The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is easily the most feature-packed phones, even nearly a year after it was announced. It has a fantastic camera, superb screen, competition-beating battery life and plenty of additional tricks alongside. If it wasn’t for Huawei’s slightly janky software and some mild complaints about the curvature of the display, this would be the most complete Android phone I’ve ever reviewed. Let’s go straight to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro Price.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Price
- Great display
- Very fast charging
- Plenty of clever tricks such as in-display fingerprint and reverse wireless charging
- Battery life is fantastic
- Huawei’s software remains a weakness
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Specifications
- Review Price: £899
- 6.39-inch OLED, QHD+ HDR display
- 4 cameras: 40-megapixel main sensor
- 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage
- 20-megapixel wide-angle
- 4200 mAh battery with Qi charging
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro might have just seen its official announcement, however we still don’t know when it’ll get a release in the UK. There’s also the big issue of the lack of Google apps (even if it is fairly easy to install Google apps on the Mate 30 Pro) due to the ongoing Android ban.
Those issues don’t affect the Mate 20 Pro, though. Pick up this phone today and you’ll have access to Gmail, YouTube and the full delights offered by the Play Store.
It is also still receiving updates from Google and Huawei has said Android 10 with EMUI 10 will be coming. In many ways the Mate 20 Pro might be a better buy than the Mate 30 Pro.
Huawei is a fan of experimenting with colours and so the Mate 20 Pro is available in a wide range of hues. My review unit has a dark green back that not only looks great, but has some added texture as a result of raised lines running from one side to the other. These are almost impossible to see in pictures, but scratch your fingers across the surface and it sounds like a vinyl record.
Oddly, this textured rear is only available on the green and blue options, with the other colours – including the trippy Twilight finish made famous by the Huawei P20 Pro – coming with a more conventional, smooth back. Even though the Mate 20 Pro isn’t the biggest phone around, it still feels far more comfortable in this added texture.
Around the sides of the phone sits both the power button and volume rocker along one edge, with the other completely free of buttons. Personally, I prefer the lock button to be located on the opposite side to the volume buttons since it reduces the chance of accidental presses.
USB-C is the only port on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro; there’s no headphone jack here. There is, however, an IR blaster on the top for controlling a TV, for example.
Like the 3.5mm jack, the physical fingerprint sensor has been ditched. Now, unlike Apple, Huawei isn’t forcing you into solely using face unlock. Instead, it has placed a fingerprint scanner beneath the phone’s OLED display. Aside from feeling ridiculously futuristic, this method of unlocking allows for a cleaner-looking device.
Alongside the in-display fingerprint sensor is a face-unlocking system reminiscent of the one seen in the iPhone series. Instead of simply using the front camera to determine it’s you, the Mate 20 Pro builds a depth map of your face using an IR emitter, dot projector and the 24-megapixel camera.
This system is far more secure than simpler solutions, and as such can be used to unlock banking and other apps that usually require fingerprint authentication. It also works very well in the dark, without forcing the screen to light up and blind your tired eyes.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Screen – Curved OLED panel looks great
Another winning aspect of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is its excellent 6.39-inch, 19.5:9 OLED screen. The panel is rounded at the corners, curved at the sides and packs a sharp 3120 x 1440 resolution.
There’s very little to criticise here, but I’ll begin with my only negative point: I don’t really like the curved edges. Sloping the screen down over the phone’s edges was first popularised by Samsung with its Edge series, and then more recently with its Galaxy flagships.
As Samsung has refined its design, the sides have gradually become less sloped, to the point where on the Galaxy Note 9 they’re barely there. With the Mate 20 Pro, the sides feel too curved and have a sharp finish.
You’ll also notice that they catch far more light than the flat portion of the screen, reflecting quite heavily in bright environments.
Look past these issues, however, and the Mate 20 Pro’s panel is up there with the best displays on the market. OLED presents deep blacks and infinite contrast, while Huawei has kept the colours fairly natural: reds have a nice burst of vibrancy without feeling oversaturated, and greens don’t end up appearing luminous.
There are also lots of options for tweaking the colour performance, making it cooler, warmer or enabling ‘Vivid’ mode to boost saturation. High Dynamic Range (HDR) video support is here, too; however, Netflix or Amazon Prime don’t currently support the Mate 20 Pro’s display specifically. HDR videos on YouTube look exceptional, though.
Sitting at the top of the display is a notch – the small cutout that hides all the sensors required for the biometric face-unlock feature. Notches tend not to bother me in the slightest, especially when they’re hiding advanced tech.
The notch on the Pro isn’t one that simply mimics the unit on the iPhone. Here it houses a multitude of sensors and ensures the screen can be pushed out as far as possible.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Performance – Still very fast
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is powered by the Kirin 980 – a chipset designed in-house by Huawei. Just like Apple and its A-series Bionic silicon, having the ability to build a chip yourself means you’re never waiting for the likes of Qualcomm to come out with its next iteration of the flagship Snapdragon chip.
The Kirin 980 is built using the 7nm architecture, which allows of smaller gaps between the transistors on each chip. A smaller distance leads to improved performance and, more importantly, better efficiency.
The chip here remains an eight-core unit, like the previous Kirin 970. However, it now uses four low-powered, two medium, and two high-powered cores – each responsible for specific tasks.
Geekbench 4 scores
This is also likely down to the 6GB of RAM. Huawei also said the Mate 20 Pro will continue to be fast 12 to 18 months down the line, which is far more important than how quick it feels after having just bought the device.
Taking care of the graphics is the Mali G76 MP10 and, once again, this phone is an absolute beast when it comes to gaming. There might be dedicated gaming phones out there but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro should be taken very seriously if you’re into mobile gaming.
Intensive titles such as Asphalt 9 launched noticeably faster than on the competition, and I found myself in a race consistently quicker than with a Pixel 3 or the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Huawei’s phones have always impressed with strong reception for both Wi-Fi and cellular data, and that remains the case here. Phone calls sound clear, and since the phone supports dual-SIM, you can place two nano-SIMs inside.
Interestingly, there’s no microSD support here. Instead, Huawei has developed a new expandable storage card called Nano Memory. As the name implies, this card is the same size as a nano-SIM, and fits in the same slot. At the time of review, I couldn’t find any nano memory cards for sale. The lack of microSD support is softened by the 128GB of internal storage, though.
To offset the missing 3.5mm headphone jack Huawei includes both a dongle for connecting wired headphones along with a serviceable pair of USB-C earbuds in the box. There’s also a decent speaker setup here, with noise coming both from the notch and the bottom of the device.
Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first. A smartphone is basically a computer you carry around in your pocket that allows you to perform various tasks. This can be anything from ensuring that you’re able to remain connected with the outside world through to sitting in a darkened room playing Clash Royale. But how do you actually use your smartphone every day?
Before choosing any smartphone you should get your priorities straight first.
The point is that in order for you to send WhatsApp messages and publish a few posts on social networks you shouldn’t really need to spend more than about $200. For a gamer who is not prepared to give up a fluid and smooth gaming experience, they had better be on the lookout for smartphones priced at around $400. Whereas those who want the best of the best in terms of design and performance will need to be prepared to spend from about $500 and up.
Let’s see what are the 10 most important factors to consider before choosing your next smartphone.
Do you want a new smartphone? Well, you’re pretty much spoiled for choice. Before you whip out your credit card to purchase something online, you should search for the best cell phone plans offered by the various mobile providers. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile each have something interesting to offer customers, and will often provide complete packages including data, calls and SMS. Who knows, maybe it’s the right time you to consider changing your current provider…you can even keep your current phone number.
Here are some offers from the big four networks in the US:
If you’re reading this article, you’ve already decided to focus on buying an Android-based device, but there are several versions, and versions of versions, of this Google software. Before buying a new smartphone, so you should brush up on your history of Android – or at the very least examine the differences between the last two versions, Android 9 Pie and Android 10.
Besides these being great treats to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth, these names correspond to different versions of the Android operating system and each offers unique features and functions. The latest Android version available is Android 10, but unfortunately not all devices have the honor of showing it off. I advise you not to buy a smartphone with outdated versions of Nougat or Marshmellow and instead look for a smartphone with Android Pie at least (and if you are guaranteed an upgrade to the newest and latest Android version, that’s even better).
In selecting a new smartphone, personal taste is a major decision point, both in terms of software and outward appearance. Some people may prefer more rounded lines and a sinuous design, whereas others like a sturdier look, characterized by straight lines and sharp metal edges. We must admit that with each passing month and the succession of launch events we see within the industry, smartphones are increasingly starting to resemble one another and the choice available is strongly influenced by marketing campaigns and trends.
But, design is based on functionality. A metal unibody is stylish and trendy, but in some cases prevents you from using some features such as a microSD card or a headphone jack. Before buying, check the quality of the device to ensure you’ll be able to use it in the way which is most comfortable and convenient for you (provided these elements are important to you).
For those who like to receive news updates or simply get lost in the HD graphics of the latest Android games, you should really consider a smartphone that is equipped with a display of at least 5.7 inches. For those that use the smartphone mainly for WhatsApp or to read Facebook posts, a smaller screen will be more than sufficient.
As for the display technology, there are two main types in Android: LCD and AMOLED. The main difference between the two lies in the projection of light. In theory, LCD screens tend to be brighter and display content better when in direct sunlight, while the AMOLED display offers sharper contrast and more saturated colors. In practice, however, with the passage of time and the arrival of new technologies, the difference between the two is becoming less noticeable. That said, Full-HD, FullHD+, or QHD resolution for images are almost always impeccable.
The processor is the hub of a device on which depends the overall performance. Sometimes, processor capability is what limits software updates. Qualcomm and Mediatek are a safe bet.
Meanwhile, Huawei with its Kirin processor is proving itself able to offer good performance to users. It should also be noted that for any processor to be its best, the amount of available RAM is crucial. Yes, the processor is important, but we need to look to the smartphone and its technical specifications as a whole.
When you’re scoping out your next Android, check the RAM and internal storage, but not just what it says on the sticker. Take a look at how much space the preinstalled apps take up. Although you can use a MicroSD card to expand your smartphone’s storage capacity, do not forget that a larger internal memory is recommended over using an external card.
At the same time, before you opt for a model with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, think about how much you’ll actually use. Are you using your smartphone as an external hard drive for your computer by saving movies, music, files and heavy apps? If the answer is no, you’re probably OK with 64GB. Not to mention that you can take advantage of cloud services to save some space and still always have your files at hand, provided you have an internet connection. As a general rule, considering smartphones on the market, it is advisable to opt for at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory.
Battery life is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a new smartphone. Do not be fooled: a higher number of mAh does not amount to more and more battery life, or to a longer battery life cycle. The factors that come into play are different and it’s worth knowing them.
For example, you should consider that screens with a higher resolution consume more energy, while the latest processors optimize battery life. Then there’s display refresh rates and quick charging technology to think about. Rather than just looking at tech specs, it’s best to check out reviews and benchmark results to know how all these factors perform when combines in a single device. At the moment, 4,000 mAh seems to be the standard.
Smartphone manufacturers are starting to pay more attention to camera quality and features lately, and that’s a great thing for users. The number of megapixels, hybrid autofocus, optical stabilization, manual modes, special effects, and special selfie features: smartphones are becoming more and more like a digital camera.
Once again, I recommend you not to dwell too much on the numbers showing on the technical sheet. The MP does not tell the whole story and it is important to get an idea of the type of integrated sensor, lens quality, and pixel size. You’ll find all the details specified in our reviews, but once you’re in the store it will cost you nothing to start the camera app and check the brightness of the shots and software features for yourself.
Do you need a phone that can do absolutely everything? Are you one of those people who needs a built-in fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, UV sensor, Swiss Army knife, and a batmobile? You have a wide range of choices here, from the latest top of the line to a mid-range smartphone you will find all the latest hardware innovations.
But don’t limit yourself to choose a smartphone based on the hardware features. Activate the display and explore the software in-depth to find out what hidden features are there and if it provides options that work for you. Often share the device with your children? Ensure you have a guest mode or parental control. Do you like reading ebooks directly on Android? Select an interface that allows you to adjust the hue of the display and that implements some anti-strain eye protection. In short, do not stop at appearances and thoroughly investigate the system.
Last on our list, but probably the first factor to consider if you have a limited budget, it is definitely the price. What do you want to spend on your next smartphone? Is it worth it to use all your salary or is it perhaps appropriate to limit yourself and choose something cheaper but equally powerful and in step with the times? The choice is yours, but be aware that for any price range there are some devices better than others.