Blind camera comparison: Huawei P20 Pro vs iPhone X, Galaxy S9+, Pixel 2 XL

Blind camera comparison: Huawei P20 Pro vs iPhone X, Galaxy S9+, Pixel 2 XL
Voting for this comparison has ended.

It is big, it is shiny, it is powerful, and it has over 90 megapixels at its disposal. That's the Huawei P20 Pro in a nutshell, an we've been playing with it for the past week or so, evaluating every single one of its features as part of our in-depth review. Spoiler alert: it's pretty good!

But what about that fancy triple camera on its back? Is the Huawei P20 Pro as capable of a shooter as its maker says? And no less importantly, is it a match for today's top performers in the field? Well, maybe you can help us find out.

Yup, it is time for a blind camera comparison – a comparison where you, our readers, vote for the photos you like best. 

We took Huawei's latest top phone together with the iPhone X, the Samsung Galaxy S9+, and the Google Pixel 2 XL for a quick camera shootout. The results can be seen and examined in the galleries below, and for each scene there's a poll where you may cast your vote for the photo you like the most. Simple, right?

Since this is a blind camera comparison, we're not revealing which phone took each photo – no matter which brand or phone you're a fan of, your votes will be steered solely by what your eyes can see, without bias getting in the way. That's the beauty of blind tests! And if you just want to see the results, come back in a few days when the voting phase is over. 

So without further ado, let's look at some photos!

Scene 1


There are about 75 species of tulips and they come in a wide array of colors – from the rare Semper Augustus, which at one point in time cost as much as a house, to the common garden variety we have pictured here. The four images demonstrate how all four phones approach color reproduction differently. While some lean towards a more natural presentation, others spice up their images quite a bit. Let us know which one you find most appealing.


Scene 1: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (Pixel 2 XL)
14.48%
Photo B (Huawei P20 Pro)
31.78%
Photo C (iPhone X)
44.33%
Photo D (Galaxy S9+)
9.42%

Scene 2


Minutes later, our walk around the park brought us to this venue – The Sea Casino (which is not actually a casino). Anyway, here we have another set of images where color representation differences are easy to spot. Variations in contrast amount can be observed as well. Vote for your favorite below!


Scene 2: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (iPhone X)
14.08%
Photo B (Galaxy S9+)
14.4%
Photo C (Pixel 2 XL)
9.07%
Photo D (Huawei P20 Pro)
62.46%

Scene 3


The next scene gives us the opportunity to examine how well the four phones resolve detail. It also gives us a hint at how much sharpness their software algorithms add as they process the image. And they also let us know which bands will be playing in town in the coming weeks. The four shots were captured indoors at a coffee shop later that afternoon. 


Scene 3: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (Huawei P20 Pro)
7.54%
Photo B (Pixel 2 XL)
5.85%
Photo C (Galaxy S9+)
11.12%
Photo D (iPhone X)
75.49%

Scene 4


Capturing a scene including both bright and dark areas is a challenge for any camera. Phones, however, have been getting better and better at it. Through the use of advanced camera algorithms, modern phone cameras can pull out more detail in tricky situations like the one here. But which of the four photo you like best?  


Scene 4: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (Pixel 2 XL)
18.55%
Photo B (iPhone X)
59.03%
Photo C (Huawei P20 Pro)
9.03%
Photo D (Galaxy S9+)
13.39%

Scene 5


Here's another situation where camera software can make or break a photo. We have the bright sky in the frame and the afternoon sun right outside of it, while the facade of the building resides in the shadow. In other words, our subject isn't illuminated all that well, hence software trickery may be required to represent details in the shadows adequately. Which phone did it best, though? 


Scene 5: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (Galaxy S9+)
49.16%
Photo B (Huawei P20 Pro)
25.26%
Photo C (iPhone X)
16.07%
Photo D (Pixel 2 XL)
9.51%

Scene 6


We're now entering low-light territory. The scene pictured is illuminated predominantly by streetlights producing their distinctive warm tone. Meanwhile, the text on the signs on the right lets us see which phones capture better detail in low light.  


Scene 6: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (Huawei P20 Pro)
33.47%
Photo B (iPhone X)
6.89%
Photo C (Galaxy S9+)
10.35%
Photo D (Pixel 2 XL)
49.28%

Scene 7


Here's another low-light scene – a more dynamic one this time, letting us see how these phones deal with bright highlights and deep shadows in a night-time situation.  


Scene 7: Which photo do you like best?

Photo A (iPhone X)
4.25%
Photo B (Galaxy S9+)
6.31%
Photo C (Pixel 2 XL)
15.12%
Photo D (Huawei P20 Pro)
74.31%

FEATURED VIDEO

75 Comments

1. wabajak13

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 02, 2018

Whichever picture had the most accurate colors and didn't blow out the highlights, that's the one I picked. Every phone is sharp these days, but color reproduction and dynamic range are the main differentials (also for the record, the P20 ran away with it, let's be honest)

2. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

How would you know which one is more accurate, when you weren't there to take the picture tho? PS: Do you know which one is the P20? It seems like a bit of a stretch to claim it as the winner.

4. midan

Posts: 2751; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"How would you know which one is more accurate, when you weren't there to take the picture tho?" You don't know how the world around you looks? Really? then you propably don't take much photos. It's very easy to see which one looks accurate. Example from first flower photo. A is only good photo there.

10. ssallen

Posts: 179; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

You clearly don't know much about photography if you said something that stupid. Actual lighting will skew color value tremendously.. Skyline blues can vary by a staggering degree, how can we know which phone is actually capturing it correctly? We can't, and your moronic rebuttal is so uneducated it is causing me physical pain. The only thing worse then being an idiot, is being an idiot who is too smug to realize it. There is literally no hope for you.

16. drazwy

Posts: 354; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

A is also pretty terrible at everything else.

18. midan

Posts: 2751; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

What you mean by that? Phonearena mix the results, A isn't same in every photo. If that what you meant.

35. tedkord

Posts: 17318; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You have no idea what the exact shade of the flowers was. Nobody could. The blue of the sky varies by pollution levels. Grasses and plants have varying greens. Its impossible to know which was most accurate without being there. 100% impossible.

48. midan

Posts: 2751; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"Its impossible to know which was most accurate without being there" No it's not

63. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

In the first photo A and C are almost Identical, C just didn't blur the background out as much and was a little brighter, I thought it was better than A.

43. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

There are things that help recognition of right white balance. Just avoid : - Purple sky - Yellowish green of plants - Yellowish gray of monuments - Bright daylight photos - Yellow skin ( unless there are liver issues) - Gray of concret or asphalt too light almost white

47. Behyjoon

Posts: 39; Member since: Oct 19, 2016

It's obvious which phone has punchy colors which accurate

49. Cicero

Posts: 1120; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

You can see the Google phone have blueish pictures and the colors are unnatural. That's why you can see on dark pictures more details. But compared with reality is far away from it. Now all depends of your "eyes" and "taste/brain".

55. wabajak13

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 02, 2018

I understand your point, however for the most part I can tell what a green plant or a blue sky is supposed to look like and what color street lights will bathe an area in. And yeah after seeing many P20 reviews I've noticed it has a distinct way of processing images, I'll be very surprised if it's not the one I assumed.

69. xenontetroxide

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 23, 2018

They add a ton of sharpening to the 10MP mode so whatever looks notably sharper at a small magnification(but probably unnatural at 100%) is the P20Pro, also they pull shadows aggressively in night shots. The so-called 40MP mode actually doesn't yield much more resolution due to the filter layout and interpolation.

50. Trex95

Posts: 2380; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Colors reporducation and dynamic range goes to iPhone X Pixel 2 xl S9 plus (some times dynamic range better than both iPhone X and pixel 2 xl) This from my experience from those cameras didn’t use the P20 Pro yet

56. wabajak13

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 02, 2018

iPhone X has dynamic range? I'm not sure I see that.

57. Trex95

Posts: 2380; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

It’s one of the best phone camera when it comes to dynamic range and colors repourdction. But pixel 2 xl beats both when it comes to still even at low light.

58. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Yeah, i disagree with that, but you're allowed to have your opinion. I generally rank the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 higher than the iPhone X. Whether i rank the Pixel 2 or Galaxy S9 the very highest depends on which photo they're taking, as they're good at different things. If i was forced to say which one is the best overall, then that might be the Pixel 2.

59. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Yeah, i disagree with that, but you're allowed to have your opinion. I generally rank the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 higher than the iPhone X. Whether i rank the Pixel 2 or Galaxy S9 the very highest depends on which photo they're taking, as they're good at different things. If i was forced to say which one is the best overall, then that might be the Pixel 2.

3. ssallen

Posts: 179; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

This is going to cause a lot of butthurt when the results are posted... Well done PhoneArena!

38. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

Let's wait and see whether this is PhoneArena or HuaweiArena, as this site will always do its best to make Samsung look bad. I bet they even chose the worst picture taken with the Galaxy S9+ or a pic not taken by the S9+ claiming to be from the S9+ for this comparison. From all over the web, every non paid comparisons show the S9+ has the best smartphone camera. Huawei's camera in reality is complete garbage with way too much overprocessing. So don't believe these "blind" comparisons.

5. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3101; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

This is gonna be a big one. Ready your popcorn.

6. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

Mark my words: P20 Pro won it.

8. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

That would be kind of great to see someone who isn't Samsung, Apple or Google win it. I don't remember a blind test where it wasn't Samsung, Apple or Google winning it, ever.

44. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

The site hates Sony and HTC. If they remove one, they will include v30 that is years worse

11. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2150; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

The iPhone X tends to have a slightly yellow push. However, I can them winning a few of those photo shots.

13. cmdacos

Posts: 4122; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Which camera is turning the blue sky grey? That's what I want to find out from this...

45. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Maybe Samsung... Iphone always turn sky into.purple

14. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

surely it will be manipulated .. lets wait for the results

19. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

I bet P20 won't get the first place

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.