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Huawei P40 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 in 2021: Apples vs Robots

author Luis Silva (November 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

You shouldn't have to pay much more for the iPhone 12, but it isn't the better device of the two considering their specs.

It gives you better performance (+27%), better glass protection, a better display, and Google's services. But the P40 Pro will deliver better battery life, more internal storage (128GB vs. 64GB), and external storage.

What else stands out?

With the iPhone 12, you'll also get a cleaner user interface and a lightweight body (45 g./1.59 oz less). But the P40 Pro also adds a higher refresh rate, Always-On, larger (+0.4") display, a telephoto lens (+112 mm), faster-charging speeds (40w vs. 20w), faster wireless charging (27w vs. 15w), reverse wireless charging, more RAM (8GB vs. 4GB), and Bluetooth 5.1.

Still, you'll have to decide for yourself since their final score is almost the same.

How much more are you willing to spend on the P40 Pro?

If you're not considering subscribing to a service provider, you can spare close to $81. You don't need to pay more to get more.

Is the P40 Pro still worth buying in 2021?

The Huawei P40 Pro is clearly worth buying in 2021, even if there are better phones out there. You can consider the iPhone 12 Pro, but this one does have good performance, good cameras, good battery life, optical zoom, and fast charging.

Is it worth buying the iPhone 12 in 2021?

The iPhone 12 remains a great smartphone in part thanks to its good performance, good cameras, and excellent glass protection. If you can find a great deal, it does make sense in 2021, but a fantastic device like (again) the iPhone 12 Pro does have more storage and more RAM.

Read on and find out more about them, how they compare to similarly priced rivals, and you'll know what the industry thinks about their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Huawei P40 Pro, Apple iPhone 12

Photo by BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Apple launched its iPhone 12 in October 2020, while Huawei's P40 Pro arrived at stores in April 2020.

We are looking at how the P40 Pro and the iPhone 12 compare to each other to help you decide which might be the right one for you.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device P40 Pro iPhone 12
Release Date 2020, April 2020, October 0y.
OS Updates 2 years 6 years 4y.
Security Updates 2 years 6 years 4y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Geekbench 5 (IOS)(Android) scores the iPhone 12 27% ahead of its rival in the multi-core ranking. If you're a heavy gamer, think about this. If not, then it isn't a big deal. You should be aware that apps on iOs usually run smoother because Apple did their work to keep it fit.

Are you looking for the quickest phone around? The iPhone 12 is clearly above the average by comparing it with other smartphones from this price range. It got a score of 4067, compared to the usual 2658, or close to that.

We can classify both of them as high-end.

Some users did install the Google Play Store on recent Huawei phones, but please be aware that officially you won't get Google apps, and some essential apps may be missing too on the P40 Pro.

Performance*
vs.
Features P40 Pro iPhone 12
SoC Hisilicon Kirin 990 Apple A14
Graphics Mali-G76 MP16 Apple GPU
Geekbench 5 Score 3197
4067
870
OS Android 10 and EMUI 10 iOS 14.1
Tek-Score
7.3
8.8
1.5

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P40 Pro front transparent png Apple iPhone 12 front transparent png

The P40 Pro has a better display, and it wins by a significant margin. But you should feel safer with the better glass protection on the iPhone 12.

If you can't get over the iPhone 12's notch, the P40 Pro isn't perfect, but it's pretty close to that.

Most phones from this price range stay in the ballpark of 788 nits, while the P40 Pro can only do 23% less.

Bearing in mind the P40 Pro, 96% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, 91% have an Always-On display, and 83% have Gorilla Glass 6 or better.

Compared to the iPhone 12, I should say that 88% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 96% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features P40 Pro iPhone 12
Size 6.5
6.1
-0.4
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1200x2640
1170x2532
-205560
Refresh Rate 90hz 60hz -30
Dots per Inch 446.14
457.25
11.11
Always-On-Display Yes No
Notch Hole Wedge
Peak Brightness 605 nits
639 nits
34
HDR HDR10 HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
2.9
-5.8
Protection - Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
3.1
7.5
4.4

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P40 Pro back transparent png Apple iPhone 12 back transparent png

Looking at DXOMARK's ranking, one can conclude that the iPhone 12 is approximately 40% above other competitors for the same budget. However, none of these stand out.

The P40 Pro and the P30 Pro share the same ability to do 50x hybrid zoom. It isn't an optical zoom, but (thanks to AI) it is much better than digital zoom.

About the P40 Pro: DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 137. By including the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, that will go up to 153. For an in-depth review, click here.

To put things in perspective: you should know that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. However, only 4% of them feature a macro lens.

About the iPhone 12: DXOMARK's gurus gave this shooter a score of 132. Plus, combining with its wide-angle lens, we end up with a score of 139 points. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Furthermore, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 96% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Moreover, only 8% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify these two as high-end.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P40 Pro iPhone 12
Megapixels 50
12
-38
Aperture 1.9
1.6
-0.3
Lens 23mm
26mm
3
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 4 3
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 153
139
-14

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) P40 Pro iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 3.4
2.4
-1.0
Lens 125mm (5.4x zoom)
13mm -112
Lens Type Telephoto lens Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels 40 -
Aperture 1.8 -
Lens 18mm -
Lens Type Wide-Angle -
Score 16 7 -9
Selfie Camera P40 Pro iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 32
12
-20
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 26mm 23mm -3
P40 Pro iPhone 12 vs.
Tek-Score
9.0
8.2
-0.8

Who has the best frame?

If you're still undecided about them, the iPhone 12 is a better choice based on its weight.

The iPhone 12 weighs 164 g. (5.78 oz), while its rival is 45 g. (1.59 oz) heavier. If you're curious, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The P40 Pro got a score of 3.1, meaning it's kind of weighty for its display size. The iPhone 12, in its turn, has 6.9, which is pretty nice.

The P40 Pro truly is water-resistant. It can be submerged 1 to 3 meters deep, and the same goes for the iPhone 12. But remember: it's for a maximum period of half an hour, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body P40 Pro iPhone 12
Size 158 x 72 x 9 mm
(5.57 x 2.54 x 0.32 in)
146 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.15 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
-29822
Weight 209 g. (7.37 oz)
164 g. (5.78 oz)
-45
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, Blush Gold, Ice White, and Black Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 90.26%
88.18%
-2.08
Disp.Size To Weight Score 3.1 6.9 3.7
Looks 10.0/10
10.0/10
0.0
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Face ID
Tek-Score
6.9
8.6
1.6

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

At 4200 mAh, the P40 Pro is the owner of the biggest battery, while the iPhone 12 only features 2815 mAh. And by GSMArena's standards, the former does have better battery life.

The new iPhones also feature magnetic wireless charging. It's handy, but I'd favor a non-proprietary USB-C port.

Quick charging is reasonably speedy with the P40 Pro's charger. Other devices from this price range frequently max out at about 33w.

P40 Pro's Quick wireless charging is likewise snappy. That's uncommon in its class.

Battery*
vs.
Features P40 Pro iPhone 12
Capacity (mAh) 4200 2815 -1385
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
79% left
-4
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 70% left
64% left
-6
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 72% left
64% left
-8
Bat. To Phone Size Score 5.3 6.4 1.1
Sub Tek-Score
7.5
6.9
-0.6
Fast Charging 40w
20w
-20
Wireless Charging 27w
15w
-12
Reverse Charging 27w
No -27
Tek-Score
7.8
6.6
-1.2

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The P40 Pro, for sure.

On the iPhone 12, you'll find 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. Plus, you'll most likely get more storage and more RAM on most of its rivals. 8Gb of RAM and 143Gb of storage: that's the average, not the best you can find.

Both phones have more than enough storage and RAM for the average consumer. However, if you can't get enough of the record button, you'll soon figure out that 64 GB is too short for you.

Storage*
vs.
Features P40 Pro iPhone 12
RAM (GB) 8GB
4GB
-4
Internal (GB) 128GB
64GB
-64
Micro SD Nano Memory (shared SIM slot) No
Tek-Score
7.5
2.8
-4.8

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

You can only get Bluetooth 5.1 with the P40 Pro.

Do you still favor wired headphones? None of them will help you with that. Just skip adapters and get a decent pair of wireless earbuds. There also are other options out there if you just ignore these two. Perhaps you don't mind settling with the Sony Xperia 1 II.

They both run on (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P40 Pro iPhone 12
Network 5G 5G
Bluetooth 5.1
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
5.1
4.6
-0.5

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

Huawei P40 Pro

Reference: $799

Huawei P40 Pro

Apple iPhone 12

Reference: $880

Apple iPhone 12

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money P40 Pro iPhone 12 VS
Amazon 0.73 - ! -
eBay - 0.98 -
Best Buy - 0.93 -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you curious to know what their global score is? Let me point out the average of its competitors. They're at 7.2 (for the P40 Pro) and 7.0 (for the iPhone 12).

Verdict: Does any of them really stand out?

Performance-wise, the iPhone 12 is beating the P40 Pro (as well as any other device). Not only that, but its glass protection is a joke when compared to the iPhone 12. The latter is also lightweight in comparison, but that's where its advantages end.

The P40 Pro, on the other hand, will give you higher refresh rates in an Always-on display, a huge telephoto lens, better overall cameras, better battery life, faster charging speeds as well as faster wireless charging. Adding to that, it'll give you double the internal storage and RAM, external storage, and Bluetooth 5.1.

Pros P40 Pro iPhone 12
#1 Performance Performance
#2 AMOLED AMOLED
#3 Always-On-Display Cameras
#4 Cameras Fast Charging
#5 Battery Life Wireless Charging
#6 Fast Charging Glass Protection
#7 Wireless Charging
#8 MicroSD Slot
Cons P40 Pro iPhone 12
#1 Weight Always-On-Display
#2 3.5mm Jack MicroSD Slot
#3 Price 3.5mm Jack
#4 Glass Protection Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P40 Pro iPhone 12
Gaming Score
7.0
6.3
-0.7
Tek-Score
6.92
6.76
-0.16
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Huawei P40 Pro Related Comparisons


Apple iPhone 12 Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Huawei P40 Pro 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $900
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
    $899
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.
    $899
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
    $899
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $729
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • VivorivalX60 Pro
    $900

 Apple iPhone 12 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $789
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
    $780
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $809
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $729
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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