Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Which camera-oriented smartphone is for you?

If your main interest in a smartphone lies in the powerful cameras they can have, there are two names you’ll keep stumbling into — the Google Pixel 3 and Huawei P20 Pro. Both boast incredible cameras on top of powerful smartphones.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Which camera-oriented smartphone is for you?

Google and Huawei have gone out of their way to create great flagships for 2019, especially in terms of cameras as both wield powerful snappers. But, with cutting-edge tech costing cutting-edge prices, either smartphone is a purchase you’ll want to think hard about before committing to entirely.

So, which smartphone should you buy — the Google Pixel 3 or Huawei P20 Pro? We break down both phones into their respective parts to help decide which is best for you.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Which one should you buy?

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Camera

So, let’s start off at the most important area, the camera. Both the Pixel 3 and Huawei P20 Pro are best-in-class smartphones when it comes to their cameras, and it’s one of the most popular reasons to buy either phone.

The Huawei P20 Pro boasts three powerful rear cameras: a 40-megapixel RGB camera, a 20-megapixel monochromatic camera, and an 8-megapixel snapper with a 3x telephoto lens for optical zoom. Together, they combine to take photos with a huge dynamic range, that work just as well in low-light settings as they do for typical portraits. Unfortunately, the post-picture processing leaves a lot to be desired, as it can often overprocess or underexpose images so you’re best learning to shoot in full-manual.


The Pixel 3, on the other hand, has a single 12.2-megapixel rear camera. In terms of pure picture power, it falls short of the Huawei P20 Pro, although it’s useful enough in its own right. However, its strength lies in Google’s range of post-processing tricks.

The HDR+ algorithms are extremely intelligent for recognising and extracting subjects and layers, and it has a whole suite of machine-learning AI tricks to make the most of any setting. For example “Top Shot” takes several pictures both before and after you tap the shutter button and recommends the best shot to you, and “Night Sight” colours and lightens low-light pictures for you so you can shoot in the darkest lighting conditions and still take a stellar snap.

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Deciding which camera is best for you depends where your priorities lie — the Huawei P20 Pro has better cameras based on base megapixels and a fancy optical zoom, but the Pixel 3 has a range of intelligent algorithms that aid in the post-picture process and result in overall better-quality, on-device photos.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Display and design

Both the Pixel 3 and Huawei P20 Pro are the best-looking entries in their respective series. The Pixel 3 is notchless (although the Pixel 3 XL does feature one), and as such has a 18:9 display with slim bezels either side. On the other hand, the Huawei P20 Pro has a notch — but it’s optional, as it can be turned off in the settings, blacking out to become part of the bezel. While the former has IP68 protection the latter only has IP67, which could be a pivotal difference for the accident-prone among us.

In terms of actual displays, the Huawei P20 Pro has a 6.1 inch 1,080 x 2,240-pixel screen compared to the Pixel 3’s 5.5” 1,080 x 2,160 screen (or the Pixel 3 XL’s 6.3” 1,440 x 2,960). Both have OLED displays. Both have edge-to-edge display such powerful and nuanced displays that most people won’t notice a difference between the two.


Both have glass backs, which can be a bit slippery to users, although the P20 Pro comes with a rubbery case to give it some extra grip.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Battery life and performance

When we compared the battery life of the Pixel 3 and P20 Pro we found the former lasted just over 12 hours, while the latter lasted nearly 15 hours. Our tests include running videos on loop until the battery runs down, and it’s likely you won’t be using it for such a battery-intensive task, so it’s likely to last a lot longer with real-world use. Saying that, even 12 hours is more battery life than most people will need in a day, so both are strong.

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In terms of performance, we found the Pixel 3 edged ahead ever so slightly in both speed and and graphics, which may explain the shorter battery life. Since both phones have more battery life and processing speeds than most people ever need this point means little. However, if you need a phone to last a long time or process many tasks at once, these are factors that should help you decide.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Price

While both the Google and Huawei devices are unmistakably high-end devices, the Pixel 3 is financially a lot more high-end than the Huawei P20 Pro. Here’s a comparison for the prices for SIM-free devices on Amazon..

Size Google Pixel 3 Huawei P20 Pro
64GB £780 n/a
128GB £1,019 £590

While the Huawei P20 Pro is definitely revelling in apost-Black-Friday price drop, which may explain the low price to an extent, it’s certainly a cheaper phone in general.

However, it’s worth noting that while the Pixel 3 offers 64GB and 128GB models, the Huawei P20 offers much more expansive — and therefore expensive — 128GB and 256GB models. Therefore if you want a smaller or Pixel 3 is your only option.

Google Pixel 3 vs Huawei P20 Pro: Verdict

As with any comparison of high-end, highly accomplished flagship Android phones, it really all boils down to what you’re looking for in a device. This is made even more difficult when you realise the P20 Pro and Pixel 3 have strengths in a lot of the same areas.


While the Huawei P20 Pro has an incredibly powerful camera, and battery life, the Google Pixel 3 has better camera machine-learning algorithms and higher processing speeds to run even more advanced apps and features.

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The P20 Pro is cheaper, and it has larger size devices, but also has no option for external memory devices so you’ll need to rely on cloud services or make do with the internal memory. On the other hand, while the Pixel 3 generally costs more, and has smaller storage options, it brings with it the interconnection of Google’s various devices and peripherals like the Pixel Stand wireless charger.

Most people will be looking at these two devices for a smartphone with a great camera — unfortunately both are incredible, with many strengths and weaknesses. However with the Huawei P20 Pro cheaper than the Google Pixel 3 for a similar-sized device, amateur photographers would do best to stick to it and spend that extra money on the cloud storage subscription you’ll need to save your pictures!

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