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HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro rated by DxOMark: Does it beat the P20 Pro?

Huawei's latest flagship offers a slightly different camera setup to the P20 Pro, but did it achieve a better score?

Published onJanuary 18, 2019

The back of the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro.
  • The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is tied with the P20 Pro for the highest overall score achieved on DxOMark.
  • The Mate 20 Pro was slightly worse when it came to zoom and video performance, according to the firm.
  • DxOMark didn’t take the Mate’s ultra wide-angle camera into account.

The HUAWEI P20 Pro set tongues wagging after it topped DxOMark’s list of best-performing smartphone cameras. Now, the camera testing company has finally published its Mate 20 Pro analysis, and it’s tied with HUAWEI’s earlier flagship.

The firm gave HUAWEI’s Mate 20 Pro an overall score of 109, meaning it ties with the highest score achieved by a smartphone camera in its testing. Apple’s iPhone XS Max is the next best device according to DxOMark, four points behind the duo.

Specifically, the company gave the Mate 20 Pro a photo score of 114 and a video score of 97. By comparison, the P20 Pro scored 114 and 98 respectively. We don’t know how ended up with the same overall score based on these breakdowns, but it may relate to the way scores are weighted.

We asked, you told us: Yes, you do care about DxOMark rankings
A screengrab from a DxOMark video.

DxOMark praised the phone’s images for exposure, dynamic range, and highlight/shadow detail. It also complimented the phone’s photos for noise levels and color reproduction. Additionally, it noted that the device’s impressive performance in very low-light situations.

There’s room for improvement though, as the company singled out fine textures for being rendered “a little unnaturally” and “ringing” around hard edges. Furthermore, the company said images shot in “bokeh simulation” mode had soft faces with a low level of detail.

HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro camera app.

As for video performance? The camera testing company said the Mate 20 Pro was “very close to the best” due to fast autofocus, good tracking performance, accurate white balance, and “pleasant” color rendering. The company noted that video stabilization was “efficient” but said the phone could do a better job if you’re walking or running. Additionally, DxOMark said it saw a “judder” effect in recorded footage when the camera was panning. Video detail was similar between the two HUAWEI phones, the company explained, but said the Mate flagship had higher levels of noise.

READ: 40MP shootout: HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro vs Nokia Lumia 1020

Zoom is another focus area for HUAWEI, as it uses a combination of a 3x 8MP telephoto camera and 40MP main camera to deliver better zoom than conventional digital zoom (in theory). The testing firm says the Mate 20 Pro’s zoom quality is one of the best, but not quite number one; it notes that the P20 Pro delivers more detail when zooming in, albeit at the expense of more noise compared to the Mate device. DxOMark speculates that the weaker results are due to HUAWEI dropping the 20MP monochrome camera in favor of a wide-angle shooter.

A comparison by DxOMark.

In conclusion, DxOMark said the Mate 20 Pro produces excellent photos and videos in all situations. It also acknowledged the presence of the ultra wide-angle camera, saying that — while it didn’t factor into the test — it enabled more flexibility.

These results certainly won’t please everyone, as DxOMark has long been a source of controversy. The company’s decision to introduce a zoom score, for example, puts devices with a monochrome or ultra wide angle secondary camera at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, it’s tough to argue that the firm isn’t otherwise comprehensive when testing phones.

As for our own tests, the Mate 20 Pro didn’t win the best camera gong in our Best of Android 2018 awards. Instead, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 earned the award for technical quality, while the Google Pixel 3 was crowned the king of computational photography.

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