Huawei Mate 10 Pro vs Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Which is best?

Can the Mate topple Apple's extra-large iPhone?

Android's flagship pool is absolutely stocked with top-end competition right now, with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Google Pixel 2 XL owning our strongest recommendations of late. But here's another phone you'll want to consider.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro fits in well with those first couple of options, with a taller-than-average screen that dominates the front of the phone, plus plenty of top-end tech within. But if you're thinking about spending big on a large phone, there's something outside of the Android world worth considering, of course: Apple's iPhone 8 Plus.

While it's lost a bit of momentum thanks to the iPhone X, Apple's revised Plus packs in a number of incremental perks that could sway you in its direction instead. Wondering which phone is the best of 'em? Here's the showdown, now that we've reviewed both handsets in full.

Design: Fresh or familiar?

Apple's ultra-minimal modern design once seemed fresh and inviting, but that was three years ago – and it hasn't changed much since. Not from the front, at least, where you still get a lot of bezel wrapped around the familiar rectangle.

It's different from the back this time around, at least, as the iPhone 8 Plus swaps out the usual aluminum backing for glass. Not only does that unlock wireless charging capabilities for the first time in an iPhone (more on that later), but it's also much sleeker to boot. It's an upgrade that gives the phone a very clean and crisp look from the back, but it's not a hugely transformative shift.

Meanwhile, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro isn't our pick for the best looking Android right now (the Galaxy S8 wins that), but it's got more pop than Apple's old iPhone aesthetic. We like the mostly-screen front, even if that Huawei logo is annoying, and the back side glistens with its multiple layers of glass atop aluminum. The curved glass makes it a bit slippery, though, unfortunately.

Truth be told, the Mate 10 Pro is very close to the Galaxy S8 at a glance, and that's not a bad thing.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Screen: Big and bright

Huawei's screen is larger and taller, at 6in and 18:9 aspect ratio – compared to 5.5in at 16:9 for the iPhone 8 Plus – but they're both sitting in the 1080p zone. That's below the Quad HD standard that many Android flagships shoot for these days, but it's still plenty crisp for a pocket-sized device.

The Mate has the advantage of an OLED display, with its impressive contrast and deep blacks, plus it supports HDR10 content with a wider colour gamut. Meanwhile Apple's LCD panel has True Tone tech, which adjusts the colours based on your ambient lighting, and it too uses a wide color gamut. But the added punchiness of the Mate 10 Plus screen deserves the slightest of nods here.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Camera: Double threats

Both of these phones offer a double-camera experience on the back, albeit with some notable differences between the two. With the Apple iPhone 8 Plus, you get a pair of 12-megapixel camera: a main wide-angle one at f/1.8 aperture and a telephoto one at f/2.8. Only the main sensor has optical image stabilisation onboard.

And the results are rather fantastic – we called it "one of the best smartphone cameras we've ever used." You'll get detailed, balanced, and lifelike shots with good lighting, and even in more challenging outdoor scenarios, the exposure is typically spot on. Low light shots are pretty solid, too – cleaner and sharper than in previous models.

Of course, you get some dual-camera perks as well. You can swap to the secondary camera for optical-style zooming, while the Portrait mode – with its blurred backdrops – works better than ever. The new Portrait Lighting feature even lets you tweak the results to your heart's content.

Over on the Mate 10 Pro, you'll find a 12MP main RGB sensor and a 20MP monochromatic sensor alongside. It's the same kind of setup from Huawei's P10 and P10 Plus, albeit now with both lenses at f/1.6 aperture.

And the results are pretty excellent overall. Only the 12MP camera has optical image stabilisation, like the iPhone here, but the 4-in-1 hybrid zoom ensures speedy focusing. AI-assisted scene detection also comes into play, with machine learning algorithms helping to recognise the scene and adjust accordingly.

They're close, and we haven't done a head-to-head camera battle just yet, so we're calling it even for now.

Winner: Draw