The latest phone with Huawei, with their proprietary Kirin 980 chipset, which beats out nearly any other Android phone. But what do I think about it? Let’s see.
Unlike most Android phones this year, the specs are one of the main highlights of this phone. It comes with the Kirin 980 chipset, which is the first ever chipset in an Android phone which is built on a 7nm process, which basically means that this chip is about as fast as the next Qualcomm chip, which is going to be launched in January, probably as the Snapdragon 855. That means that it will still be very fast going into next year, which is great. The Kirin 980 is accompanied with 6GB of RAM and up to 128 GB or storage. That puts it firmly into average 2018 flagship territory, which should be fine for multitasking now, and in the year to come. The display is a notched 1440p 6.39″ Curved OLED display with crisp colours and vivid detail. Honestly, the display seems to be able to compete with the LGs and Samsungs of the world. Of course, take my opinions with a grain of salt; I don’t actually own the phone, and have only seen it in stores.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a beautiful phone, and very few people will disagree with that, but if you do, let me know why down below. From the complete symmetry to the twilight colour gradient on the rear, this phone’s design is a real standout feature. Just tiny little details like the fact that the curves of the square camera housing on the back are the same as the curves of the phone’s body really make this phone look and feel just plain awesome. For example, on a close examination of the phone, you will not find a speaker grill. Why? Because they didn’t need one. They saved room, probably for the monster of a battery in this thing, and combined the speaker with the USB-C port on the bottom. While that does distort the sound slightly when you have something plugged in, it isn’t nearly as much as you might imagine. And, personally, I would be willing to give up some sound quality for a bigger battery. Speaking of sacrificing sound quality for a bigger battery, this phone does not have a headphone jack. We weren’t expecting them to bring it back from the P20 Pro, but it is still a bit of a shame. The lack of a headphone jack doesn’t really bother me, but it is a good thing to keep in mind if you aren’t on the Bluetooth bus by now.
In my opinion, the software of this phone is the only downside of this otherwise great phone. It is heavy, clunky and just… bad. It is literally the opposite of the Pixel 3. It is quick, but only because of the chipset, it is absolutely jam-packed with features, and it is a bit too unorganised. Personally, I think that the software downsides can be overlooked for the immense array of great features that this phone offers, many of which can be found by following Huawei on Twitter. Despite these setbacks, this phone still comes with the latest Android 9.0 Pie, with EMUI 9 skin over top. This phone, along with many other alterations of Android Pie, brings something that I think Google was stupid to miss out on. In the multitasking menu, make the apps rounded. Google, you are all about things being rounded in Android Pie, so why not the apps? On the Pixel 3 and 3XL, the apps are rounded when you’re in them, because of the rounded display anyway, so why not just embrace it and make it a feature? Anyway, I digress. I quite like this phone’s gesture navigation mode, except for the back feature. It involves a swipe from the very left or rightmost edge of the curved display, which I think would be hard to do on a daily basis. Other than that, though, it is very similar to Pie’s gestures.
Now, for one of the headline features of this phone. No phone can beat these cameras’ hardware. It has a standard lens, like most other 2018 phones, but this one is a massive 40 megapixels. It has a telephoto lens, like most other 2018 phones, but it is a 3x optical zoom, which is the highest on any mainstream phone. It has 2 lenses, like most other 2018 phones, but it also has a third ultrawide lens, for maximum versatility. Please bear in mind that I haven’t actually used this camera, so my opinions are based on camera comparisons and other reviews. Overall, I don’t think that the photos are as good as the Pixel 3’s. However, the video tricks that this phone can do are absolutely incredible. It can use portrait mode to blur the background, live, in a video. No other phone can do that. That is incredible. Some people are calling it a gimmick, but personally, I think that people call everything a gimmick. They did and still do call portrait mode a gimmick, but I use it nearly every day. The biggest thing about this camera system for me is the versatility. Any photo that you can capture with any other camera, you can capture with this. It even recommends when it thinks you should switch lenses in any given situation. Of course, we still have the scene recognition from the Mate 10 Pro last year, but it is much improved. I am not bothered about it too much, because, in all honesty, I think it’s a gimmick (feel free to kill me in the comments). Similar to the software side of it, I feel like this phone would just have so many features it feels a bit heavy. However, I would love more features in the camera, because my Pixel doesn’t provide much customisation for photos right now.
It isn’t very often that I say that the extras are the best part of a phone, but in this case, it is true. Here they are: 40W industry-leading fast charging, 15W industry-leading wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D face unlock, the massive 4200mAh battery, the underrated IR blaster. These are only some of the great things about this phone. Compared to a more expensive phone by a popular company that rhymes with Shmamsung, this phone has faster wired charging, faster wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, a more secure and faster face unlock, a bigger battery, a cooler fingerprint scanner, and an IR blaster. In my opinion, there is no comparison, unlike you like the thing that rhymes with Ess Shpen.
Now, the price. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro starts at £899. The reason I’m not putting the price in dollars is that this phone, unfortunately, will not be coming to the US. However, you can always import it. However, there are downsides to that, like added costs and other things like that. It is a shame though.
That leads me on to the final section of this review; my verdict. I will not be buying this phone. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to. I simply don’t have the money to buy it. Nevertheless, I would recommend this phone to 90% of you. The only people I wouldn’t recommend this to are people with small hands, because this is a massive phone, and people who love a clean version of Android. Believe me, I would love to upgrade, and if Huawei were to send me a review unit so I could do a full review (wink wink, nudge nudge), I would gladly do it. Let me know your thoughts on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro down below.