The "1-Minute" Review
- Auto mode on camera leads to hit-or-miss pictures
- Heavy at 189 grams
While you might know Huawei for their mid-range handsets, they’ve invested a significant amount into their flagship phone -- the Mate 20 Pro -- as well. Despite costing more than the reputable Samsung Galaxy Note 9 , many consider Huawei's latest release one of the best smartphones of 2018.
The Mate 20 Pro takes a few of its design cues from Samsung with its symmetrical tapered edges and slightly curved screen.
The back, however, provides a unique design thanks to Huawei’s “Simply Iconic” camera module. Some reviewers thought it resembled the headlights of luxury cars while others call it a “stovetop.” Love it or hate it, it will turn heads.
Huawei offers two different texture options for the back -- standard glass and a “vinyl” option. Although it doesn’t feel exactly like actual vinyl records, the textured back provided a satisfying grip and warded off fingerprints and smudges. It's also easy to hold in one hand thanks to its narrow size and rounded edges.
The display takes up pretty much the entire front of the phone. The 6.39-inch OLED display offers a QHD+ resolution of 1,440-by-3,120 pixels, making it sharper than the Google Pixel 3 XL and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 . As you’d expect, images are crisp and the OLED panel provides nice deep blacks.
Colors are vibrant and cover a wide spectrum though some reviewers found accuracy lacking. And while it’s not as bright as the iPhone XS , it’s still easy enough to read in direct sunlight.
While other smartphones jump on the Snapdragon bandwagon, Huawei has stuck with their own processor -- the octa-core Kirin 980.
This AI-powered processor combined with 6 or 8GB of RAM makes for buttery smooth performance during general use. Gaming performance is speedy as well. A few reviewers noticed a slight delay when switching apps, otherwise performance is stellar.
And if you’re worried about battery performance, don’t be. The 4,200mAh battery lasted most reviewers around 2 to 2.5 days of moderate usage and a full day of heavy use. If you somehow find yourself low on battery, the quick charger hits 70% from an empty charge in only 30 minutes.
The Mate 20 Pro can also charge a Qi-enabled device by turning on the feature and setting the device on the back of the phone. It’s slow, but it’s a feature you won't find elsewhere.
The camera system on the Mate 20 Pro was the only feature to see mixed reviews. There are three rear lenses: a 40MP primary lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 20MP ultra-wide lens. While the combination lets you take a variety of pictures from macro to long-distance, critics point out that you’ll get the best use when in manual mode.
In auto mode, their pictures were hit or miss with the camera often over-exposing bright areas and under-exposing in low-light situations.
Still, most were thrilled with the overall results, especially when taking macro pictures with the ultra-wide lens. Even low-light images were detailed with little grain.
Despite its high price tag, experts highly recommend the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Trusted Reviews states, “The Mate 20 Pro is full of great features and offers up an excellent alternative to any other flagship phone on the market right now.” Android Authority adds, “The Mate 20 Pro is a powerful, feature-packed, exciting phone… the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is probably the best phone you can get today.”
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