Huawei mate 20 pro review


Huge battery, slick design, và a superb processor, constrained by bad software and international relations


This time last year, Huawei was laboring behind the scenes to lớn secure its first carrier deal in the United States for its freshly unveiled Mate 10 Pro flagship phone. The plan was that Huawei would re-announce the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, with AT&T as its star partner. Except, at the very last moment, pressure from the US government convinced AT&T khổng lồ pull out of the deal, leaving Huawei embarrassed and frustrated. Things got worse a month later, when the FBI, CIA, & NSA collectively warned US citizens off Huawei phones, arguing they pose a security & privacy risk due to the company’s ties to lớn the Chinese government.

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Whether you invest faith in the unproven allegations against Huawei or not, the fact is you won’t be able to buy the company’s new Mate đôi mươi Pro at all in the United States, not even unlocked. & that’s a damn shame because it means Americans will be missing out on one of the most powerful, fully featured, & fascinating devices of the year. The Huawei Mate đôi mươi Pro isn’t the best overall app android smartphone, but some aspects of it are indeed the best anyone can get right now.

In Europe, this super-specced game android device costs a knee-wobbling €1,049 (around $1,200, including tax), which puts it at the very top of the premium phone pile. For comparison, the Galaxy chú ý 9 has already been discounted from its €999 starting price, & Amazon is currently running a deal that offers it with a 128GB microSD card và 128GB of onboard storage for €799. So I’m going to lớn forgive absolutely no follies with this Huawei phone. Only a couple of years ago, Huawei was the budget alternative khổng lồ Samsung và Apple, and the shortcomings of its devices could be justified by a lower price. Today, Huawei wants lớn fight its biggest rivals on the same, expensive playing field.

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The Good

Battery lasts & lastsBlistering performanceGorgeous display3D face unlock is fast & reliableTextured rear glass improves grip, resists scratches & fingerprints
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The Bad

Camera lacks the dynamic range of the Google PixelMaster AI image processing isn’t yet consistent enough lớn be trustedSome software bugs và annoyances

As the most expensive mass-market apk flagship right now, the Huawei Mate đôi mươi Pro needs some unequivocal wins to lớn justify its positioning. I count two such victories: battery life & performance.

First, about that 4,200mAh battery. I’ve never known a phone to lớn have a battery this big và yet feel this light và easy to use. Huawei is doing some marvelous power nguồn optimization work, too, because I can’t vì chưng anything to run down this battery quickly. Two hours of constant gaming in Alto’s Adventure cost me only 18 percent of the battery, which suggests I’d need a true marathon session khổng lồ drain the phone completely. & the times when I leave the Mate trăng tròn Pro idling, the battery percentage barely moves.


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Display: 6.4-inch OLED, 3120 x 1440, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 538ppi Rear cameras: 20MP ultra wide-angle f/2.2, 40MP wide-angle f/1.8 (combines four pixels into one for 10MP shots by default), 8MP telephoto f/2.4, equivalent to 16mm, 27mm, & 80mm focal lengths; laser, phase-detect, and contrast-detect focus systemsFront camera: 24MP f/2 camera with depth detection for portrait-mode selfiesWireless: LTE Cat.21, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, bluetooth không dây 5 with tư vấn for AAC, AptX HD, và LDACBattery: 4,200mAhIP68 dust and water resistanceBiometric security: in-screen fingerprint sensor, 3d face unlockOS: EMUI 9 on apk 9 Pie

With convenient wireless charging from Google’s px Stand, I basically never dropped below a 50 percent charge during my testing of this phone. A typical day would include dozens of photos, regular messaging and email, some video, plenty of gaming, & I wouldn’t once worry about whether the Mate 20 Pro would last into the evening. This is meaningfully better than both the Google px 3 XL and Samsung Galaxy note 9, & it absolutely embarrasses smaller phones lượt thích the px 3. Huawei’s little gimmick with this generation is that the Mate trăng tròn Pro is capable of reverse wireless charging, so I guess one way to live with the px 3 might be to lớn have the Mate 20 Pro as my (ultra expensive) second phone slash external battery.

On the performance front, Huawei’s claims about the Kirin 980 being recognizably superior to the Snapdragon 845 stand up lớn scrutiny. The speed & responsiveness of the Mate 20 Pro are iPhone-like, with apps launching quickly, the camera exhibiting zero delay, & gesture animations displaying smoothly và fluidly. Huawei’s multitasking system rips off the iPhone X system wholesale‚ và you can criticize that plagiarism all you like, but I appreciate how close Huawei has come to lớn truly replicating, not merely imitating, the smoothness of the game ios experience.

In games, the Mate trăng tròn Pro has given me the best performance I’ve yet come across on Android. (Worth noting: I have yet to try the Razer Phone 2 for myself.) Back in Alto’s Adventure land, both the Galaxy chú ý 9 and pixel 3 XL would stutter at predictable points, typically around the culmination of a big full bộ where the character gets a tốc độ boost, & the Mate trăng tròn Pro just doesn’t suffer from that issue. I would gladly endorse this phone as an android gaming powerhouse, even without the light-up logos or chunky design.

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Huawei has really committed itself to checking off every wishlist công trình you can think of with the Mate đôi mươi Pro. From the 7nm processor with 6.9 billion transistors, faster LTE, & a bag of world-first achievements, to the fast wireless charging, huge battery, waterproof design, in-display fingerprint scanner, 3 chiều face unlock, high-resolution OLED display, multi-camera system, và tons of RAM và storage, it’s an absolute waterfall of kiểm tra marks.

Even the notification LED, which is being abandoned at a rate that’s only eclipsed by the headphone jack, is still around on the Mate trăng tròn Pro. A tai nghe jack, however, is not present. Huawei includes a dongle & a pair of decent USB-C-connected hãng apple EarPods lookalikes in the box. Now that Google has released the excellent px USB-C earbuds for $30 and wireless headphones have improved dramatically, I’m less worried about the missing 3.5mm jack than I was when táo bị cắn rushed into the idea with the iPhone 7 in 2016. Still, the Mate đôi mươi Pro is a super expensive phone, and the stuff that Huawei’s bundling with it is merely okay. The pixel 3 XL & Galaxy chú ý 9 (with its AKG earphones) are ahead of Huawei’s new flagship here.

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a:hover>:text-gray-63 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-bd dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a>:text-gray-bd dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray">Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge
a:hover>:text-gray-63 <&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-black dark:<&>a:hover>:text-gray-bd dark:<&>a:hover>:shadow-underline-gray <&>a>:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:<&>a>:text-gray-bd dark:<&>a>:shadow-underline-gray">Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Google and Samsung’s big-boy phones, along with Apple’s iPhone XS Max, are the most recent & direct competition that the Mate đôi mươi Pro is going up against, but since I’m less familiar with Apple’s latest phone, I’ll primarily compare against the px 3 XL and note 9. The 6.4-inch Mate trăng tròn Pro feels dainty in their presence. It’s a sliver shorter than the px 3 XL và about the same thickness, but it’s much narrower, which makes it significantly easier khổng lồ use with one hand. The note 9 is in a whole other class of form size and ergonomics. Where the Mate trăng tròn Pro can just about get away with being thought of as an enlarged phone, the cảnh báo 9 feels much more like a shrunken tablet. In pixel terms, Huawei’s new phone has the width of the smaller pixel 3 and the height of the larger px 3 XL, so if you’ve found neither of those two quite ideal, this phone represents a happy medium.

The green & blue Mate đôi mươi Pro colorways replace the smooth glass finish common among current flagship phones with a subtle texture Huawei calls Hyper Optical Patterns. It’s just some grooves cut into the glass, but the result is that the surface refuses to lớn pick up fingerprints và even entices you khổng lồ scratch it by producing a vinyl-like sound on contact. I can’t say I find the Mate đôi mươi Pro any less slippery than other glass phones, but I also haven’t dropped it once in the week I’ve had it for review. Huawei’s placement of the nguồn button helps the ease of using this phone: it sits below the volume rocker (rather than above, as with Google’s Pixels) và is within natural reach for most humans.

The display on the Galaxy chú ý 9 is amazing, và the Mate trăng tròn Pro is right up there alongside it in terms of sharpness, brightness, and vividness. But Huawei has an extra trick up its sleeve with a so-called Natural Tone mode, which works exactly lượt thích Apple’s True Tone, gauging the ambient light and adjusting the màu sắc temperature of the screen accordingly, giving “a paper-like viewing experience.” I love that feature & keep it on all the time, even if it might cost me some màu sắc accuracy when reviewing and editing photos.

My only gripe with Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro display are its curved sides, which remind me of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 Edge. Because the front curve is symmetrically matched by a rear-glass curve, the sides of the Mate 20 Pro narrow down almost to lớn a point. That’s obviously not ideal for a comfortable grip, và I find myself wishing for the pixel 3 XL’s doughier sides. When watching video in landscape, I also notice the distortion caused by the curvy edges of the Mate đôi mươi Pro, which is especially prominent with sports broadcasts where the scoreline graphics get warped.

You’ll have noticed the notch on the Mate trăng tròn Pro looks a lot like that on the iPhone X series, và there’s a good reason for it: Huawei’s using the same technique as Apple’s Face ID in a new system the company calls 3d Face Unlock. You know the drill by now: the phone uses a combination of an IR sensor và more than 30,000 invisible dots projected onto your face lớn get a three-dimensional picture and identify authorized users. Huawei’s system works swiftly và reliably, especially compared lớn Samsung’s combination of iris & face recognition, which I find is slower and more easily confused. Only hoodies posed a problem for the Mate trăng tròn Pro’s face unlock feature.

If you look under the cover of Huawei’s Mate đôi mươi Pro notch, you’ll see practically zero room lớn spare. Everything is crammed in tight. The other biometric ID system that Huawei adds here — the pressure-sensing fingerprint reader built into the display — also contributes lớn this space efficiency by removing the need for a discrete space lớn install a separate scanner. I wasn’t particularly wowed by this fingerprint reader, which is nowhere near as fast as the more conventional ones Huawei puts in its other devices, but it’s still good và accurate enough. Most of the time, Huawei’s 3d Face Unlock had recognized me before I had even laid my finger on the screen.

Joining LG and Samsung with the “more cameras are better” mantra, Huawei now has three cameras on the rear of its flagship. Gone is the monochrome sensor of the P20 Pro & previous Huawei phones. Huawei claims image sensors have gotten so good that it no longer needs the help of the secondary sensor khổng lồ deliver sharpness and detail in its photos from the main camera. Still, some will miss the excellent black-and-white photos that Huawei allowed users to lớn take with that dedicated sensor.

With a choice of an ultra-wide, a conventionally wide, & a telephoto camera, the Mate 20 Pro is rich on creative flexibility. The ultra-wide lens, equivalent khổng lồ a 16mm focal length, will come in handy for group photos, landscapes, and when you’re up close to lớn something big & want khổng lồ capture its entirety. That camera also doubles up as an extreme macro shooter, which is a cute and unusual feature, và it works well. Huawei automatically eliminates the distortion in processing the image, and the results are really good.

The main camera on the Mate 20 pro has a 40-megapixel sensor, which combines four neighboring pixels into one lớn deliver 10-megapixel shots with enhanced detail. I compared it extensively against the px 3 XL & Galaxy cảnh báo 9, và I found that Huawei’s hardware just doesn’t have the dynamic range of the other two. In situations where Google và Samsung’s phones were able to both expose a dark foreground and retain a xanh sky, the Mate 20 Pro accurately judged I wanted a brighter foreground, but couldn’t restrain the sky from blowing out.

Huawei’s photos, like Samsung’s, come out looking very crispy. Sometimes, that ends up making them look crunchy. I know I’m using highly technical jargon here, but basically, there’s an ideal amount of crispiness lớn a photo, và crunch is the stage just beyond that. It’s where the detail & sharpness start khổng lồ appear brittle.

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