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Huawei Mate 20 Pro Vs Huawei P20 Pro - Which One Should I Choose?

Both are premium flagship smartphones from Huawei but which one is best for photographers?

|  Huawei P20 Pro in Camera Phones
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Huawei Mate20 Pro & Huawei P20 Pro

Huawei is now a force to be reckoned with in the premium smartphone category, particularly where photography is concerned, as they are making devices that not only look good, they can capture cracking photos - pushing the boundaries of what was once considered possible and really opening photographer's eyes to what a smartphone can achieve. 

As it only seems like five minutes since Huawei introduced the Huawei P20 Pro, we thought we'd give you a little more information into the background of both this smartphone and newer Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Basically, Huawei release new smartphone ranges twice a year and these are the Huawei P series and the Huawei Mate series. The P20 Pro still remains the top flagship for Huawei in the P series and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the flagship sitting at the top of the Mate range. In fact, with it's updated camera system, it's probably fair to say that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the 'best of the best', sitting at the top of the ever-growing Huawei pyramid of excellent smartphones. 

Right... with that cleared up, let's have a look at what's new, what's the same and how the specs as well as image/video quality of each of the flagship phones line-up. 

If you're interested in another brand that can still capture good photos, have a look at our 'best gear' section of the site where we list the 'Best Camera Phones For Photography 2018' and the 'Top Budget Camera Phones For Photography'.

You can also use the below to navigate more sections of this feature: 


In The Hand


As you'd expect, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro feels and looks like a premium smartphone with an excellent build quality and some nice design touches such as an on-screen fingerprint reader and "invisible" stereo speakers.

Dimension-wise, it's a big smartphone but with so many now having similar dimensions, it's probably not considered to be over-sized any more. Plus, the phone is quite thin which makes it easier to hold and the curved glass back, as well as the curved edges of the screen also help give the impression that the smartphone is thinner than it actually is. 

The black and twilight versions have a smooth glossy back, that is slippery and prone to fingerprints. The green and blue versions have a slightly textured back that is designed to be slightly less slippery, as well as disguise fingerprints. Whichever phone you pick, you're going to want to buy a case (or skin) for the phone to protect against scratches and damage, which is a shame, as you then end up hiding the phone in an ugly case. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable these days if you want the phone to survive being accidentally dropped.

The slightly older Huawei P20 Pro also feels solidly built, but again, you will most likely want a screen protector and case to protect the glass on the front and back of the smartphone. This will also protect it from fingerprints, of which, the back of the smartphone is a magnet for. 

The metal sides and buttons give a premium feel and for such a large smartphone, like the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei P20 Pro is surprisingly slim - measuring just 7.8mm in thickness, which is thinner than the newer Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The phone is also smaller than both the Google Pixel 2 XL and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. Although, the screen isn't quite as big as the one built into the Huawei Mate 20 Pro which is also slightly smaller in height offer a bigger screen-to-body ratio. 

Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro as in comparison to the Huawei P20 Pro, it just looks more sleek and modern. 


The Screen

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Vs Huawei P20 Pro


The Huawei P20 Pro has a 6.1inch FullHD+ display which is nice but it's not quite as nice as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with its 6.39inch curved OLED screen. The resolution is superior on the Mate 20 Pro, too, sitting at 3120x1440 compared with the 2240x1080 on the Huawei P20 Pro. 

The top-notch is wider on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it's something you don't really notice when using it and you can hide it within a black band, created by the software, should it really annoy you. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro can, also, intelligently switch between different resolutions in order to save power. Some of the earlier smartphones with a high resolution were stuck on the highest resolution, resulting in awful battery life. Whichever screen resolution you pick, the phone will automatically adjust the text and icon size so that nothing is ever too small. 

Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers a screen with a higher resolution and a bigger screen. 


The Camera 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Vs Huawei P20 Pro


Huawei's smartphones pack a punch when it comes to cameras and both the Mate 20 Pro and the P20 Pro offer camera features to keep the most demanding of photographers happy. 

The Mate 20 Pro features the same 40MP wide-angle lens as well as the same 8MP telephoto lens as found in the P20 Pro but the monochrome lens has been replaced with a 20MP ultra-wide-angle lens for those super-wide shots and close-ups (something the Mate 20 Pro is really good at). 

Other features both smartphones share include the 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, OIS, manual controls, RAW shooting, a good ISO range, dual-tone LED flash and Phase Detection Focus. 

Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro has an additional 20MP ultra-wide-angle lens that's superb at close-ups. 


Quick Summary:

  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Leica Triple Cameras (Rear), 20mp f/2.2 Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens, 40mp f/1.8 Standard Lens, 8mp f/2.4 Telephoto Lens, AI IS, 24mp  f/2.0 selfie camera, Dual-tone LED flash, 2.5cm macro focus, Super HDR, personalised bokeh.
  • Huawei P20 Pro: Leica Triple camera (on rear), Leica f/1.6 lens for 20mp monochrome sensor, Main f/1.8 lens for 40mp (Quad Bayer) 1/1.78inch sensor, Telephoto f/2.4 lens with 8mp sensor, 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera, Laser and Phase Detection Focus, 4D predictive focus, 5x Huawei Hybrid Zoom, Dual Tone LED Flash, wide-aperture mode. 


Photo Quality 


Woods | 1/100 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 400
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Trees | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 160
Huawei P20 Pro  


A shaded wood, where a lot less light is available, didn't prove to be any problem for both Huawei smartphones. Detail is pretty good in both, but there is purple fringing in places and the Huawei P20 Pro does offer slightly better sharpness (most likely down to the monochrome lens). However, the colours are better in the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the image is warmer, too. Our favourite, just, is the newer Huawei Mate 20 Pro as the image just looks more natural (if not quite as sharp). 


Church Door | 1/100 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 160
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Church Door | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
Huawei P20 Pro  


It's a close one and at first glance, it's hard to spot much difference between the two. However, flick between both for a while and you soon start to see that the Huawei P20 Pro shot is sharper (maybe slightly over-sharpened). There is, clearly, better detail in the trees at the back of the shot and the overhanging leaves, though. Colour is a smidge better in the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro as greens aren't as toxic but the sky has been blown out in both shots (due to exposure focusing on the darker foreground). Again, it's close but we're actually going to give it to the older Huawei P20 Pro.


Church Sign | 1/100 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 64
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Church Sign | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 64
Huawei P20 Pro  


The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has done a better job this time, handling the dynamic range much better than the Huawei P20 Pro which has produced an image with less detail in the highlights and shadows. Colours are also better in the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with greens looking much more natural. Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro. 



Beauty | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.4 mm | ISO 100
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Beauty | 1/50 sec | f/2.0 | 3.4 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro  


The Beauty Mode has certainly come on leaps-and-bounds with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smoothing skin and producing a much more pleasing portrait without overly smoothing so detail is lost. Skin looks very flat, almost plastic, in the image captured with the Huawei P20 Pro whereas the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is much more natural and is the clear winner in this portrait comparison. 



Building | 1/237 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Building | 1/664 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro  


Colour reproduction is, again, much better in the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Huawei P20 Pro has a habit of adding a little too much punch which stops the image looking as natural. The Huawei P20 Pro also captures images with more warmth whereas the Huawei P20 Pro's image has a much cooler overall feel. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro wins this round. 


Fruit |
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Fruit Bowl |

Huawei P20 Pro  


Both smartphones took a good photo of the fruit bowl with both showing good levels of detail and colour (perhaps a tiny bit better in the image on the left?). We could get a little closer to the subject with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro as it has really great close-up capabilities but apart from that, there's not much separating them. Winner: Huawei Mate 20 Pro (just). 


More Sample Photos: 


Huawei Mate20 Pro Sample Photos


Huawei P20 Pro Sample Photos


Huawei Mate20 Pro Lens test images


Huawei P20 Pro Lens test images


ISO Comparison

  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro - ISO50-102400
  • Huawei P20 Pro - ISO50-6400


Huawei Mate 20 Pro - Using the standard camera, noise performance is good up to ISO400, where noise starts to become visible. At ISO800 and ISO1600 noise is visible but is quite fine. At ISO1600 colour saturation drops off. At ISO3200 noise increases more, and gets quite ugly at ISO6400. At ISO12800 and above, the shutter speed is limited, with the fastest shutter speed available being 1/15s - so you'll need to be in really low-light conditions to need these settings. The results are reasonable considering. 

When using the telephoto camera, noise is noticeable at every ISO setting, so ISO50 or ISO100 is the best choice here. Noise performance from the ultra-wide-angle camera is good until you get to the highest ISO speed, ISO3200, which should be avoided. 


Huawei P20 Pro - If you shoot at the 40mp image size, then the highest ISO speed you'll want to use is ISO400, as noise starts to become strong. Above this speed, images become softer, although ISO800 may still provide usable images. At 10mp, results are good up to ISO800 / ISO1600. At ISO3200 and above, colour saturation drops off. Shooting with the 20mp black and white camera, results are quite good even at the highest ISO speeds of ISO1600 and ISO3200 / ISO6400, making it a good option in low-light conditions.

You can switch between 40mp and 10mp photos, and in Pro mode, you can also shoot raw images. You can't shoot raw images with the 20mp monochrome camera, or the 3x telephoto camera. 


Overall: The Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers better noise performance than the Huawei P20 Pro.


1/81 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
Huawei Mate 20 Pro   | ISO 100

ISO100 40mp IMG 20180426 132155 | 1/82 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
Huawei P20 Pro   ISO 100



1/589 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800
Huawei Mate 20 Pro   | ISO 800
ISO800 40mp IMG 20180426 132228 | 1/571 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800

Huawei P20 Pro   ISO 800



White Balance Comparison


Huawei Mate 20 Pro - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well in all lighting conditions, whether using Tungsten lighting, Fluorescent lighting or mixed lighting. The only way we could get a result that wasn't good, was by selecting the fluorescent white balance setting, which gave a magenta/orange colour cast to the image. 

Shooting at 40mp you can get slightly more detail, however, the JPEG processing and noise reduction reduces detail noticeably, and to get the maximum detail from images you are best shooting raw. For many, this will make the 40mp mode too much hassle, and for most people, it's best simply to stick to the 10mp mode. The camera struggled to focus correctly for some of these shots, so we had to reshoot them a number of times. 


Huawei P20 Pro - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under a variety of shooting conditions, whether tungsten, fluorescent or mixed lighting. For most situations, you shouldn't need to use any of the presets, and the fluorescent preset gave a yellow colour cast. You can set the white balance manually, with the camera letting you set the Kelvin (K) from 2800K to 7000K.

In 10mp mode you can shoot with 1x, 3x or 5x zoom. Images taken with the telephoto lens were sometimes okay, but other times we were left disappointed with the colour and saturation in images when compared to photos taken with the wide-angle lens. The 5x zoom looks like digital zoom and rarely impressed. If you're simply going to be sharing the images on social media websites, then it may provide you with usable images.


Overall: The Huawei Mate 20 Pro offers better white balance performance than the Huawei P20 Pro.


AWB Mixed Lighting

AWB Mixed Light 40mp | 1/155 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 200
Huawei Mate 20 Pro   |  AWB Mixed Light 

AWB Mixed Light 40mp | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro |  AWB Mixed Light 


Low Light

Night (Handheld) | 4 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800
Night (Handheld) | 4 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800 - Huawei Mate 20 Pro


Low-light performance is impressive on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, using the Night mode, with the camera offering up to 6, or 7-second exposures hand-held, without the need of a tripod. The camera will automatically merge a number of photos reducing noise, and aligning the image to avoid camera shake. This can be used with the ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle cameras.


Night Shot | 7 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 5000
Night Shot | 7 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 5000 - Huawei P20 Pro


The night mode on the Huawei P20 Pro also lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to 7 seconds without the use of a tripod and produces just as good low light images as its newer relative. 


More Low Light Photography Samples:

Low Light | 1/25 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 1000
Low Light
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Low Light | 1/17 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 800
Low Light
Huawei P20 Pro  


When light levels drop, both smartphones do a good job of trying to capture detail but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has handled the dynamic range a lot better, preserving detail in the leaves, hedge and house in the background. 


Very Low Light | 1/4 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 65535
Very Low Light
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 

Very Low Light | 1/4 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 65535
Very Low Light
Huawei P20 Pro  


Drop the light levels even further and shake can become an issue when focusing on items a little closer to the lens. Viewing both small is fine but view them as high-res images and you do notice shake. Having said that, detail is still pretty good with colours looking slightly better in the image captured with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Winner in low light: Huawei Mate 20 Pro. 


Video Quality 


Huawei Mate 20 Pro

4K video uses electronic image stabilisation, making video much more stable than without, although there can be some weird distortion at the edges as you pan and move the phone around. Focus was disappointing, particularly when using the 3x telephoto camera - where it simply refused to focus correctly on a number of occasions. The wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras performed much better, but care needs to be taken to ensure the focus is correct. The 4K videos often used different frame rates, which will be frustrating if you want to combine a number of different videos later. 

You can record FullHD video at 60 or 30fps. High-speed video is available, recording FullHD video at 120fps, or 720p video at 240 or 960fps. The selfie, front-facing camera can record FullHD video.



Huawei P20 Pro

The camera will record 4K UHD video at 30fps (37-39mbps), FullHD video at 60fps (25mbps), FullHD video at 120fps (slow-mo), and super slow-mo at 960fps at a reduced resolution of 720p. The video mode uses the main 40mp camera, and you can't select the other cameras.

If you want to switch on electronic image stabilisation, then you need to record at a reduced resolution and frame rate, of FullHD and 30fps. Video quality is good, although it's a shame that stabilisation isn't better when using the 4K video mode. The highest resolution video available using the selfie camera is FullHD+.

Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.



  Huawei Mate 20 Pro Huawei P20 Pro
4K Video Yes Yes
Full HD Video  Yes Yes
Image Stabilisation Electronic apart from on telephoto lens Electronic apart from on telephoto lens
Slow-Motion Video Yes Yes




  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 4200mAh (GeekBench: 3383 Single Core, 10092 Multi-Core and An Tu Tu: 300763, 258205 without performance mode)
  • Huawei P20 Pro: 4000mAh ((Geekbench: 1921 Single Core, 6540 Multi-Core and AnTuTu: 208210)



  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Kirin 980
  • Huawei P20 Pro: Kirin 970


Other Features 

  Huawei Mate 20 Pro Huawei P20 Pro
MicroSD Slot Yes Yes
Water Resistant  Yes Yes
Headphone Socket No No


Size & Weight 

  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 157.8mm x 72.3mm x 8.6mm
  • Huawei P20 Pro: 155mm x 73.9mm x 7.8mm






Huawei Mate 20 Pro

"The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a true flagship smartphone, pushing the boundaries of what's considered possible, with a stylish design, in-screen fingerprint reader, face recognition, 3D scanning (coming soon), impressive battery life, extremely fast processor, plenty of storage and more. With three cameras it offers a variety of shooting possibilities, and will certainly keep the majority of people very impressed."

Highly Recommended - 


Huawei P20 Pro

"The Huawei P20 Pro is a stylish high-end smartphone and the first to feature three cameras on the back, however, the results don't necessarily live up to the hype."

Highly Recommended - 


Our Pick:  Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate20 Pro (11)

It was close but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is our pick thanks to its sleek design, bigger and better screen, better dynamic range, colour reproduction in images, better noise/white balance performance and more natural looking portraits. Also, the Mate 20 Pro gives you both an ultra-wide-angle and a telephoto lens - in addition to the standard lens, something pretty rare in smartphones.

The ultra-wide-angle lens is a big plus point of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro as it's just a really useful focal length that you'll probably find you make quite a lot use of. Plus, it's handy in tight spaces. 

That's not to say the Huawei P20 Pro is a bad phone - it's far from this, but if you do have a bit more cash to splash, the Mate 20 Pro just gives you that little bit extra. 


To compare the 2 smartphones further, have a look at the specs table below. 

We have more smartphone comparisons which include putting the specs of the Honor 8X against the Honor 7X, comparing the new Google Pixel 3 XL against the Google Pixel 2 XL and seeing if the Apple iPhone 8 Plus stands up against the OnePlus 6


Comparison Table

Huawei Mate20 ProHuawei P20 Pro
Front Camera
Pixels24Mp (Megapixels)No Data
Max Aperturef/2No Data
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
  • Ultra Wide-Angle
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Telephoto
  • Monochrome
Additional CamerasNo DataNo Data
Max Aperturef/1.8 - f/2.4f/1.6 - f/2.4
35mm equivalent16mm - 81mm27mm - 80mm
Optical Zoom5x3x
Image Sensor
Pixels40Mp (Megapixels)40Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)72807296
Pixels (H)54565472
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/1.7inch1/1.7inch
Sensor Size (width)No DataNo Data
Sensor Size (height)No DataNo Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 1:1
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor6.39in6.1in
Screen resolutionWQHD+ 3120x14402240x1080px
Touch ScreenYesYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000secNo Data
Shutter speeds longest30secNo Data
ISO sensitivity50 - 10240050 - 6400
Movie modeYesYes
Video Resolution
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 4K
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPSNo Data30fps
Stereo SoundNo DataYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYesYes
Internal Memory6000MB6000MB
Power Source
Battery Type4200mAh4000mAh
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
View Full DetailsView Full Details

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