ByGoraud Mazanec 2019-10-03 4111
Does a premium smartphone really have to be expensive? This was the question we asked ourselves when we presented the Xiaomi Mi 9 at MWC 2019. Shortly afterwards Huawei introduced two more mobile phones in Paris: the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. They are again more expensive, but also offer a lot in terms of camera quality. In the following lines you can see which device is the better choice for you by looking at the similarities and differences.
Let's start directly with the probably most important difference, the price. By far the cheapest is the Mi 9, which costs 449 or 499 Euro depending on the memory size. This is followed by the normal P30 with 749 Euros. Huaweis P30 Pro costs either 999 or 1.099 Euro, also depending on the storage space.
64 or 128 Gigabyte (GB) device memory is available in Mi 9, plus six Gigabyte RAM. The Huawei P30 is only available with 128 GB memory and six gigabytes of RAM. The Pro model offers more RAM with eight gigabytes. In addition, the premium mobile phone is not only available with 128 GB, but also with 256 GB memory. In contrast to the Xiaomi Mi 9, the Huawei devices are expandable via NM memory card.
You might also need a lot of storage space, because these smartphones offer a lot of photos and videos to take. Since the cameras are one of the main features of the three opponents, we will describe this category in more detail.
On the front of the Mi 9 is a front camera with a resolution of 20 megapixels (MP) and an open aperture of f/2.0, but it is more interesting on the back. There is a triple camera with the following key data:
● Main sensor: 48 MP with aperture of f/1.75
● Ultra wide angle camera: 16 MP with f/2.2 aperture
● Telecamera: dual optical zoom with 12 MP and aperture of f/2.2
● Video: max. 4K/60fps or 1080p/960fps
Huaweis P30 has a 32-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture in the front and a triple camera on the back, but with a few special features. The primary camera doesn't use an RGB color matrix, but RYB. By switching from green to yellow pixels, 40 percent more light can be captured. This leads to better results under poor lighting conditions. The more accurate data of the camera are:
● Main sensor: 40 MP "Super Spectrum" with aperture of f/1.8 and maximum sensitivity of ISO 204.800
● Ultra wide angle camera: 16 MP with f/2.2 aperture
● Telecamera: triple optical zoom and fivefold hybrid zoom with 8 MP, f/2.4 aperture and optical stabilisation (OIS)
● Video: max. 4K/30fps or 720p/960fps; dual recording of telephoto and wide-angle camera possible later via update.
The P30 Pro offers even more, because a ToF sensor is installed on the back, which increases the number of cameras to four. The front camera is identical to the regular P30. Information about the quad camera:
● Main sensor: 40 MP "Super Spectrum" with aperture of f/1.6, OIS and max. ISO 409.600● Ultra wide angle camera: 20 MP and f/2.2 aperture
● Telecamera: 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom (maximum 50x digital zoom) with 8 MP, f/3.4 aperture and OIS
● ToF camera: sensor for precise depth measurement; improves e.g. Bokeh effect and accuracy of augmented reality content
● Video: max. 4K/30fps or 720p/960fps: dual recording of telephoto and wide-angle camera possible later via update
We haven't tested all three smartphones extensively yet, but the P30 Pro is currently considered to have the best photos on the mobile phone market. In DxOMark's renowned camera test, the main camera was rated 112 points, putting the phone in first place in its list of best photos. However, the Mi 9 is not in a bad position with 107 points on place 5.
There are strong similarities between the screens. All three have very thin edges and place on a U-shaped notch. In addition, resolution (2,340 x 1,080 pixels) and aspect ratio (19.5:9) are identical.
However, the display sizes are different, because the P30 has a 6.1-inch display, the Mi 9 measures 6.39 inches in the diagonal and the P30 Pro has a screen size of 6.47 inches. In contrast to the other models, the latter is rounded at the sides. A fingerprint sensor is integrated in each AMOLED panel.
However, there are some differences in the batteries and charging options. The lowest capacity is offered by the Xiaomi phone with 3,300 mAh, followed by the P30 with 3,650 mAh. The battery of the Pro model holds a full 4,200 mAh. The P30 Pro can be recharged with the included 40 watt power supply or via wireless charging. The latter also works the other way round, so the phone can supply other devices with power again.
The Mi 9 cannot charge devices wirelessly, but supports Wireless Quick Charge with up to 20 watts. Charges with a maximum output of 27 watts are possible via cable, an 18-watt power supply is included in the scope of delivery. Huaweis P30 can be charged with a 25 watt power supply, Wireless Charging only works with a separately available case.
While the Kirin 980 processor is working in the Huawei smartphones, a Snapdragon 855 is installed in the Xiaomi Mi 9. The latter is somewhat newer and offers a little more performance than the Kirin chip according to first reports, but the difference is supposed to be slight.
The Kirin 980 is already used in the Mate 20 Pro and is only slightly below the Galaxy S10 in terms of performance. This has an Exynos processor in Europe which is about the same as the Snapdragon 855.
The P30 is the only device in this comparison with a classic headphone jack. The other two phones don't have this. The Mi 9 and P30 Pro have an infrared transmitter in the upper frame to control TVs.
All three smartphones support Dual-SIM, Bluetooth 5.0, WLAN-ac and NFC. The housings are available in different colour variants, which have unusual colour gradients. Android 9 is installed ex works, Xiaomi uses the MIUI interface, while Huawei uses EMUI. Only the P30 Pro offers water protection according to IP68.
If you attach great importance to good night shots and a particularly high zoom factor for the mobile phone camera, we recommend the P30 or P30 Pro. The Xiaomi camera isn't bad either and the rest of the equipment is mostly on a par with the P30 Pro. The Mi 9 clearly has an advantage in the price-performance ratio. The manufacturer is even brave enough to publicly attack the P30 for it, as you can see from the following tweet.
So it depends only on how much you value the camera possibilities and whether they justify a high surcharge for you. So we would recommend the Xiaomi Mi 9 to most of you. You can compare other smartphones in our mobile phone comparison. For more information about the three smartphones, we recommend that you read the respective reviews. Click on the corresponding product picture in the overview below this paragraph.
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