extremely well optimized but ultimately lacks the level of customization offered by Android. The upside is that the operating system is impressively secure and often prompts users about privacy settings for certain apps. Speaking of which, Apple itself offers a pretty complete suite of apps and services that work seamlessly across the company’s other devices.


The Huawei P30 Pro, on the opposite end of the spectrum, boasts Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.1 straight out of the box. Aesthetically the custom interface actually isn’t too different from Apple’s iOS 12 but it ultimately offers a completely different level of customization. Huawei’s stock launcher can be switched out for one of your choice, icons can be arranged freely, entire OS themes can be installed, and you can even select a different navigation system. As standard the smartphone defaults to Android three-key layout but a gesture-based alternative is available in addition to a floating button-like ‘Navigation dock.’


Regarding software support, this is where the iPhone undoubtedly has the upper hand. Apple typically supports its devices for a minimum of four years although five years isn’t unheard of. This means the iPhone XS Max should eventually end up running either iOS 16 or iOS 17. The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, will soon be updated to Android 10 – though there's no certainty as to whether it will ever receive Android 11 next year.

Circling back to the spec sheets of these devices, it’s worth pointing out that the iPhone XS Max ships with 64GB of internal storage as standard whereas the Huawei P30 Pro doubles this to 128GB. Both devices are also available in 256GB and 512GB configurations if the base storage isn’t sufficient. The Huawei P30 Pro, unlike the iPhone, also supports storage expansion, although a nanoSD card is required for this rather than the usual microSD.

AnTuTu is a multi-layered, comprehensive mobile benchmark app that assesses various aspects of a device, including CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O, and UX performance. A higher score means an overall faster device.

Higher is better
Apple iPhone XS Max
336882
Huawei P30 Pro
285595

Camera


The camera department is really what differentiates the devices from one another. The iPhone XS Max boasts a dual-camera setup on the rear that consists of a main 12-megapixel shooter paired with a second camera of the same resolution which itself is coupled with a telephoto zoom lens. Optical image stabilization is present on both sensors.

The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, features a versatile quadruple-camera setup. There’s a 40-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel periscope camera, a 20-megapixel shooter paired with an ultra wide-angle lens, and a dedicated time-of-flight camera that gathers extra depth data. Like the iPhone, the Huawei P30 Pro’s primary and zoom cameras boast optical image stabilization.

When comparing daylight photos taken with the main cameras, the iPhone undoubtedly has the upper hand. Color representation on Apple’s smartphone is pretty accurate and shots look a lot more natural overall. The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, often oversaturates and can sometimes add a yellow-ish tint to shots. It’s almost as if photos come with an automatic filter that sacrifices accuracy in favor of bright colors to make them more “Insta-worthy.”

Reduce the amount of light present when taking photos and the tables turn completely. The iPhone XS Max suddenly struggles to produce consistently good photos and the P30 Pro excels by combining four pixels into one, therefore producing a higher-quality 10-megapixel photo. It’s worth pointing out that the shots produced by Huawei’s phone can sometimes appear artificial but it’s still better than what Apple’s device can do.

If the Huawei P30 Pro’s standard night shots aren’t good enough, there’s also a dedicated Night Mode. This drastically increases the amount of light captured and can ultimately produce some incredible pictures that blow the iPhone out of the water. The only downside to this feature is that you need to hold the phone steady for around six seconds.



Huawei’s phone also has the upper hand when it comes to zoom. It supports an incredible 5x optical zoom which means previously impossible photos are now within reach. Anything between 1x and 5x uses hybrid zoom technology which combines digital zoom with data from the other sensors to improve the result. As for the iPhone, it supports a standard 2x optical zoom. You obviously can’t get quite as close to objects or buildings but it does still produce more natural-looking photos. 

While on the topic of zoom, it’s worth pointing out that Apple’s iPhone uses its telephoto camera for portrait shots. The optical properties of this camera make it more suitable for portrait shots, although some might be annoyed by the fact that subjects appear so close to the camera. The Huawei P30 Pro, on the other hand, supports the feature through its primary sensor but also allows users to zoom in at 2x or 3x if required.

As mentioned above, the Huawei P30 Pro also features an ultra wide-angle camera on the back. This is something the iPhone doesn’t have so there really isn’t much to compare. Do note, however, that there’s a noticeable difference in color reproduction when compared to the P30 Pro’s main camera.

Sound quality


The iPhone and Huawei boast impressive display for media consumption but only one of the devices boasts equally impressive speakers – the iPhone XS Max.

The iPhone features a stereo speaker setup which is actually one of the best on the market right now. It produces a splendid sound quality that’s made possible by a strong bass paired with an impressive volume level.

The Huawei P30 Pro, for comparison, is probably one of the worst in terms of audio quality. Its use of Sound-On-Display technology means that only the bottom-firing speaker is used when consuming media content. This component is slightly better than the one found on last year’s Mate 20 Pro but still lacks the overall depth offered by Apple’s device.


Battery life


The iPhone XS Max features a 3174mAh battery inside and the Huawei P30 Pro boasts a massive 4,200mAh cell. In this case, bigger really is better and there’s absolutely no question about it.

While we couldn’t perform our own battery test on Huawei’s phone because the display brightness fluctuates automatically even when manual controls are activated, it’s clear the P30 Pro offers absolutely incredible battery life. It can easily get you through the day on a single charge but with light usage, this could be extended to an incredible 48 hours.

Apple’s device, in contrast, struggles quite a bit. With light to regular usage it can last a day, but if you’re a power user be prepared to whip out that charger halfway through the day. Speaking of which, the iPhone ships with an unimpressive 5W brick that translates into an appalling charge time of 209 minutes, or roughly 3.5 hours. The Huawei P30 Pro, for comparison, is paired with a 40W fast charger than can provide an astonishing 70% charge in just 30 minutes. A full charge takes around 1 hour.

Both of these flagships support wireless charging but the Huawei also includes the added bonus of reverse wireless charging – a handy feature when other Qi-enabled devices need charging.

Conclusion


The iPhone XS Max and Huawei P30 Pro are two highly recommendable devices. The one you choose, however, ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Apple’s device is the best choice if you’re looking for a smartphone that’ll be supported for years to come or if you’re already heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem. Similarly, the iPhone XS Max is probably the one for you if you’re a fan of accurate color representation when it comes to photography.

In contrast, Huawei’s P30 Pro might be the correct option if a versatile camera system is something you’d enjoy. Alternatively, if you’re simply looking for a device that’ll last all day on a single charge or one that offers the versatility of Android, look no further than Huawei’s offering.

Regardless of which device you go for, it may be worth waiting a month or so before making the purchase. Apple’s expected to drop the iPhone XS Max’s price by $100 when it introduces the iPhone Pro in about two weeks’ time and the arrival of the Mate 30 Pro in three weeks should lead to P30 Pro price drops too.

Related phones

iPhone XS Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3179 mAh(25h talk time)
P30 Pro
  • Display 6.5" 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP / 32 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 980, Octa-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4200 mAh

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27 Comments

2. Chimachimbo

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 05, 2018

Plain n simple p30 is is next level highly recommended. iPhone xs max just stupidly over rated.

23. Shanth

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 22, 2019

Plain and simple : OnePlus 7 pro is the best choice for the price than stupidly over rated phone like p30pro & note10+....

25. hamaidx

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

Oh.. so now you think... 1+ has same tech as the one's reviewed ... You must be effin kidding me...

3. Whitedot

Posts: 806; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

One important thing you missed Joshua is Huawei P30 provides 45W fast charger out of the box. Essentials box ticked.

6. joshuaswingle

Posts: 586; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

I mention that it's paired with a 40W charger

7. Whitedot

Posts: 806; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

My bad. Apologies didn't see that.

5. Papa_Ji

Posts: 848; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

Just remove the rotten fruit logo.... They can't sell 1% of there number. And p30 pro will still maintain its sales figure.

8. scarface21173

Posts: 681; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Nothing against apple, i just like android full stop.

10. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

What gave you the (wrong) idea that XS Max battery cannot last an entire work day?

11. JCASS889

Posts: 525; Member since: May 18, 2018

Only if you use it lightly, maybe it can but everyone I know who has it is constantly charging or looking for a charger.

12. joshuaswingle

Posts: 586; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

I've been using the XS Max since November so I think I have a pretty good idea about its battery life. As I mentioned in the article, it can last a full day with light usage. Anything more and you'll need a quick charge at some point during the day.

13. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The fact that you have used the phone is irrelevant, unless you've made a scientific test (different areas, different carriers, different settings etc). I'm pretty sure there's something about your usage scenario or maybe you live in an area with bad connection (the last trip I took in a country with bad carrier networks, my XR was unable to keep the charge for the entire day with almost no usage; I was next to the border and the phone was switching through 3 carriers a few times every hour). Max should be able to get you 6-7h sot with heavy usage (the worse case scenario for an Amoled: browsing), which means you don't have to charge it midday.

14. cmdacos

Posts: 4191; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Lmao...

21. Vancetastic

Posts: 1263; Member since: May 17, 2017

That notch eats battery, man. Believe it.

24. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

What notch?

26. TheOracle1

Posts: 2258; Member since: May 04, 2015

"The fact that you have used the phone is irrelevant, unless you've made a scientific test". This has to be the most ridiculous statement Leo has blessed us with. Lol. Joshua gives his real world experience over a 10 month period and Leo (who has never used the phone) basically tells him "he's holding it wrong". You can't make this $hit up. Classic Leo.

28. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The experience of one (singular) person is irrelevant when the phone gets different results with different usage scenarios. Max is rated at 9h30 and I never heard you - Apple trolling team - saying "hey, it's Phonearena real world experience, so it must be correct"; no, dear troll, you have said that PA method is flawed. Now I'm asking: when are the results from PA flawed? when they confirm your bias or when they say something totally different? Why would I trust this dude over his colleague?

16. oldskool50

Posts: 1491; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

JOSH....at out office, we buy all the Project Managers iPhones. At least half if them commute by fast rail, while a few drive. ALL of them basically leave their phone on the charger all day, until they leave their desk for lunch or a. real or heading home. We have been buying then phones since the iPhone 4 and all of them have complained about batterylife. ATT gives us a nice deal on them so we keep getting them. With medium to heavy usage an iPhone won't last a full day. The fact Samsung phones which are chalked full of features last a full work day medium usage is amazing and that goes for other Androids too. But these clones will claim Android isnt optimized as good as iOS devices. Such baloney. The Note considering it has more cams, bigger screens, higher resolutions, more ram, more cores which all need power, and yet it last me 2 works days on a single charge most times is amazing. Leo is blind and so are all his friends.

27. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You have a bright future, dude, keep it up and, at the peak of your carrier, you'll be talking about pictures taken at the sunset... Cheers!

15. oldskool50

Posts: 1491; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

You're the one that's wrong. It averages 4.5 to close to 6 with medium usage. Other than the XR, no iPhone usually last more than 5hrs. I get 2 complete work days out of every Galaxy device I own since the Note 5, which last 1.5 days. Samsung has had 3000+ batteries in their phones since then and yet Apple just recently crossed that line. When you consider the A-series drains more battery then any phone in or not in its class, considering its limited capabilities and features and yet full features phone last equally as long or longer; it shows Apple is giving its customers not the est qually. And consider the fact they still use cheap Chinese made batteries vs Samsung better batteries, tell alot. For you to claim he is wrong is not surprising. Because I guess you can never be wrong according to you. Every video for the past 5 years with side by side rundown tests show every iPhone dying way before many Android phones and that's a fact. Now if you want to dispute video proof, then be my guest. Fanboys like you will ignore any fact that doesnt jive with what you choose to believe. Oh that's right, you said you dont believe anything on the internet, yet you believe what you want from the internet. Like you don't take PAs battery tests with the proverbial grain of salt.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22004; Member since: May 28, 2014

Not even a competition, IMO. The P30 Pro is far more feature rich with superior cameras and battery life.

19. Kibzara

Posts: 123; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

When i hear people say iphone is making more realistic photos, i imagine how sky is washed out blue, how our natural white ballance is more to warm side and how we see dark in magenta... LOL

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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