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Home / Technology / Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: The best phone for 2018

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: The best phone for 2018

Huawei's premium handset is some of the best on the market, and the Mate 20 Pro is no exception. It has the same 40 megapixel camera that I fell in love with the P20 Pro, but it replaces the monochrome sensor with a wide-angle lens, adding some extra functionality.

But that's not all. Although the company has used glass-based phones since Mate 10, wireless charging is finally included. Also, you can do what Huawei calls reverse wireless charging, which uses the Mate 20 Pro to charge all other Qi devices.

And the phone has everything you want, including a 1440p AMOLED display, a stunning gradient color and a fingerprint reader on the display. Here is our review of what I mean is the best smartphone in 201



CPU Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980, dual-core 2.6GHz Cortex-A76, dual-core 1.92GHz Cortex-A76, Quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex-A55 GPU Mali-G76 MP10
Display 6.39 inches, 1.440×320, 538ppi, AMOLED, 19.5: 9
Body [19659006] 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm, 189 g
Camera 40MP + 20MP + 8MP, Front – 24MP
Video 4K – 30fps, 1080p – 60fps, Front – f / 2.0
Camera Features Leica Certified Lenses, 3x Optical Zoom, 5x Hybrid Zoom,
RAM 6GB 128 GB
Battery 4,200mAh] Day One


Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an absolutely beautiful d evice. Again, the company went with a glass sandwich design, and again, it is an option for gradient colors. Huawei sent me the Twilight model, which is definitely the most sexy.

Twilight means something other than that with P20 though. At Mate 20, the degree goes from black to purple to blue, while with P20 it went from purple to cyan. In fact, Huawei ended up with this exact color of the P20 Pro, calling it Morpho Aurora.

The back is a smooth glass color, although this is not the case if you get the blue or green model. As I mentioned in my Mate 20 (non-Pro) review, these colors actually have a little structured back.

Right in the middle towards the top of the unit is a new camera module design, which is square with rounded corners. I really like it, since the P20 camera looked like an iPhone X camera module. It is very nice to see Huawei go with an original design in this area. I also like having the camera in the middle of the unit. At the four corners, the flash is at the top left, while the other corners are camera lenses.

On the right side of the unit you find the power button and above it, the volume selector. At the bottom there is a USB Type-C port for charging and a nano-SIM slot. There is no 3.5mm audio connector left, and another thing you can't find anywhere is a fingerprint reader. That's because the fingerprint sensor is below the display, but we'll get back to it.

Huawei went for almost framed design with curved left and right edges on the display. The post is bigger than it is at Mate 20, but that's because it includes depth sensors.


The screen of the Mate 20 Pro is 6.39 inches with a 1.440×320 resolution, giving it a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. Yes, the device feels high and narrow, especially since the Huawei curved left and right edges of the device, similar to a Samsung Galaxy handset.

I really don't like it, and that's one of my biggest complaints about the device. The curved edges make it difficult to use. I ended up ordering a case for it just to make the situation a little better. Of course, it's a clear case, not to hide the beautiful body. It feels to me as if the curved edges are an unnecessary change, but to sacrifice functionality in favor of form.

I also want to dial the resolution when Huawei is not accustomed to making QHD smartphones. Both P20 Pro and Mate 10 Pro before it was 1080p. Both P10 Plus and Non-Pro Mate 10 were 1440p; but they were 16: 9 (1,440×2,560), so the Mate 20 Pro definitely has most pixels of a Huawei phone.

It is an AMOLED display, which is probably what you want in today's day and age. With AMOLED monitors, pixels can be turned off and you get real blacks, so colors rendered on top tend to be more vivid, while an LCD monitor would be fully backlit. In general, and this is a very general claim, AMOLED monitors are only more beautiful to look at than LCD monitors.

I don't love the 19.5: 9 relationship, though I realize it's the current trend. With the curved edges and the high design, it feels very narrow. In fact, I miss the days of flat 16: 9 screens, because you actually get a larger surface area.

The screen itself is beautiful though. In fact, even Huawei's LCD monitors look like this is even better. It also has an oleophobic coating on it too; Some previous devices did not have, which forces users to have a screen protector on the device.

It is an option for one on-screen always, which Huawei does not include in its LCD phones like Mate 20. It does not & # 39; t do much though. You can see time, date and battery, but not warning signs.

Wireless Charging and Reverse Wireless Charging

One of my complaints about Huawei devices over the past year or so, since the Mate 10 Pro was that these devices had glass backs, but they didn't support wireless charging. It makes them more beautiful but more destructive without any real functional benefits. There is another example of form over function.

With the Mate 20 Pro (Pro only), it is finally wireless charging. One of the reasons why Huawei never supported it before was because regular Qi charging is slow, but with this device it actually supports 15W wireless charging.

It gets better though, because the Mate 20 Pro actually supports reverse wireless charging. You can simply turn this on through Settings, and when it is on, you can only place any Qi phone on the Mate 20 Pro's back and it will charge.

The device has a 4.200mAh battery so you get more than a day out of it. That means you can look up your friend's phone without having to worry about sacrificing your own battery life. And yes, the battery life of the Mate 20 Pro is so good.

One thing I wish it was, was an option in the quick settings drop-down menu. It is a little painful to turn this on through the main settings, especially since reverse wireless charging automatically turns off if there is no device on top of it.

Fingerprint Sensor and Face Detection

Huawei All – on biometric authentication with the Mate 20 Pro, including notch depth sensors for real face detection and a fingerprint sensor on the display. I was excited to try this out, since Huawei has always had the best class fingerprint sensors.

Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with the fingerprint sensor on the display. It's definitely cool, and I think it's getting better over time, but it's not quite there yet. It often takes several attempts to unlock the phone, even if it is fast when it works.

For the most part, I actually had face recognition turned off while I was reviewing the phone. I used the feature enough to be familiar with it, and this part works really well. The depth sensors are there so you can't fool it with a selfie. You can actually try this at home if you have a standard Android phone that promises face detection. Borrow your friend's phone, take a confidence, and hold the phone in front of it to see if it unlocks. On most devices, this method works well, but not with the Mate 20 Pro.

When you use the device in the real world, you will probably turn on both face detection and the fingerprint sensor. In this way, one of them will always work. It's really why I had to turn off face detection to test the fingerprint sensor, because the face detection logs in and I'm wondering that the fingerprint sensor is better than it really is.

I give Huawei a lot of credit to bring one of the first fingerprint sensors on the market, but this technology needs some time to mature.


I love Huawei cameras and I can give more anecdotes about why. I was married in the summer and I took P20 Pro on my honeymoon with me. I am so grateful I did when P20 Pro kept these memories perfect. It's what a smartphone camera is all about, capturing memories, especially in places where it may not make sense to have a standalone camera with you.

Another reason is the 40-megapixel sensor, which Huawei also has on the Mate 20 Pro. You may remember the Nokia Lumia 1020, which had a 41 megapixel sensor, and the key feature was lossless zoom. A smartphone camera can only see so much, and the field of view consists of pixels, so you zoom in on an image, break down the quality. But the more pixels you have, the less degradation you will see. Remember that even a 4K screen is about 8.3 megapixels and 1080p is about 2.1 megapixels.

Huawei has a triple-lens configuration that makes even more than the lossless zoom you want from a 40MP image. It is an 8MP lens for 3x optical zoom, which means it has a smaller field of view than the main lens. It is also a 20MP wide-angle lens that replaces what was the monochrome lens of the P20 Pro. All lenses are Leica certified.

Of course, the company continues with its AI camera, which is even better now with the Kirin 980 processor. The chipset has a dual neural treatment device, which is used to identify what the camera is seeing. The camera app adjusts the settings accordingly, so it looks something like a dog, a blue sky, a waterfall, snow, food and so on. With Master AI 2.0, Huawei says it can recognize over 1500 scenarios.

There is also a feature called 4D Predictive Focus, which is meant to focus on moving objects. For example, if you've ever taken a picture of a flower on a windy day, it may have been out of focus. Mate 20 Pro is meant to predict where the subject should be next and focus on it.

There are also improvements in night mode. This is a function that will take a few seconds to illuminate an image. You do not only need to use it at night, as it can brighten your subject if the light source is behind it. An important improvement with the Mate 20 Pro is that you can now use night mode with all three lenses, rather than just with the main lens. I found that when you use it with a zoom, it gets a little shaken and the pictures appear to be slightly blurred.

The front camera has portrait mode due to the depth sensors. Huawei also included some portrait lighting options, some of which look great, and some of them look like a poor Photoshop job.

There is obviously a lot to test out on a smartphone camera like this. On top of three different lenses there are different AI scenes, different lighting conditions, Night mode, Wide aperture mode (such as portrait mode, but for objects) and so on.

There are a few things I want to call attention to yourself. I used Night Mode pretty much, so take a look at a photo that appears twice. You can really see how night mode lights them up and you can see how shaken it is when you zoom in. Also, be sure to extend the two pictures that look like they are just black pictures of nothing. They are actually images of the night sky, and in one of them you can actually see the stars, thanks to Night Mode.

The point is that this is the camera I want with me when I want to capture memories.


I'm going to sound like a broken disc because I'm saying this in all premium smartphone reviews, but the performance is great. Flagship chipsets provide more performance than any affordable person needs.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro comes with its HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset, which features four ARM Cortex-A76 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores. Two of the Cortex-A76 cores are clocked at 2.6 GHz and two are clocked at 1.92 GHz, while the Cortex-A55 cores are at 1.8 GHz.

This is supposed to take big.LITTLE to another level. The idea behind big. LITTLE is using large cores for the tasks that require more power, while there are less powerful and more efficient cores for tasks that do not require so much power. These minor tasks can be things like synchronizing background messages, so when that happens, the CPU doesn't use as much battery life.

The Kirin 980 actually has three levels of this itself, allowing the power to be optimized even further. At the top of the CPU there is a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). On top of the camera features mentioned above, NPU also helps with the battery life of the massive 4000mAh battery. It's meant to learn how to use the device and optimize accordingly.

For references I used Geekbench 4, AnTuTu and GFXBench. First up is Geekbench 4, which tests the CPU.

The 7nm chipset knocks out Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 by a long shot. In my Pixel 3 XL review, it received a single score of 2,347 and a multi-core score of 8,371. Apple's 7nm A12 Bionic in the iPhone Xs Max is still out, but provides 4,798 in single-core and 10,731 on multi-core.

Next up is AnTuTu, which tests a little of everything.

Again, Kirin 980 surpasses Snapdragon 845, compared to the LG V40 ThinQs 255,425. IPhone Xs Max got 312 678. Finally, GFXBench tests GPU.

Huawei also has a GPU Turbo function, to increase the performance of games. It supports titles such as PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang .


I've been singing Mate 20 Pro's praise throughout this review, but it's time to mention the elephant in the room, which is that US availability is again limited. Yes, you can buy one from Amazon, but carriers will not sell it. This is no fault with Huawei, unless the claims of the US government are true, which I do not personally believe to be. I think the lack of Huawei devices on the US market is a massive disservice to the US consumer because these are great devices.

And yes, Mate 20 Pro is a great phone. Reverse wireless charging is an innovative feature that is actually useful more than you think it would be, and the in-display fingerprint reader is pretty cool, though it needs work. But there's a lot about this phone that just looks cool. It's a fun moment when your friend asks if you have a phone charger and you just place your phone on your. Then of course the cool design.

But nothing turns on the camera. Huawei could ditch all the other features that come with this phone and I still want it with me all the time. One can argue which phone takes the best pictures, but nothing beats the Mate 20 Pro on lossless zoom, which is an incredibly important camera feature.

I really believe that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the best parent phone for 2018. Based on the fact that I have reviewed most major phones to be released this year, knowing that is what I want with me all over time.

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