The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an outstanding offering from the Chinese brand that competes with the very best phones of 2018. The top-of-the-range product features a rich OLED display, three excellent rear-facing cameras and a sleek, elegant design.
- Beautiful, premium design
- Stunning OLED display
- Professional-quality camera
- Long-lasting battery
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: in more detail
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the stand-out phone from the company's most recent Mate 20 series release. While the standard Mate 20 has its own admirable qualities, the Pro outperforms it in almost every area. The Pro's far superior OLED screen offers rich colours and inky blacks while the more powerful cameras deliver gorgeous pictures.
Extra features include an in-display fingerprint reader plus the world's first wireless "reverse charging" option.
T3 says the device "delivers an experience that leaves absolutely nothing to be desired and, for all real-world intents and purposes, it is perfect". Stuff echoes this praise, declaring the Mate 20 Pro "a masterclass in how to push phone tech to its limits."
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is physically stunning, with a luxuriously curved screen and thin side and bottom bezels. Like many new phones, this device comes with a top notch to house a selfie camera but it's thin enough to not distract too much.
On the back, Huawei have opted for an eye-catching central square, in which three camera lenses and an LED flash sit in a neat two-by-two arrangement. The company calls it their "aesthetic signature", as the rounded edges of the square perfectly complement the curvature of the device.
The Mate 20 Pro is available in a range of elegant colour options. The midnight blue and emerald green designs even come with a textured 'Hyper Optical Pattern' pattern to keep the glass back fingerprint-free.
The Mate 20 Pro sets itself apart from its cheaper sibling, the Mate 20, with its awesome display. The Pro boasts an impressive 6.39 inch OLED screen with 3,120 x 1,440 pixels and a pixel density of 538 ppi.
This produces brilliantly dark blacks and vibrant colours that the LCD display of the Mate 20 just can't compete with. Digital Trends says "watching any high quality video on the Mate 20 Pro is an almost spiritual experience".
Performance and battery
With the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei is leading the way with a powerhouse of a new processor. The Kirin 980 is a number of world firsts; it's the world's first 7nm process mobile phone SoC chipset, as well as the world's first cortex-A76 architecture chipset, first dual neural processing unit and first chipset to support LTE Cat 2.1.
Combined, this translates to faster app launches, quicker photo processing, lag-free gaming and the world's speediest Wifi connection. The Kirin 980 is roughly 20% faster and 40% more energy-efficient compared to Huawei's previous generation.
Much of this improvement to efficiency and power usage comes from the Kirin 980's triple cluster design, with eight cores divided into three groups. There are two "super" cores, two large cores and four small efficiency cores. Thanks to Huawei's "Flex-Scheduling" technology, tasks are intelligently divided between the cores in accordance to usage needs, so that performance is improved without draining the battery.
The model also comes with either 128GB or 256GB of storage. If you're desperate for even more space, it's possible to insert one of Huawei's recently released Nano Memory Cards into one of the dual-SIM slots. Rather than use the Micro SD format that most other phones have been using for the last 15 years or so, Huawei has created its own type of memory card, designed to be the same size and shape as a Nano SIM card. It's not yet clear what the benefits of Nano Memory cards are over Micro SD cards, and whether it will catch on with other phone makers.
Powering the Mate 20 Pro is a large 4,200 mAh battery, which will certainly see you through a full day of use. The phone also supports Huawei's SuperCharge system, which tops the phone up to 70% juice in just 30 minutes.
Perhaps most surprising of all is the Mate 20 Pro's ability to wirelessly "reverse charge" someone else's Qi-enabled device. Simply connect the Pro back-to-back with the other phone to pass your charge along.
As with the excellent P20 Pro, Huawei has again teamed up with Leica to create a Triple Camera system. The Mate 20 Pro features a 40MP main lens, a 20 MP ultra-wide angle lens for distortion-free panoramic shots, plus an 8MP telephoto lens that can achieve a 5x hybrid optical zoom. On the front, you'll also find a 24MP selfie camera.
The Mate 20 Pro's ramped up CPU makes for a fast, responsive and intuitive camera system. Most noticeably, the AI capabilities of the dual neural processing unit enables improved object and scene recognition, in turn allowing the camera to apply the most appropriate settings to each scenario.
Another particular highlight is Night mode, which harnesses the power of advanced AI image stabilisation to capture fine detail in very low light. Digital Trends sums it up saying "it's mind-bending that a phone can take such outstanding low-light pictures."
The Mate 20 Pro runs on the Android 9.0 Pie with Huawei's own EMUI 9.0 skin on top. This skin upgrade introduces a style revamp to the device, as Huawei have streamlined their menus and introduced gesture control much like Apple's. This makes for a far slicker and more responsive user experience.
Similar to the Digital Wellbeing feature on the Google Pixel 3, the Mate 20 Pro is also equipped with a new Digital Balance tool that helps to monitor phone usage.
Perhaps the most exciting upgrade to the interface though is the in-screen fingerprint reader. Huawei says its Dynamic Pressure Sensing tech will mean you just need to touch the screen to unlock your phone "securely and instantly".
T3 raves "the best bit? It works perfectly. Fast and consistent, as well as totally invisible, it is the new gold standard for fingerprint security."
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has been available in the UK since 26 October 2018.