Huawei P20 & P20 Pro photo test vs Pixel 2 XL & Mate 10 Pro | Last Cam Standing XII

Huawei P20 & P20 Pro photo test vs Pixel 2 XL & Mate 10 Pro | Last Cam Standing XII


Huawei has made great strides in smartphone
photography this past year, and the P20 and P20 Pro look to set a new standard for the
industry. I’ll put these newcomers to the test vs
the current champion, Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro. And you asked for it, so the Pixel 2 XL is
back for a rematch! Last Cam Standing is PCWorld’s video series
for determining the best phone camera for still images in a King-of-the-hill style battle. Whichever phone wins moves on to face the
next major smartphone release, so subscribe to see the journey unfold! First up, let’s meet the current champ. The Mate 10 Pro has taken down the likes of
the iPhone X and Galaxy S9+ with its unique camera system and AI power. But now Huawei has the P20 Pro — the first
smartphone to feature a three camera system. It shares a lot of traits with the Mate 10
Pro, but promises to take it up a notch with a Master AI function and a sensor that’s
around double the size of Samsung’s S9+! The regular P20, on paper, looks to be closer
to the Mate 10 Pro specs-wise. A couple improvements include larger pixels
and the same Master AI features as its bigger brother. And here comes the people’s champ, Google’s
Pixel 2 XL. It’s got a single-camera system with computational
horsepower like no other. It lost to the Mate 10 Pro last year, but
after some software updates we want to give it another shot at the title. As always, our testing is divided into four
catagories: color, clarity, exposure, and now we’re looking specifically at extra
features. Unique hardware and software features are
what set so many cameras apart nowadays, so that’s an important area of focus. And of course, all our testing mimics how
people use phones in the real world. For all shots I use the stock camera app,
the way it was configured right out of the box. This tells me how each company tuned their
camera system for everyday use. Now on to the testing! The first category is color, with the main
focus being on color reproduction and white balance. This first shot in my house doesn’t fair
well for the P20 Pro, producing some unpleasant yellowish hues. The P20 is on the greener side, but still
more natural than the P20 Pro. The Mate 10 Pro and the Pixel 2 are closer
to accurate, with the Mate having a desaturated look. Moving to a spot with less contrast, the P20
is the most accurate while the Mate 10 Pro is the least. The P20 Pro has a light green tint while the
Pixel 2 has a magenta cast. In this shot of a dark stairwell, the yellow
hue is once again present on the P20 Pro. It’s not a deal breaker, but it continues
to show up time and time again. The Mate 10 Pro leans warmer as well, and
the P20 stays pretty even across the entire frame. Oddly the Pixel 2 comes in cool and desaturated. Once outside, we start to see our first run
in with both of the P20s’ Master AI feature. It’s on by default, and once it recognized
a scene with prodominetly blue skies, it kicked over to a filter Huawei felt was most appropriate
titled ‘Blue Sky’. Not only does it bump up contrast, it adds
a heavy vignette and some sharpening. Luckily, the scene filter can be turned off
with a quick press, resulting in a more standard shot. Master AI left me in a dilemma while testing. The crux of our tests are predicated on leaving
settings on full auto. But I was curious to see how the shots looked
without that extra processing, so I ending up capturing both versions. For purposes of this category the AI scenes
really only affect the contrast, increasing it considerbly. So judging the results first with the Master
AI off, we see that something is wrong with the Pixel 2, which displays some sickly green
tones. The P20 Pro is still a little on the yellow
side, but the P20 and Mate 10 Pro are both pretty damn good. Replace both P20 phones with the added Master
AI ‘Blue Sky’ scene, and all that really changes is the contrast. This category is a close one, but the P20
Pro has a problem with yellow hues and the Pixel 2 XL was inconsistent. With a good blend of accurate and pleasing
colors, even when Master AI kicks in, the P20 takes the color category. Our second tests look at clarity, where we
focus on the sharpness of each camera and how well they can stay sharp in various lighting
scenarios. As always, I have to include a brick wall
in this section – it just reveals so much about how each camera handles fine detail. After zooming in, we see that the P20 is an
improvement over the Mate 10 Pro. But this fight really comes down to the P20
Pro and the Pixel 2. The P20 Pro has a 40MP sensor which uses pixel
binning to gather more information, resulting in a 10MP photo. It goes toe to toe with the Pixel 2 and only
has a slight edge due to Google’s over sharpening, which makes the grout look too harsh. Switching to a shot on the roof, the Master
AI once again kicked in on both P20 phones with it’s ‘Blue Sky’ filter. When it comes to clarity, these Master AI
modes really put a hamper on the final images. Swapping out with the standard photos brings
this point home. With these versions in place, we see the P20
Pro neck and neck with the Pixel 2. But at far distances like this, I think I
lean toward favoring the Pixel. At closer ranges, each phone does very well. But I’m not even going to show the Master
AI versions here, because even the ‘Greenery’ scene kills clairty. In bright lighting conditions I’d put the
Mate 10 Pro last here followed by the P20. So once again the battle comes down to the
P20 Pro and Pixel 2, with the edge going to the P20 Pro. So what’s the story in low light? Well it’s actually pretty similar. The Mate 10 Pro is right behind the larger
pixels of the P20, retaining plenty of information on the bricks for everyday use. But the Pixel 2 really stumbles here. It has a good amount of detail, but the noise
that’s present kills it. The P20 Pro, on the other hand, has a healthy
amount of noise suppressed, all while keeping a great amount of detail. In a darker part of the garage, you can tell
just how sharp the P20 Pro is, even before zooming in. Yes, it’s starting to look a little bit
like a watercooler painting, but you can’t deny the low light chops of this camera. The regular P20 does pretty well, and even
the Pixel has more detail than the Mate 10 Pro despite the noise present. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
noise in a photo doesn’t bother me, it’s how it affects it that matters. So while it was a toss up between the Pixel
2 and the P20 Pro in bright light, the P20 Pro just dominated in low light – taking the
clarity category. The third test category is exposure, focusing
on the dynamic range of each camera and how they expose for a scene. In this high-contrast scenario, check out
the sky lights. I was super surprised by how the P20 and P20
Pro hang on to hightlights better than the Pixel 2. Hell, even the Mate 10 Pro protected the hightlights
better. Overall I think the Mate 10 Pro is underexposed
in the mids compared to the rest. The P20 Pro has the brightest shadows, which
make it feel a bit overprocessed. But this category is really where the Master
AI can muck things up. Aiming toward the sky kicks on the ‘Blue
Sky’ mode on both P20s, resulting in higher contrast and a vignette — both of which put
a hamper on dynamic range for our tests. Despite this, they still hang close to the
Mate 10 Pro. The Pixel 2 is underexposed here, but still
retains information in the shadows. Turning off the ‘Blue Sky’ prompt reveals
plenty of shadow detail in the P20 Pro and brings back the blown out highlights on the
P20. The graffiti on the wall is once again a tad
underexposed on the Pixel 2. The Mate 10 Pro turns in a solid showing here,
but the P20 and P20 Pro both nail the exposure – adding a great sense of depth between the
brightest and darkest parts of the photo. In this complex shot of a succlent, the Master
AI kicked in with it’s ‘Greenery’ mode and missed the mark on the P20 and P20 Pro. Not only are the photos underexposed, but
they’re starting to loose valuable shadow information. Focusing just on the P20 Pro, let’s compare
the same shot with the ‘Greenery’ effect on and off. I’ll be honest here, I’m of two minds
about Master AI. On one hand. I like that it’s trying to maximize the
tuning for specific scenarios, but sometimes it just goes too far. On the other hand, if I were to take the non-AI
version of the photo into Instagram, I’d probably do most of the same things to it,
like add a vignette. But getting back to the testing, here’s
a shot that I was completely happy with when the Master AI did its thing. When we bring up the un-effected photos we
can see that these cameras are still pretty damn similar, producing great results despite
the nit picks. So even though the exposure section is muddied
by the inclusion of Master AI on two phones, I’m still pleased with the exposure choices
presented. And with the AI effect turned off, the P20
Pro presents the widest dynamic range. So I’m giving the exposure category to Huawei’s
P20 Pro. The fourth and final category is now titled
extra features. Here I’ll specifically be going over the
hardware and software options that set each camera apart. Up front I’ll mention that all the Huawei
phones feature the same camera setup of one RGB sensor and one black and white sensor. I’ve found the inclusion of a dedicated
black and white sensor to be adventageous if you enjoy black and white photography. Add on top of that the processing Huawei uses
to take advantage of the combo and a Leica partnership, and they have a winning formula Out of the four phones, the P20 Pro is the
only one with a dedicated telephoto lens. It offers a 3x optical zoom compared to the
main lens, and it smokes the digital zoom of the other phones. Software wise, Huawei upgraded its camera
app for the P20 and P20 Pro, and it’s a huge step up from the Mate 10 Pro. It’s still not the most intuitive app, but
it’s getting better. The Pixel 2’s camera app is solid, but it
just lacks compelling extra features. And while it’s impressive that Google does
so much with only a single camera, its options feel generic and limited. The last feature I’ll address is the P20
and P20 Pro’s Master AI. As I said before, I was confilicted about
how to use in these tests, but have settled on it being ultimitaly a good thing. Rather than having the setting be all or nothing,
it only pops up in specific scenarios where it thinks you might want a bit of flair added. Do yiou like how it affects the photo? Then save it and be happy that it offered
you a great suggestion. Hate the look it’s going for? Just press a little X and take the photo as
normal. At the end of the day, I’m glad it’s an
option, and one that 9 times out of 10 produces a stylized version that I would of done on
my own. From the three lens system, to a great manual
mode and the Master AI feature, you just can’t beat everything that’s packed into the P20
Pro, which takes the extra features category. And with that, let’s crown a winner! Honestly, I believe we are looking at four
of the top 5 smartphones available today. But the one that stands above all the rest
is Huawei’s P20 Pro. Huawei is on a roll lately with its cameras,
and just on looking at pure specs, the P20 Pro is a powerhouse. But it all comes together when you use it. The minor shortcomings it has, such as the
odd yellow hue in some scenes, are far outweighed by its sharp images and boatload of features. The Master AI can sometimes produce a worse
shot, but can be easily dismissed by a quick press. And even though I really had to pick some
nits to come to a conclusion, I have no problem recommending the P20 Pro to those who need
the best. But LG’s successor to last year’s amazing
G6 is right around the corner. Will it be enough to take on Huawei’s reign? Subscribe and tune in for the next camera
showdown!

100 thoughts on “Huawei P20 & P20 Pro photo test vs Pixel 2 XL & Mate 10 Pro | Last Cam Standing XII”

  1. Do you agree with my results? Would you change anything about the categories? Are you excited to tell me how I'm a shill for Huawei?
    I'm always open to constructive criticism and ideas – so speak up!
    -Adam

  2. WTF?! You can clearly see, that 8:45 shot made by Pixel 2 XL beats everyone in highlights! And it's somehow lost earlier in the same aspect…I mean, possibly, this is the only shot made with HDR++. Man, should have been switching on HDR+ extended on Pixel 2 XL for entire comparison. Despite zooming in most cases Pixel was better, but you really need to try to switch full power for Pixel 2 camera and do testing again.

  3. the hdr+ mode found on the pixel will give a more balanced shot by underexposing a little and with that they are very close when it comes to detail cuz the hdr+ adds alot more lost details in the highlights and the shadows but it's true that the p20 had the edge in the clarity ONLY Becuz of the higher megapixel sensor that it has and keep in mind that the pixel with its smaller 12mp sensor while using hdr+ holds its ground with a larger 40mp sensor
    And the "more features" category is pretty useless becuz having more features doesn't define what's the better camera not even for the slightest bit tbh so after that said
    Pixel 2 wins the exposure round and the p20 pro wins the clarity round by a hair and for the color reproduction, it all comes down to preference like some ppl like the pic to be on the cooler side and some on the warmer side, some like the pic to have blue undertones and some like it to have green undertones so for u to count that as a factor to decide which one is the best camera isn't very accurate so let's skip that category as well
    I really loved ur comparison tho and I think u are one of the best in the business
    Subbed

  4. Good comparison, Tho, you must be forgetting that Mate 10 Pro has AI capabilities too. That's where they pattern P20 series.

  5. If you want to take snap shots, people close ups, pets, indoors and views without blown highlights……. get the best results everytime still there is nothing better than pixel 2 xl. If you want to take night shots, adjust in pro mode, want the best details when zooming you will be happy with p20 pro. I turned back to pixel 2 xl because the p20 pro beauty mode can not be shut off. Even in pro mode you can't see the lines or the impression in peoples faces. The sharpness isn't there always too soft. It is the same when taking your pets or children's portraits and really annoying. Another big let down is the 4k video setup without stabilisation. You can take good 1080p videos but ois doesn't work in 4k mode and the videos are way under the competition. Pixel 2 xl 4k video recording the ois works the best and lets you shoot great vids everytime. As a result most of the time the pixel 2 xl will give the best results compared to the p20 pro if it wasn't true I would never go back to the pixel. Also as a whole experience the pixel android system is the purest and the fastest out there without garbage.

  6. we only want to see the rear camera apature effecr when outdoor photoshoots of peoples not flowers and all selfies

  7. Nice review overall, I agree that p20 pro has the best camera compared to all others and it is clearly a winner here, however according to me pixel 2 xl should be 2nd winner coz of its picture quality, best dynamic range, exposure and natural color reproduction, jus beats all other remaining phones.
    Yes, in low light p20 has advantage over pixel other than that pixel 2 xl is damn good camera.

  8. When you get to video, the story changes tho… Hence the Pixel 2 is arguably still the best camera phone overall.
    You missed a couple of features to compare. The P20 Pro's night mode (the best on any phone), as well as the Pixel 2's portrait mode in low light, which is again the best on any phone.

  9. I am not partially to the one side, but the Huawei P 20 pro did a great job. It's really perfect smart phone for Photography nowadays for me… Finally, can you compare the Huawei P 20 pro vs LG G6 or Galaxy S9+…??? I still waiting although you do it slows. Thanks for sharing your experiences with Smartphone Camera. Well done…

  10. Has anyone received 8.1 update for Mate 10 pro? I am still waiting 🙁 . Nice comparison btw, but I will wait for the software update from Huawei fo mate 10 pro and then will look for a comparison.

  11. You are so stupid if you pay the ridiculous price they are are asking for the P20 Pro. And he didn't seem to mention the oversharpening that it does in default mode.

  12. Out of these which phone produces the most accurate colors? And in day light which phone produces clearer photos? Plz reply

  13. Really easy conclusion:
    1. P20
    2. Pixel XL
    3. P20 Pro
    4. Mate 10 Pro
    But, between 1st and 3rd place is not big difference.

  14. On the P20 pro I'm getting weird faint lines and blotchy green banding/blotches around edges on photos. Especially in a bright photo and indoors as well. Seems to be more noticeable in hdr or after its done its sharpening.

  15. If one were to chose between Mate 10 Pro or P20 (not pro!), could anybody on here recommend one over the other (based on camera, battery, display, etc)? Pls share. Thanks!

  16. 3 cam just tried to beat cam king….. So far…… Where is human take? U never beat pixel on this.a single camera shake you.

  17. Phone cameras starting to get so close that one reviewer will prefer the P20 and other will prefer the Pixel. It just depends on the situations and testing environment. It's more important to explain the difference. A auto shooter will mostly prefer the results from the Pixel, it's processing and AI will appeal to most. As soon as you want to play around and maybe learn a bit about photography, you'll be more happy with the P20/P20 Pro. Either way…you are not getting a bad camera. I mean comparing two tiny sensor cameras is not like comparing a 1" sensor vs APSC, the hw is almost the same.

  18. Is it just me ? They all look good, a small tweak in post would do the job, that's if you were unhappy with the photo.

  19. Nice review… the P20 is 95% similar to honor 10, so i like this review because i have the honor 10… THANKS

  20. Single camera? Still beat 3 or 2 cameras. Pixel 2 is best. It has only one camera while its opponents has 3 or 2 camera. Imagine if pixel 2 had 2 or 3 cameras.

  21. So you basically saying mates 10 really ain't good you didn't mention mate much and the pro 20 might be good in photography but sucks in video

  22. Dude a camera review of p20 pro without the night mode doesn't show its true strength + you have to get far more shots with people in them because that's how what most people use their phone cameras for. And no mention of the Selfie neither. The review gets D+ for me

  23. You're one of the only people who isn't biased towards the Pixel. Also, you should've included the Night Shot mode.

  24. no you need to put the HDR plus enhanced on the pixel not Auto so that way the pixel can actually pimp slap that phone the P Pro

  25. This is by far, the best way to review smartphones cameras! Diferent scenes, showing historiagram, and zoom. As a photographer, I salute you!

  26. After watching this, I can't help but think I wish I never traded in my Pixel 2 XL for the S9+… Can't wait to get the Pixel 3 or 3 XL (haven't decided yet).

  27. I like this video because he's like the only one that considers the regular p20 and not focus entirely on the p20 pro

  28. Why do all these camera comparisons not favor the p20 pro, i was gonna get the mate 10 pro, but now im going for the p20 pro and now i see it has problems?

  29. I don't understand where on a different test by you the mate 10 pro beat the Pixel 2 XL but got beat up in this one why? Same style test so I truly don't understand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *