IntroductionHuawei Mate 20 Pro, the cutting edge smartphone by Huawei, finally came to us, and now it’s our time to have it in for a review. This was a long awaited phone due to many new tech it stores, but more on that a bit later.
First things first, let see what Huawei placed inside the factory box of their new flagship – we have the phone itself, user manuals, a Type-C data and charging cable, Huawei Super Charge charging adapter and branded in-ear headphones with a Type-C connector. Quite a rich box we’d say! Not only that, but the design of the box is also quite nice. It looks quite standard, but under the finger you can feel that it has a very nice texture to it. Attention to detail is quite nice, and Huawei really made it feel as a flagship.
Let’s now take a closer look at what Huawei’s cutting edge new phone provides!
DisplayIn terms of the display, Huawei made a sort of a fusion between current leading technologies. Now the Mate 20 Pro has a very interesting display. It has a curve to it akin to the ones in Samsung flagships, but also a notch in an homage to the other competitor, Apple. Specs wise, this is definitely one of the best displays out there. This is an AMOLED panel that has the resolution of 1440 x 3120 pixels, aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which translates to 538 PPI. This is impressive information, and due to this many pixels, all screen views whatsoever are just flawless. Pixelization is never visible, and due to the AMOLED panel the colors are perfect. Huawei really outdid themselves with this display.
However, there are some subjective things that are not that good. For example, the curvature of the display is a bit – too high, so looking towards the edges of the display for some time might be an odd experience. For us, this manifested in distorted colors towards the edges. Due to this distortion our eyes started to hurt after longer viewing, whether gaming or video viewing. It’s an odd sensation, and something that we must say we didn’t like. Everything else though is just perfect.
Hardware and OSHuawei very quickly went from a company that produces bad, cheap phones (remember Y or G series), to a leading smartphone manufacturer that competes for the very top of the smartphone game. Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a masterpiece of engineering on multiple levels, and it is the case in hardware section as well.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro is powered by the new Kirin 980 chipset. This is an in-house produced, Huawei chipset that is built on a 7nm process. This is the first 7nm chipset that powers an Android phone, and it really performs amazingly. No matter what you put upon it, this phone will not stutter! Another thing that goes hand in hand with the amazing performance is the GPU – Mali-G76 MP10. This GPU is just a beast, there’s pretty much nothing it can not do. This is proven by the AnTuTu benchmark, where this phone scored around 312000. Rendering is just – phenomenal.
Of course, nothing of this would be possible had we not had enough RAM. Our version came in the 6/128GB memory configuration, but also available is the 8/256GB option. We must say that 6GB of RAM is more than enough for smooth performance, in most cases. So all in all, hardware-wise, this phone has it all.
In terms of software, there are some preferential issues. We just don’t like the new EMUI. Huawei Mate 20 Pro comes with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, but over it there is the Huawei’s signature EMUI, also version 9.0. It is quite laggy, and in times it really caught our eyes. This lag is not that serious or that noticeable even, however, it is nonetheless there, and we think that a phone on this level shouldn’t make these rookie mistakes. It’s just not acceptable, the class and price range don’t allow for it.
Something else that caught our attention are the speakers of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. As a true flagship it has stereo speakers, but they are not the best. Let us explain. The main speaker, located at the bottom of the phone, is actually located inside of the Type-C port. What this means is that the sound is good (not the best though, just – fine) only when nothing is plugged in. As soon as you, for example, connect the charger, the sound turns to tinny, metallic sound, and it frankly sounds – horrible. This is somewhat supplemented by the other speaker, but not completely. One more thing that’s unacceptable in this price range.
When it comes to security, Huawei went to lengths to provide the safest phone on the market. It is therefore possible to unlock the phone using three different methods. One is the good old passcode, which is not exactly the safest method. Next one is the new AI assisted facial unlock which works great. It’s quite fast, precise and there’s nothing really bad to say about it. However, we must say that we enjoyed the new in-display fingerprint scanner the most. It just – works. And not only that, it looks super nice. There’s no cutouts, no holes, the phone is sealed (IP68 water and dust certificate) and it’s just better overall.
CameraHere we come to the part where Huawei Mate 20 Pro really shines bright. We must say that the camera is one segment that has truly left us speechless. Let’s start from the beginning.
The main camera is in fact a triple camera setup. The main sensor is a 40 megapixel f/1.8 sensor. The secondary one has the resolution of 20 megapixels and it’s an ultra wide 16 mm sensor with the aperture of f/2.2, and the 3rd one is an 8 megapixel telephoto sensor with the aperture of f/2.4. All together they form a camera marvel that produces remarkable photos in every possible situation. We’re already used to having flaghips with great camera performance, but not every flagship can perform that well in low light conditions. The Mate 20 Pro has the new Night Mode that uses AI capabilities of the Kirin 980 to produce remarkable photos in low light conditions. These photos look as if they’re taken in well lit environments, and it’s truly something amazing. Regular, daytime photos look outstanding, and this is easily the best camera in a smartphone at the moment.
The main camera however has one little flaw. It can’t take videos in 4K 60fps which is a shame. This is obviously a software thing, and we’re not sure why Huawei didn’t enable this mode since we’re sure that the setup is well capable to deliver such quality. Videos are otherwise more than just good, great details with amazing colors.
The front facing camera is again an incredible piece of engineering, and it will do an excellent job for your selfies. The colors are amazing, sharpness is on par and we’re sure that your following on social media can only rise with this camera. It is a 24 megapixel sensor with HDR mode. It is also capable of recording videos, and this time it is possible in 1080p resolution at 30 fps.
ConnectivityConnectivity-wise, this is just another flagship of 2018. There’s nothing special to say in this section as we pretty much have everything. There is the latest WiFi 802.11 (dual band), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, IC port and what not. The one thing it doesn’t have is the, now obsolete 3.5mm audio port.
As we’ve already said, this phone comes with a Type-C port, and it also serves as a headphones plug. Stock headphones sound great, which is a welcome addition.
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual band with DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot support
- Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, aptX HD and LE support
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO and QZSS support
- IR blaster
- USB 3.1 with USB On-The-Go support
- 2G GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- 3G CDMA: 800 MHz
- 3G WCDMA: 800, 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
- 4G LTE: 700, 800, 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, 2600 MHz
- 4G TD-LTE: 1900, 2000, 2300, 2500, 2600 MHz
BatteryHere we have a few interesting features. The Mate 20 Pro has a 4200 mAh battery, and it’s really huge! Taking into account that there’s a 7nm chipset, and an AMOLED display, this battery seemingly lasts forever! Not only that, but due to the Super Charge fast charging system, the phone goes from 0-70% charge in just 30 minutes, and then to 100% in about 55 minutes. These are really impressive numbers, and we don’t think many people will find anything bad to say about it.
We also have wireless charging enabled, and the Mate 20 Pro can use any standard Qi charge. However, because it has such a massive battery and, quite frankly, it doesn’t need it, it itself can serve as a wireless charger for other devices that support wireless charging through the process of reverse wireless charging. Simply place another device back to back with the Mate 20 Pro, and that other one will start charging immediately! Something really different, and awesome, with a lot of potential.
Final wordsAll this comes with a price though. This is one of the most expensive devices out there, to be honest. With the price of around 900 euros, perhaps even more, it does provide a lot, but we must say that some things, such as the curvature of the display simple aren’t worth that much money. Yes, we did enjoy how the Mate 20 Pro performed for the most part, but those minute flaws are amplified and multiplied when the price is taken into account.
All in all, this is a wonderful phone, and many people fill find it to be exactly what they need, but we must say that we consider some alternatives better.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Full Specifications
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Advantages and disadvantages
Reasons for and against it
The single best smartphone camera on the market
Excellent design with an incredible texture on the back
Enormous battery with an even better charging system
In-display fingerprint reader together with facial unlock system
IP68 water and dust resistance certificate
Kirin 980 proved to be a worthy competitor to Apple's and Qualcomm's counterparts
Too much curve towards the edges of the display
We've seen plenty phones with better speakers