Huawei Mate 10 Pro vs Google Pixel 2 XL: Which is best?

Google's new phablet is fabulous, but can Huawei's Mate take it down?

If you're planning to pick up a sweet new Android flagship soon, then chances are good you have Google's Pixel 2 XL in your sights. But there's another fresh contender that you might not have considered.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro matches up well with the Pixel 2 XL on some counts, including design and capabilities, although there are some key details that vary between the two. Both will undoubtedly give you a top-of-the-line Android experience, but which better deserves the RM3000-RM4000 you'll spend to get it?

Here's our final take, now that we've reviewed both of these large-and-in-charge Androids.

Design: All screen

At first glance, you might be hard-pressed to tell these phones apart.

They're very similar from the front: large screen, bit of bezel, nothing else. The Mate 10 Pro keeps its pointy screen corners and offers very little bezel on the right or left, although it has slivers on the top and bottom. And an eyesore of a company logo on the bottom.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 2 XL stylishly rounds off the display's corners but then has a fair bit more bezel on the sides along with the top and bottom. It feels larger than it needs to be, to be quite honest.

And when you flip it around, the two-tone aesthetic with the glass cut-out on top is a bit more alluring than the Mate 10 Pro's glass-atop-aluminum backing. The Mate's curved glass is a bit slippery, too.

We were keen on the Pixel 2 XL's design at first, but the more time we spent with it, the more we felt like Google didn't do enough to make it as polished and alluring as it could be. The Mate 10 Pro treads familiar ground, but it does so with a bit of flash.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Screen: Bit lacking, Mate

And as for the screens found on those familiar faces, there are similarities here as well. They're both taller-than-normal (18:9) 6in OLED displays that are both plenty appealing, but there's one key difference.

It's the resolution. The Pixel XL 2 keeps with the Android flagship trend of a Quad HD panel at 2880x1440, while the Mate 10 Pro dips into 1080p territory with a 2160x1080 display. The 6in 1080p panel still looks pretty sharp, and it has HDR10 support, but the Pixel 2 XL has a win with its resolution boost. It's one of the best screens around today.

Winner: Google Pixel XL 2

Camera: Pixel-packed shots

The original Pixel's camera was an industry-beater, and the Pixel 2 XL makes further improvements. It still has a single 12-megapixel back camera (now at a wider f/1.8 aperture) with phase detect and laser autofocus, but what it lacks in dual-camera tricks it more than makes up for with speedy shots and incredible results.

Google's image processing abilities ensure strong photos. Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, it snags multiple shots and then swiftly stitches them all together, leaving you with a finished product that should be as good as any you'll find from a phone today. No matter the lighting conditions, you're likely to get something great when you tap the shutter button.

And what about the Mate 10 Pro? Well, it has a few tricks up its own sleeves. It sticks with the same kind of dual-camera approach as the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, with a 12MP main sensor and 20MP monochromatic sensor alongside – both now with f/1.6 lenses to grab extra light.

Thanks to the phone's A.I. skills, the camera quickly focuses on whatever you're shooting and adjusts accordingly, and we consistently pulled excellent shots in our testing. We'd say the Mate 10 Pro has one of the top smartphone cameras on the market today, and while we haven't done a recent shootout comparison between the latest and greatest handsets, it's definitely up there.

But the Pixel 2 XL is just a smidge better than anything else out there right now - except for the standard Pixel 2, that is. (They're equals.)

Winner: Google Pixel 2 XL

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