Huawei’s new flagship, the Mate 10, did deliver for its price in our review here. It is, by far, one of the smartphones with the best cameras that we’ve used this year along with the iPhone X. Enter the Pixel 2. It’s another beast of its own that doesn’t rely on fancy features and yet holds the highest DxOMark score to date.
|SPECS||Google Pixel 2||Huawei Mate 10|
|Display||5.0″ 1080 x 1920 AMOLED (~441 ppi)
Gorilla Glass 5
|5.9″ 1440 x 2560 IPS LCD (~403 ppi)
|Dimensions & Features||145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm, 143g
Nano-SIM card & eSIM, metal + plastic unibody, IP67-certified
|150.5 x 77.8 x 8.2 mm, 186g
Hybrid SIM tray, metal unibody
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835||Hisilicon Kirin 970|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)||Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|GPU||Adreno 540||Mali-G72 MP12|
|Memory||4 GB RAM, 64/128GB||4GB RAM, 64GB (expandable up to 256GB)|
|Connectivity||LTE Cat. 15, 802.11ac, dual-band, BT 5.0, GPS, USB 3.1 Type-C 1.0||LTE Cat. 5/4, 802.11ac, BT 4.2, GPS, USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack|
12.2 MP (f/1.8, 27mm, 1/2.6″, 1.4 µm), OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash[Video]
8 MP, f/2.4, 27mm, 1/3.2″ sensor size, 1.4 µm pixel size[Video]
Dual: 12 MP (f/1.6, 27mm, OIS) +20 MP (f/1.6, 27mm), 2x lossless zoom, Leica optics, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash[Video]
8 MP, f/2.0[Video]
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 2700mAh||Non-removable Li-Ion 4000mAh|
|OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)||EMUI 8.0
|SRP||PhP 43,990.00/$880||PhP 32,990/$200|
Google’s obvious lean to minimization and portability is actually astounding by partly continuing the first Pixel’s design. A two-tone rear cover with the glass responsible for the antennas functionality. The Mate 10 does the opposite and even with the front, it is already shouting “premium!” by itself. Flipping to the rear presents a rather reflective acquaintance.
With its dual cameras on the center band up high, the design is well-thought of, complemented with the flanking dual-tone LED flash and additional AF and depth sensors. As opposed to the unibody construction of the Pixel 2, the Mate 10 sandwiches its middle frame with yet-unidentified Gorilla Glass. And talking about trays, only the Mate 10 offers storage expandability or a second SIM option.
While the two differ in display density due to resolution, the difference in the panels used mattered more in the long run. The Pixel 2 is equipped with an AMOLED panel which is inherently better at having better color contrast and a wider dynamic range.
Viewing multimedia is more immersive on the Mate 10 thanks to its larger screen and near-zero side bezels. With the AMOLED too, overall power consumption is lower for the Pixel 2, which we will see later in the battery results after the benchmarks.
This is where things matter the most – overall user experience. Going through the Pixel 2’s stock Android has certainly been refreshing. Equipped with the latest bells and whistles that Oreo provides, it is, by far, the smoothest Android experience we’ve had.
The only downside or upside for some I’m seeing that the Pixel 2 has is its small FHD 5-inch display. With the new features added onto EMUI 8.0, especially the optional app drawer, the large display is efficiently used without being overbearing for the most part.
Generally, comparing the two just puts the Pixel 2’s above EMUI 8.0 by being more responsive, easier on the eyes, and intuitive. On the camera UI though, it’s more of a preference-based choice. The Pixel 2’s was made with minimization in mind by letting users see more of what they’re shooting considering the small screen. The Mate 10’s is more of a see-all-be-all which definitely worked with its huge display.
Talking about camera performance, the two are neck-and-neck in what they’re presenting, but in the manner of speed and usability, the Pixel 2 wins by a mile. While both do rely on phase detection and laser autofocus, Pixel 2’s snappiness translates well enough on both tap-focusing and capturing images with zero-shutter lag. The slew of options that the Mate 10 offers may overwhelm a lot of first-time Android users, but they’re there nonetheless.
Down to the portrait and dynamic range, the Pixel 2 still wins by a small margin. When it comes to evening shots though, the Pixel 2’s capabilities are well-presented. The dynamic range and post-processing done on the images are spectacular on both, but the Pixel 2, especially with the color range and details, it’s a league above the Mate 10’s. While the Mate 10 has its own Night Mode, the usability for on-the-go users is quite limited since it requires almost 30 seconds of stillness, inevitably requiring a tripod.
With videos, it should be noted that the Mate 10’s stabilization only kicks in at 1080p at 30FPs and below. As for the Google Pixel 2, it revolutionized the concurrent usage of EIS and OIS at the same time for the smoothest footage possible without relying on any 3rd party tool, and it does so elegantly. Detail-wise, As for selfies, the Mate 10 does better in low-lighting conditions with its f/2.0 aperture. Details pop out more on the Pixel 2 simply because of how good its post-processing is.
|Device||AnTuTu||PCMark Work 2.0||Geekbench||Androbench|
|Google Pixel 2||170241||7185||SC: 1915
|Seq. Read: 763.6MB/s
Seq. Write: 195.95MB/s
Ran. Read: 168.68MB/s
|Huawei Mate 10||178423||6946||SC: 1902
|Seq. Read: 792.34MB/s
Seq. Write: 203.87MB/s
Ran. Read: 161.72MB/s
Talking about performance, the Pixel 2 and Mate 10 are neck-and-neck in the following benchmarking tools. The NPU, as I’ve mentioned in our review of the Mate 10, doesn’t nearly do anything to boost general performance and only functions for specific workloads. When price is put into consideration, the Mate 10 automatically wins in that department by being cheaper for over $80.
|Device||Battery||MS Battery Rating||Charging-Time (0-100)|
|Google Pixel 2||2700mAh||41h 16m||2h 5m|
|Huawei Mate 10||4000mAh||42h 29m||1h 54m|
The battery on the Pixel 2 is nothing to write home about and the extra 1300mAh that the Mate 10 provides has given it the win for this category. Even with 0-100 charging, the Pixel 2 and Mate 10 are somewhat tied, proving further the superiority of the Mate 10 in this aspect. And if you’ve gone wireless charging, neither phone support it, including their XL and Pro brethren.
In case you haven’t heard, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are suffering from audio quality issues, mainly with the audio in the video recording. They have mentioned that this is due to a software bug and swore that this would be fixed ASAP. Anyway, the front-firing stereo setup works really well as proven by many Xperia devices over the years. Somehow, it lacks the bass frequency and soundstage that the Mate 10 provides with its more sophisticated setup.
Despite laughing in the face of Apple, Google adapted the no-jack setup for some reason. With a pair of earphones plugged in, the Mate 10 allows for the use of their in-house Histen audio tuning that provides various configurations. Pixel 2 doesn’t have the same capability, but with the likes of Poweramp, wider tuning is then made available. Neither doesn’t carry a built-in DAC so there is virtually no difference in terms of clarity.
So, where does this leave us? Well, with the issues that the Pixel 2 carries, it’s kind of disappointing to see Google come to this. The Mate 10, on the other hand, is a solid option but may still leave some doubts in your minds. If you’re into having a flagship-specced smartphone with an equally-powerful camera, the Mate 10 is the better option. For design-savvy people, I’m sure that the Pixel 2’s been more than attractive since it was leaked. Its hardware is as powerful as the Mate 10’s but its price tag may dissuade most buyers.