Huawei P30 Pro vs iPhone XS – which should you buy?

Comparing the iPhone to an Android phone isn't easy, but Huawei's software will feel familiar to all iPhone users. If you don't care about the platform, then the P30 Pro offers better hardware and an excellent camera, but if use Apple products daily, you'll prefer the iPhone XS.

Huawei P30 Pro vs iPhone XS – which should you buy?

Both of these smartphones are the best that Huawei and Apple respectively have to offer. There's over six months between them, and the iPhone XS is still an excellent smartphone, but those six months have allowed Huawei to steal a march over its Cupertino-based rival. Take for example the camera – we've heard rumours that Apple might launch the new iPhone with three cameras, but Huawei is already at four cameras. It's not just about the numbers of cameras however, as the P30 Pro camera has a versatility we've not seen in smartphones before.

The two cameras are designed for different purposes. The iPhone XS is designed to make the most of portrait photography, whereas the P30 Pro camera is designed to capture whatever scene you find yourself in. The iPhone's two cameras work in tandem to give you some control over depth in photos, take good all-round photography and offer a modest 2X Optical zoom which is achieved through the different focal lengths of the two sensors.

Meanwhile, the P30 Pro's cameras take a different approach. The regular sensor is huge at 40MP, the ultra-wide angle sensor allows you to take fun photos and capture more than ever before, and the Time of Flight camera offers incredible depth mapping and control. The most important of the four cameras is the Periscope camera, which allows the P30 Pro to take shots with up to 5X Optical zoom, 10X hybrid almost-lossless zoom and up to 50X digital zoom. Huawei has also changed the sensor in the P30 Pro by switching all the green pixels for yellow ones, allowing night photography to be simply amazing (even without the handheld long exposure "night mode), as you can see in our iPhone XS vs P30 Pro camera comparison.

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CategoryHuawei P30 ProiPhone XS
Screen6.47-inch Curved OLED
19.5:9, FHD+, 436ppi
2340x1080 pixels
5.8-inch Super Retina OLED
19.5:9, 458ppi
1125x2436 pixels
ChipsetKirin 980 with Dual NPUApple A12X Bionic
Memory8GB RAM
128GB / 256GB / 512GB storage
64GB / 256GB / 512GB
Expandable storageYes, Nano memoryNo
40W Huawei SuperCharge
15W Wireless Quick Charge
Reverse Wireless Charging
2,658 mAh
15W wired charging
Wireless charging
Rear Camera 140MP SuperSpectrum
Wide angle, f/1.6, OIS
Wide angle, f/1.8, OIS, 1.4µm
Rear Camera 220MP ultra wide angle, f/2.212MP telephoto
f/2.4m, OIS
Rear Camera 38MP Periscope
5X Optical zoom, f/3.4, OIS
Rear Camera 4Time-of-flight cameraNone
Camera zoom5X Optical Zoom
10X Hybrid zoom
50X digital zoom
2X Optical
Front camera32MP, f/2.07MP, f/2.2
Biometric securityIn-display fingerprint sensorFace ID
OSAndroid 9 Pie
iOS 12
Water and dust resistanceIP68IP68
AudioCat 21, up to 1.4Gbps
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
BT 5.0, NFC
Cat 16, up to 1Gbps
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
BT 5.0, NFC
ColorsAmber Sunrise
Breathing Crystal
Pearl White
Space Gray

Beyond the camera, both devices offer the latest hardware and while the specs list points to much better specs in the P30 Pro, it's not quite as simple. Apple is known for being able to use half the RAM that Android phones use – mainly due to its control over the entire iOS ecosystem and the integration of hardware and software – with similar or better performance. Similarly, the battery inside the iPhone XS is plentiful for a full day's usage, although based on our past experience with large Huawei batteries, we'd expect the P30 Pro battery life to be better overall.

Both phones take different approaches to biometric security as well. The iPhone XS no longer features a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, although Face ID is a very capable replacement and is the only biometric security option in the iPhone XS. The P30 Pro also doesn't use facial recognition – although Huawei did offer their take on Face ID in the Mate 20 Pro last year – instead, it relies on an upgraded in-display fingerprint sensor that's actually rather good.

Ultimately the decision of which to buy will come down to one decision – which platform do you want? The iPhone XS offers the integration with the rest of Apple's devices that Android phones just can't offer. That said, if you picked up the Matebook X Pro, Huawei does have some nifty tricks that somewhat offer a similar level of integration.

Huawei P30 Pro vs iPhone XS Camera Comparison

If you are sold on iOS, you'll find the iPhone XS is the right phone to buy. If however, ou want the best bang for your buck, the P30 Pro tops the iPhone XS in most ways. Granted, the P30 Pro isn't officially available in the US which makes the iPhone XS much easier to buy, but Huawei's flagship is a phone that's worth buying, even if it's not as easy as popping down to your local carrier store.

Nirave Gondhia