Huawei P20 Pro vs. Xiaomi Mi 9

  • 24 March 2019
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Hi All

After my recent hols in Spain, I came across a mobile phone shop which had the Xiaomi MI9 for €499 or £425.00 so I bought one.

It's much cheaper than the P20 Pro even after the P20 price has dropped down to around £600.00.

This review contains some links to other sites and my personal opinions. I'll refer to the phones as the X and P to save typing.

For the full phone specs, you can find them on the gsmarena here:

P20 Pro Specs

Xiaomi Mi 9 Specs

For more detailed reviews, you can find them here:

P20 Pro Review

Xiaomi Mi 9 Review

Stuff I don't care about.

The X notch is a teardrop shape and the X is elongated

The X LED is white only, not like the RGB

The X has only 1 speaker and the P has stereo.

The P and the X both support NFC and Infrared blaster.

All benchmarks for the X beat the P20 and and all current Huawei devices. The only device which was faster was the Apple iPhone XS Max apart from the Antutu benchmark where the X beat all. The iPhone is just over £1,000.00 for the 64GB version.

The X has fast wired and wireless charging. The P has turbo charging.

The X has an Super AMOLED display and the P has OLED. The display on the X is a touch larger than the P and has 100 more pixels.

The CPUs on the X run a touch faster than the P. The video sizes and speeds are greater on the X.

Stuff I do care about

The X supports DLNA to connect wirelessly to my TV but the P does not.

The front glass on the X is Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and the rear is Gorilla Glass 5.
The glass on the P20 Pro seems to offer little protection against trivial falls as users complain about screen smashing easily.

Neither the X or P have support for internal memory cards. Bummer.

The X main camera is 48MP (Sony IMX586) and the P is 40MP.

The other X cameras are a 16MP wide angle lens and a 12MP telephoto (2x). All cameras are colour.

The P other cameras are 20MP mono wide angle and 8MP colour telephoto.

The X camera supports RAW for 3rd party apps while the P20 Pro does not. At the time of writing, RAW support on the X is limited to 12MP (probably pixel binned 48MP) but this may change in the next upgrade.

Xiaomi offer free bootloader unlocking. Huawei no longer do. Xiaomi development on the XDA forum is very lively, whereas Huawei is almost dead.

To get your free unlock key for X, you have to create an account on their forum and wait 360 hours before they will give you the code. This voids the warranty.

X camera software is pretty dire, but on the XDA forum, someone has ported Google Camera for the X. This works very well and you can individually select the main, wide angle or telephoto lenses although images are currently limited to 12MP (3000x4000). Huawei software has some nice effects, but many basic features are missing.

As far as development goes, Xiaomi release all of the source code for their roms on day 1, which of course, encourages development by 3rd parties like xda.

The X has an extra button on the left which launches Google Assistant.

The X has a 3300mAh battery and the P has a 4000mA. But the devil is in the detail. The X's Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm) processor runs cooler than the P's Hisilicon Kirin 970 (10 nm) so the X lasts longer. Endurance tests score are 95 hours for the X and only 89 hours for the P.

OTG support

The X doesn't seem to support my Type-C/HDMI/VGA adapter. USB devices such as keyboard, mouse and USB stick all seem ok. This is a bit of a bummer as I have the VGA screen mounted on my microscope.

It does seem to support wireless projection so I've bought a wireless/HDMI adaptor so see if that works when it comes.

The P worked with all devices I plugged into it (including HDMI/VGA) and you can see the review here:

P20 pro OTG USB. What can you plug in?

Well that's all for now. In a day or two, I'll post up some photos from both devices for comparison.



3 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Oh I forgot, quite and important one. The P has an IP67 rating and the X has none so don't get it wet lol.

IP67 rating specifies that an object may be submerged in water a metre deep for half an hour. Manufacturers don't recommend you do this as the phone may lose it's rating after time so it's not guaranteed.

However, any kind of protection from water is a bonus.


Userlevel 3
Thanks for the insightful comparison of X and P. Small wonder Xiaomi becomes number 1 mobile phone brand in India where people are price sensitive yet have a discerning eye for specs.
Userlevel 6
Badge +5
Thanks :-)

On the subject of connecting the X to my LCD monitors, I bought an Anycast wireless dongle from eBay and a HDMI->VGA adaptor which work well.

Some Kind users on XDA have ported Google Camera to the X and new features are added each week so hopefully I'll get my 48MP RAW soon!