Looking at the DxOMark Mobile chart, the Huawei Mate 10 and Apple iPhone X are neck-and-neck with the scores, but what do they pertain to, really?
Before we get to the photo samples, let’s have a look first at their respective specs.
|Phone||Rear Camera||Front Camera|
|Huawei Mate 10
|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
|8 MP, f/2.0
Video recording: up to 1080p@30fps
|Apple iPhone X
|Dual: 12 MP, (f/1.8, 28mm) + 12 MP (f/2.4, 52mm), OIS, phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED (dual tone) flash
|7 MP (f/2.2, 32mm), Face Detection
For the first image, it can be said that at a glance, there is virtually no difference. Upon further inspection, we can see that on the outside area behind the car, the iPhone X’s shot is overexposed, leaving soft details but putting more emphasis on the car. The shadows are affected, effectively making the red color less accurate compared to the Mate 10’s sharper shadows and deeper reds.
The next one presented the opposite of the previous image. The exposure and colors are much more balanced on the iPhone X, giving off the more realistic feel compared to the Mate 10’s brighter output. The reds and reflections also helped in achieving the overall detail.
Moving on, the interior is well-detailed on both, but the reds are, again, richer on the iPhone X’s shot.
Next is an HDR shot of an area of a garage with varying lighting. Nothing much can be said other than that the iPhone X did a better job to keep everything in the scene visible. The Mate 10’s effort is still amazing to a lesser extent while also having cooler colors and much deeper blacks.
With a landscape shot, the main difference is the color temperature and overall color contrast. The iPhone X leaned towards a warmer output this time which has overblown farther buildings’ details. The Mate 10 kept to a more balanced tone without having to focus on anything in specific, making for a more eye-friendly output including the sky.
Now, moving to nighttime, there is not much that can be said about the details, as both had to compensate for the lack of lighting with relatively high ISO. Colors and temperature differ a lot, with the Mate 10 producing warmer tones and the iPhone X having colder ones.
Next is a wider shot with more background elements. The light sources on the upper right and near the middle did influence their respective outputs a lot, especially their dynamic ranges. The Mate 10’s shot looked paler than the iPhone X but makes up for it by having more aggressive detailing. The iPhone X tried its best to stay flat despite the conflicting variables, and so it did, preserving most of the details.
The following image doesn’t show a lot in terms of details. Talking about exposure though, the iPhone X has a lot more going for it all the while having a warmer tone compared to the Mate 10’s flatter output.
Next is a close-up with Portrait mode on. While the angles may be different, both pain the same picture by focusing the on the same cluster of leaves. For some reason, the details on the iPhone X are less clearer but having more life with it regarding colors.
To top things off, the landscape shots are both amazing, but the colors make the iPhone X’s more eye-catching and better to look at despite seeming to have the same dynamic range. The street lights are made more prominent without overblowing street-level details, and the buildings do get to be exposed a bit more to better exposure.
The selfies are more of preference-based, considering that the Mate 10 will always output a more overexposed shot no matter the lighting condition. With this, the iPhone X’s results will always look more natural when put side-by-side with the Mate 10’s.
Even in low-light, the subject’s face is made brighter with extra post-processing for the best possible output without making it look unnatural. It is also notable to mention that the Mate 10 has a wider field-of-view and much better background detailing.
With videos, the iPhone X’s is in a different league with the capability of recording up to 4K 60fps, allowing for the most detailed and smoothest videos possible on a smartphone this 2017. With this, stabilization may come up as in issue, but it isn’t for the iPhone X. On the Mate 10 though, stabilization is only available up to 1080 30fps, which is a huge downer, considering that its NPU can be used for that vital heavy lifting.
That being said, details, color, and exposure adjustment on the iPhone X are also much better to a certain extent, making it more ideal for on-the-go filming.
Final Words – Which should I pick?
If you’re into mobile photography, the Mate 10 itself is a solid option against the much more expensive iPhone 10. The results themselves do differ but on a case-to-case basis which can be resolved by using the Pro mode on the EMUI 8.0.