CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
Let's start with some general comparison shots from both phones. Compare this photo from the P30 Pro to the iPhone XS Max on the next slide.
The same photo on the iPhone XS Max.
This photo was taken on the iPhone XS Max. Take a look at the sky as you go on to the P30 Pro image.
A little more saturated on the sky here, and not as true to life.
The P30 Pro has a Leica quad-camera array, while the iPhone XS Max has a dual camera. To give you an idea of the different focal lengths on the P30 Pro, here is the same shot taken on the ultra-wide lens all the way through to the 10x hybrid zoom.
This is the regular wide-angle perspective. If you're wondering why the tones look different, it's because the ultra-wide lens generally makes photos look a little punchier and more vibrant (and not as true-to-life) as the other cameras.
This is the 5x optical zoom.
Finally, the 10x hybrid zoom.
You can capture so much with the 10x hybrid zoom. I took this photo from the top of Coit Tower in San Francisco, peering down into the bay. Telephoto lenses usually exacerbate any hand shake but the stabilization system does a good job of helping get a steady photo.
This phone can actually see in the dark. Compare this to the photo from the iPhone XS Max on the next slide to see the difference.
Yeah, there's nothing here.
Another low light shot on night mode.
I quite like the look of the iPhone here, it's just a different rendition of the light source than the P30 Pro and the blacks are more solid which to my eye is pleasing.
Even with a bit of light, the P30 Pro's night mode does a great job of brightening the entire scene.
The same shot on the iPhone XS Max, without night mode.
Colors on the P30 pro are vivid and jump off the screen, particularly if you use Master AI mode. It automatically identifies different objects like plants, flowers or blue skies and adjusts colors accordingly.
The same shot on the iPhone XS Max. I love the colors on both but the iPhone is a little more natural here, especially with Smart HDR on that evens out shadow and highlight detail on the petals.
A portrait mode selfie on the iPhone.
A portrait mode selfie on the P30 Pro.
It's not as nice to my eye as the portrait from the iPhone XS Max as you can see on the next slide. The face is not as sharp and the background blur on default levels is not as pleasing.
I prefer this portrait mode a lot more.
Another general image to show you color rendition on the P30 Pro with the 5x lens.
The same photo on the iPhone XS Max, with the wider perspective taken on the 2x zoom.