Huawei Mate 20 Pro: The Esquire Review
It’s the end of the year which – along with the likes of Christmas and New Year – generally means a new Huawei Mate smartphone. Thankfully, 2018 is no different.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Huawei unless there was some sort of confusing factor with regards to its launch, which is why it pulled the wraps off two new phones; the Mate 20 and the Mate 20 Pro. While the regular 20 is a very good phone, the Pro version packs a lot more bells and whistles. It’s the new Huawei flagship, which is why it’s the one we’ve decided to focus on.
For starters, the Mate 20 Pro is a big device. 6.39-inches big. However, thanks to its slim bezels it’s oddly petite and far narrower than a similarly-specced Galaxy Note 9. You get aluminum on the sides, glass on the front and back and – just like that Samsung – the glass curves at the sides.
When it comes to speed, this thing is lightning fast. It runs apps like the Pro of its namesake, and also comes along with 128-gigabytes of storage, a now rare IR blaster and, rather unusually, reverse wireless charging. That means that this guy will charge up any device – such as another smartphone, perhaps – just by holding it next to it.
Screen-wise, the Mate 20 Pro is rather brilliant. It’s one of the best screens around, with slimmer borders than almost any other smartphone around. Colours are punchy, but there are a variety of different colour modes to choose from.
It runs the latest version of Android 9.0, but predictably skinned with Huawei’s EMUI. The skin gets in the way of proper Android in a few different ways, and despite Huawei trimming down its interface to make it more friendly, most people will still long for Vanilla Android.
Of course, the real star of the smartphone show is its camera. All four of them. There’s a 40-megapixel main camera, a 3x zoom lens and a 20-megapixel ultra-wide camera. You also get a
24-megapixel front-facing sensor, to boot. Huawei has also included some clever artificially intelligent technology that will automatically recognize what you are shooting then stitch multiple versions of the same image together for best results. In theory, it’s great; and in practice it works most of the time.
Ultimately, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a masterclass in technology. It does things many other phones simply cannot at the end of 2018, and despite user interface niggles - thanks to Huawei’s software meddling - it’s the camera setup that really makes this smartphone shine.