When Apple began pushing the photo capabilities of the iPhone many years ago, it jumpstarted a movement that pretty soon became one of the most important aspects of smartphones. Now, if a smartphone doesn’t have a good camera, then it’s not worth buying.
The iPhone XR continues to establish Apple’s dominance in the mobile photography segment. Instead of copying what it did with the iPhone XS and its dual-camera, it did something different by just going the single 12MP wide lens with f/1.8. This forced the company to include an even wider lens than what the XS offers.
Huawei’s approach with the Mate 20 Pro is much different. Instead of going with less, it went with much more. It packs a triple-camera system consisting of a main 40MP shooter with f/1.8, a 20MP ultra-wide shooter with f/2.2 and an 8MP telephoto lens with f/2.4 with 5x optical zoom.
Let’s see how the iPhone XR and Mate 20 Pro cameras compare.
The first thing you’ll notice right away is that the iPhone XR pictures are much warmer than the Mate 20 Pro. At first glance, the iPhone pictures are almost too warm, but as you look closer, you’ll notice the color comes out looking more natural. It’s as if the Mate 20 Pro overexposes the color to capture the most dynamic range from bright colors, but it doesn’t quite produce the results it aims for.
It’s most evident with the bright colors from the poinsettia and the red sweater.
Though the Mate 20 Pro does produce very sharp images, they’re almost too sharp to the point where they look a bit unnatural. The iPhone XR does a better job of delivering more realistic photos, especially in detail (Robert’s beard) and skin tone.
Where the Mate 20 does one-up the iPhone XR rather easily is in low-light photos. Through its Night Mode, it’s able to brighten up the dark areas that are completely devoid of detail whereas the iPhone XR doesn’t do anything with these areas to avoid unwanted noise. The Mate 20 Pro is not as impressive as the Pixel’s Night Sight, but it doesn’t fall too far behind.
I preferred the iPhone XR’s selfie camera as well combined with the portrait mode effect. It still struggles to cut out the subject properly, but it still takes the more natural photo as opposed to the Mate 20 Pro, which does a bad job at blurring the background. You can adjust the effect afterwards, but it still didn’t quite meet expectations.
Check out the camera comparison between the iPhone XR and Mate 20 Pro in the gallery above and decide which one you prefer.