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Home > New Gear > Xiaomi Mi 9 vs Huawei P30 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 9 vs Huawei P30 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 9 vs Huawei P30 Pro

By  Adeline Belluz 2019-06-05 1944 0

The new high-end Huawei and Xiaomi's smartphone star are two of the most interesting devices of the moment, but for different reasons. The P30 Pro has unparalleled photographic potential, the Mi 9 may have the best price/quality ratio of all time. Which of the two smartphones should you buy?

They clash on the rainbow

If there is one thing that smartphone manufacturers understand (at last), it is that colourful and bright smartphones attract attention and therefore customers. Huawei and Honor initiated the current trend of colour gradients and beautiful reflections with different layers of glass laminated on the body.

Xiaomi followed a similar path and it is therefore possible to have an Mi 9 in Amethyst Violet or Ocean Blue colors, both with beautiful rainbow reflections. The P30 Pro is available in the unique colours Pearl, Orange and Aurora. Both are also available in black for those who want a less stylish and more discreet smartphone.

Many similarities and differences

The two smartphones are very similar if you don't look too closely. They are both made of glass and metal, with a curved shell, a module with three cameras positioned in the same corner and a small drop-shaped notch. However, if we look at them more closely, the differences between the Mi 9 and the P30 Pro are considerable.

Let's talk about materials first. The P30 Pro seems much more solid in hand, probably because of its higher weight (192g versus 173g) it gives a feeling of safety and resistance. We don't know the type of glass used by Huawei on his smartphones, but I can tell you that the Mi 9 uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, GG6 on the screen and, unlike Huawei's flagship, on the Mi 9 I still don't see any small scratches.

The P30 Pro is also IP68 certified, which is not the case with the Mi 9.

By turning the smartphone, you can see that the P30 Pro has chosen to use an elegant display with curved edges, similar to the one already seen on Mate 20 Pro and some Samsung Galaxy smartphones. The Mi 9 was made with a more classic approach and a completely flat panel. They both use OLED technology and FullHD+ resolution, but the P30 Pro's display is of a much higher quality.

The Mi 9 does not have a bad screen but in a direct comparison you can see that there is no photo in terms of brightness and the colors are brighter on the Huawei flagship. Nevertheless, both are certified for HDR content playback and support L1 Widevine DRM L1 (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others, in high quality).

The two screens at the top have a notch containing only the front camera. The Mi 9 allows you to vary the shape of the drip notch via the software and an update is coming soon to allow you to completely hide it. The P30 Pro has a notch with less harmonious lines, but the system used by Huawei to hide the notch is, in my opinion, one of the best on the market.

Also on the subject of displays, both smartphones have a fingerprint reader integrated under the OLED panel. Both use optical technology, which makes them faster and more reliable (although less secure) than the reader mounted on the Galaxy S10, even if they are not as fast as a conventional fingerprint reader.

Recharging and batteries: no competition

The Xiaomi Mi 9 has an 18W charger (Quick Charge 3.0) included in the package but supports a fast charge up to 27W (QC 4+). The P30 Pro recharges in a flash, at a speed of 40W. Both smartphones support "fast" wireless charging, with Huawei's flagship stopping at 15W, while the Mi 9 is the only device on the market to currently benefit from 20W wireless charging.

However, real differences are visible in everyday life. The P30 Pro has a 4200 mAh lithium polymer battery while the Mi 9 stops at 3300 mAh. These 900 mAh of difference are felt and a lot. Of course, with the Mi 9 you can easily manage to last a whole day, even very difficult, thanks to Xiaomi's excellent software optimization, but the P30 Pro is just on another planet.

With the Huawei device, it is possible to get two days away from the charger (usually I end my day with a residual charge of about 60-65%) and, if necessary, in less than an hour, enough energy is recovered to save a day's battery life. With the P30 Pro, you'll lose the habit of connecting your smartphone to the charger every night, which is great news.

Kirin or Snapdragon? Here are the technical differences between Mi 9 and P30 Pro

The Mi 9 is one of the fastest smartphones in the world thanks to its SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and its 6 or 8 GB of RAM, it is no coincidence that AnTuTu crowned it king of smartphones in April 2019. As we know, however, benchmarks do not tell the whole truth.

The Huawei P30 Pro uses HiSilicon's own SoC, the Kirin 980, and always 6 or 8 GB of RAM. Technically and on paper, the Huawei chip is less powerful than the Qualcomm chip, but in real life, the use of the smartphone seems much faster and more fluid than the Mi 9, thanks (but not only) to the use of a new file system for internal memory. In addition, because Huawei itself produces software and SoCs (more or less like Apple), Richard Yu's company has better control over the final performance of its devices.

Performance is more stable and you'll notice fewer frame drops with the P30 Pro, although these are tiny and imperceptible differences for those who don't have both smartphones in front of them.

Huawei has included a USB 3.1 port (or maybe I should say USB 3.2 Gen1) on the P30 Pro while Mi 9 remains in version 2.0. This makes a huge difference in cable file transfer and is a problem with the Mi 9 which does not even have a memory expansion slot unlike the P30 Pro which uses NM cards.

A multitude of cameras

There is something for everyone! The two smartphones in the back have three cameras. Both have a wide angle lens ideal for landscapes but the Mi 9 has a wider lens (13mm focal length versus 16mm).

Both have a telephoto lens but the Xiaomi smartphone's lens stops at 54mm focal length (2x optical zoom) while Huawei's new periscopic system reaches 5x optical zoom (125mm) and 10x hybrid zoom. Thanks to the excellent optical stabilization of the P30 Pro, it is possible to obtain a 50x digital zoom.

The Mi 9 uses a Sony 48MP sensor as its main camera, while Huawei uses a 40MP sensor. As we have said many times before, megapixels are not everything and Huawei wins by revolutionizing photography on smartphones, replacing the green pixels in the Bayer matrix with yellow pixels that can capture more light.

Huawei wins the photo comparison in almost every scene, day and night, in portraits (thanks to the inclusion of a ToF sensor) and in night mode. That said, I would like to emphasize again though that the Mi 9 takes beautiful pictures and is suitable for most users, it simply can not achieve the results of P30 Pro. Look at the zoom, it's incredible!

Mi 9 or P30 Pro? A conclusion that will surprise you

Huawei's new flagship shines in almost all areas. The only feature that could prevent someone from buying it is the presence of a modified version of Android called EMUI, however on Mi 9 we find Xiaomi's MIUI. Neither smartphone uses a stock version of Android, but it is not a problem in either case. Both phones have exclusive and useful features thanks to the custom software maintained by both brands, such as a dark mode at the system level.

But there can only be one winner in a direct comparison, right? Yes, but not really......

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the champion of value for money. Similar features for a price that does not even reach the 500 euro threshold? It's unthinkable these days. If your budget stops around this figure, no smartphone can beat Xiaomi's flagship, even if it is not irreproachable.

On the contrary, if the budget is not a big problem, the P30 Pro is the winner of this comparison. Not only is it cheaper than other competitors such as S10+ and iPhone XS (which are the flagships of Huawei's biggest rivals), but for its price you get one of the most complete smartphones on the market.

 You may also want to read:
 MIUI 11: List of Xiaomi devices getting MIUI 11 upgrade leaks
  new Dell XPS 15 (7590): price, specs, features and launch date
  Redmi K20 Pro AnTuTu Benchmark Score beyond Xiaomi Mi 9


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